The Tulsa Drillers rallied in the eighth and ninth innings Saturday night against the Springfield Cardinals and came away with a 6-5 walk-off victory that clinched the Texas League North Division second half title and a playoff berth.
The Double-A affiliate is the second Minor League team in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization to secure a trip to the postseason this year, joining High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Dennis Santana, Yusniel Diaz and Errol Robinson each hit a home run in Tulsa’s victory.
Santana also singled and went five innings on the mound. Santana wasn’t overly effective, as he walked four and allowed the Cardinals push across five runs (four earned) on six hits.
Matt Beaty, who was named the 2017 Texas League Player of the Year, delivered a game-tying base hit in the eighth inning, and finished the night 2-for-4.
The Drillers bullpen backed Santana with three scoreless innings, while limiting the Cardinals to just three baserunners (one hit, two walks). Tulsa won on a grounder that got through a drawn-in infield with the bases loaded.
After completing the regular season, the Drillers will face the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in a best-of-five series; the Naturals won the first half of the season and will host the first two games. The series will then shift to ONEOK Field for Game 3, and if necessary Games 4 and 5.
The winner will advance to the Texas League Championship Series to face the victor from the South Division. The Drillers last won the Texas League title in 1998 and hold the longest championship drought in the circuit.