So the TCL All-Star Home Run Derby didn’t screw up Lee Orr’s swing after all.
Orr crushed a fourth-inning offering deep over the left field fence for a solo home run and Abel Gonzales combined with two relievers for the shutout as the East Texas Pump Jacks defeated the Brazos Valley Bombers, 1-0, at historic Driller Park Friday night.
In hitting his league-leading fourth home run of the season, Orr avoided the post-home run derby funk that usually faces its participants. The McNeese State product got back on track in just his second at-bat, launching a 1-0 offering from fellow all-star Levi Saenz for the only run of the game.
Gonzales started on the mound for East Texas and pitched well, scattering five hits and striking out six before running out of gas in the eighth inning. He allowed one single per inning from the second through fifth frames.
The Rice lefty saw a spot of trouble when the sixth inning opened with a double and sacrifice bunt – but then Michael Haynes turned in the play of the game to keep the shutout intact. Wes Patterson, who lost to Orr in the Home Run Derby, hit a line drive on one bounce in front of Haynes. Haynes played the short hop like a hockey goalie, flashing his glove to snare the shot and throw out Patterson, holding the runner at third base. After a walk, Gonzales caught Cameron Dullnig looking to end the threat.
It was the only time the Bombers had a runner reach third base.
Chase Adams entered for Gonzales after one out in the eighth and finished the inning with another strikeout looking
Dusty Ross pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his team-leading sixth save.
Matt Carvutto, Zac Fisher and Aaron McCain had singles for the Pump Jacks, as did newcomer Bryan Peters.
The tight contest was yet another chapter in the drama the Pump Jacks and Bombers continue to write this season. In their two meetings in the first half, both in Bryan, the Jacks took early leads before late Brazos Valley rallies. Both games were decided by one run.
The Bombers finished the first half in a tie for first with the Victoria Generals, but Victoria won the title on a tie-breaker. East Texas was third, two games behind.
The exciting victory is the 15th of the year for the Pump Jacks against 11 losses.
East Texas closes out the short homestand with Brazos Valley on Saturday with another Saturday Giveaway. This week is one of the biggest yet: a 32-inch Toshiba flat screen television giveaway, presented by Buddy’s Home Furnishings and CBS 19! The Jacks will also be giving away a cool Flip Video Ultra HD pocket video recorder; the winner will be able to record up to two hours of HD video anywhere, ever at the ballpark! In addition, the first 200 adults through the gates of historic Driller Park will receive a $50 discount card to Buddy’s Home Furnishings. Everyone entering the park has a chance to win the TV and the Flip Video Ultra, so be there!
Sunday and Monday sees a two-day road trip to Bryan and Weimar to face the Bombers and Texas Tomcats.
On Wednesday, July 14, Boudain Wednesday presented by Hebert’s Specialty Meats returns as the Jacks welcome Brazos Valley back to Driller Park. Fans can enjoy the spice of boudain sausage for just $2 each. The next night is another Thirsty Thursday presented by 96X. Cheer on the Jacks against the North Texas Copperheads while enjoying draft beers for one dollar and regular soft drinks for just 50 cents!
Pump Jacks Nation is now on Facebook! Visit the East Texas Pump Jacks official team page on Facebook to follow all the news and gossip about the Pump Jacks, post your thoughts on the Jacks 2010 season, upload photos, and interact with other fans. Plus, the Jacks will post specials and discounts just for the Facebook community on the page! Click the link on the left side of the Pump Jacks web site or at the top of every news article on the site, and join Pump Jacks Nation on Facebook!
To follow all Pump Jacks news, including player awards, game stories and promotions, log on to the team’s official Website at www.pumpjacksbaseball.com.