Generals opener suspended as lights go out at Riverside
By By Will Brown - SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
June 1, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.
See video from the Generals season opener on Advosports.com
The last thing Blake Koch thought would happen on opening night of the 2011 Victoria Generals season darkened what was a festive atmosphere at Riverside Stadium on Wednesday night.
Just as the Generals and visiting East Texas Pump Jacks started to trade zeroes on the scoreboard the lights went out on an entertaining season opener for both teams. Nearly an hour after the 8:45 p.m. outage, Koch, the Generals GM, and umpires suspended the contest until Thursday afternoon.
Nevertheless, opening night illuminated Victoria's excitement for their team of champions to return to the field.
"We were doing real well until the lights went out, that's all you can say," said Jarvis Monse, a baseball fan who hardly misses a Generals game. "Everyone wishes they could turn the switch and they would come back, but you have to live with it."
About 1,000 people attended Wednesday's contest, many of who, like Monse, remained for nearly a half hour after the outage in the hope the game could continue.
One group of friends stuck around until moments before the game was called because the beer was still flowing even if the on-field action had run aground.
Another man, who was an electrician, said the team fosters an atmosphere that allows them to overcome things such as Wednesday's setback.
Doris Wenske and Belle Lefner sat in the front row of the grandstand and cheered each put-out the boys in white recorded.
Wenske comes from a baseball family; her cousin Daniel Boedeker is the head coach at Shiner and her nephew plays for the Little Generals, a local youth league baseball team sponsored by the Generals.
"Especially for the little guys, they are role models," Wenske said. "It's positive energy. I have watched those guys and (my nephew) Clayton is watching them from the fence and their moves."
Natalia Madrid, Gabby Escalona, Ramiro Garcia and Landon Perez may not have been paying attention as much as Wenske's nephew, but the teenage quartet said Generals games are a great way to pass the time over the summer. Madrid's brother, Roman, is a rising junior from Victoria, who is a right-handed pitcher on the team, so she expects to spend a lot of evenings at Riverside Park.
After winning the Texas Collegiate League championship a year ago over the Pump Jacks, Koch said his focus is to pair off-field success with the product Victoria has witnessed on the diamond.
"We have established a winning tradition and by now everyone in Victoria has heard of us - even if they haven't been to a game - and who we are and what we do," he said.