Generals head coach Chris Clemons has led the Generals to the TCL Championship Series in each of his three seasons with the team.
The East Texas Pump Jacks were crowned 2012 TCL Champions on Wednesday night as they defeated the Victoria Generals 7-4 in the third game of the TCL Championship Series in Kilgore.
The two teams had split the first two games of the series with the Generals winning in Victoria on Monday night 5-3 and the Pump Jacks taking game two in Kilgore on Tuesday 7-4.
The Generals jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning of game three. Chad Kruse and Carter Mangum led off the inning with back-to-back walks before Patrick Duncan was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Guedry then hit a high chopper on the infield that the Pump Jacks shortstop misplayed for an error to allow Kruse to score. Mangum would come around to score next on an RBI single by Alex Klonowski. Duncan then gave the Generals their third run of the inning as Kyle Chaskin grounded into a double play.
Generals starting pitcher Tyler Schnuriger held the Pump Jacks scoreless through the first two innings before running into trouble in the third. Back-to-back doubles by Louie Helmberg and Kevin O'Leary gave the Pump Jacks their first run of the game. O'Leary would later score on an RBI single by Tyler Sullivan to cut the Generals lead to 3-2.
The score remained 3-2 until the bottom of the sixth inning. With R.J. Santigate on second base with one out, Taylor Murphy hit a ball to deep right field that Generals right fielder Chad Kruse seemed to have tracked down as he looked to have made a tremendous over-the-shoulder diving catch. As Kruse hustled to his feet to make the throw into the infield to double Santigate off of second base, the ball popped out of Kruse's glove. Kruse picked the ball up and threw it into second to make what was initially ruled the third out of the inning. The umpires then got together and reversed the call, saying that Kruse did not complete the catch before dropping the ball, allowing Santigate to score from second base to tie the game at 3-3.
James Ferguson was then called on in relief and walked the first batter he faced. He then got a ground out before issuing another walk to load the bases. Kevin O'Leary then chopped a ball between third base and shortstop that Brandon Tierney ranged over for and tried to make the throw to first base for the out, but the ball skipped past Generals first baseman Patrick Duncan down the right-field line allowing three runs to come into score, giving the Pump Jacks a 6-3 lead.
The Generals tried to rally in the top of the seventh inning. Kruse, Duncan, and Guedry each singled to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout by Klonowski, Chaskin walked to force in Kruse and make the score 6-4. But Trent Wagner would ground into a fielder's choice to end the Generals threat.
The Pump Jacks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a passed ball to make the score 7-4.
Jason Jester then closed the game out for the Pump Jacks, striking out the side in the ninth to earn the save and give the Pump Jacks their first ever TCL championship.
The Generals finish the 2012 TCL season with an overall record of 38-24. The 2012 season marks the third time in four years that the Generals have reached the TCL Championship Series. The Generals won TCL Championship in 2010.
Box Score: http://tcl-generals.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=109825