Homers lift Generals to win over Aces
There is a reason why catchers often go into managing, they know the game and what to look for.
On Saturday, Generals catcher Blue Hybner saw a mistake and capitalized.
"Being a catcher, I can see when a pitcher makes them and (it) helps me to take advantage of them," Hybner said.
Hybner and Billy Richard both had second-inning home runs and Victoria starter Jordan Pacheco pitched six strong innings to lift the Generals past the Alexandia Aces 7-2 on Saturday at Riverside Stadium.
The Generals have won three games in a row since beginning their current home stand. Victoria is 8-4 on the season.
After falling behind in the count, Hybner had runners on in the second inning as Alexandria starter Ben Frith hung a curve ball over the middle of the plate that Hybner hit over the left field fence to put the Generals ahead by two runs.
Later in the inning, Richard came up to the plate and knew that Frith was going to go after him after allowing a walk.
He hit the first ball he saw from Frith over the same left field wall.
"It definitely feels good, but it was in the second inning so you have to look forward to your other at bats," Richards said.
Richard's second homer of the year gives him a share of the Texas Collegiate League lead with the Marshals' Hayden Simerly.
That was more than enough run support for Pacheco who improved to 3-0.
The Victoria West graduate pitched six innings, striking out five and allowing five hits and one walk.
"His stuff wasn't as good, but he competed and gave six strong innings and one run," said Generals coach Chris Clemons. "I'll take that every outing. It just goes to show how good of a pitcher he is."
Pacheco was named the TCL pitcher of the week last week.
He's gotten off to such a strong start in 2012 that allowing one earned run on Saturday raised his ERA from 0.60 to 0.86.
"If we can put up five runs per inning, I think we'll beat anyone in this league," Hybner said. "With our pitching staff, we got a bunch of tremendous arms."
Hybner was a perfect 2 for 2 with 3 RBIs and Richard was 1 for 5 with a pair of RBIs.
With the Generals ahead the home crowd saw something of a rarity, a reverse decision on a play at first base.
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Alexandria shortstop Douglas Votolato caught up to a grounder off Kevin Daniels' bat, spun around and threw him out at first. Or so it appeared.
As the Aces walked off the field, Victoria assistant coach Shorty Cook argued with the umpiring crew that Daniels was safe. After a minute of meeting, Daniels was called safe and the Generals stayed alive.
""I think they got the call right," Clemons said.
Chad Kruse and Jude Vidrine added RBI singles later in the inning to give the Generals a comfortable 7-1 lead.
"When that happens, you get in the other team's head and they get down," Richard said. "You just have to take advantage of it."
The Generals will go for their fourth straight win on Sunday when they host first place Brazos Vallley.
Victoria 7, Alexandria 2
Alexandria 100 000 010 2 6 7
Victoria 050 200 00x - 7 10 1
Alexandria: Ben Frith, Jesse Barnes (3rd) and Garrett Vail; Victoria:
Jordan Pacheco, Kyle Chaskin(7th), Jake McMurtry (8th) and Blue
W: Pacheco (3-0); L: Frith (0-2)
2B: (Victoria) Brandon Tierney, Trace Knoblauch; (Alexandria) Nathan Hale, Douglas Votolato
HR: (Victoria) Blue Hybner, Billy Richard.
Highlights: Pacheco, 6 IP, 6K, ER; Richard, 1 for 5, 2 RBI, RS; Kevin Daniels, 2 for 4, RS; Chad Kruse, 1 for 3, RBI; Jude Vidrine, RBI; Hybner, 2 for 2, 3 RBI.. RECORDS: VIctoria 8-4, Alexandria 3-10.