KANSAS CITY, Mo. – At the first team-hosted PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series event in Kansas City, Missouri, the starting lineups for the groundbreaking new sport’s league showed up and showed out. In four thrilling games, two were decided in the final frame.
The Kansas City Outlaws, hosts of PBR Outlaw Days, mounted an impressive, final-frame surge but were unable to defeat the Arizona Ridge Riders despite two re-ride attempts by Marcus Mast.
In a stunning upset, the Oklahoma Freedom, led by a walk-off score from Captain Eli Vastbinder, beat the then-undefeated Missouri Thunder to log the team’s first win.
The Carolina Cowboys improved to 2-1 as they shut out the Austin Gamblers. Continuing to lead the Richard Childress Racing-operated team, 2022 PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen improved to a perfect 4-0 in PBR Team Series competition as the first rider to strike for the outfit.
The first game of PBR Outlaw Days was won by the Nashville Stampede. Backed by a game-best score from first-round draft pick and 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco, the Stampede dealt the Ariat Texas Rattlers their third consecutive loss.
PBR Outlaw Days continues Saturday, August 6 at 6:45 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at AXS.com, T-MobileCenter.com and PBR.com, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
Accompanying the main event, the Outlaws will also hold a Street Festival on Grand Blvd. from East 14th to East 13th Street starting at noon CT on Saturday, August 6.
The roaming performers for the Outlaw Days Street Festival include trick roper Rudy Uresti, power couple musicians Team Ragoza, magicians Yani and Joe “The Mystical Misfits,” world-class fiddle player Derek Pell and local dance company Empire Dance Academy.
Additionally, the Outlaws will hold post-event, free-to-attend concerts nightly at KC Live! in the Power & Light District. DJ Brian Dawe will perform beginning at 10 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 6, while Lit will perform Sunday, August 7, starting at 2:30 p.m. CT. Guests must be 21+ to enter KC Live! after 9 p.m.
These musical acts join the already announced Outlaw Days Concert on August 6, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and including performances by David Nail, David Lee Murphy and Josh Abbott Band.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer replays of all the PBR Team Series action from Kansas City, Missouri. Check https://pluto.tv/en/live-tv/pbr-ridepass for the latest programming schedule.
Oklahoma Freedom: 173
Missouri Thunder: 87
The Oklahoma Freedom won their first game of the young 2022 PBR Team Series season by upsetting the previously undefeated Missouri Thunder via a clutch, walk-off score from first-round draft pick Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina).
While the game was scoreless through the first round of outs, the Oklahoma Freedom were first to convert as the second wave of riders left the chutes inside an electric T-Mobile Center. Following a buckoff by the Thunder’s Adriano Salgado (Batatais, Brazil), surging free agent signing Casey Roberts (Munford, Alabama) delivered the go-ahead score for his team, riding Big Black (K-C Bucking Bulls/Joe & Nina Webb) for 85.75 points.
With the scoreboard remaining unchanged through the third frame, the Thunder’s Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) and Freedom’s Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) were locked in potentially game-defining outs. After Alvidrez was bucked off by Black Cherry (Hookin W/ProVantage Animal Health) in a close 6.03 seconds, Kolbaba had the chance to clinch the victory for the Freedom as he faced off against Pearl Jam (D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.). After a solid start to the trip, Kolbaba was upended in a heartbreaking 7.18 seconds, leaving the game to a shootout between both teams’ first-round draft picks.
First to leave the chutes was the Thunder’s Colten Fritzlan (Rifle, Colorado), matched up with YETI PBR World Champion Bull contender Chiseled (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.). In a must-ride situation, Fritzlan kept his team’s hopes alive, riding the powerful animal athlete for 87 points to propel the Thunder to a slim 1.25-point lead.
However, the Freedom’s Vastbinder would have the final say. Matched up with Marquis Metal Works Red Clark (Paradigm Bull Co./Marquis Metal Works) by Head Coach Cord McCoy, the 2021 Rookie of the Year capitalized under pressure, delivering a walk-off, game-best 87.25-point score to propel the Freedom to their first win, beating the Thunder 173-87.
The Oklahoma Freedom (1-2) will look to continue their momentum Saturday when they take on the Arizona Ridge Riders (2-1), while the Missouri Thunder (2-1) will look to recapture their game-winning form from Cheyenne when they face the Austin Gamblers (1-2).
“I always do good in those kinds of moments, and I was just kind of chuckling to myself when they rode that last bull,” said Oklahoma Freedom’s Eli Vastbinder. “I looked at [Chase] Outlaw and said I liked these moments - and it all worked out.”