Generals close out homestand with a bang
Victoria Generals coach Chris Clemons pulled Blue Hybner aside before he came to the plate in the bottom of the second inning.
"Right before that at-bat, he came to me and said 'What pitch are you looking at this at-bat?'" Hybner recalled. "I told him inside fastball and he said, 'I don't want you to swing at anything but that pitch.'"
Hybner followed his coach's instruction and hit a three-run home run to propel the Generals to an 8-3 Texas Collegiate League win over The Woodlands Strykers on Tuesday night at Riverside Stadium.
"He threw me that pitch first pitch and I yanked it foul," Hybner said of The Woodlands starter Fabian Arcizo. "He threw it to me a little later in the at-bat and I got a good piece of it and put it over the fence."
Hybner's blast to left field was the second home run for the Shiner St. Paul graduate, who attended Hill College last season.
"We've talked to him about up-count hitting and being aggressive and taking his swings," Clemons said. "He needs to push his strengths and when they leave a ball into Blue, he needs to hit it out of the park."
Hybner had a single in the third inning when the Generals batted around and scored five runs. Eric Weiss added a two-run double and Trace Knoblauch had a two-run single before stealing home.
The Generals (10-5) had only one hit the rest of the game, but pitchers Alex Klonowski, Kyle Chaskin, Dallas Ponder and Tanner Green made the lead stand up.
Ponder, a Flatonia graduate, was named the TCL's Pitcher of the Week, after striking out 10 and allowing only one hit in a 4 2/3 inning relief appearance against the Alexandria Aces. Ponder issued a walk, but struck out the side against The Woodlands in the eighth inning.
Michael Aguino had a two-run home run for the Strykers (4-11), who out-hit the Generals 8-6.
"We're still really struggling to put quality at-bats together back to back," Clemons said. "It's disappointing we had zeroes after we jumped out. I'd like to have an instinct where we're going to put somebody away. Guys are getting better at the plate and we just need to continue making those adjustments."
The Generals will have an off day Wednesday off before visiting the East Texas Pump Jacks on Thursday.
"A lot of us came out before we were supposed to report and we're working on it all together," Hybner said. "That's a big thing about our team, we all work together and we all know when we have to get better. We put up runs when we needed to and we know we have to get after it."
Generals 8, Strykers 3
The Woodlands 000 010 200 - 3 8 3
Victoria 035 000 00x - 8 6 0
Fabian Arcizo, Brady Rodriguez (3) Kael Jones (5), John Almogabar (8) and Travis Winnon. Alex Klonowski, Kyle Chaskin (6), Dallas Ponder (8), Tanner Green (9) and Blue Hybner. W: Klonowski (1-0). L: Arcizo (1-2). HR: (W) Michael Aquino; (V) Hybner (3-run). 2B: (W) Winnon; (V) Eric Weiss, Chad Kruse. Highlights: (W) Carter Burgess 2 for 4, 2 R. (V) Kruse 1 for 3, 2B, R; Klonowski 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 K; Weiss 1 for 3, 2B, R, 2 RBIs; Hybner 2 for 4, HR, R, 3 RBIs. Records: The Woodlands 4-11; Victoria 10-5.