Story courtesy of Brazos Valley Bombers
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (July 25, 2021) — The Brazos Valley Bombers extended their winning streak to five games in a 12-2 decimation of the Victoria Generals.
After completing the sweep of the Baton Rouge Rougarou, the navy and gold returned to Edible Field on Sunday night looking to keep their bats awake and build upon the momentum seen over the last week.
The Bombers offense was on full display, with all nine batters in the Brazos Valley lineup reaching first base at least once. The Bombers took an early lead in the first inning as right fielder Zane Schmidt brought around designated hitter Casey Sunseri to score on a sacrifice RBI.
In the third inning, the red-hot third baseman Troy Viola brought Bombers fans to their feet as he powered a three-run home run over the left field wall, extending the Bombers’ lead to four.
Viola, the later-named Offensive Player of the Game, said the night was the culmination of an approach readjustment over the past few weeks.
“A big thing I’ve been working on lately is seeing more pitches and getting deeper into counts,” Viola said. “I’ve been making pitchers throw to me and have been able to kind of pick up on their rhythm and things like that.”
Brazos Valley’s base running was on display in the fourth inning as first baseman Shelby Becker stole second and third, then eventually found his way home on a throwing error by Victoria. Catcher Hudson Polk snuck into the offensive action an inning later as he lifted an RBI single into center field, scoring Viola and giving the Bombers a six-run lead to start.
An offensive explosion in the seventh inning saw the Bombers worsen the massacre as Polk ripped an RBI double to the center field wall, once again scoring Viola. After a few wild pitches and a sacrifice RBI by Casey Sunseri, the Bombers took a 10-1 lead.
The highlight of the game for the Bombers came in the bottom of the eighth as pitcher Zach Griggs stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter and delivered a single up the middle to score left fielder Grayson Tatrow. Griggs even made his way around the bases and scored, marking the first time a Bombers pitcher has done so all season.
Bombers head coach James Dillard said it was a sort-of “send-off” for the pitcher, as Sunday marked Griggs’s last game wearing navy and gold for the summer.
Starting pitcher Trevis Sundgren had a magnificent outing, going five scoreless innings as he struck out eight batters and posted a two to one ball to strike ratio. Jake Strmiska, Mason Bryant and closer Logan Teske also contributed to the team’s whopping 12 strikeouts on the evening. Teske put them out of their misery as he retired the side in the ninth, sealing a dominant 12-2 win for the Bombers.
Dillard and his team are getting hot at the right time and are looking to ride their recent success into the 2021 TCL Playoffs.
“We’re in a great position right now both offensively and defensively,” Dillard said. “We’re running the bases well, getting quality at-bats and capitalizing off of other teams’ mistakes. Hopefully we’re getting hot at the right time and can propel this into a playoff run.”
After Sunday’s offensive demolition on the field, Brazos Valley climbs to 20-17 for the summer (9-6 in the Texas Collegiate League second half) while Victoria falls to 15-18 (4-10).
The Bombers will enjoy one day off before hitting the road on Tuesday, July 27 to face the San Antonio Flying Chanclas. The navy and gold will then return home on Wednesday July, 28 to host Acadiana Cane Cutters.