Historic Driller Park will welcome back four more players from last season’s nationally-ranked squad, including all-star Kirby Pellant
The 2011 East Texas Pump Jacks squad set team records for wins and winning percentage en route to the best record in the Texas Collegiate League history. Four more players from that team will recapture the magic and return to East Texas for the Pump Jacks fifth anniversary this summer.
The Pump Jacks announced today they have signed four more returnees for the 2012 season. Re-joining the Jacks’ roster are infielders Kirby Pellant and Tyler Girouard, outfielder Nathan Pittman, and utility player Colton Bickerstaff.
The four players join 2011 All-TCL closer Jason Jester on this summer’s roster as second-year Pump Jacks.
Pellant, one of the most feared baserunners in the TCL last season, is back in East Texas after a 2011 season in which he led the league in stolen bases (33) while also ranking in the top five in both runs scored (44) and walks (33). The Arizona native batted .289 during the regular season, earning the starting nod at shortstop for the North squad in the 2011 TCL All-Star Game.
This past season, Pellant made the jump from Chandler-Gilbert Community College to Division-I Ohio State University. But even against Big Ten Conference competition, Pellant excelled. He started all 60 games for the Buckeyes this past season, stealing 31 bases, just one behind the conference leader in that category. He also ranked among the team leaders in doubles, triples and RBI. He was the only Buckeye named to the 2012 Big Ten All-Tournament Team after batting 6-for-14 (.429) with two runs scored, 4 RBI and a pair of triples in four games.
Pellant is also one of the more unique players in the TCL this season because he has been drafted not once, but twice before. In 2009, he was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 38th round of the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft following his senior season at Corona Del Sol High School in Phoenix. Last summer, just as the Pump Jacks’ season was getting underway, he was drafted in the 47th round by the Cincinnati Reds.
Girouard is also back for his second go-around with East Texas. Last season, despite standing just 5’9”, he became the Pump Jacks’ unconventional starting first baseman and performed well at the plate and in the field.
Girouard contributed to a strong top of the order for the Jacks in 2011, batting .308 on the season with 26 RBI, ranking among the team leaders in both categories. He also drew 33 walks on the season, tying him with Pellant for tops on the team.
This past season, Girouard also put up impressive numbers for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, ranking third on the team with a .298 batting average in 41 games played. He also smacked seven doubles and had 20 RBI for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Pittman comes back to the Pump Jacks as one of the veterans on the roster this summer, joining fellow juniors Jester and Pellant. The trio represents the only third-year college players on the East Texas roster.
Pittman saw time in the outfield last season for the Jacks, and this past season he used that experience to play in 40 games, starting 37 of them, for Florida Atlantic University. He helped the Owls to the Sun Belt Conference regular season title before being upset in the conference tournament.
Pittman demonstrated a good eye at the plate for the Owls, drawing 28 walks, tying him for second on the team and also helping him to amass a .401 on-base percentage in 2012. He also led the Owls in stolen bases, swiping ten bags in 14 chances.
Bickerstaff, a Mineola native, returns to provide depth at multiple positions with his versatility. Despite playing only 27 games for the Pump Jacks last summer, he proved to be a solid run-producer by posting 20 RBI to rank fifth on the team. He was also a quick-starter for the Jacks, collecting four multi-hit games in his first seven contests of the season.
Bickerstaff is coming off a highly impressive season at powerhouse Howard College. He batted .356 with five homers, 19 doubles, 46 runs scored, and 52 RBI in 53 games played, ranking among the team leaders in all categories. Bickerstaff also was among the Hawks’ leaders with a .451 on-base percentage.
The Pump Jacks’ fifth anniversary season kicks off this Friday, June 1, when they travel to McKinney to take on the newly renamed Texas Marshals. The home opener is Wednesday, June 6, at historic Driller Park against the very same Marshals squad. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Click here for the complete 2012 schedule.
Season tickets for this summer are on sale! Lower Box seats, which include in-your-seat wait service, are just $199 each, and Upper Box seats are $150. Grandstand season tickets are $105 for adults and $85 for children and seniors. Click here for more information on Pump Jacks season tickets.
To follow all the news about the roster, promotions for the coming season and new anniversary merchandise, visit the team’s official web site at www.pumpjacksbaseball.com. You can also interact with other members of Pump Jacks Nation by visiting the Jacks on Facebook and Twitter.