Arkansas never solved Tulsa's pitching Sunday afternoon, but the Travelers found the answer they needed in time.
Catcher Joseph Odom drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning to push Arkansas to a 1-0 victory in front of 3,565 at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
ARKANSAS TRAVELERS VS. NORTHWEST ARKANSAS NATURALS
WHEN 7:10 p.m.
WHERE Dickey-Stephens Park, North Little Rock
RADIO KARN-AM, 920, in central Arkansas
PITCHERS Travs: RHP Justin Dunn (0-0, 3.12 ERA); Naturals: RHP Jace Vines (0-1, 1.00).
TICKETS $12 box, $8 reserved ($6 kids), $6 general admission ($4 kids). Gates open one hour before the first pitch.
PROMOTIONS Moix Monday Pup-Day, where all dogs are allowed in the ballpark. General admission tickets are $3 each when you bring your dog.
SHORT HOPS Arkansas won all three games from Northwest Arkansas went the teams met April 8-10 in Springdale.
THE WEEK AHEAD
TODAY NW Arkansas, 7:10 p.m.
TUESDAY NW Arkansas, 7:10 p.m.
WEDNESDAY NW Arkansas, 11 a.m.
THURSDAY at Tulsa, 7:05 p.m.
FRIDAY at Tulsa, 7:05 p.m.
SATURDAY at Tulsa, 7:05 p.m.
After Saturday's game was rained out, the Travelers bounced back to beat the Drillers in the rarest of ways. Arkansas didn't have a hit in the game and had runners in scoring position just twice before the game went into extra innings. The last time a minor league team won a game without registering a hit was Aug. 17, 2018, when the Rangers beat the Phillies 1-0 in the Dominican Summer League. In fact, the feat has happened just nine times since 2010.
"I've never been a part of something like that before," Arkansas Manager Mitch Canham said. "I've heard of it happening before, but usually, there's some kind of defensive mistake, an error or something, that gives the team being no-hit the win. But none of that happened in this one.
"Both teams played great baseball and put together outstanding pitching performances."
Arkansas hadn't gone hitless since Corpus Christi's Chris Devenski and Josh Hader teamed for a 4-0 victory on May 29, 2015, in a game that was called with one out in the sixth inning because of rain. On Sunday, the Drillers used four pitchers to keep the Travelers' bats silent, with starter Mitchell White striking out 6 and walking 3 in 4 innings. But Tulsa also found hits hard to come by thanks to an equally impressive showing on the mound from Arkansas.
Right-hander Darren McCaughan allowed 3 hits and struck out 8 in 6 innings for the Travelers, who lost 8-2 to the Drillers on Friday. McCaughan, a California native, also threw six scoreless innings a week ago at Northwest Arkansas.
"He's got really good stuff, got us off to a great start and continued to do a great job of getting [Tulsa] to swing and miss," Canham said. "Between him, [Aaron] Northcraft and [Parker] Markel, they were spotting up and throwing all kinds of nasty stuff to keep us going.
The Drillers finished with five hits -- all singles -- but like the Travelers, never seriously threatened until the 10th inning. Thanks to last year's minor league rule change that allows a runner to start on second base when a game goes beyond the ninth, Tulsa had a runner on third with two outs but came up empty when Markel struck out Logan Landon to end the inning.
The Travelers were in a similar situation in the bottom of the inning, with Dom Thompson-Williams standing on second base with two outs. But Joe DeCarlo was hit by a pitch and Jordan Cowan walked before Odom's four-pitch walk sent Thompson-Williams home.
"Some days, you're going to have to pull out wins like these, hopefully not ones where you're no-hit, but the ones where you have to keep battling," Canham said. "The arms threw well, the defense backed them up and made some big plays. ... it was just truly a team win. You've got to have a lot of character to win a game like that, and we're going to need that because it's a long season."
Sports on 04/15/2019
Print Headline: Travelers find out no hits, no worries