Generals win season finale over Strykers
Fans were treated to free baseball.
It would have made for a nice promotion, but it wasn't. A scheduling rule forced the Victoria Generals and The Woodlands Strykers to play twice Saturday night to close the Texas Collegiate League regular season.
Entering the game, Generals management was aware of the possibility of a second game, but the two teams agreed not to worry about it, unless it had playoff implications.
Victoria's 6-3 win in the first game, made the second game meaningless, but the teams still took the field 20 minutes later to complete the season. They won that contest 3-2. The sweep meant the Generals have won five straight games heading into Sunday's one-game playoff against Brazos Valley.
Blake Koch, general manager of the Generals, said other teams in the TCL said the team would have a competitive advantage by not playing a makeup contest for a July 23 rainout.
"Basically, the president of the league told us if the game is on the schedule it has to be played," Koch said. "We're just following the TCL rule."
In the opener Victoria scored its two runs before recording a hit. The Woodlands responded when three runs in the second inning after the first four batters reached base on Generals starter Bryce Zak.
From there Zak settled in, and pitched a seven-inning complete game. His offense provided some support with two in the fourth and two in the fifth to help Zak improve to 4-1 on the season.
Zak's 104 pitches were the most he threw all summer. Generals manager Chris Clemons said Zak's "great" performance was all the more important because he didn't tax the bullpen.
Chad Kruse (1 for 3) drove in two runs and scored another of his own in Game 1. His steal of home in the fifth inning of Game 2 marked the ninth straight game Kruse scored a run.
Neither Clemons nor The Woodlands manager Kyle Phelps found out about the schedule change until after 4 p.m. Saturday. While the situation wasn't ideal, both men essentially shrugged their shoulders and played ball.
"Victoria has to start the playoffs tomorrow when they have to play out here for no reason," Phelps said before Game 2.
Clemons wryly stated the teams were "just finishing out the schedule."
"It's not going to effect our pitching rotation," Clemons added. "The guys we used (in Game 2) will be those we will use in the next series if we get that far."
Victoria 6, The Woodlands 3
The Woodlands 030 000 0-3 6 1
Victoria 200 220 x-6 6 1
Zach Heard and Steven Sotelo and Jesus Rendon. Bryce Zak and Blue Hybner. W: Zak (4-1). L: Heard (0-1). Highlights: (Woodlands): Zach Trevino 2-4, RBI, Ricardo Sanchez 1-3, R. (Victoria) Chad Kruse 1-3, 2 RBIs, R, Trent Wagner 1-2, 2R, Ryan Guedry 2-3, R. Records: Woodlands: 22-36, Victoria: 35-22
Victoria 3, The Woodlands 2
The Woodlands 000 002 0-2 6 3
Victoria 000 210 x-3 5 0
Nolan Holland and Jesus Rendon. Alex Klonowski, Daniel Tunchez and Blue Hybner. W: Klonowski (3-1). L: Holland. S: Tunchez. Doubles: (The Woodlands) Logan Merka. Highlights: (The Woodlands): Merka 1-2, 2B, R. (Victoria): Corti Wilson 1-3, R. Records: The Woodlands: 22-37, Victoria 36-22.