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Pump Jacks Rally But Come up Short in Home Opener

June 7, 2011 - Texas Collegiate League (TCL) - East Texas PumpJacks News Release

Historic Driller Park was buzzing Monday night as the East Texas Pump Jacks made their much-anticipated home opener of the 2011 season. While things didn't go as planned as the Jacks fell 9-5 to the Victoria Generals, fans got their chance to witness a near complete roster for the first time.

Nathan Pittman led the newest group of Jacks at the plate going 2-for-5, scoring two runs and stealing a base. Hunter Dozier went 1-for-4 while plating a run of his own and recording four putouts in the field. John Twichell and C.J. Jarvis rounded out the newest additions to this season's squad.

Unlike the rest of the young 2011 season, the Jacks were slow to get the bats going, being retired in order for the first three innings. The Generals jumped out early posting two in the top of the first off of Pump Jacks starter Jordan Hershiser. Hershiser struggled to gain control on the mound walking three and hitting two batters with the General's scoring on a fielder's choice and double steal. Hershiser gave up three runs without allowing a hit as he took his first lost of the season. Fellow University of Southern California pitcher, Matt Munson relieved Hershiser in the second.

Victoria's Blake Denman had the Jacks number for most of the evening, tossing six innings allowing two runs on four hits. The Jacks showed signs of a late game rally off Denman's replacement, Denver Diefenbach. Dozier reached to lead off the seventh on an error by the shortstop. The Jacks battled Diefenbach throughout the seventh, drawing four walks and scoring three. The lead was cut to three after the Jacks once found themselves down 8-1.

While pitchers on both sides struggled throughout the game, John Prato Matthews didn't fall into that category. Prato Matthews tossed 3.1 innings of solid work, allowing one unearned run on three hits. The 6'6" hurler struck out five including the first three he faced.

Colton Bickerstaff puts the Jacks on the board with a fielder's choice in both the fourth and sixth innings. He led the Jacks scoring attack with three RBI. Lee Orr went 1-for-3 with a triple and was hit by a pitch. The Jacks saw a sliver of hope as Kirby Pellant roped a ball into left to lead off the bottom of the ninth but was robbed by an outstanding diving catch from General leftfielder Chad Kruse. Pellant finished the game with one RBI and a run scored.

The Pump Jacks square off again tomorrow with the Generals in game two of the opening home stand.

The team returns home June 10 for the season's first Fireworks Friday presented by Patterson Kilgore and KLTV News. East Texas wraps up the two game series with the new Acadiana Cane Cutters on Saturday, June 11, with Everybody's Winning Night. To view the complete Pump Jacks schedule, please click here.

To follow all the news and to watch every pitch of the 2011 season, visit the Pump Jacks official web site at Interact with other Pump Jacks fans and enjoy special promotions and polls by visiting the Pump Jacks on Facebook and Twitter.

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Texas Collegiate League Stories from June 7, 2011

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