(Victoria, Tx) The Victoria Generals came home from Brazos Valley Monday with a 1-0 lead in the best of three semi finals series and wasted no time dispensing of the Bombers 13-2.
Blake Ford took the mound for the Generals and threw 5 shutout innings allowing only 4 hits, walking one and striking out 4.
The league champions scored first with a 2-run third inning. James Hipp scorched a grounder past the third baseman, stole second and went to third on the overthrow. David Pair singled him home and then Pair scored from second on a wild pitch.
Then in the 4th inning, Andy Russell led off with a home run. Brian Nephew singled, Kenny Jackson singled, Andrew Moore doubled home Nephew, Brendan McGaheran walked, James Hipp singled home Jackson, Pair drew a bases loaded walk, Hudson was hit by a pitch, and then Mike Davis cleared the bases with a grand slam. All with no outs.
And just like that it was 11-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mark Hudson, the league’s MVP, doubled. Mike Davis followed with his second home run of the game. Davis was named to the all league team earlier in the day along with Jackson. Chris Clemons was named Coach of the Year in the TCL.
Garret Steward relieved Ford in the sixth. Michael Oros pitched in the seventh and allowed one run. Joe Satriano came on and allowed one run in the 8th. And Zach Nudding worked the ninth.
The Generals have the next two days off and then take on the winner of the Coppel Copperheads-East Texas Pumpjacks series.
Game one is slated for Thursday on the road with the next two if needed in Victoria on Friday and Saturday.
Coppell Copperheads 4 East Texas Pump Jacks 1
August 10- Rett Varner (Texas-Arlington) didn’t wait long to back up his reputation as the league’s top pitcher. The same day as being named TCL Pitcher of the Year, Varner allowed 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10 batters over 7 shutout innings against the East Texas Pump Jacks. With the win, Coppell clinched the semi-final series and advanced to the TCL Championship Series against the top-seeded Victoria Generals.
The Copperheads didn’t wait long to get things going. After stranding a pair of runners in the 1st and waiting 17 minutes during a rain delay, 2nd baseman Marcellous Biggins (Dallas Baptist) and shortstop Adam de la Garza (Sam Houston State) each drove in a run to give Coppell a 2-0 lead after an inning and a half. East Texas would not fare as well.
The Pump Jacks did not have a problem reaching base, putting six runners on base through the first 4 innings. The problem was getting past 3rd base after stranding all six runners through the first 4 innings. After that, Varner went to work, retiring the final ten batters he faced before giving way to relief pitching.
1st baseman Preston Springer increased the Copperhead lead with a pair of RBI singles off East Texas starter Mark Haynes (Rice) and reliever Matt Click (McNeese State). With a 4-0 lead, Coppell was ready to cruise to victory on the arms of their bullpen.
Reliever Marco Simmons (Johns Hopkins) had no problem with the 8th inning, retiring all three batters, but left the game with an apparent injury after throwing only a single pitch in the 9th inning. With Simmons out, Ben Grisz (Duke) came in to finish the game. After walking Matt Juengel (Panola College), Grisz had trouble finding his control. Juengel managed to reach 3rd base after a wild pitch and a passed ball, and came around to score on a ground out to shortstop by 1st baseman Abel Gonzales (Rice). With the shutout gone, Grisz found his groove, retiring the final two batters to end the game and the series.
Varner picked up the win, improving to 5-2 on the season while Haynes was credited with the loss, dropping to 3-4. Preston Springer finished the game 3-4 with 2 RBI, while Heath Johnson was 3-5. James Foster, a fellow All-League pick with Varner, picked up his 5th double and league-leading 18th stolen base.
Coppell will play the Victoria Generals in the Championship Series beginning at 7:05 PM on Thursday, August 13th, in Coppell, TX at The Snake Pit. Game One will be in Coppell while Game Two and Three (if necessary) will be in Victoria. Thursdays are Thirsty Thursdays at The Snake Pit, featuring $1 drinks. Also, all Copperheads merchandise will be on sale.