Flores thankful to be back with Generals
Jeremy Flores was thankful to be with the Victoria Generals at Riverside Stadium on Monday night.
Flores has spent most of the past week with his family trying to deal with the death of his cousin Jacob Guzman.
Guzman, a senior at Victoria West, was killed in an auto collision last Tuesday.
Flores, a Memorial graduate, didn't travel with the Generals on a recent road trip.
"I spent a lot of time with my family the last couple of days just kind of helping with the loss of a loved one," he said. "I just spent a lot of time with them."
Flores was extremely close with Guzman and tried to keep in touch even when he was pitching at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
"He was with me since 5 years old," Flores said. "He kind of looked up to me and wanted to be just like me, but the basketball version. He considered me his Uncle Peanut."
Flores was unsure if he would pitch, but was ready when Generals coach Chris Clemons told him to warm up in the eighth inning of their Texas Collegiate League game against the Brazos Valley Bombers.
Flores entered the game in the top of the ninth inning of the Generals' 3-1 loss.
He responded with a perfect 13-pitch inning, including a fly out, a strikeout and a groundout.
"Baseball to me is kind of like my getaway," Flores said. "Clem told me I was going in and I went to the pen to warm up and said a little prayer for him and told him to give me the strength to get through it. I came out and did a pretty good job I thought."
The Generals also got quality pitching performances from starter Alex Klonowski and reliever Dillon Newman.
But Victoria had only four hits, including two infield hits, and didn't score until the bottom of the ninth inning.
"We'll come around eventually," Flores said. "Baseball is a game of ups and downs so you can't really stick on one too much. I feel our bats will come around and we'll get rolling."
The Generals (12-8) missed a chance to move into a second-place tie with Brazos Valley (14-6). Instead, they lost their fifth straight game against the Bombers this season.
The Generals will try again against the Bombers on Tuesday night when they travel to Bryan.
"If we can figure out how to get past these guys," Flores said, "we'll be all right."
Bombers 3, Generals 1
Brazos Valley 001 020 000 - 3 5 1
Victoria 000 000 001 - 1 4 1
Brandon Bergen, Derrick Mazzio (7), Ryan Ullman (8), Franco Pace (9), Nick Johnson (9) and Kevin Lamb. Alex Klonowski, Dillon Newman (5), Jeremy Flores (9) and Eric Weiss. W: Bergen (2-0). L: Klonowski (1-1). S: Johnson (1). 2B: (BV) Quentin Urban 2. Highlights: (BV) Urban 2 for 4, 2 2B, 2 R. (V) Newman 3.1 IP, 0 H, 3 K; Billy Richard 2 for 5; Chad Kruse 1 for 4, RBI. Records: Brazos Valley 14-6; Victoria 12-8.