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Late rally falls short for Generals

By MIKE FORMAN
July 4, 2013 at 2:04 a.m.

Victoria Generals infielder J.D. Stinnett tags Acadiana Cane Cutters infielder Brett Thornell as Thornell attempts to steal second base during an Independence Day game at Riverside Stadium.

The Victoria Generals knew they were opening the second half of the Texas Collegiate League season Thursday evening at Riverside Stadium.

But they continue to have no idea what to expect when Daniel Tunchez takes the mound.

The mystery continued for the Memorial graduate in an 8-5 Independence Day loss to the Acadiana Cane Cutters.

The first four Cane Cutters to come to the plate scored, including two on the first of two home runs by Logan Taylor.

Tunchez settled down after the rough start. He struck out the side in the first inning and allowed only one run and one hit over the next four innings.

"I really don't know what was going on today," Tunchez said. "Usually, my changeup is my bread and butter, and I didn't throw that in the first inning. I kind of went back to that, and the last three batters I struck out, that's what I was going to."

Tunchez was in trouble immediately. Chance Vincent singled and scored on a triple by Jace Statum. Mitchell Nau singled to score Statum before Taylor hit a ball over the left-field fence.

"The biggest thing is he was behind, behind, behind," said Generals coach Stephen Flora. "The more times you throw pitches to those hitters, the more comfortable they get up there and the more they know what they have, and they're able to get a better swing off you."

Tunchez walked two batters and struck out five, retiring 14 of the final 19 batters he faced.

"My previous start, I was starting the batters with changeups so my fastball could be set up," he said. "This one, I was just going strictly fastball and wasn't really spotting up.

I need to be more consistent. That's really what I need to work on is being more consistent."

Flora wants Tunchez to concentrate on getting ahead of hitters so he can cut down on his pitch count and work deeper into the game.

"He's got to start throwing more strikes early in the game," Flora said. "Even his best outings he's only making it five innings, six innings. For him to be effective, he has got to get ahead. If you look at his next three batters after the four runs, he really locked in and threw some strikes and got outs."

The Generals had only two hits through five innings but finished with 13, including five to right field.

They brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Acadiana closer Ryan Deemes got Romeo Cortina to fly out to the warning track in left field.

"We were doing a drill in BP just to really shorten their swing and make it more efficient," Flora said. "Let the ball get a little deeper and have a more efficient swing and it really helped our guys out today and it's going to be something we'll continue to do."

The teams wrap up the two-game series at Riverside Stadium on Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Cane Cutters 8, Generals 5

Cane Cutters 400 012 100 - 8 13 0

Generals 000 002 102 - 5 13 3

Kyle Cedotal, Cole Prejean (8), Ryan Deemes (9) and Mitchell Nau. Daniel Tunchez, Kris Looper (6), Hayden Vesely (8), Juan Cortina (9) and Jordan Camel. W: Cedotal (2-2). L: Tunchez (0-2). S: Deemes (4).

Highlights: (ACC) Logan Taylor 2 for 3, 2-run HR, solo HR; Chance Vincent 3 for 5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBIs; Brett Thornell 2 for 4, 2B, R. (VG) J.B. Moss 2 for 3, RBI; Romeo Cortina 2 for 4, R; Jace Reese 2 for 4; David Paiz Jr. 2 for 4, 2B, R, RBI; J.D. Stinnett 2 for 4, R.

Records: Cane Cutters 1-0; Generals 0-1.

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