Pump Jacks hold off Strykers
Aug. 2, 2013 at 11 p.m.
KILGORE - The East Texas Pump Jacks didn't wait until after the game to provide a fireworks show for the fans on Friday.
Leadoff man and Kilgore native Matthew Dickey put his name in the Pump Jacks' record book, and Mark Mathias celebrated his 19th birthday with a two-hit, three-RBI night as East Texas held on for a 14-8 Texas Collegiate League win over The Woodlands Strykers at Driller Park.
Mitch Meyer joined the offensive eruption with his fourth home run of the season, finishing the night with three RBIs. Dickey finished the night 3-for-5 for his second straight three-hit game.
The win moves East Texas to 26-27 overall and 11-12 in the second half of TCL play, and gives the Pump Jacks a 6 1/2 game lead on the Strykers (21-33, 12-12) with just six games remaining. It was the final regular season meeting between the two teams, with the Pump Jacks winning nine of 12 games against the Strykers.
The Pump Jacks built what looked to be a comfortable 10-1 lead after four innings, but the Strykers scored three runs in the fifth and added two in the seventh to make things interesting. East Texas put things away with a four-run seventh.
After East Texas starter and winner Jordan Johnson (2-2) worked a perfect frame to open the contest, Dickey got things started in the Pump Jacks' half with a single. He then swiped his 33rd base of the season – and his fifth in two nights – to tie the team record in that category. Two batters later, Mathias singled to bring in Dickey, and Connor Huesers scored on Meyers' single up the middle for a 3-0 lead.
The Pump Jacks sent 10 men to the plate in the second frame, scoring four runs on three hits, three hit batsmen and a walk. Beau Day singled in a run, Mathias was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to plate another and Dickey grounded out with the bases full to score one as East Texas pushed the lead to 7-0.
Leading 10-1, Johnson (6.1 innings, nine strikeouts) ran into trouble in the fifth as the Strykers scored three runs on a hit, two walks, an error and a wild pitch. The Strykers added two more in the seventh on an RBI double by Kevin Santana and an RBI single by Taylor Taska, but the Pump Jacks answered in a big way in the bottom of the frame.
Dickey again got things started, this time drawing a walk. He sprinted home on a double to the wall in left by Mathias, and then Mathias was able to jog home when Meyer deposited a ball over the wall in right. Bret Bitow singled and scored on an error to make it 14-6, but the Strykers tacked on two runs in the top of the ninth to make the final 14-8.
East Texas will host the Texas Marshals tonight and Sunday (7:05 p.m.), visit Acadiana on Tuesday and Wednesday and then close out the season with back-to-back games against the Marshals next Thursday and Friday.