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Late Rally Falls Short In Pump Jacks 4-3 Loss To Coppell


Hard-fought, close games can be the most gratifying to win.

They can also be among the toughest to lose.

The East Texas Pump Jacks can attest to the latter following Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss to the defending champion Coppell Copperheads at Driller Park. The Copperheads built a 4-0 lead before Josh Riley’s three-run double in the eighth inning closed the gap. But ultimately the Jacks ran out of time before they were able to get the tying run across.

Coppell built an early 2-0 lead with runs in each of the second and third innings off of East Texas starting pitcher Clint Helms. Helms (1-2) gave up an RBI single in the second and allowed a run on a wild pitch in the third, but otherwise pitched six innings unscathed. He allowed the two earned runs on four hits and four walks, striking out four.

The Pump Jacks, who boast the league’s highest scoring offense, were unable to mount an attack until the eighth inning. After the Copperheads tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the inning, Adam De La Garza and Pat McCrory walked to open the home half of the frame. Two outs later, Paige Hodges was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That’s when Riley drove a 1-0 offering off the left-center field wall, clearing the bases and closing the gap to 4-3. With Riley in scoring position, JD Dunn lofted an inning-ending fly ball to right field.

East Texas would put a pair of runners on base with two outs in the ninth, but again the tying run eluded the home team and the Copperheads escaped with the victory.

The potent Pump Jacks offense was limited to six hits limited to just two players. Riley notched the Jacks’ first-ever four-hit game, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Daniel Nottebart a pair of hits with a 2-for-4 night.

The Jacks were kept in the game by Matt Shelton, who came in for Helms to open the seventh inning and gave up just one earned run in 2 2/3 innings. Shelton allowed four hits and two walks, but he struck out five.

When Shelton ran into a jam, loading the bases in the top of the ninth, Kory Cleveland came on to strike out Michael Pair to end the threat.

The Pump Jacks welcome Coppell back to Driller Park Wednesday night with hopes of evening the series and tying the Copperheads in the TCL standings. Also on Wednesday, fans are invited to show their colors for Pump Jacks Pride Wednesdays. Fans that wear their Pump Jacks gear on Wednesday nights will receive half-price grandstand tickets for the game. Wear a shirt, bring your cap, or even make your own gear to prove you’re part of Pump Jacks Nation, and you’ll get in for half price at the gate.

After a Thursday night visit to McKinney, the Jacks will return to East Texas on Friday night to take on the first-place Marshals. Friday also marks the return of Fireworks Friday, when the Jacks celebrate with a post-game fireworks spectacular. The Pump Jacks have had two fireworks shows so far, each one drawing rave reviews, so don’t miss out on the next Fireworks Friday.

Tickets for Pump Jacks Pride Wednesday, Fireworks Friday, and the remainder of the Jacks’ inaugural season schedule are on sale now. Fans may purchase tickets at the Pump Jacks office at 1100 Stone Road, Suite 120, in Kilgore, or over the phone at (903) 218-GO ET. Tickets may also be purchased online – and printed at home on any home printer – by visiting

Single-game tickets start at $5 each – or $4 for children and seniors – for grandstand general admission tickets. Upper Box seats are $8 each, and Lower Box seats, which feature in-your-seat wait service, are only $10 per ticket.

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