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Pump Jacks rebound with 7-6 win

By Jimmy Carter jcarter@news-journal.com
June 28, 2013 at 10 p.m.


KILGORE - It didn't take East Texas much time to rebound from its first loss of the season to The Woodlands.

The Pump Jacks set the tone early by scoring five first-inning runs, then hanging on late for a 7-6 win over the Strykers in Texas Collegiate League play at Driller Park on Friday.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak, salvaged a series split for East Texas (11-15) and improved its record to 5-1 against the Strykers (9-17) this season.

The Woodlands trailed 7-4 , but Connor Kalisky drove in two runs with a two-out single to cut the lead to 7-6 in the top of the ninth. Pump Jacks reliever Kenny Oakley responded by striking out Dirk Masters to end the game.

East Texas' offense, especially early, gave it a lead that proved to be insurmountable.

Four Pump Jacks finished with multiple hits in the win, including Pine Tree product Garrett McMullen's 2-for-3 night that included an RBI single in the big first inning.

Pine Tree product and Arkansas standout Brett McAfee went 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored in the bottom of the first in his Pump Jacks debut. The shortstop began the summer in the Northwoods League before opting to join the East Texas organization earlier this week.

Mitch Meyer drove in Connor Huesers give to East Texas a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. McAfee drove in Meyer with an RBI single of his own to push it to 2-0, then Mark Mathias doubled in Joey Armstrong to make it 3-0.

McMullen drove in McAfee with a single to stretch the lead to 4-0, then Ryan Hope's RBI single drove in Mathias to make it 5-0.

The Pump Jacks never looked back, thanks in large part to a solid effort from starting pitcher Robert Parucha (1-0). The right-hander pitched 7 1/3 mostly-strong innings and gave up four runs, three earned, while striking out four and allowing seven hits to earn the win.

East Texas responded to multiple Strykers rallies with offense of its own.

The Woodlands scored two in the top of the fourth inning to cut the lead to 5-2, but the Pump Jacks made it 6-2 when Armstrong drew a bases-loaded walk to score Kilgore native Matthew Dickey.

The Strykers cut it to 6-3 in the top of the fifth, but East Texas got the run back on Meyer's RBI single, which scored Dickey. The RBI was Meyer's sixth of the season, all against The Woodlands.

The Pump Jacks hit the road for a two-game series at the Texas Marshals tonight and Sunday.

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