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Pump Jacks kick off big homestand this week

By Jack Stallard
July 15, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Nate Leaser stopped short of calling the next week a "make or break" week for the East Texas Pump Jacks, but Leaser isn't going to downplay the significance of the next eight games. Especially since six of those games will be played in the friendly confines of Driller Park in Kilgore.

"It's always key to win at home. It is a big deal," said Leaser, who took over as the team's head coach last week when Mark Kertenian left to take a job as assistant baseball coach at the University of Nevada.

"At the same time, it's going to be tough because Victoria is our longest road trip. We won't get back until four or five in the morning, so you have that hangover day the first day with the sleep deprivation kicking in because it's hard to sleep on the bus. Still, it'll be nice to have a little home cooking."

The Pump Jacks are 12-7 at home this season (6-13 on the road). The team has 22 regular season games remaining - 12 at home and 10 on the road.

The first order of business for the Pump Jacks (18-20, 3-5) comes tonight and Wednesday when the team visits Victoria (21-17, 4-4). After that, however, the team returns home for six straight games beginning with a two-game series against Acadiana (21-17, 7-1) Thursday and Friday, two more with Victoria on Saturday and Sunday and then two with league-leading Brazos Valley (31-7, 5-3) July 23-24.

The Pump Jacks have lost five of six since carving out a seven-game winning streak in games played June 28-July 5. After being swept at Victoria (3-0 and 9-8), the Pump Jacks returned home to rally for a 6-5 win over Brazos Valley in 10 innings before dropping a 2-0 decision to the Bombers on Sunday.

The past four games, Leaser said, have been par for the course for the Pump Jacks lately.

"When our pitching shows up, we don't hit or it's the other way around," Leaser said. "We just need to get all the pistons firing at once and we'll be fine."

NOTES: The Pump Jacks have six games remaining against Brazos Valley and four games apiece against the other four TCL teams ... The Pump Jacks are 3-5 against Victoria this season ... East Texas has played 10 one-run games this season, and the Pump Jacks are 5-5 in those games ... The Pump Jacks have played six extra-inning games and are 4-2 in those games.

(Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports).



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