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Pump Jacks returning to Kilgore's Driller Park for another season

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Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 4:16 pm | Updated: 4:40 pm, Wed Jan 9, 2013.

kILGORE — The East Texas Pump Jacks, coming off the franchise’s first championship, will return to historic Driller Park for another season of Texas Collegiate League Baseball.

The team made the announcement Thursday on its website.

“As much fun as the 2012 season was, we’re looking forward to this summer being even better,” said Pump Jacks general manager Mike Lieberman. “Five years of excitement, national rankings, drafted players, culminating in a championship we were able to share with our fans at historic Driller Park… that’s all the foundation for a new and exciting season this summer.”

East Texas finished the 2012 season ranked 11th in Perfect Game’s national poll of more than 250 summer collegiate teams.

The 60-game 2012 schedule will kick off on Thursday, May 30, the earliest in the calendar year the TCL has ever began play. The Pump Jacks open the season on the road with a pair of games against the formally rechristened Texas Marshalls, followed by a two-game set in The Woodlands against the Strykers.

The Pump Jacks return to Driller Park to begin their home schedule on Tuesday, June 4, against the Acadiana Cane Cutters. The two-game series against Acadiana will be followed by a championship rematch versus Victoria on June 6 and 7.

The season will once again be evenly split between 30 home games at Driller Park and 30 games on the road. The campaign is split into two halves, with the first half coming to a close on July 3. Team records will then reset to 0-0 on July 4 to open the second half of the season.

The TCL All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 9, and the league expects to announce the host shortly. The regular season will conclude on Aug. 9, followed by the playoffs.

The Pump Jacks are expected to announce the team’s new head coach next week. Ben Taylor, who served in that position for the last four seasons, was recently named the head coach of the Mat-Su Miners in the Alaska Baseball League, another summer collegiate circuit. During his tenure in East Texas, Taylor coached in three all-star games, won the 2011 TCL Coach of the Year award, and set the TCL record for regular season victories.

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