TULSA, Okla. – A strong outing by 23-year old right-hander Luke Farrell and early offense by the Naturals jolted the Naturals to a 7-3 win over the Tulsa Drillers on Thursday night at ONEOK Field. Farrell worked 7.0 innings with six strikeouts to earn his first Double-A win.
It all came full circle for Farrell (1-1, 2.91) Thursday night. The 6-foot-6 right-hander debuted at ONEOK Field on August 27, 2014 and the Drillers touched him up then. But in front of 7,656 on Thursday night, the Farrell stuck it to the Drillers.
The big hurler shutdown the first eight Driller hitters he faced before allowing an infield single to break the stretch. But he allowed the single with a 5-0 advantage in his back pocket.
Northwest Arkansas (34-24) banged up Tulsa starter Eric Stults (1-1, 5.00) with Kenny Diekroeger opening the third frame with a solo home run, his first of the year, to ignite the offense. Terrance Gore and Lane Adams singled to put runners at the corners for Raul Mondesi who smacked an RBI single into leftfield to extend the Naturals advantage to 2-0.
The big blow came from third baseman, Hunter Dozier. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dozier dropped a double into leftfield that snuck past the diving Jeremy Rathjen to clear the bags and make it a 5-0 lead.
That’s all Farrell needed. The right-hander tied a career-high with 7.0 innings, allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts throwing a career-high 103 pitches with 64 for strikes to earn his first win as a Naturals.
Right-hander Ali Williams allowed a single run in the eighth with Aroni Nina working a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to finish his 15th game of the season.
Mondesi finished his night 2-for-4 with two RBI while Dozier ended 1-for-4 with three RBI and his 12th double of the season. Adams also added two hits in five trips to the plate and Diekroeger has now hit in five straight games with a 2-4 night and a pair of runs scored for him.
The Naturals will finish up their tilt with Tulsa on Friday night playing a double-header to make up for a washed out game on May 25 at ONEOK Field. First pitch of game one is set for 5:05.
Left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic (2-3, 3.75) will start for the Naturals in game one while the club has not announced a starter for the night cap.
Tune in with the Voice of the Naturals, Benjamin Kelly, on Tuesday at 4:50 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to the 5:05 p.m. first pitch on the Naturals flagship station, 92.1 – FM, the Ticket.