With all the rain that’s fallen on East Texas this summer, a little precipitation wasn’t going to hold back the East Texas Pump Jacks Friday night.
The Pump Jacks and Victoria Generals sat through a nearly 90-minute rain delay before the Jacks battled to a 3-1 win. East Texas rode the left arm of Brad Kottman, who struck out 11 and allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings to up his record to 4-1. Zac Fisher drove in the first run of the game and scored an insurance run late to pace the offense.
Despite the early rain, it was still Fireworks Friday presented by KLTV News. After children raced around the bases to celebrate the win with the traditional victory lap, Pump Jacks Nation was treated to the best fireworks show in East Texas. The soundtrack celebrated the achievements of the regular season, with highlight clips from Pump Jacks’ webcasts set to music.
The playoff implications of the game could be felt from Kilgore to Victoria, and Bryan and Weimar in between. The win extended the Jacks’ lead over the second-place Generals to 1.5 in the race for the second-half title. The Brazos Valley Bombers, who dropped a home decision to the Alexandria Aces, slipped to two games back.
In the overall standings, East Texas and Brazos Valley are now tied, just a half-game behind Victoria.
With just two regular season games left for the Pump Jacks, only the Generals can catch the Jacks in the second-half race. The Generals have the added benefit of an extra game remaining on their schedule to make up the game-and-a-half deficit.
The Pump Jacks have already clinched their third straight playoff berth since joining the TCL in 2008. The benefit of a second-half title is home field advantage, which goes to the division champions in the first round. Home field is even more important for the Pump Jacks, who boast the league’s best record at home (21-6).
The playoffs get underway next Tuesday, with a division winner taking on a wild card in each best-of-three series. The wild card teams will host Game One on Tuesday, with the division champs hosting Game Two on Wednesday. If a third game is necessary, the division winner will play host.
The two winners in the first round meet in the best-of-three TCL Championship Series beginning Friday, August 13.
The format ensures Pump Jacks fans will see at least one postseason game at historic Driller Park, as early as Tuesday. With home field advantage, the Jacks can host as many as four total playoff games.
The first home playoff game will be celebrated as Pump Jacks Poster Giveaway Night presented by Good Shepherd Medical Center and CBS 19. The first 500 fans will receive a specially-designed poster featuring every player who suited up for the Jacks this summer. The keepsake poster is perfect for autographs, plus it makes a great way to remember this summer’s edition of the Pump Jacks.
But before the playoffs get under way, East Texas has one last regular season hurrah at Driller Park. Fan Appreciation Night presented by Kilgore Ford and Buddy’s Home Furnishings will take place Monday night, when the Jacks host the McKinney Marshals. The word of the day will be FREE, as in:
Tickets for Fan Appreciation Night are available at the Pump Jacks office at 1100 Stone Road, Suite 120, in Kilgore. Tickets are also available at the ticket office at historic Driller Park before the game.
All tickets are subject to availability, so fans are urged to get your tickets early. Kilgore Ford has a limited number of vouchers, so don’t delay and visit Kilgore Ford soon!
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.
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