Jacks Fall in Finale 7-6, Set Sights on Saturdayâ??s Playoff Opener
No matter the result on Friday, the Jacks still look to go out with a bang.
The East Texas Pump Jacks were bested by the Brazos Valley Bombers on Friday by a score of 7-6 to close out the 2015 regular season.
And now, after a more than two-month prelude, the four-day dance to determine the Texas Collegiate League championship begins on Saturday. The Jacks remain in Bryan to take on the Bombers, the nationally-ranked two-time defending champions. On the other side of the bracket, the Victoria Generals will visit the Acadiana Cane Cutters.
The first round is a one-game playoff, with the winners advancing to the best-of-three TCL Championship Series. If the Pump Jacks win Saturday, they'll return home for Game 1 of the title series on Sunday at 7:05 p.m.
On Friday night, the Pump Jacks opened up a 6-0 lead, providing the team with a degree of confidence heading into their Saturday playoff matchup.
East Texas wasted no time getting on the board, scoring in the top of the first when Anthony Donovan led off with a base hit, stole second, and raced home on an RBI single from Mason Mallard.
Brazos Valley starter Mike Walker settled down after the first run, holding the Jacks scoreless for the next three innings.
In the fifth, Derek Clemons led off with a walk, advanced to second on a ground out, and took third on a flyout to right field. After Mallard was hit by a pitch, Weston Pitts delivered a clutch RBI single that made it 2-0.
Brazos brought in Blaine Suehs to pitch the sixth inning and the Pump Jacks continued to build their lead.
Tyler Moore smashed a leadoff double, and Hunter Owens followed suit with an RBI double of his own one out later. After Aaron Clemons drew a walk, a passed ball advanced Owens to third base.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Donovan sent a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Owens and putting the Jacks up 4-0. Clemons advanced to third and Donovan took second on the throw.
A balk brought Clemons home, and Mallard rocketed a double to left that scored Donovan for a 6-0 Pump Jacks lead.
Pump Jacks starter Joe Bernhard ran into trouble in the top of the sixth, when the Bombers rallied. Since the Pump Jacks already-depleted bullpen was being saved for the playoffs, Bernhard had to battle through the rally on his own. Brazos Valley was able to put six runs on the board to tie the game before Owens came on to retire the final two batters and work out of the jam.
The difference in the ballgame came the following inning when the Bombers took the lead on a two-out bases-loaded walk.
Donovan and Mallard, the top two hitters in the batting order, paced the offense with two hits apiece. Donovan scored two runs and drove in one, and Mallard had two RBI.
The Pump Jacks will look for redemption in Saturday's playoff game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from Cellucor Field in Bryan. Fans can tune in to our live Ustream broadcast or follow the game with live scoring updates on our Pointstreak feed.
To follow all the news during the Jacks' inaugural season in Tyler, presented by Brookshire's, visit the Pump Jacks official web site at www.pumpjacksbaseball.com. Join the conversation with other members of Pump Jacks Nation by visiting the Pump Jacks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Texas Collegiate League Stories from August 8, 2015
- Ethan Landon's No-Hitter Moves Bombers 'All In' To TCL Championship Series - Brazos Valley Bombers
- Cutters Win Game 1 - Acadiana Cane Cutters
- Jacks Fall in Finale 7-6, Set Sights on Saturdayâ??s Playoff Opener - East Texas PumpJacks
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