Dusty Ross returns in dominating fashion, entire lineup contributes as the Jacks top the Aces, extend first place lead to two games
With three straight Texas Collegiate League Pitcher of the Week awards, it is safe to say that the Pump Jacks pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with this summer.
Well, things just got a whole lot tougher for TCL foes.
Making his third debut in a Pump Jacks uniform, Dusty Ross showed the Aces why he was an All-TCL selection last summer. Ross allowed only one hit and walked one in five innings of work. The Missouri hurler struck out eight to earn his first win is his first appearance in 2011.
The lineup followed Ross’s lead, with every batter in the lineup either knocking in runs or scoring themselves as the Jacks topped Alexandria 10-7 Tuesday night. With the win, the Pump Jacks extended their first place lead in the TCL to two games with only six games remaining in the first half of the season.
Jake Pinchback led the Jacks offense, belting three doubles, knocking in two runs and scoring three on his own. Tyler Girouard went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Kirby Pellant continued his hot streak at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a run scored. Nathan Pittman knocked in two on a single. Jace Statum knocked in his first run as a Pump Jack to round out the Jacks 10 runs.
Picking up where they left off early in the season, the Jacks stole four bases from the Aces. Pellant swiped two to give him a dozen on the season, good enough for second in the league. Ty Marlow stole his sixth and Statum showed off his speed once again, picking up his first of his short season.
Early in the game it appeared that a pitching duel was set for the contest, with only two hits combined from both teams through the fourth inning as both starting pitchers came out strong.
The Jacks changed that in the fifth, posting a three spot to get the offense going.
Pinchback belted his first double with one out in the fifth and scored two batters later on a single from Girouard. Ryan Moore reached after being hit by a pitch and Pellant cleared the bases with a two-RBI double to give the Jacks the 3-0 lead.
Pittman picked up his two RBI in the sixth, scoring Zach Looney and Colton Bickerstaff to push the Jacks lead to 5-0.
Looney reached base twice on a walk and a close-call error by the Aces third baseman to see his 11 game hitting streak come to an end. Looney has reached base in all 13 games he has spent in a Pump Jacks uniform.
Jordan Hershiser came on in relief of Ross to start the sixth. Hershiser walked one and allowed four hits in an inning and two-thirds work. His three runs were all unearned.
Pellant navigated the bases in the seventh, before scoring on a single from Statum to give the Jacks a 6-1 edge.
The Aces scored two in the bottom half on two errors from the Jacks infield, cutting the lead to 6-3.
Jaron Long made his second Pump Jacks appearance in relief of Hershiser and struck out the final out in the seventh to hold the Aces to two runs. Long struck out three in two and third innings of relief.
Marlow led off the eighth with a single and promptly stole second base. He was then knocked in on Pinchback’s second double, who himself scored on a wild pitch two batters later.
Pinchback repeated his eighth inning in the ninth, reaching on a double and scoring on a two RBI single from Girouard to give the Jacks a 10-3 lead going into the bottom half.
The Aces loaded the bases in the ninth with two singles and a tough-luck error on Marlow. Aces left fielder Justin Brodnax then made his first home run of the season count, clearing the bases over the left field wall with the grand slam, but the damage was too much. Long, who was not charged with the runs, recovered quickly and retired the final out and gave the Jacks the 10-7 win, completing a two-game sweep in their first trip to Alexandria.
The Jacks return to historic Driller Park riding a four-game win streak and sitting atop the TCL standings on Wednesday to host the Victoria Generals for Winning Inning Wednesday. If the Pump Jacks score three or more runs in any inning, every fan will receive a voucher for a free value menu item from Jack in the Box.
The two-game set against the Generals wraps up with Thirsty Thursday. Fans can beat the heat with $1 draft beers, $3 frozen margaritas and 50-cent soft drinks all-night long!
After two games in Victoria, the Pump Jacks will return home on July 4 for a pair of games against the Aces. Stay tuned for an announcement about special promotions for the holiday.
To follow all the news and to watch every pitch of the 2011 season, visit the Pump Jacks official web site at www.pumpjacksbaseball.com. Interact with other Pump Jacks fans and enjoy special promotions and polls by visiting the Pump Jacks on Facebook and Twitter.