Drillers Returning to the Texas League Playoffs
AMARILLO, TX - The Tulsa Drillers are headed to the Texas League North Division playoffs for the third straight season. On Monday night, the Drillers opened up a four-game series in Amarillo against the Sod Poodles. With a win needed to secure a playoff berth, the offense came out strong and secured a 9-2 victory.
The win eliminated Springfield from a chance at the second-half TL North Division crown, securing the Drillers spot in the playoffs because they will have, at minimum, the second-best record in the North.
The Drillers will face the Arkansas Travelers in Game One of the Texas League North Division playoffs in North Little Rock on Wednesday, September 4. ONEOK Field will host Games 3 and 4, and possibly Game 5, September 6-8.
Although Tulsa has secured a playoff spot, the team is still eyeing its third straight second-half title. The Drillers own a two-game lead over Arkansas in the division with just seven games to play.
The Drillers opened the scoring in Monday's win with three runs in the top of the second. Singles by Donovan Casey and Jordan Procyshen set up run-scoring singles by Drew Avans and Omar Estevez. With runners on first and third, Sod Poodles starter Jesse Scholtens uncorked a wild pitch, plating Avans and giving Tulsa a 3-0 lead.
Amarillo put a run on the board in a dramatic bottom of the fifth. Drillers pitcher Leo Crawford hit a man and allowed a pair of singles to load the bases for the Sod Poodles. After recording an out, Hudson Potts grounded a ball right down the third base line. Third baseman Connor Wong nonchalantly stopped the slow grounder, apparently thinking the ball was foul, but home plate umpire Isaias Barba ruled it fair. The run scored and the play was ruled a single.
After the play, Wong put his hands up as if he thought the ball was foul and Drillers manager Scott Hennessey ran out of the dugout, not appearing happy about the call. After some choice words with Barba, Hennessey was ejected from the game.
Crawford went on to get another out, but was replaced by reliever Marshall Kasowski with the bases still loaded. Kasowski came up with a big strikeout to end the Amarillo threat.
Tulsa put the game away in the top of the sixth. With runners at second and third, Errol Robinson added to the Drillers lead with a run-scoring single. Jared Walker was called upon to pinch hit for Kasowski and came up big. Walker turned on a ball and sent it to the back of the berm over the right field wall, his 13th homer of the year. The blast extended the Drillers lead to 7-1.
An inning later, Wong made the score 8-1 with a deep blast over the left field wall, his sixth homer of the year and his third hit of the game. Monday marked the straight game in which Wong has had three hits.
Kyle Overstreet knocked in a run for the Sod Poodles in the seventh, but Tulsa got the run right back in the top of the eighth. With runners at first and second, Omar Estevez notched a run-scoring single, giving the Drillers a 9-2 lead.
The Drillers bullpen took it the rest of the way. After the Sod Poodles scored in the seventh, reliever Shea Spitzbarth came into the game with runners at first and third with no outs. He retired the next three batters to put an end to the threat, before also set down all three men in the eighth.
Stetson Allie finished the night with two strikeouts in a scoreless bottom of the ninth.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*Wong added three more hits and extended his hitting streak to ten games. He has recorded three hits in each of the last three games and has six multi-hit games during his last ten. Wong is 19-39 (.487) during the streak.
*Yordy Cabrera got the start on the mound for the Drillers in the role of an opener. Cabrera set down the first five men he faced before allowing a single and a walk.
*Crawford allowed one run on six hits over three innings.
*The Drillers magic number to clinch the second-half Texas League North Division is at six.
UP NEXT: Tulsa at Amarillo, Tuesday, August 27, 7:05 PM at Hodgetown in Amarillo, TX. RHP Markus Solbach (3-1, 3.77 ERA) vs. Amarillo starter TBA.
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Texas League Stories from August 27, 2019
- Tulsa Tops Amarillo for Fourth Straight Win - Tulsa Drillers
- Garabito Strong But Naturals Fall to 'Hounds - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Travs' Hurlers K 16 Hooks in Win - Arkansas Travelers
- Hooks Rally Falls Short in Loss to Arkansas - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Profar Sparks Success in Springfield - Frisco RoughRiders
- Dylan Carlson Named 2019 Texas League Player of the Year - Springfield Cardinals
- Darren McCaughan Named TL Pitcher of the Year - Arkansas Travelers
- Carlson, McCaughan Claim Texas League Player and Pitcher of the Year - TL
- Hounds Winning Streak Snapped by Naturals - Midland RockHounds
- Cardinals Fall 10-7 in Extras - Springfield Cardinals
- Travs Pitch Lights out in Win over Hooks - Arkansas Travelers
- Drillers Returning to the Texas League Playoffs - Tulsa Drillers
- Sod Poodles Drop Series Opener 9-2 to Tulsa, Remain Two Games Ahead of Midland - Amarillo Sod Poodles
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