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 Tulsa Drillers

Keith Delivers Another Dramatic Walk-off Win

June 14, 2024 - Texas League (TL)
Tulsa Drillers News Release


TULSA, OK - Damon Keith has had quite a week for the Tulsa Drillers even though he has played in just eight games this year. After suffering an injury on opening day and missing two months of the season, Keith has now recorded two walk-off hits for the Drillers in his first three games at ONEOK Field. His second winner came on Thursday when he delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the tenth inning to provide a 1-0 win over the Arkansas Travelers.

Not to be overshadowed by the walk-off win was the performance from Tulsa's pitching staff. Four pitchers combined to record the club's second straight shutout win. Thanks to the scoreless night, Tulsa pitchers have now recorded 22 consecutive scoreless innings.

The dramatic victory brought the Drillers win streak to four straight games, and they have now won 18 of their past 26 games.

Starting pitching controlled the game through the five innings on Thursday, with the two offenses combining for only four hits through the first five frames.

Tulsa starter Kendall Williams carried his best start of the season into the sixth inning when Arkansas earned a single and a hit batter to put runners at first and second. Williams closed the sixth frame with his fifth strikeout of the night to complete his longest outing of the season.

Tulsa earned just two hits through five innings off the Travelers starting pitcher Juan Mercedes. The Drillers threatened in the sixth with consecutive singles putting runners at first and third. After Austin Beck struck out for the inning's second out, Dalton Rushing was thrown out trying to steal second base to end the threat.

Antonio Knowles took the mound in the seventh for Tulsa and continued the scoreless night. He worked two perfect innings and finished with one strikeout.

Lefty Ben Harris entered to pitch the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Harris walked Harry Ford, and following a fly out to left field, Ford stole second base to reach scoring position. Harris ended that threat by inducing a 6-3 ground out to give the Drillers a chance to win in the ninth.

They failed to score, but the Drillers pitching staff continued the scoreless streak in the top of the tenth.

In the bottom of the tenth, Arkansas closer Troy Taylor quickly recorded two outs, but pinch runner Bubba Alleyne tagged up and reached third base on a flyout to center field. Just one out from heading to the eleventh inning, Keith grounded the second pitch he saw into left field for the winner.

It was Keith's hit off Taylor in the bottom of the ninth of Tuesday's game that capped a three-run Drillers' rally and provided a 5-4 win. The two losses are the only two Taylor has suffered this season with the Travelers.

INSIDE THE GAME

*Springfield lost its third consecutive to Northwest Arkansas on Thursday, to move Tulsa to within 2.0 games of the first-place Cardinals in the TL's North Division. Second-place Arkansas remained Â1/2 game behind the Cards.

*The shutout gave Tulsa its second consecutive shutout win. The last time the Drillers recorded consecutive shutouts was August 24 and 25 of the 2018 season when Mitchell White beat Arkansas 3-0 and Tony Gonsolin defeated Springfield 5-0.

*Ryan Sublette was the final pitcher Tulsa and picked up his third win by recording two outs in the tenth inning.

*Travs pitcher Kyle Hill struck out four Tulsa batters in the bottom of the ninth. After an inning-opening strikeout, Rushing also struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch. Hill followed by striking out the next two batters to end the inning.

*Williams' five strikeouts matched a season high.

*The Drillers announced on Thursday that pitcher Jerming Rosario was transferred to Tulsa's roster from Great Lakes.

UP NEXT:

The Drillers and Travelers will resume their six-game series with game four on Friday night in downtown Tulsa. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at ONEOK Field, and the starting pitchers are expected to be:

ARK - RHP Blas Castano (0-3, 3.50 ERA)

TUL - RHP Hyun-il Choi (1-2, 6.75 ERA)


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