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Return to Riverside Stadium a boost for Victoria West graduate

By MIKE FORMAN
June 22, 2013 at 1:22 a.m.

Victoria West graduate Miles Manning, who is currently playing with the Brazos Valley Bombers, watches his hit against the Victoria Generals at Riverside Stadium Friday night.

Miles Manning was the first member of the Brazos Valley Bombers to show up at Riverside Stadium before Thursday night’s game against the Victoria Generals.

He rode back to Victoria with his father after the Bombers’ game in The Woodlands on Wednesday night.

Manning felt a little bit out of place sitting in the visitor’s dugout as he waited for his teammates to arrive.

But he had no trouble getting reacquainted with the stadium where he’s spent so much time throughout his baseball career.

Manning went 3 for 3 with a triple, reached base four times, and scored a run in the Bombers’ 4-1 win over the Generals.

“I’ve been waiting for it,” Manning said. “I was just checking the schedule and seeing when we were coming to play at Riverside. I’ve been struggling a little bit. I’m hoping Riverside will get me started again.”

Manning had more hits Thursday than he had previously during the Texas Collegiate League season, and he hopes the trend continues.

“I don’t know, but I’m glad we came back here,” Manning said. “I guess I just needed to come back to my home field and get my hitting back.”

Manning played at Riverside Stadium during his high school career at Memorial and Victoria West.

He pitched and played the infield for the Warriors as a senior, and was named the MVP of the Advocate’s all-area team.

He spent last season at Sam Houston State, where he played sparingly as a freshman.

“I liked it,” Manning said. “I wish I would have played a little more. I learned a lot about my swing and just playing with everyone who is good makes you better.”

Manning played in five games for the Bearkats at shortstop, and had a double and a RBI in his four at-bats. He also made four pitching appearances and had two strikeouts in six innings.

“I learned that everybody is just as good or better than you are,” Manning said. “You have to play hard all the time.”

Manning is hoping to play somewhere on the Sam Houston infield next season. The player he backed up at shortstop was a sophomore, so he’s been working at second and third base with the Bombers this summer.

“I’m willing to play anywhere next year,” he said. “I just want to play. There are going to be a couple of openings on the infield and hopefully I can get in one of those.”

Manning lived in the dorm with some of his teammates and enjoyed going to school in Huntsville.

“I only came home when they made us leave the dorm,” he said. “I didn’t really get homesick or any of that so I didn’t have a problem with it.”

Manning was assigned to play for the Bombers by Sam Houston State coach David Pierce during the fall.

“In high school in the summer, all we did is play in wood bat leagues,” Manning said. “It’s the same. It’s just other college players instead of ones that are trying to get there.”

Manning hopes his experience with the Bombers this summer will translate into more playing time at Sam Houston next season.

“It was fun because we were winning,” he said. “But it’s always more fun when you’re playing. Hopefully, I’ll get to play next year.”

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