It took 17 innings and nearly 6 hours, but the Tulsa Drillers defeated the Arkansas Travelers Saturday night. After going nine innings without scoring a run, the Drillers erupted for five in the top of the 17th inning and posted a 7-2 win over the Travelers at Dickey-Stephens Park. The tie-breaking hit came courtesy of catcher Lars Davis, as his one-out double finally broke the deadlock.
The game-winning rally for Tulsa began when Corey Dickerson was hit by a pitch from reliever Dakota Robinson. After Kent Matthes grounded out, Tim Torres walked to set the stage for Davis. He lined a pitch into the right-center field gap to break a tie that had been in place for over three hours.
Chris Scholl came on for Robinson and uncorked a pair of wild pitches to allow Davis to score to make it 5-2. A two-run single by Angelys Nina produced two more runs to account for the final score.
Tulsa's Joe Gardner, making his first relief appearance of the season, was outstanding and gained the win. Gardner worked out of a bases loaded jam with no outs in the 13th inning. In the 16th, he escaped another jam when the Travelers had a runner at third with no outs.
Overall, he worked six shutout relief innings, allowing three hits and four walks. The victory improved his record to 4-6.
Tulsa's Torres had opened the game's scoring in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Torres' second home run of the season gave the Drillers a 1-0 lead.
The Travelers answered in the bottom of the fifth when Jimmy Swift singled and scored on a base hit by Angel Castillo to even the score.
Tulsa used another homer in the seventh to go back in front. A long, solo blast from Matthes, his 12th of the season, gave the Drillers a 2-1 lead.
Arkansas quickly responded in the bottom of the seventh as Brian Hernandez drew a walk from reliever Tim Sexton and moved to second on a base hit by Casey Haerther. Following a sacrifice bunt, Hernandez came home on a wild pitch from Sexton to tie the game at 2-2.
Tyler Chatwood, who joined the Drillers on Friday from the Colorado Rockies, started the game and pitched effectively. The former Travelers hurler, allowed only four hits and one unearned run in six innings. Chatwood walked one hitter and struck out four.
Relievers Mike Marbry and Joey Williamson each worked two scoreless innings for Tulsa before turning things over to Gardner.
The Drillers will conclude their series in North Little Rock Sunday evening. Brandon Hynick (1-0, 2.63 ERA) will pitch the finale for Tulsa against Johnny Hellweg (4-8. 3.48 ERA) of Arkansas. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10PM at Dickey-Stephens Park.