WICHITA, KS – The Tulsa Drillers finally returned to action Friday night in Wichita after four straight off days, including three because of rainouts. The return was not a success for the Drillers as they dropped both games of a doubleheader to the Wind Surge, losing the opener 7-2 and
WICHITA, KS – The Tulsa Drillers finally returned to action Friday night in Wichita after four straight off days, including three because of rainouts. The return was not a success for the Drillers as they dropped both games of a doubleheader to the Wind Surge, losing the opener 7-2 and the second game 10-0, marking the first time this season they were shutout. Tulsa was limited to just nine hits in the two losses.
With the sweep, the Wind Surge moved into sole possession of first place in the North Division standings of the Texas League, two games in front of the Drillers.
GAME 1 BOXSCORE
GAME 2 BOXSCORE
The first game featured a much anticipated pitching matchup of brothers. Gus Varland made the start on the mound for the Drillers against his younger brother Louie Varland, who was the starter for the Wind Surge. Unfortunately for the Drillers and Gus, younger brother came out on top as the Wind Surge took an early lead they never relinquished.
Wichita scored in each of the first four innings to take early control. After Louie Varland struck out the side in the top of the first, Matt Wallner gave him a lead with a three-run homer off his brother in the bottom half of the first.
A two-run single from Edouard Julien in the second gave Louie and the Wind Surge a 5-0 lead.
Michael Busch cut into the margin with a two-run homer in the top of the third, but it would be all the offense that the Drillers would produce.
Spencer Steer led off the bottom of the third with his second homer of the season to up the Wichita lead to 6-2.
A run-scoring single from Steer in the fourth produced the final run of the game.
Louie Varland worked five innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. Relievers Alex Scherff and Evan Sisk combined to limit the Drillers to just one hit in the final two frames to close out the win.
The offensive struggles for the Drillers continued into the second. They were shutout and limited to just three hits.
Wallner gave the Wind Surge all the offense they needed with his second homer of the night in the bottom of the second inning.
He doubled the lead to 2-0 in the fifth with a two-out, RBI double.
The tough night for the Drillers culminated in the bottom of the sixth inning of the second game when reliever Alec Gamboa walked the first three batters of the inning to load the bases. Tanner Dodson came on for Gamboa and surrendered a run-scoring single and a two-run double. A throwing error by Busch plated another run before a double from Wallner that skipped by right fielder Andy Pages scored two more. Andrew Bechtold put the Wind Surge into double figures with a two-run homer that made it 10-0.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*In the first game, every Wichita starter but one had a hit in the game, while the Drillers were limited to just five total hits.
*In the matchup of Varlands, Gus allowed six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts in three innings and was charged with the loss that dropped his record to 0-3. Louie surrendered two runs on four hits with six strikeouts in five innings to claim the win that improved his record to 3-1.
*Clayton Beeter started the second game for the Drillers, and he was effective despite suffering the loss. Beeter worked four innings, allowing one run on four hits. He struck out eight hitters for the second straight game and now has 31 strikeouts this season in just 15.2 innings pitched.
*It was a difficult night for the bullpen in relief of Beeter, as Gamboa surrendered four runs on two hits and four walks in just one inning of work. It was even a rougher outing for Dodson. He gave up five runs on six hits in his one inning of work.
*Tulsa was out-hit in the two games 23-9 and out-scored 17-2.
*With the doubleheader loss, the Drillers lead in the Coors Light Propeller Series between the two teams was cut to 3 games to 2.
The Drillers and Wind Surge will play the third game Saturday night of what is now a five-game series. Starting time is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at Wichita’s Riverfront Stadium, and the starting pitchers are scheduled to be:
Tulsa – TBA
Wichita – TBA
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