Marshals defeat Generals 4-3 in 14 innings (w/gallery)
Video: VIDEO: Generals lose home opener
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After walking the first batter in the first inning of the first home game of the 2014 season, Victoria Generals pitcher Ryan Benitez changed it up.
"I just needed to figure out the mound a little bit, get used to it and then once I figured out all my pitches, I was able to locate everything with ease," Benitez said.
The right-handed pitcher from Texas A&M-Kingsville struck out 12 batters in seven innings.
Tuesday night's home opener for the Generals went into extra innings with the score tied 1-1. Both the Marshals and Generals each scored one run in the 11th inning to make it 2-2.
Benitez allowed only two hits and walked four before being relieved by Wharton High School grad Kris Looper, who had five strikeouts.
After getting together only last week for a few days of practice, the Generals won their first three games against The Woodlands Strykers and the Texas Marshals.
Tuesday's game proved to be a different kind of beast for the Texas Collegiate League team as it remained scoreless until the seventh inning, when Kyle Danford made it home after getting a base hit, stealing second and being brought in by pinch hitter Pedro Barrios.
Danford, an outfielder Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, went 4 for 6 with three doubles and a single, making him the strongest batter of the night.
The Marshals changed pitchers four times in the 10 innings with their starter, Ross Vance, throwing two strikeouts, one walk and allowing four hits. The team would put in two more pitchers before ending the night with Joseph Herbert, junior from Winston-Salem State University.
Third baseman Cedric Vallieres, who went 2 for 6 and advanced on a hit-by-pitch and struck out once, maintained a strong infield presence with many defensive plays to keep the Marshals from advancing. Vallieres didn't start in the first game but has played each game since.
The Marshals started picking up steam as the game went in to the bottom of the 10th inning as Nick Ramos got his second hit of the night.
By the top of the 11th inning, designated hitter Taylor Raglin got a base hit and scored the Marshals' second run on an RBI by Adonis Askew.
However, the Generals responded with an RBI of their own when Danford scored on an RBI by catcher Dayfran Ortiz of Ranger College.
Last minute pitching change for the Generals put Troy Ward, a pitcher from Tulane, at the mound in the top of the 13th inning. Ward walked three batters that inning and allowed two hits and one run for the Marshals to grab a 2-3 lead.
A base hit by Justin Pacchioli, of Lehigh University, would become the third run scored for the Generals when he was batted in by Ortiz, who had his second game-stretching RBI.
The Marshals scored their fourth and final run in the top of the 14th inning by Oliver Christensen who was hit in on an RBI.
Five of the Marshals' seven hits were made in the five extra innings of the ball game.
"Fourteen inning games, those are always the hardest to play," Benitez, who played his first game with the Generals Tuesday, said. "But coming out of regionals with Texas A&M-Kingsville, it's something I'm used to because we had some tough games at regionals. It was one of those heartbreakers, but we should come back tomorrow just fine."
Texas Marshals 100 000 000 010 11 - 4, 7, 1
Victoria Generals 000 000 100 010 10 - 3, 14, 3
WP: Ross Vance, Marshals
LP: Ryan Benitez 12K, 4BB, 2H, 1UR; Kyle Looper 5K, 3H
Highlights: Kyle Danford 4 for 6, 2 2B, 2R; Cedric Vallieres 2 for 6; Drake Roberts 2 for 6. Record: Victoria Generals 3-1.