Right-hander backed by team-wide offensive effort for East Texas.
Coming off a night where the pitching for both sides was suspect, the East Texas Pump Jacks entered a hitter’s ballpark in The Woodlands with the threat of more offense.
This time, the offensive output in the game was one-sided thanks to a stellar performance from Corey Ray as East Texas won 8-4 over the Strykers at The Woodlands Christian Academy.
The Pump Jacks again took the lead first, in the top of the second. With two outs, Logan Preston worked a walk, and on the next pitch, Trevin Sonnier doubled to right-center field. Then with runners on second and third, a big two-run single by Blair DeBord gave the Pump Jacks a 2-0 lead, staking Ray to an early advantage.
The Pump Jacks more than doubled that lead in the top of the fourth, with another two-out rally. Preston singled, and Sonnier was hit by a pitch. DeBord then walked to load the bases, and that’s when the Jacks did their damage. Tyler Sullivan hit an RBI single to left to make it 3-0 before John Williams had the big blow of the game, delivering a two-run single to right-center and extending the lead out to 5-0.
After a solo home run by Michael Aquino cut the lead to 5-1, the Pump Jacks got another run in the fifth. Damion Lovato was hit by a pitch with one out, and advanced to second on a passed ball. R.J. Santigate then singled to put runners on the corners before an error by the pitcher Cameron Walker allowed Preston to reach base. That brought Lovato home for a 6-1 Pump Jacks lead.
After the Woodlands got another run back in their half of the fifth, the Pump Jacks chased Walker on a double by DeBord. After a wild pitch by reliever John Almogabar moved DeBord to third, and he scored on a sac fly by Williams to make the score 7-2 Pump Jacks. Connor Lloyd then walked, and stole two bases. With Lloyd batting, Whitt Dorsey reached on an error by the shortstop, Carter Burgess, that brought home Lloyd and made the score 8-2.
The Woodlands would add two more runs later on solo home runs from Burgess and Ricardo Sanchez, but both were inconsequential to the overall result.
DeBord, Sullivan and Williams (batting eighth, ninth, and leadoff, respectively) each had multi-hit games for the Pump Jacks, with Williams and DeBord recording multiple RBI as well.
Meanwhile, Ray (4-2) was excellent on a night when the Jacks needed him to be. The right-hander struck out a season-high ten batters over seven strong innings, turning in a quality start with only three runs on seven hits and one walk allowed to the Strykers. Walker (2-2) took the loss for The Woodlands.
The Pump Jacks will take on the Acadiana Cane Cutters on Sunday in their last road game of the regular season before returning home for their remaining five games as well as the first round of the playoffs.
On Monday night, when the Jacks host the Victoria Generals, it will be Dog Days of Summer at Driller Park, with fans being able to enjoy $1 hot dogs all game long. Tuesday night will be another Family Night, where families of four can purchase tickets for just $10, and can add a meal voucher to their tickets for just $15 more.
First pitch for each game is set for 7:05 p.m.
Playoff tickets are also on sale now! By virtue of winning the first-half title, the Jacks’ will host a first-round playoff game on Sunday, August 12. This year, the first round of the TCL playoffs is just one game, so the Jacks will be playing for a berth in the TCL Championship Series. Tickets are on sale now on the web, by phone, or at the Pump Jacks office in downtown Kilgore.
Keep up with the Pump Jacks’ fifth anniversary season on www.pumpjacksbaseball.com. Join the conversation and interact with other members of Pump Jacks Nation by visiting the Jacks on Facebook and Twitter.