Despite the best efforts of the pitching staff, supreme pitcher’s duel ends on a wild pitch as East Texas drops a heartbreaker.
Time after time, when the Acadiana Cane Cutters tried to take a lead, the East Texas Pump Jacks’ pitching would get out of the jam, no matter how severe. Acadiana did the same to each East Texas potential rally.
And so the teams went back and forth until the eleventh inning, when a wild pitch brought home the game’s only run as the Cane Cutters walked off by a 1-0 final score.
Unlike last night’s game, one that featured 18 total runs and double-digits in hits from both teams, this game was a battle of southpaws- Will Mathis for Acadiana, and Ty Schlottmann for the Pump Jacks. The two teams managed only five hits combined through the first five frames, which were completed in under an hour.
The Cane Cutters were able to get the a runner to third base with only one out off Schlottmann in the sixth, but a big strikeout of Gabe Woods kept the home team off the board.
That would be the closest either team would get to getting on the scoreboard in the first seven and a half innings. The closest the Pump Jacks got was when Kevin O’Leary got himself a two-out double in the top of the eighth inning, advancing to third on a wild pitch. But Mathis struck out the next hitter to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
In the bottom of the frame, a leadoff single chased Schlottmann from the contest. A potentially costly error on a sacrifice bunt attempt put runners on first and second before a successful sacrifice bunt moved them up to second and third with one out. Reliever Jeff Stovall then got a huge strikeout before intentionally walking Mitchell Nau to load the bases with two outs. Pinch-hitter Ladd Rhodes followed by grounding out to second baseman and brand new Pump Jack Connor Lloyd, as Stovall got the Jacks out of trouble and kept the game scoreless.
The Jacks flirted with trouble in the bottom of the ninth after a scoreless top half of the frame. A leadoff walk was advanced to second base on an error. Pinch-hitter Almann Snowden then hit a single to center field, but John Williams made a great throw home from center field to Louie Helmburg to nab Austin Roussel. Helmburg would then peg the ball to O’Leary at second base, and O’Leary caught Snowden in a rundown, throwing to Logan Preston at first to end the frame in spectacular fashion.
In the bottom of the tenth, the Pump Jacks would be able to get out of a jam yet again. Braxton Lee led off against Gerardo Esquivel and stole second before a strikeout and two walks loaded the bases with one out. But then Esquivel then struck out Nau and Tanner Vandevere swinging, with Helmburg making the putout at first base against Vandevere to preserve the tie.
In the bottom of the 11th, however, the Pump Jacks’ luck ran out. Roussel was hit by a pitch, was sacrificed to second base, and moved to third on a groundout. With Lee batting, a wild pitch skidded back to the screen, bringing Roussel home and giving the Cane Cutters a 1-0 win.
Schlottmann was terrific for East Texas, going 7+ innings and giving up only four hits while striking out four. He did not factor into the decision, and neither did Mathis, who pitched ten full innings and struck out eight batters.
Esquivel (2-1) took the loss for East Texas, while Ben Suit (3-2) pitched the 11th inning and got the win for Acadiana.
The Pump Jacks conclude their season-long four-game road trip on Thursday night, when the team travels to Bryan to face the Brazos Valley Bombers.
The Jacks return home on Friday evening for another edition of Fireworks Friday, presented by CBS 19. With just one game at historic Driller Park this week, the home team is looking to pack the park as they light up the night sky with an Olympic-sized postgame fireworks display. The Pump Jacks face off against the Brazos Valley Bombers, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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