A six-run seventh inning highlighted by Preston’s grand slam gives East Texas their 20th win in comeback fashion on the road.
With the Pump Jacks sitting in first place in the Texas Collegiate League at 19-4 overall heading into Friday night, there weren’t many statistical categories in which they didn’t have good numbers.
After Friday night, that includes home runs.
Despite falling behind 4-2, and then 6-3 at one point, the Pump Jacks used the long ball to make their comeback and defeat the Texas Marshals on the road 9-7 at Coppell High School.
In the second inning, the Pump Jacks got things started by scoring two runs without recording a hit off Marshals starter Kennedy Winn. After a strikeout to lead off the inning, Justin Wall reached on an error by Marshals second baseman R.J. Talamantes as the ground ball went through his legs. Logan Preston and Logan Davis then worked walks sandwiched around another strikeout to load the bases with two outs.
With Kirby Pellant batting, Winn balked in the first run of the ballgame before walking both Pellant (to re-load the bases) and then John Williams to force in another run and make the score 2-0 Pump Jacks.
But the Marshals came back with four runs of their own in the fifth inning off East Texas starter Kyle Kubat. With one out, Evan Ramsey reached on an error by Davis at short. After a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning, a walk followed by a single and consecutive doubles plated the four runs, all of which were unearned off Kubat.
East Texas then got one run back in the sixth inning on one swing when Wall crushed a no-doubt solo home run to left field to cut the Jacks’ deficit to one run at 4-3. But Texas came back with a two-out rally in their half of the frame. Ramsey doubled and then stole third base. Krey Bratson then hit a high chopper that just got into the shortstop hole to score Ramsey. An error and a single plated another run to make the score 6-3.
The resilient Jacks did not quit, however. Again, East Texas made a rally, this time against relievers Austin Verplank and Storm Griffin. Pellant and Williams walked to chase Verplank from the game. Then Griffin hit Kash Kalkowski to load the bases. After a flyout, Griffin walked two runs in to make the score 6-5 Marshals.
Preston then worked the count full and smashed the ball over the left field wall for a grand slam home run to make the score 9-6 in favor of the Pump Jacks. That completed the largest comeback of the year for the Jacks and gave them two home runs in the game, tripling their season total heading into the contest.
The Marshals ended up scoring again in the eighth inning to make the score 9-7 Pump Jacks, but Jason Jester came in and shut the door in the eighth and ninth innings for his 11th save of the summer. The save extends his league-leading total and pulls him within two of Dusty Ross for the Pump Jacks’ single season record as well as the single-season TCL record.
Wall finished 1-2 on the night with three runs scored and two RBI with his solo homer while Preston went 1-3 with two runs scored and the grand slam home run giving him four RBI.
Cameron Gann (2-0) was the pitcher of record for the Jacks in the six-run seventh inning, earning the win. Griffin (2-2) took the loss for the Marshals.
The Pump Jacks are now 20-4 overall on the year and have won 12 of their last 13 games. They will have an off day on Saturday, and will continue their road trip against the Brazos Valley Bombers on the road on Sunday night.
The Jacks return home on Monday night for another of the popular Dog Days of Summer promotion, featuring $1 hot dogs all game long when the Pump Jacks host the Victoria Generals.
First pitch for each is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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