Pump Jacks Win Again At Driller ParkJune 29, 2012 - Texas Collegiate League (TCL) East Texas PumpJacks
The historic, 65-year old facility has also been a house of horrors for the rest of the Texas Collegiate League. The latest victim became the Woodlands Strykers, as the Pump Jacks used pitching and clutch hitting late to win a low-scoring game 5-2 on Thursday night and improve their record at Driller Park in 2012 to 11-0.
It was a pitcher's duel the entire game between Strykers starter Derrick Hadley and Pump Jacks starter Corey Ray, both of whom attend Texas A&M University. Unlike recent trends, it was the road team that scored first. In the first inning, Garrett Lozano was hit by a pitch and stole second. Ricardo Sanchez then hit a single to left-center to score him for a 1-0 Strykers lead.
But as usual, the Pump Jacks came back. Charlie Wagner led off the bottom of the second inning with a ground ball to third baseman Ryan Farney for The Woodlands. Farney threw wild to first base, allowing Wagner to reach on the error. Taylor Murphy followed by sneaking a double inside the third base bag, advancing Wagner to third base. After a strikeout, Logan Davis got his team-leading 14th RBI of the season by beating out an infield single, again to the third base side, to tie the game at 1-1.
The Pump Jacks would take a 2-1 lead in the next inning. Tyler Sullivan led off by running out an infield single, advancing to second when Strykers shortstop Carter Burgess' throw was low and skipped into the dugout. After a groundout moved Sullivan to third, Colton Bickerstaff hit an RBI ground ball to second base, bringing home Sullivan and breaking the tie.
The Woodlands was able to tie the game in the fifth inning off Ray with a two-out rally capped by a double to left-center field from Michael Aquino. But Ray bounced back by retiring the last four Strykers he faced. He exited after his strongest outing of the year with six innings under his belt complete with three strikeouts and just one walk.
Hadley held the Pump Jacks at bay in the middle three innings, retiring eight batters in a row at one point. But that streak was broken up in the seventh, when Louie Helmburg singled the other way into right field. After he advanced to second base on a dropped third strike, Kirby Pellant knocked his first hit of the night into left field. Helmburg was hustling on contact, and he beat an off-line throw from Lozano in left field to the plate to score the go-ahead run.
With Jeff Stovall continuing to dominate out of the bullpen, the Pump Jacks tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Hadley was still on the mound, and he was greeted with back-to-back singles from Bickerstaff and R.J. Santigate. Santigate's was of the bunt variety, and a wide throw by Hadley to first on the play advanced pinch-runner John Williams to third base. Santigate stole second base, and a wild pitch by Hadley scored Williams while moving Santigate to third base.
With the score now 4-2 Pump Jacks, and one out in the frame, Murphy hit a high, slow chopper to the mound. Hadley capped his night by whipping his throw wide of first again, bringing home Santigate on the play for a 5-2 Pump Jacks lead.
That would be all that Jason Jester needed, as the Hallsville flamethrower worked around a two-out hit-by-pitch and a single to strike out the side for his TCL-leading tenth save of the summer. The ten saves this season surpass Jester's total from all of 2011 for East Texas. He also pulled within two saves of former Pump Jack Dusty Ross for the single-season franchise record.
Santigate led the Jacks' attack with a 2-for-4 performance including a run scored, while Bickerstaff and Davis each went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Pellant also recorded an RBI in a 1-for-3 night at the plate.
Stovall (4-0) got the win in relief for East Texas, while Hadley (1-2) worked 7.2 innings but took the loss for The Woodlands.
The Pump Jacks are now 19-4 overall on the year and have won 11 of their last 12 games. They will face the Texas Marshals on Friday night on the road, followed by an off day on Saturday. After that, they will play the Brazos Valley Bombers on Sunday night, also on the road.
The Jacks return home on Monday night for another of the popular Dog Days of Summer promotion, featuring $1 hot dogs all game long when the Pump Jacks host the Victoria Generals.
First pitch for all games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Keep up with the Pump Jacks' fifth anniversary season on www.pumpjacksbaseball.com. Join the conversation and interact with other members of Pump Jacks Nation by visiting the Jacks on Facebook and Twitter.
Texas Collegiate League Stories from June 29, 2012
- Pump Jacks Flex Muscles, Beat Marshals - East Texas PumpJacks
- Generals Cut Down Cane Cutters 5-4 - Victoria Generals
- Pump Jacks Win Again At Driller Park - East Texas PumpJacks
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.