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Defensive mistakes plague Generals in loss to Bombers

By MIKE FORMAN
June 20, 2013 at 1:20 a.m.

Victoria Generals infielder Drew Featherston connects with a pitch during the first game of a four-game series against the Brazos Valley Bombers at Riverside Stadium.

Spending more time in the heat is not anybody's idea of fun, but it might be the only solution for the Victoria Generals' defensive woes.

The Generals committed three errors that led to an unearned run and opened the door for two others in a 4-1 loss to the Brazos Valley Bombers on Thursday night at Riverside Stadium.

"The only way we can correct stuff is preparing better before the game," said Generals coach Stephen Flora. "In our batting practice, taking those reps as realistic as possible. The only other thing is bringing our guys in early and getting a little bit of work in."

The Generals had only three hits off of Brazos Valley starter Zac Curtis but got solid performances from pitchers Lucas Humpal, Kyle Keller and Juan Cortina.

"Lucas pitched well," Flora said. "The only pitches that were hit hard, including the two-run home run, were pitches that were left up, mistakes. On the night, he probably left two or three pitches up, and they got a hold of one, and that made a pretty big difference."

The two-run home run might have never happened if the Generals hadn't committed a throwing error on a bunt single by Victoria West graduate Miles Manning, allowing him to move to third base.

If Manning had been on first, he might have been part of an inning-ending double play when Horacio Correa grounded out to shortstop Drew Featherston.

Instead, Patrick McLendon followed with a drive over the left-field fence that put the Bombers up to stay.

"The thing that has killed us all year has been defense," Flora said. "If you look at every one of our losses, we make three or more errors. A lot of it is because we have young guys who still think they can make the Superman play.

"They're freshman a year out of high school, and usually, that thing doesn't hurt them as bad as it does on the college level. Good college teams take advantage of opportunities, and they did that."

Manning, who is playing at Sam Houston State, enjoyed his homecoming by going 3 for 3 with a triple and also reached base when he was hit by a pitch.

Manning helped the league-leading Bombers snap a two-game losing streak and move three games ahead of the Generals.

"Back to normal, pretty much," Manning said. "The last two games, I don't know what was wrong with us. Tonight's usually how we play."

The Bombers and Generals conclude the two-game series Friday at 7 p.m. at Riverside Stadium.

Bombers 4, Generals 1

Bombers 000 121 000 - 4 7 0

Generals 100 000 000 - 1 3 3

Zac Curtis, Nick Johnson (8), Shay Maltese (9) and Mason Randolph. Lucas Humpal, Kyle Keller (7), Juan Cortina (9) and Aaron Morgan. W: Curtis (3-0). L: Humpal (1-2). S: Maltese (2). Highlights: (BVB) Curtis 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 1 HP, 10 K; Miles Manning 3 for 3, 3B, R; Patrick McLendon 2-run HR; Brett Kauten 1 for 3, 2B, R. (VG) David Paiz Jr. 1 for 4, RBI; Keller 2 IP, 0 H, O ER, 1 BB, 1 HP, 2 K. Records: Bombers 16-3; Generals 13-6.

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