Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short For Drillers

The Drillers came into Friday night's game in North Little Rock, Arkansas reeling after a tough loss in a well-pitched game on Thursday. Game 1 of their series against the Travelers was all too familiar as Tulsa dropped their second straight 1-run game to the tune of 2-1 at Dickey Stephens Park.

The Travs got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. A 2-out walk to top prospect Jean Segura brought up Travis Witherspoon who slugged his 2nd homer of the season to give Arkansas an early lead. The bomb by Witherspoon was the only mistake made all night by Tulsa starter Brandon Hynick, but it{}turned out to be the difference in the game.

The Drillers offense was held in check all night by Johnny Hellweg who gave up only 2 scattered hits in 7 innings of work.{} The right-hander retired 14 of the final 15 Tulsa hittersthat he faced en route to his fifth victory of the season.

A last ditch rally by Tulsa in the ninth came up just short after the first 2 men reached base with back-to-back singles. A double play ball momentarily thwarted the comeback hopes until Ben Paulsen delivered an RBI double to cut the lead to 1. Reliever Kevin Johnson was able to lock down the save 2 batters later when he enticed a lineout off the bat of Tim Torres.

Hynick was pulled after 6 solid innings on the bump. He allowed 5 hits, the 2 earned runs, 2 walks and registered 3 strikeouts in the losing effort. {}His record with the Drillers is now 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA.

Mike Solbach and Tim Sexton each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Solbach struck out one and did not allow a hit in his Drillers debut.

Game 2 of the four game set will be played on Saturday night in North Little Rock. Tulsa will send Parker Frazier (4-10, 3.77 ERA) to the hill with a first pitch scheduled for 7:10PM.