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 Tulsa Drillers

Rushing, Drillers Slam Naturals

May 27, 2024 - Texas League (TL)
Tulsa Drillers News Release

Dalton Rushing with a big swing for the Tulsa Drillers
Dalton Rushing with a big swing for the Tulsa Drillers
(Tulsa Drillers, Credit: Tim Campbell)

TULSA, OK - Fresh off a winning road trip to Springfield, and victories in seven of their past ten games, the Tulsa Drillers opened a seven-game home stand with Northwest Arkansas Monday night at ONEOK Field. The opener got off to a rough start as the Naturals hit two-first inning home runs and jumped to a quick three-run lead before the Drillers had come to the plate.

Tulsa had an immediate response, scoring three runs of its own in the home half of the first. The offensive fireworks continued with the Drillers eventually scoring 12 straight runs and posting a 12-3 come-from-behind victory over the Naturals..

On a perfect weather night for baseball, the game had anything but a perfect start for the Drillers. The night's first batter, Javier Vaz, homered on the second pitch of the game for a quick Naturals' lead.

Later in the first, Josh Lester added a two-run homer for Northwest Arkansas that handed Tulsa a three-run deficit.

The Drillers' comeback began immediately. In the bottom of the first, two straight walks and a wild pitch set up a two-run single from Dalton Rushing. A sacrifice fly by Brendon Davis scored Rushing and tied the score at 3-3.

A five-run fourth inning made it eight straight runs from the Drillers, and Rushing was again in the middle of the outburst. A walk and two hit batters loaded the bases for the designated hitter, and Rushing cleared them with a towering drive that landed beyond the right field bullpens for Tulsa's third grand slam of the season.

Consecutive doubles from Griffin Lockwood-Powell and Davis later in the fourth added the fifth run of the inning.

The Drillers added another run in the fifth, before Diego Cartaya and Yeiner Fernandez closed out the scoring in the eighth. Cartaya doubled home two runs, and Fernandez doubled in another.

The run support was more than enough for the Drillers bullpen. Five relievers combined to blank the Naturals on only two hits over the final 5.2 innings of the game.


It was a big night for Rushing, who is rated as the top prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers' minor league system by MLB Pipeline. The University of Louisville product had two hits, including the grand slam, scored two runs and drove in a career high five runs. It continued a hot streak for Rushing who now has three homers and nine RBI in his last five games.

Fernandez doubled, walked and was hit by a pitch to extend his on-base streak to 33 straight games. It is the longest on-base streak in the Texas League this season and the second longest in Minor League Baseball.

Michael Hobbs followed Romero to the mound, recording two outs before Tulsa's five-run fourth inning. Hobbs, who was credited with the win, has not allowed a run in his last four games, a stretch of 7.0 innings.

Jack Little got the final four outs for Tulsa and has now retired 14 straight batters over his last four appearances. Little had a 2.08 ERA in seven games in April, and now has a 2.08 ERA in eight games in May.

Rushing's grand slam was the third this season for the Drillers, with the other two coming from Austin Beck. Tulsa had just two grand slams all of last season.

Taylor Young stole his 18th base of the season. The total leads the Drillers and is the second highest mark in the Texas League.

With the win, the Drillers passed the Naturals in the North Division standings of the Texas League, moving into third place and within 4.5 games of first place Arkansas.

The game started at 6:30 p.m. to accommodate a Memorial Day Fireworks Show that took place after the game. Temperature at first pitch was 86 degrees with calm winds.


The Drillers and the Naturals will take Tuesday off before resuming their series on Wednesday night at ONEOK Field. Starting time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the starting pitchers are expected to be:

NWA - RHP Luinder Avila (3-3, 5.23 ERA)

TUL - RHP Jared Karros (1-0, 7.45 ERA)

Images from this story

Dalton Rushing with a big swing for the Tulsa Drillers
Dalton Rushing with a big swing for the Tulsa Drillers

(Tim Campbell)

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