Pump Jacks Open 2014 Season with a Victory
The East Texas Pump Jacks began the 2014 season with a bang, earning a season-opening 4-1 victory over the Texas Marshals Thursday night in Dallas.
Darren Lauer held the Marshals at bay with six innings of shutout ball, Andrew Grifol crushed the first homer in the TCL this season, and Rey Echenique drove in two runs for the Jacks.
The win was also the first summer collegiate head coaching victory for new head coach John Foster. Foster, who pitched for the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers during his playing days, took over as the Pump Jacks' skipper during the off-season.
East Texas took an early lead and never looked back. In the second inning, Echenique drove in the first run of the season with a two-out single that scored Drew McLaughlin for a 1-0 lead.
Grifol drove a sixth-inning offering over the fence in left-center field for a solo shot that extended the Pump Jacks' advantage to 2-0.
That was more than enough offense for Lauer, who faced just one batter over the minimum during six dominating innings. The Keystone College junior surrendered a single on his first pitch of the game, then quickly erased the baserunner with a double play. He allowed just one more harmless single, accounting for the only two hits in six shutout innings of work. Lauer struck out six without a walk.
The Pump Jacks doubled their lead again in the eighth inning, sending eight hitters to the plate and scoring a pair of runs. Joe Moroney was hit by a pitch to open the frame, and an Anthony Gonsolin sacrifice moved him to second. Grifol earned a walk and Osborne grounded into a fielder's choice to put runners at first and second with one out. McLaughlin flared a run-scoring single to extend the lead to 3-0, and Connor Hornsby walked to load the bases. Echenique earned a walk that scored Osborne for his second RBI of the contest.
The Marshals strung together three straight singles off of reliever Kyle Garvin in the ninth inning to score their only run. Garvin, who came on for Lauer to start the seventh, surrendered just those three hits and a run in three innings to earn his first save. He walked one and struck out two.
Four Pump Jacks picked up two hits on the evening: Grifol, Echenique, Hornsby, and leadoff hitter Matthew Dickey. Grifol was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, while Echenique was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
The victory improved the Pump Jacks' record in season openers to 3-4. East Texas won the first game of the season in 2009 and 2012.
East Texas will return to Dallas Friday night to wrap up the two-game series, with pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Pump Jacks will continue their season-opening four-game road trip with a pair of games over the weekend at the Acadiana Cane Cutters.
The return to historic Driller Park for the home opener next Tuesday, June 3, when they host the Woodlands Strykers. Look for more information about the opener later today on pumpjacksbaseball.com.
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Texas Collegiate League Stories from May 30, 2014
- Bombers Rally to Secure Opening Series Win - Brazos Valley Bombers
- Bombers Rally For 5-4 Win Over Acadiana - Brazos Valley Bombers
- Marshals Defeat Pump Jacks 5-2 for First Win - Texas Marshals
- Cane Cutters Lose in Heartbreaking Fashion - Acadiana Cane Cutters
- Pump Jacks Open 2014 Season with a Victory - East Texas PumpJacks
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