Drillers even series with 3-1 victory over Travelers

Game 2: Leo Crawford combined with Luis Vasquez on a four-hitter Thursday night in North Little Rock, Arkansas, to lead the Drillers past the Travelers 3-1 in Game 2 of the Texas League North finals and even the best-of-5 series at one win apiece.

Crawford, who gave up one run in 6 ⅓ innings, outdueled TL wins leader Justin Dunn, who allowed three runs in 4⅔ innings at Dickey-Stephens Park.

The Drillers snapped a 1-1 tie with two runs in the fifth. Jared Walker led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. Jeter Downs followed with a single that drove in Walker with the go-ahead run. Downs moved to second on a groundout, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Connor Wong’s single.

Crawford and Vasquez combined for 12 strikeouts and retired 15 of the last 16 hitters. Arkansas’ lone runner in the last five innings came on a one-out walk in the ninth.

Familiar path: This is the third consecutive year the Drillers opened the North finals with a split on the road, winning Game 2 after losing the opener. In the past two years, the Drillers returned home to lose Game 3 before winning the final two games to win the series.

Wong honored: Connor Wong was named as the Uncle Ray’s Texas League Player of the Month for August. Wong joins Omar Estevez (April) as the second Drillers player to win the award this season. Wong, a catcher-infielder batted .412 with nine homers and 26 RBIs in August. He also led the TL in August in hits (40), total bases (72), on-base percentage (.463), slugging (.742), and OPS (1.205).

Friday

Game 3: 7:05 p.m. vs. Arkansas at ONEOK Field

Radio: KTBZ-1430

Probable pitchers: Arkansas, LHP Ian McKinney (1-0, 4.80 ERA at Arkansas; 12-5, 2.84 at Single-A Modesto); Tulsa, RHP Markus Solbach (5-1, 2.57)

Promotions: Fireworks

On deck: 7:05 p.m. Saturday vs. Arkansas ($2 drinks)