Newman extends scoreless streak to 18 innings in Generals win
Anyone who paid too much attention to the early-inning shenanigans nearly missed a pitcher's duel Thursday night.
Dillon Newman didn't allow a run for his second straight start, as the Victoria Generals shutout the Brazos Valley Bombers 4-0. He allowed a single to Brazos Valley leadoff hitter Chris Florack, but retired the next 14 batters, to shutout the Bombers for the first time in 2012.
Entering the contest the aptly named Bombers led the Texas Collegiate League in home runs and RBIs, and second in runs scored.
"Dillon did a very good job of changing speeds, throwing quality pitcher's pitches in hitter's counts," said Generals manager Chris Clemons. "He's always done a good job of that. He threw a lot of strikes. He threw a whole lot of strikes."
Newman needed just 71 pitches, of which 58 were strikes, to strike out seven batters over seven innings.
Brazos Valley starter Brannon Easterling matched Newman inning for inning until the seventh when the Generals scored four runs.
Trace Knoblauch led off with a walk. Consecutive singles from Brandon Tierney and Trent Wagner gave the Generals a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, No. 9 hitter Carter Mangum hit a single to center field to bring in Tierney and Wagner.
Mangum struggled during the first half of the season, but has come on of late, hitting .333 over his last five games. Entering the at-bat he told himself to bring in Tierney and Wagner by any means necessary.
"We have faced him in Brazos a few weeks ago, so we knew what he had," Mangum said. "He just left a fastball in and I got good wood on it."
The Generals win made the playful standoff between the two teams moot. Throughout the summer the Generals, and other TCL teams, have competed to see which team could maintain their respect for America without interfering with the action.
Players called it the National Anthem Standoff. Thursday night, five players - two Generals, three Bombers - stood on their respective sides honoring America, with their hats off and hands over hearts, in foul territory for an extended amount of time.
This newfound tradition might make Francis Scott Key roll over in his grave, but players on both teams said it's a way to break up the monotony of an extended summer of baseball. Things continued into the bottom of the first inning until the umpire put a stop to it and ordered the players to their dugouts.
Trae Davis and Corey Holmes didn't enter the game for the Generals. However, Derrick Mazzio and Logan Burch wound up relieving Easterling for Brazos Valley.
"It's a fun thing a lot of teams do," Mazzio said. "It's kind of a joke, but it's a way to support America. It's a momentum thing. If you win the standoff, you hopefully win the game. Today we won the standoff, but we didn't win the game."
Victoria 4, Brazos Valley 0
Brazos Valley 000 000 000-0 4 1
Victoria 000 000 40x - 4 7 0
Brannon Easterling, Derrick Mazzio, Logan Burch and Kevin Lamb. Dillon Newman, Dallas Ponder and Andrew Stumph. W: Newman. L: Easterling. Doubles: (Brazos Valley) Nick Smelser, Corey Toups, (Victoria) Billy Richard. Highlights: (Victoria) Carter Mangum 2-3, R, 2 RBIs, Trent Wagner 1-3, R, RBI, Brandon Tierney 2-3, R, Newman 7 IP, 0R, 4 H, 7 Ks.