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Strykers beat Generals for second time this season

By Julie Garcia
July 24, 2014 at 2:24 a.m.

Victoria Generals' Brian Portelli makes it safely to first base as Woodlands Strykers first baseman Kevin Santana drops the ball during Thursday night's game at Riverside Stadium.

It had been nearly an entire month since the Victoria Generals took on the Woodlands Strykers.

The Texas Collegiate League rivals started the season off playing each other, and the Generals always seemed to have the upper hand, losing to the Strykers only once out of five previous games this summer.

That changed Thursday night, when the Strykers won 7-2.

Scoring early in the game and consistently through each of the first four innings, the Strykers took a 7-0 lead, which they held until the bottom of the ninth.

The Generals (29-15) came back with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on an RBI single by Bryce Only and a RBI walk by C.J. Pickering making the score 7-2.

Though the Generals have already claimed a spot in the playoffs, coach Jonathan Burns said they are struggling in the second half of their season.

Before Wednesday's 6-3 victory over the Acadiana Cane Cutters, the Generals had lost three consecutive games.

"A lot of it has to do with how hard they played in the beginning of the season," Burns said after the game. "Also, losing one of our best players (Alvaro Rondon) isn't helping."

Rondon was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month. Though the Generals have added two shortstops, Rondon's absence has been a contributing factor to their sluggish showing at the plate.

Thursday, the Generals had only five hits compared to the Strykers' 10 hits. Three of the Generals' hits came in the bottom of the ninth.

Cedric Vallieres said the Generals just didn't execute.

"We didn't execute hitting or pitching-wise," he said. "We got ourselves in trouble early in the game with that."

Jack Finnegan, the Stryker's winning pitcher, delivered eight strikeouts in seven innings.

"They had a pitcher that was throwing very well," Burns said.

After the game, Burns had a talk with his team.

"We talked about playing hard and playing baseball the correct way," he said.

Burns believes that the Generals can turn it around as early as their next game on Friday, which will be the second in the series against the Strykers.

Kris Looper, a Wharton graduate and pitcher for the University of the Incarnate Word, will be on the mound Friday.

"We've got a good arm in Kris Looper pitching and behind him a good lineup," Burns said.

Though the team is in better shape than this time last season, Burns said the team will continue to strive for the higher goals he has set.

"Hopefully, this year we make it to the championship game, which we have lacked in the last couple of years," he said.

Strykers 112 300 00 - 7, 10, 2

Generals 000 000 02 - 2, 5, 0

WP: Jack Finnegan, Strykers; 7IP, 8K, 2BB, 2H

LP: Stuart Stringer, Generals; 4IP, 2K, 6BB, 8H

Batting Highlights: Generals: Bryce Only 1 for 4, 1 RBI; C.J. Pickering 1 for 4, 1 RBI; Generals record 29-15

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