Local & Regional
Fri April 9, 2010
Ball Park Dedicated
By KWGS News
Tulsa, OK –
On the field, the Inaugural Game at ONEOK Field produced a disappointing 7-0 loss for the Tulsa Drillers, but off the field, the new park was a resounding success. More than 8,600 fans flocked to downtown Tulsa, producing a major league type setting for the first game in the Drillers new home.
The attendance total did not include the numerous fans that watched the game from the nearby rooftops of surrounding buildings.
It was a historic night as it was the first professional baseball game played in downtown Tulsa in over 80 years. The last game played in the area came in 1929 when the Tulsa Oilers played their final game of the season at McNulty Park which was located about a mile south of ONEOK Field.
Official attendance was 8,665.
The loss also spoiled the Double A debut of Tulsa starting pitcher Christian Friedrich. The lefthander has been ranked as one of the Top 50 prospects in Minor League Baseball. Friedrich suffered the loss despite allowing only one run and four hits to Corpus Christi in six innings of work. He walked two and struck out five.
The Hooks lone run against the 22-year-old came in the top of the fourth inning when Jon Gaston led off with a double. He moved to third on a single by Jhon Florentino before scoring on a double play grounder off the bat of Wladimir Sutil.
The Drillers had missed a chance to take an early lead in the top of the first inning as Anthony Jackson and Hector Gomez started the frame with consecutive singles. The threat ended when Kenny Perez struck out, and Ryan Harvey grounded into a double play.
Corpus Christi settled the game with three runs off reliever Andy Graham in the seventh inning.
Three more runs in the eighth inning produced the final score.
NOTES: Country music star and actor Tim McGraw threw a ceremonial pitch before the game. McGraw, the son of former major league pitcher Tug McGraw, performed a concert at the nearby BOK Center later in the evening.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of ONEOK Field took place at the Oil Derrick Entrance at the corners of Archer Street and Elgin Avenue two hours before the start of the game. Drillers President Chuck Lamson, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor did the cutting.