KILGORE — The East Texas Pump Jacks struck it rich at the plate late, scoring three runs in their final at-bat to rally for a 5-4 win over Acadiana.
Joey Armstrong landed on home plate for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning after an errant throw over the third base bag, and Dillon Moritz sent Acadiana down in order in the ninth to complete the comeback.
The home opener Tuesday at Driller Park fared nothing like a walk in the park early for the defending Texas Collegiate League champions, who trailed 3-0 into the sixth after Acadiana picked up three runs from hitters receiving free passes.
Longview's Garrett McMullen, a right fielder coming off his sophomore season at North Central Texas College, hit an RBI double and scored the tying run on Armstrong's RBI single in the eighth. Armstrong stole second early in the count on Ryan Hope. Armstrong later headed for third when a pitch to Hope bounced off the dirt. The pickoff throw from Acadiana catcher Shapen Vaughn sailed into left field, allowing Armstrong to circle home and give the Pump Jacks their first lead of the night.
McMullen (3 for 4, 2 RBIs) pumped life into the Pump Jacks, who look to get back to .500 tonight against Acadiana.
"We struggled early in the game," McMullen said while taking a short break from raking the area around home plate. "We tried to keep the energy up in the dugout. We knew we'd get it going. It was just a matter of when. It was a good win."
The Pump Jacks showed signs of life with McMullen's RBI double in the sixth and Matthew Dickey's RBI single in the seventh to make it a 3-2 game. Acadiana added to its lead when Freddie Prince scored off a wild pitch in the top of the eighth.
The Cane Cutters received six free passes courtesy Pump Jacks starter Colter Bostick, who lasted four innings.
Vaughn circled the bases twice after a pair of walks. Brett Thornell tapped a two-run single into the outfield to score Vaughn and Gabe Woods, who also reached on a walk.
Vaughn led off the fourth with a walk and scored on an infield grounder from Connor Barrett to make it 3-0.
Kyle Cedotal (Fr., LHP/Southeastern/Denham Springs, La.) kept the Pump Jacks off the board the first five innings yielded one run before the Pump Jacks posted four runs on Acadiana's bullpen.
The Pump Jacks' five-man pitching rotation combined for 11 strikeouts, with Bostick, Jordan Johnson and Jake Price fanning three batters each. Jake Beam tossed one inning, allowing one hit, one run and striking out one to get the victory.
Moritz closed the victory with a three-up, three-down ninth, including one strikeout, to record the save.
East Texas Pump Jacks 5, Acadiana 4
At Driller Park, Kilgore
Acadiana 020 100 010 - 4 8 1
East Texas 000 001 13X - 5 10 3
Kyle Cedotal, Reno Dupuis (7), John Gremellion (8) and Shapen Vaughn; Colter Bostick, Jordan Johnson (5), Jake Price (7), Jake Beam (8) Dillon Moritz (9) and JJ Robinson. W Beam (1-0); L – Gremillion. S – Moritz. 2B – A: Connor Barrett; ET: Robinson, Brooks Marlow. SH – A: Gabe Woods; ET: Ryan Hope. SB – ET: Garrett McMullen, Matthew Dickey. CS – ET: McMullen.
RECORDS – Acadiana 1-4; East Texas 2-3.
NEXT UP - Acadiana at East Texas, 7:05 p.m. tonight.