July 3, 2013 - Texas Collegiate League (TCL) - East Texas PumpJacks
The East Texas Pump Jacks return home proved to be a successful one, as the Jacks defeated the second-place Victoria Generals 3-2 to pick up their fourth win in a row.
Behind a stellar pitching effort from Jordan Price and J.J. Franklin, and timely hitting, the momentum the Pump Jacks picked up on the road followed them home as the offense recorded seven hits and was able to overcome four errors to secure their seventh win in ten games.
East Texas wasted no time getting on the board, posting runs in both the first and second innings. Matthew Dickey opened the home half of the first by working an eight-pitch walk. He then swiped second for his 14th stolen base on the season. Dickey advanced to third on a wild pitch, and crossed home on a grounder by Mitch Meyer to give the Jacks a 1-0 advantage.
In the second inning, Zach Jones extended the frame with a two-out single. Brett McAfee walked and Dickey contributed yet again, this time with a single to right to plate Jones and give the Jacks a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Price was shutting down Victoria by stranding runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings. The Generals finally dented the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. With a runner on third and two outs, Drew Featherston laced a single into right, cutting the Jacks lead in half, 2-1.
Victoria evened the score in the sixth thanks to a pair of Pump Jack miscues. After a leadoff single to Hayden Vesely, Frank Cloutier laid down a sacrifice bunt, but J.J. Robinson's throw pulled Jones off the bag, putting runners on first and second. Jacob Hubert then grounded to second and the Jacks tried to turn two, but an errant throw by Brett McAfee allowed Vesely to score and tie the game at 2-2.
The Pump Jacks battled back in the seventh for the final run of the game, regaining the lead and giving them the winning margin. Brooks Marlow led off with a slicing double down the line in right. He advanced to third on a single by Meyer, the reigning Warstic TCL Player of the Week. With runners on the corners, Joey Armstrong grounded out to short, but it was enough to score Marlow and give the Jacks a 3-2 lead.
The Generals threatened to even the game in the eighth, but Franklin proved to be too much. After allowing a leadoff double to deep center, Franklin battled back to induce a groundout and register a strikeout to end both the inning and the threat.
Franklin went on to close out the game for the Jacks and retired all three batters in order in the ninth. He earned the win by pitching the final 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out five. Price went the first 6.1 innings and allowed two runs, only one of them earned, but he didn't factor in the decision. The LeTourneau right-handers struck out four and scattered five hits.
The Pump Jacks will go for their fifth straight win on Wednesday night, which will close out both the series and the first half of the season.
The Pump Jacks invite fans to celebrate their Independence Day early with Kids Are Free Night on Wednesday. Kids 12 and under get into the ballpark at no cost, so come out to Driller Park and kick off your holiday with the defending champions.
After opening the second half with a four-game road trip, all eyes in the TCL will focus on East Texas for the 2013 TCL All-Star Game. Future major leaguers will descend on historic Driller Park for the first TCL All-Star Game hosted by the Pump Jacks. Pregame festivities include a home run derby, with will include representatives from each of the six teams, as well as an all-star autograph session.
Tickets for the TCL All-Star Game can be purchased online at pumpjacksbaseball.com, in person at the Pump Jacks office at 106 North Kilgore Street, #201, in downtown Kilgore, or at the ticket office at Driller Park the night of a game.