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Generals keep championship hopes alive

Keldy  Ortiz

By Keldy Ortiz
Aug. 13, 2013 at 3:13 a.m.

Victoria Generals second baseman Drew Featherstone leaps for a ball during during Tuesday's game against the Brazos Valley Bombers at Riverside Stadium. The matchup was game two of the three game TCL Championship series.

Tyler Schnuringer wanted to get revenge.

It was nearly a year ago exactly when Schnuringer was on the mound for the Victoria Generals' loss in Game 2 of the Texas Collegiate League championship series. The Generals were denied their second TCL championship then.

With that in mind Tuesday night, Schnuringer helped the Generals avoid a sweep with a 7-0 victory against the Brazos Valley Bombers. The win by the Generals forces Game 3 on Wednesday night in Bryan.

Schnuringer cruised through five innings without allowing an extra base hit. He finished with four strikeouts and one walk.

"Last year, we were hoping to win the championship out in East Texas, but we came up a little short. So it feels good to come out here and get the W," Schnuringer said. "I knew I wasn't going to come out here and throw my best stuff, but I just wanted to come out here and throw strikes."

Generals coach Stephen Flora didn't know Schnuringer pitched in that final game last season until early Tuesday. Flora was glad he got the win.

"It made me feel even better throwing him in there," Flora said. "I know he wanted to get a little bit back."

Left fielder Romeo Cortina helped produce for the offense early, hitting a one out RBI single in the fourth inning to give the Generals a 1-0 lead.

Bombers pitcher Bryce Rutherford foiled the Generals effort early on, keeping the Generals off the bases for the first three innings and striking out five.

Rutherford, however, hit a road block in the fourth inning.

A leadoff walk to right fielder J.B. Moss lead to an RBI single by Brandon Bohanon. Second basemen Drew Featherston walked, which opened the door for shortstop Alvaro Rondon to hit an RBI single. An out by designated hitter Brandon Hannon and another RBI single by Brandon Bohanon pushed the Generals lead at 5-0.

The bullpen did its job for the Generals, holding the lead while allowing just three hits.

However, things got interesting in the eighth inning.

With Brazos Valley runners on first and second base, third baseman Patrick McLendon came to bat and hit a grounder, which Rondon turned into an inning ending double play.

In the bottom half of the inning, with Cortina batting and two runners on, the Bombers made a pitching change.

It wouldn't help.

Cortina made them pay with a two out single that brought in two runners/.

"It doesn't matter how I did, it just matters for us getting on top at the end of the game," Cortina said. "These fans were real good today."

A win Wednesday gives the Generals their second title in five years. Flora said he will put Kaleb Keith on the mound to get the team over the hump.

"The biggest thing is we can't jump ahead of ourselves," Flora said. "That's a really good (Bombers) team over there. We got a lot left in the tank, especially in our bullpen where as I don't think they do. If we're able to have good approaches and hit and put together half the performance we did today, no doubt about it, Kaleb Keith and the rest of our pen is going to shut them down."

Generals 5 Bombers 0

BVB 000 000 000 - 0 7 2

VG 100 400 02X - 7 9 1

Bryce Rutherford, Jason Gareri (5), Shay Maltese (6), Nick Johnson (8) and Jake Henson. Tyler Schnuringer, Juan Cortina (6), J.P. Clifton (8) and Brandon Bohanon. W: Schnuringer (2-0). L: Rutherford (6-2) Highlights: (VG) Romeo Cortina 3 for 5 3 RBIs, Alvaro Rondon 2 for 3 RBI



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