Brazos Valley Bombers don't put best foot forward in loss to Victoria Generals (2024)

Andrew Tineo

A recurring problem for the Brazos Valley Bombers this year has not been putting runners on, but rather bringing them in.

Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Victoria Generals at Edible Field in Texas Collegiate League play exemplified that struggle.

It’s a team that Brazos Valley Bombers head coach Brian Nelson feels a six-day break on the horizon is the perfect time for a clean slate and a period to not think as much about baseball.

“A lot of them are from around the country, and so this will be an opportunity for them to go home, take a deep breath, see Mom and Dad, and enjoy themselves a little bit before we get ready for the push,” Nelson said.

Slow offensive starts have not been uncommon over the past few ballgames. The Bombers (11-14) have combined for just two runs through the first four innings over the last three games.

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And while the offense was attempting to brush off the cobwebs, the Bombers’ starting pitching continue to impress. This time it was Sam Houston’s Micky Scheetz shining.

Scheetz worked six innings with two hits, four earned runs, two walks, three hit batters and struck out seven.

“He was dealing and I can’t say enough about him, he came in and just absolutely delivered a gem and I feel terrible that we kind of screwed it up behind him,” Nelson said.

The Generals (19-7) finally broke the tie in the sixth. Victoria’s Travis Bragg bunted down the third base line with a runner on second as catcher Trey Walker spun, and made a throw that sailed toward the first base dugout, scoring the runner from second.

Scheetz began to struggle with command in the sixth, hitting a pair of batters and walking another to score the second run.

The Generals weren’t done yet as Hal Perez extended their lead. Perez’s RBI single to conclude the scoring in the sixth snuck past the third baseman and doubled the team’s lead.

It was all Victoria needed as the only thing holding back starting pitcher Connor Kelly was his jersey. The jersey constantly had its buttons come undone after every pitch, bringing chatter from the home crowd and players.

It didn’t bother him too much as he worked six innings with eight strikeouts and just four hits.

The Bombers weren’t without chances to score. Zac Daigre legged out an infield single in the third, beating out the shortstop’s throw. He later stole second and Cooper Smith walked. Chris Benavidez then drilled a single up the middle to load the bases with one out.

A double play ended the scoring chance for the Bombers though.

The team had a similar situation an inning later with runners on second and third with one out. This time, back-to-back strikeouts left them with a zero on the scoreboard.

“We just got to find a way to grab some of those two-out hits and limit some of those mistakes,” Nelson said. “Right now, I think our guys are just in their heads.”

The Generals, the winners of the first half of the TCL season, have already clinched a playoff spot. The Bombers sit at 1-2 to start the second half.

“That’s all we can do right now, just try to stay positive, try to understand it and realize that, ‘Hey, when you have something good happen, pick a good thing or something bad that happened [and] find out what was good about it [and] let’s focus on that,’” Nelson said. “And as much as our guys are doing an excellent job of trying to mentally stay positive, at the end of the day, you need some good things to happen to help build confidence.”

The Bombers and Generals meet again Sunday at 7:05 p.m. at Edible Field before the TCL takes a six-day break.

“It’s going to be a much-needed break where I think our guys need to get away from the game a little bit, get some rest and recovery and kind of freshen up,” Nelson said.

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Brazos Valley Bombers don't put best foot forward in loss to Victoria Generals (2024)
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