Originally published on Friday, June 22, 2012
KILGORE - The Victoria Generals appeared to be in position to hand the East Texas Pump Jacks their first home loss of this season on Thursday . then throwing strikes became quite a struggle.
The strike-zone scarcity was in the fifth and sixth innings, and the Pump Jacks took advantage to score six runs on their way to a 10-5 win in a Texas Collegiate League game at Driller Park. This included four runs in the sixth inning when the Pump Jacks (14-3) went ahead for good, and improved to 8-0 at home in 2012. The Generals generally had trouble finding the strike zone throughout the game as the staff allowed 16 walks, undercutting a decent hitting game where Victoria had a 13-6 advantage.
Kirby Pellant, last week's TCL Player of the Week, scored the go-ahead run in the sixth by doubling down the right-field line, going to third on a balk by Jake McMurtry and scoring on an infield single by John Williams.
Pellant's double and Williams' single were the only Pump Jack hits in the scoring binge. While McMurtry (0-1) took the loss, Daniel Tunchez struggled the most for the Generals in the sixth, throwing five wild pitches which helped Tyler Sullivan, Williams and Whitt Dorsey come around to score to the Pump Jacks an 8-4 lead.
Victoria relief pitcher Corey Holmes also struggled, and the Pump Jacks took advantage to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Sullivan led the rally with a leadoff walk, going to second when Dorsey was hit by a pitch at ankle level. R.J. Santigate loaded the bases with a walk and Sullivan scored on a Colton Bickerstaff base on balls. McMurtry relieved Holmes at this point, but threw a bases-loaded walk to Tyler Girouard to score Dorsey.
Jeff Stovall (3-0) picked up the win, despite allowing four hits over 1 1/3 innings. Stovall was helped by Pump Jack left fielder Colton Bickerstaff throwing Billy Richard out at home when he tried to score from second on a Chad Kruse in the single. Gerardo Esquivel had a strong relief outing for the Pump Jacks, getting a double play to end the seventh inning and getting two strikeouts in the eighth inning.
The Pump Jacks maintain sole possession of the TCL lead, which is at least two games after the Brazos Valley Bombers dropped the first game of doubleheader to The Woodlands Strykers 4-1 on Thursday. Victoria drops to 10-6.
Victoria took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out RBI single by Eric Weiss. The Generals appeared to extend their lead as Brandon Tierney smacked a double to left which Bickerstaff appeared to lose in the sun. Bickerstaff recovered to start a 7-6-2 relay to catch Weiss at home to end the inning, although it appeared Weiss was safe, touching home plate with his right hand before a tag was made. The Pump Jacks tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first as Williams walked, went to third on a Dorsey double to left and came home on passed ball by General catcher Blue Hybner.
Victoria pulled ahead with three runs in the top of the third. Richard had a one-out triple to centerfield and scored on a Kruse single to right. Kruse would score on a two-run homer to right by Jade Vidrine. Kruse finished 3-for-5 at the plate while Richard was 2-for-4 with a double.
The Pump Jacks got one run back in the bottom of the third as Pellant walked, went to third on a Williams single and scored on an errant throw by General center fielder Richard. Later in the inning Pump Jack designated hitter Dorsey was hit in the helmet by a pitch from General starting starter Bryce Zak. Dorsey threw down the helmet, approached the pitcher's mound and both benches emptied, but order was restored before any sort of conflict took place.
Zak would receive a no-decision, being relieved by Holmes after pitching four innings when he allowed no earned runs, two hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Pump Jack starting pitcher Cory Ray allowed three earned runs, seven hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings with two strikeouts.
No Pump Jack had more than one hit. Brandon Tierney finished 3-for-5 with a double for the Generals while Eric Weiss was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, getting robbed of an extra-base hit by a diving catch by right fielder Taylor Murphy.
PUMP JACKS 10, VICTORIA 5
Victoria 103 000 001 - 5 13 1
East Texas 101 024 02X - 10 6 1
Zak, Holmes (5), McMurtry (5), Tunchez (6), Chaskin (6) and Hybner. Ray, Strickland (4), Stovall (6), Esquivel (7), Bernard (9), Gann (9) and Zavos, DeBord (6). W - Stovall (3-0). L - McMurtry (0-1). 2B - V: Tierney, Richard; ET: Dorsey, Pellant, Bickerstaff. 3B - V: Richard. HR - V: Vidrine (3rd, 1 on). Records - Victoria 10-6, East Texas 14-3.