Tuffy Dornburg spent last summer as the bullpen catcher for the Victoria Generals.
But Dornburg’s work habits caught the eye of Generals head coach Michael Oros, who gave him the chance to get on the field this summer.
“He did a good job for us last year and caught a lot of pens so he could be with us every day,” Oros said. “He really didn’t play much summer ball in order to be around us. It was an opportunity to see him swing every day and see his work ethic. Obviously, when he went off to school we wanted to get him down here.”
Dornburg started his college career at Murray College in Oklahoma after graduating from Goliad before transferring to NCAA Division III Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
His freshman season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic and he spent much of the spring giving free lessons to young players in the area.
Dornburg stopped giving lessons when the Generals began the Texas Collegiate League season in June.
“I’m 100-percent thankful,” he said. “Every day I’m thankful just to have the opportunity to be out here because I know a lot of kids are having to sit out this summer.”
Dornburg played catcher in high school and at Hendrix, but has been used mostly at first base and designated hitter for the Generals.
He played first base in the series finale against the Round Rock Hairy Men on Thursday night at Riverside Stadium.
“We have five catchers on the roster so it was hard to mix him in back there,” Oros said. “There was a need at first and he’s filled it. As long as he keeps hitting, he’s going to be in that DH hole.”
Dornburg has enjoyed playing with a wood bat and just getting the chance to compete.
He had only 13 plate appearances in the spring, getting one hit and walking five times.
“I wanted to concentrate on getting a lot of at-bats and seeing live arms,” Dornburg said. “That way, I can be ready to go when we get back in the spring.”
Hendrix has postponed athletics until the spring, but the baseball team will still be able to practice in the fall.
Dornburg will return to school as a freshman eligibility wise, but will be a junior in the classroom as he pursues a political science degree.
“It’s a great education at Hendrix,” he said. “That’s one thing that factored into my decision to go there.”
Dornburg’s only regret about the summer is the Generals haven’t performed better.
“Personally, I’m pretty happy,” he said. “It’s always a great experience to make life-long friends. But as a team, I just like to win. We’ve had a couple of tough losses, but all in all, we’ve been having a lot of fun while doing it.”
Hairy Men complete sweep
The Victoria Generals boarded a chartered bus late Thursday night en route to Tulsa.
The Generals couldn’t have picked a better time to get out of town.
The Round Rock Hairy Men completed a three-game sweep with a 10-6 win at Riverside Stadium.
The outcome was all but decided in the top of the first inning when the Hairy Men (12-9) sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six runs on five hits.
The Generals (7-14), who have lost four straight games, pulled within 8-5 after five innings, but got no closer.
The Generals had 13 hits, but their six pitchers yielded 14 hits, including a home run by Dylan Post.
Hobbs Price, Seth Spinn, Goliad graduate Tuffy Dornburg, Wes Folse and Warren Laster each had two hits for the Generals.
Jonathan Tapia added a hit, walked, was hit by three pitches and stole three bases for the Generals.
The Generals will play three games against the Drillers before returning to Riverside Stadium on Tuesday for their final home series against the Acadiana Cane Cutters.