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Knoblauch comes through in pinch for Generals

By MIKE FORMAN
June 29, 2012 at 1:29 a.m.

Eric Weiss bats against the Acadiana Cane Cutters during the fifth inning of Friday's game at Riverside Stadium. The Generals beat the Cane Cutters 5-4.

Generals 5, Cane Cutters 4

• W: Pacheco

• L: Kennell

• S: Ponder

Trace Knoblauch is no stranger to pinch hitting.

Knoblauch has been used as a pinch hitter frequently during his college career at Indiana, and he's fulfilled a similar role for the Victoria Generals.

"I've come off the bench in some big situations," Knoblauch said. "It's difficult at first, but it's more of a mental thing than anything. You've just got to lock it in. You've been sitting on the bench. You've got to kind of get in the zone and get ready to go whenever your numbers called."

Knoblauch delivered a bases-loaded pinch-hit single in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and the Generals went on to a 5-4 Texas Collegiate League win over the Acadiana Cane Cutters on Friday night at Riverside Stadium.

The Generals had tied the game in the sixth inning on Billy Richard's third home run of the season, a two-run shot over the left-field fence.

Victoria coach Chris Clemons told Knoblauch to prepare and he went to the plate after the Generals loaded the bases without a hit.

"Going into that bottom half he told me to start swinging a bat and kind of get ready and get my body loosened up," Knoblauch said. "I had a little bit of time, which definitely helps."

The Generals added runs in the seventh on a passed ball and a single by Chad Kruse and that was enough for starter Jordan Pacheco.

The Victoria West graduate surrendered four runs on seven hits and three walks before getting relief help from Flatonia graduate Dallas Ponder.

"I felt out of sync," said Pacheco, who threw 54 of his 103 pitches for strikes. "I felt like my arm wasn't in sync with my legs so I was behind a lot with my arm and it caused me to throw a lot of balls. I threw a lot of high pitches and that was not being able to command my fastball."

Pacheco struck out four and picked up his fourth win before Ponder came on with one out in the eighth inning.

"I feel really good," Pacheco said. "My arm has never felt better. During the college season, they had me throwing up to three times a week so I never really got rest. Throwing here I get a full week's rest so it's really good on my arm."

The Cane Cutters (12-10) had the tying run on third base with one out in the ninth, but Ponder got a groundout and a fly out to earn his first save.

The Generals (15-8) had seven hits and picked up their third straight win.

"We're definitely picking it up," Knoblauch said. "We've still got guys who are kind of slumping coming out of slumps so once we get the bats rolling, we'll be a tough team to beat."

The Generals will head to Dallas to play a two-game series against the McKinney Marshals at Jesuit High School. Saturday's game will start at 4 p.m., and Sunday's will begin at 2 p.m.

The Generals will visit the East Texas Pump Jacks on Monday before returning to Riverside Stadium to play Alexandria on Tuesday and Wednesday to close out the first half of the season.

Generals 5, Cane Cutters 4

Acadiana 001 000 020 - 4 10 4

Victoria 000 002 30x - 5 7 1

Sean Kennell, Kelby Langston (7), Ryan Bergeron (8), and William Mathis. Jordan Pacheco, Dallas Ponder (8) and Blue Hybner, Eric Weiss (8). W: Pacheco (4-1). L: Kennell (1-4). S: Ponder (1). HR: (V) Billy Richard (2 run), 2B: (A) Andrew Brown, Mike Barba 2. Highlights: (A) Barba 2 for 5, 2 2B; Isaac Rodriguez 2 for 4; Alex Marse 2 for 4, RBI. (V) Richard 2 for 4, HR, R, 2 RBIs; Hybner 1 for 2, R; Trace Knoblauch 1 for 1, RBI. Records: Acadiana 12-10; Victoria 15-8.

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