Bryan-College Station, TX (August 12, 2014) – For the second time in as many years, the Brazos Valley Bombers earned the title of Texas Collegiate League Champions Tuesday night after defeating the Victoria Generals 2-1. With the win, the team becomes the first to win back-to-back titles in league history.
“It was a credit to these guys,” said head coach Curt Dixon. “The hard work and determination day after day—I can’t say enough. These guys are special and this one will definitely go down in the record books for me.”
The Generals would strike first in the winner-take-all contest, scoring a run in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Despite giving up an early run, starting pitcher Lawson Vassar would go five complete innings giving up just three hits in his fifth start of the season.
“We set [Vassar] up at the end of the year,” Dixon said. “He earned the right. I didn’t give Lawson very many innings early in the year; he had to earn everything he got. He got the starting role, ran with it, and it was a no-brainer to give him the ball tonight. No moment’s been too big for him and tonight wasn’t either. To set the tone in a game like this and go five innings—we look up, it’s a one-to-nothing game—that’s the MVP.”
The Bombers were able to capitalize on a couple of miscues by the Victoria defense to push across two runs in the bottom of the fifth. After getting on base via a single, left fielder Matt Valdez would score on a double from shortstop Horacio Correa III after Generals catcher Dayfran Ortiz was unable to handle the throw coming in from left field on a play at the play that saw he and Valdez collide. Center fielder Matt Hilston would then score on third base after a passed ball, giving the Bombers a 2-1 lead.
“He’s a big time player,” Dixon said of Correa III, who was the hero of Monday’s game after hitting a two-run walk-off double. “Some guys say they want the moment and they get in it and shy away. You look at every time there’s a big time moment; Horacio’s in it and comes through every time. I’d have to say he’s one of the best players if not the best player I’ve ever coached. If you look at that position of shortstop and what he brings to the table—right-handed, left-handed [hitter,] any play in the field, and he’s a leader—the way he goes about his business and lives his life, he’s just a first class person.”
The Bombers bullpen was able to shutout the Generals in the second half of the game, despite getting into a few jams. Andre Shewcraft gave up three hits in 2 2/3 innings of work with a strikeout, and Cannon Chadwick would come in with two outs in the top of the eighth and force a ground out to send the game to the ninth frame. After giving up a leadoff single, Chadwick would come back and strike out two consecutive batters in the ninth and force a groundout to Correa III to seal the Bombers victory.
The Bombers end the season with an overall record of 45-15, the second best record in team history behind last year’s championship squad.