After playing 17 innings in Saturday's victory over Arkansas, the Tulsa Drillers were in need of a strong outing from their starting pitcher in Sunday's finale with the Travelers. They got it from Brandon Hynick. Hynick allowed only two hits and three walks in 7 2/3 shutout innings, and the Drillers broke a scoreless deadlock with a run in the eighth inning to post a 1-0 victory a Dickey-Stephens Park.
Hynick was making his third start in what is his second stint with the Drillers. The victory improved his record to 2-0, while the scoreless outing lowered his ERA to 1.69.
The right-hander, who pitch for Tulsa during the 2008 season, surrendered a two-out single to Jimmy Swift in the second inning, but the next Travelers hit did not occur until Angel Castillo led off the eighth with a base hit.
Arkansas starter Johnny Hellweg was also impressive. He faced the minimum 21 hitters through the game's first seven innings. The only blemish was a leadoff single in the top of the second by Ben Paulsen, but he was erased trying to steal.
The Drillers finally got to Hellweg in the eighth inning when Paulsen led off with a double and Jimmy Cesario followed with a single to put runners at first and third. Paulsen was thrown out at the plate when Dickerson hit a grounder that Hellweg fielded and threw home, but Tim Torres finally ended the deadlock with a base hit that plated Cesario to make it 1-0.
Tulsa made sure the lead held. After Hynick allowed the leadoff single to Castillo in the eighth, he retired the next two hitters.
Josh Sullivan came on and got Renny Osuna to ground out to end the inning. In the ninth, Sullivan issued a leadoff walk to Roberto Lopez before striking out Brian Hernandez. Ryan Mount followed with a single that put the tying run at second base and the potential winning run at first, but the Tulsa closer retired Swift and Carlos Ramirez on strikeouts to end the game.
For Sullivan, it was his 11th save of the season.
The shutout allowed Tulsa to split the four-game series in North Little Rock after Arkansas had won the first two games.
The Drillers now return home and will begin a four-game homestand with Springfield Monday night at ONEOK Field. First pitch for the opener is scheduled for 7:05PM. Parker Frazier (4-9, 3.74 ERA) will be on the mound for the Drillers, while the Cardinals will counter with Scott McGregor (1-1, 10.64 ERA).