It won't be long until baseball's Spring Training is underway. With that in mind, let's start turning our attention toward the Tulsa Drillers and what will be awaiting fans at ONEOK Field this season.
In this and upcoming articles, I'll be breaking down the Drillers schedule month-by-month. In this installment, we'll look at the June portion of the 2013 slate, which contains the fewest home games (11) of any month during the season.
Tulsa opens the month by finishing a road series at Frisco (two games) before an off day and a return to action against North Division foes. The Drillers come back to ONEOK Field on Tuesday, June 4, and will open a series against Northwest Arkansas. It will be a strange four-game series against the rival Naturals as the first two games will take place in Tulsa before the series shifts to Springdale for a single game on Thursday, June 6. The teams will conclude the set on Friday night in Tulsa.
It's the second scheduling oddity of the year involving the Drillers and Northwest Arkansas, following a rare home-and-home set-up in mid-May. Read more about that in my May preview here.
The Drillers will continue the early June homestand with a four-game set against Springfield, which concludes on Tuesday, June 11. The Drillers will then set sail for Arkansas and Springfield for eight games, closing out the Texas League's first half on June 19 at Springfield. The Drillers return to Tulsa to open the second half of the season with another four-game series against Northwest Arkansas from June 20-23.
After the Texas League All-Star Game (at Northwest Arkansas) on June 25, Tulsa closes the month on the road by returning to South Division action at San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
Some games of note in June
Wednesday, June 5 ... Weekday Day Game (12:05 p.m.)
Friday, June 7 ... Fireworks Friday
Monday, June 10 ... Weekday Day Game (12:05 p.m.)
Friday, June 21 ... Fireworks Friday
Overall, the Texas League will again play a 140-game split season, with the first half concluding on June 19.
Tulsa will play a total of 70 home games with 41 of games occurring on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The Drillers will play 14 home games during the month of April, 15 in May, 11 in June, 17 in July, and 13 in August.
The normal starting time for evening games at ONEOK Field will remain at 7:05 p.m. Sunday home games in April, May, and June (with the exception of May 26) will begin at 2:05 p.m., while Sunday games the remainder of the year will have the standard start time of 7:05 p.m.