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Generals' Cortina twins used to playing together

By Keldy Ortiz
July 19, 2013 at 2:19 a.m.

Generals outfielder Romeo Cortina, left, sits in the dugout next to his twin brother, Juan, during a game against the East Texas Pump Jacks at Riverside Stadium last week. The two are the first set of brothers to play for the Victoria Generals.

From choosing the same friends to playing at the same college, Juan and Romeo Cortina have done things together.

That includes playing together in the Texas Collegiate League over the summer.

The Humble natives are in their first season with the Victoria Generals.

New to the Crossroads community, the Cortina twins want to make the most of their time getting better for next spring.

The Cortina twins played their freshmen seasons at Sam Houston State but will play at Alvin Community College next spring.

"He (Romeo) was playing a lot more than me, and I wanted to play, too. But it was fine because I was happy for him," Juan said about switching schools. "It didn't bother me because I wanted what's best for him."

Juan, who is primarily a pitcher, had a 6.92 ERA in 13 appearances his freshman year with Sam Houston State. Romeo played in 28 games and had a batting average of .293.

For the Cortinas, transferring to Alvin is a chance to play every day.

Generals coach Stephen Flora agreed with their decision.

"They both have a plan of getting better, and it's working," Flora said. "If they can carry on what they learned here and take that back to Alvin, who knows where they'll be next year."

The twins' journey to playing baseball has been a successful one. They competed in high school at Atascocita, where they earned all-district honors as seniors.

Romeo, who is an outfielder, enjoyed the idea of playing the field.

"When I was small, Carlos Beltran was an outfielder for the Astros; I told my coach I wanted to play outfield," Romeo said. "That's my favorite player when I was younger."

Juan became a pitcher because his college coach believed it would be a better fit for him.

When they decided on playing college baseball, being together was an important factor.

"We both had different schools we could go to. . But we just wanted to be together and play college baseball," Juan said.

"I always want to be on the same team as him," added Romeo.

This summer, Juan has pitched 19 1/3 innings and has allowed just three earned runs while striking out 14 batters. Romeo, who played in the TCL All-Star game last week, has a .299 batting average and has recorded eight doubles and three home runs while driving in 27 runs.

No matter what the accomplishment is, the other brother is usually right there to celebrate.

When Romeo hit his second home run of the season, Juan was one of the first people to congratulate him.

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