Texas Collegiate League recap for 07-14-09

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Victoria Generals 5 Coppell Copperheads 4

(Victoria, Tx) The first place Victoria Generals of The Texas Collegiate League returned home after splitting the series at Mckinney and Brazos Valley to take on the pesky Coppell Copperheads.

Hometown product Blake Payne took to the mound looking for win #5 and the offense and bullpen did not let him down.
Payne was solid into the seventh when the Copperheads mounted a threat. Garret Steward took over and calmed things down until close Zach Nuding finished off the ninth for a 5-4 win. Nuding now has 4 saves, second in the TCL.

The Generals, as usual, scored in the first. James Hipp led off with a double, Andy Russell singled and Hipp scored on an error. Mark Hudson then singled home Mike Davis to make it 2-0 after an inning of play.

James Hipp tripled in the second inning but was stranded there.

Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, Mark Hudson led off with a double and was advanced to third on an infield out. Chris Whitehead then hit a crisp grounder to the secondbaseman who threw Hudson out at the plate. Brendan McGaheran and James Hipp then loaded the bases with back to back singles. A passed ball moved everyone up and that ended the scoring as Joey Kenworthy flied out to center.

The Generals final two runs scored in the fifth on another wild pitch and sacrafice fly.

The Generals close out the series with the Copperheads tonight at Riverside Stadium, first pitch is 7:05. A two game series with the Brazos Valley Bombers begins Thursday.

East Texas Pump Jacks 3 Brazos Valley Bombers 1

The East Texas Pump Jacks returned home at last Tuesday night, much to the delight of players, fans, and, well, everyone except for the Brazos Valley Bombers.

The Pump Jacks downed the visiting Bombers by a score of 3-1 on the strength of seven strong innings from Cam Sokalski some early run support. The win pushed the Jacks’ record to 17-11 on the season, keeping pace with the first-place Victoria Generals, who hold a 1.5-game lead. The Bombers slipped two games behind East Texas and 3.5 games out of first.

With his father visiting from just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Sokalski (2-1) had his strongest outing of the summer. The righthander out of Panola went seven innings and struck out seven Bombers, both season highs. He allowed only one run, an unearned tally in the fourth inning, giving up four hits and a walk.

While Sokalski kept the visitors at bay, the Pump Jacks made themselves right at home from the first pitch. James Stanfield got things going with a one-out single in the first, followed by a double off the bat of Brett Nicholas. Matt Juengel lofted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Stanfield and gave the Jacks a 1-0.

East Texas doubled its advantage with another run in the second inning. Bo Coffman drew a one-out walk, then beat the throw to second on Ryan Oesterle’s fielder’s choice. Russell LaFleur lined a single to left to score Coffman and extend the lead to 2-0.

A Brazos Valley run in the fourth inning trimmed the lead to 2-1, but the home team responded in the fifth. LaFleur led off with a single, but he was erased at second on Stanfield’s grounder to third. Nicholas was hit by a pitch, then Juengel’s fielder’s choice put runners at the corners with two outs. With Kyle Frasard at the plate, a wild pitch brought home Stanfield and pushed the lead to 3-1.

Ian Schwalenberg closed out the game with two perfect innings to earn his second save of the season, striking out three Bombers.

The game, which was finished in a speedy two hours and 18 minutes, featured 11 hits between the two teams and only 18 total baserunners. LaFleur led the way, going 2-for-4 for his third straight multi-hit game. Stanfield also scored two runs.

Tuesday’s win kicked off an eight-game homestand for the Pump Jacks that will span the next two weeks. Tuesday was the first Kids Eat Free Night of the season, with children 12 and under receiving a free hot dog, chips, and a drink just for attending the game. This new promotion will take place at every Monday and Tuesday home game, including July 21 and 22, when the Jacks welcome Victoria to town.

The Bombers will close out their two-game set on Wednesday, with the McKinney Marshals coming to town Thursday and Friday. Thursday features the return of Thirsty Thursday, when fans are invited to beat the heat with dollar draft beers and 50¢ small soft drinks all night long.

Friday is the Pump Jacks’ next Fireworks Friday, presented by KLTV News and The Breeze. The Jacks will light up the night sky with a spectacular post-game fireworks show. It’s one of just two remaining Fireworks Fridays on the season, so it can’t be missed!

After the Generals’ visit at the beginning of next week, the Coppell Copperheads will come to town next Thursday and Friday, July 23 and 24. July 23 will deliver Thirsty Thursday to historic Driller Park yet again, while July 24 marks the final Fireworks Friday of the regular season.