The last time the Victoria Generals gathered at Riverside Stadium, they were celebrating a Texas Collegiate League championship.
The Generals rallied to win Games 2 and 3 of their best-of-three championship series against the Acadiana Cane Cutters.
The Generals’ first league championship since 2010 was fresh on the mind of head coach Michael Oros when a good portion of the players returned to the stadium Sunday evening for their first practice of the upcoming season.
“Obviously the target is now on our back for what we did last year,” said Oros, who is beginning his fifth season as head coach. “It’s going to be a little bit different but exciting. We’re going to try to continue off our team philosophies and hopefully repeat what we did last year.”
The Generals and Cane Cutters will meet again in the season opener at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Riverside Stadium.
“Obviously, we want to break the ice,” Oros said. “Some guys are harder to come out of their shells than others. We try to get that done first and make sure everyone is comfortable. You’re coming to a town that you don’t know anybody in and meeting a family and living with someone who’s a stranger. We try to make that as easy a process as we can.”
Coby Potvin began his summer league collegiate career with the Generals in 2016, and the fifth-year senior at Central Arkansas is happy to return for his final season of summer ball.
“I remember the guys, the guys,” Potvin said. “It was a great group. It was a bunch of older guys. They had been here for two or three years. I was kind of the new guy in the locker room, and they accepted me and we just had fun, played hard, traveled and played baseball.”
D’Mond LaFond will join the Generals on Thursday after attending a tryout with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday in Houston.
LaFond played high school baseball at Cuero and Refugio and redshirted his freshman season at Blinn College.
“I just want to get some innings under my belt,” he said. “I want to get more feel for my pitches. I want to do everything to help the team win and to help myself for the future.”
The Generals will have quite a few new faces this season, and will also have a new opponent.
The Baton Rouge Rougarou will join the Cane Cutters, Brazos Valley Bombers and Texarkana Twins in the league. The Texas Marshals will not field a team this season.
“The first thing is trying to find what meshes as a baseball team,” Oros said. “I tell the players this all the time: the first few weeks, I could be completely wrong. I go back to last year where the three-hole hitter became my eight-hole hitter and my eight-hole hitter became my three-hole hitter. You don’t know what you’re really dealing with until you get into a few weeks.”
NOTES: The Generals play the Cane Cutters at Riverside Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday before heading to Baton Rouge for a quick two-game road trip.
Oros will be busy this weekend as his Kingwood High School team will be playing a Class 6A regional final series against Fort Bend Ridge Point at the University of Houston on Thursday, Friday, and possibly Saturday.
The season opener Wednesday will be a free ticket night sponsored by UHV. Tickets are available at the UHV University Center Kiosk, the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau and City of Victoria Public Information Office.
For information, call UHV Marketing & Communications at 361-570-4341.