Jordan Harrison dominated one hitter after another, allowing two hits over six innings. The Generals' pitching deteriorated rapidly following the lefty's departure.
Photo by Todd Krainin.
As of Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Their perfect start to the season eventually had to end.
Jordan Harrison's starting performance was spoiled by the bullpen Monday night as the Victoria Generals fell to Brazos Valley 6-4 in a Texas Collegiate League contest at Riverside Park.
Harrison allowed just two hits and an earned run in six innings in his first start of the TCL season. Corey Holmes relieved Harrison and promptly conceded the lead allowing three runs in the seventh inning.
The Generals (3-1) responded with a run in the seventh to tie the game. But, by then the tide had shifted. Brazos Valley improved to 2-1 with the victory.
Tanner Green struck out the side in the eighth inning. The problem was the five batters between Nick Smelser and Brad Porras all reached. Brazos Valley scored two more runs on the resulting two walks and three singles to re-establish its lead.
Manager Chris Clemons knew his team would not win every contest. He is not a believer in the adage that a coach can learn more about their team in defeat, stressing a team can learn and build momentum from winning.
"It's a learning process and when you do get beat and there are reasons you get beat you can teach off of those," Clemons said. "But it's always better to win. You learn from winning. You learn how to win."
Chad Kruse set a club record in the third inning with his leadoff double. The hit was the 84th of his career, breaking his tie with Mark Hudson.
A balk from Brazos Valley pitcher Brannon Easterling two batters later allowed Kruse to score with the Generals second run of the game. Victoria added a second run in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead.
Kruse said afterward the caliber of starting pitching both teams sent to the mound Monday night meant runs were going to come at a premium considering Brazos Valley starter Brannon Easterling and Harrison are both Division I pitchers.
Considering the way Harrison navigated the Bombers lineup in his first start of the season, the Generals lead appeared safe.
Brazos Valley was 2 for 18 the first two times through the lineup and no runner reached third base. An Adam Pena single and a pair of wild pitches in the sixth inning resulted in the only run Harrison allowed.
"He commanded the zone with fastballs to both sides of the plate," Clemons said. "He threw a good breaking ball and was really aggressive. When he did get behind he didn't try to be too fine. He went right after the hitters. With his stuff that is what he has to do."
The problems arose when Harrison exited the game. Holmes and Green combined to allow five runs, five hits four walks, and a throwing error in three innings of relief.
"With the errors and the walks and all the free bases we gave them tonight, you are usually not going to win with that," Clemons said.
The Generals try to avenge the loss on Tuesday when they wrap up a three-game home stand against the Bombers. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
Brazos Valley 6, Victoria 4
Brazos 000 001 320 - 6 6 1
Victoria 012 000 100 - 4 9 4
W: Nick Johnson
L: Tanner Green
Highlights: (Brazos Valley) Myles Parma 3-4, 2 RBIs, HR, Braden Mattson 1-4, 2 RBIs, R, Brennyn Smith 0-4, 2R, Brannon Easterling 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 7H. 2K; (Victoria) Chad Kruse 1-5, RBI, R, Alex Klonowski 0-3, RBI, Jordan Harrison 6.0 IP, 1R, 1 ER, 2H, 6K.