BRYAN, Texas Former MLB pitcher Roger “The Rocket” Clemens came out to American Momentum Bank Ballpark on Friday night as the Brazos Valley Bombers came from behind to defeat the Victoria Generals on “Roger Clemens Night”.
The first 300 fans received a Roger Clemens bobblehead featuring Clemens in the Bombers’ recognizable navy and gold jersey. The baseball legend started off the night with the first pitch and was available during the game to sign autographs, and a musical fireworks display concluded the evening with a bang. The Rocket’s presence was fitting as Bombers pitcher Parker Ray threw a gem, and the game turned out to be a classic pitcher’s duel.
Offense was difficult to come by to start the game as Bombers second baseman Horacio Correa III recorded the lone hit for either team through two innings. However, the Generals were able to get on the board first in the top of the third. After reaching first on an error to lead off the inning, the Generals were able to bring around the unearned run to take the lead 1-0.
Neither team could muster any more offense until the eighth inning. Brazos Valley right fielder Patrick McLendon smacked a double down the third base line with one out in the bottom of the inning. After advancing to third on the next out, McLendon tied the game at 1-1 as first baseman G.R. Hinsley reached first base safely on an error. The game went into extra innings as neither team was able to score in the ninth.
The Bombers’ bats came alive in the bottom of the tenth inning. With one out, left fielder Brett Kauten got on base with a single to left field. Pinch hitter Miles Manning then advanced Kauten to third on another single. Hinsley then completed the walk-off victory with an infield single, scoring Kauten from third to win with a final score of 2-1.
Despite not earning a decision, Ray was lights out, allowing only two hits, two walks and an unearned run while striking out ten through eight innings of work on his way to H&R Block Player of the Game honors. Nick Johnson and Shay Maltese also took the mound for Brazos Valley to close out the game. Maltese earned the win for his work in the tenth.
The Bombers are on the road this weekend as they face the Woodlands Strykers on Saturday and Sunday. Baseball action returns to American Momentum Bank Ballpark next Tuesday, July 2 at 7:05pm as the Bombers take on the Texas Marshals. For all your hospitality and ticket information needs call (979) 779 - PLAY or go to www.bvbombers.com.
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