With his college coach watching in the stands, Brazos Valley Bombers’ center fielder Ridge Rogers made the most of his time at the plate in a 10-3 Bomber victory over the Texarkana Twins on Saturday at Travis Field.
Newly appointed Incarnate Word head coach Ryan Shotzberger made the trek to Bryan to watch six of his players continue their summer work, including Rogers’ 2-for-4 night.
“First impressions are always good, but you know in summer ball you always want to have the same approach, the same mentality, and good things will happen,” Rogers said.
Rogers’ success began in the second when he drove in Brazos Valley’s first two runs on a double that split the gap in left-center field. After getting hit by a pitch in the third, he reached base again in the fifth on a single and eventually scored.
UIW and Bombers’ pitcher Christian Vega took the mound in relief, allowing no runs on two hits. Second baseman Kyle Bergeron, also a UIW player, didn’t collect a hit Saturday but walked twice and made a few good defensive plays up the middle.
“They want to perform well in front of their coach, and they did tonight, so that was good,” Bombers’ head coach Brian Nelson said. “I think anytime coaches come in, it always kind of reenergizes them a little bit.”
The Bombers (21-5) plated two more runs in the second. Right fielder Tyler Smith scored on a bases-loaded hit batter, and Bergeron drove in Rogers with an RBI groundout.
Texas A&M third baseman Ty Coleman singled in the third, driving in his brother Hunter Coleman for a 5-0 Bombers’ lead.
Brazos Valley left fielder Cole Coker’s one-out double in the fifth highlighted a three-run frame, then incoming A&M shortstop Logan Sartori added a two-run home run in the sixth. Sartori had been in a small slump but went 2 for 5 and said he was happy to get hold of a fastball.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit,” Sartori said. “I haven’t hit a home run since our first road trip in Baton Rouge, so I felt good to piece one up like that.”
Texas Tech pitcher and Rudder graduate Hunter Dobbins allowed three runs and four hits in six innings in his second start with the Bombers.
“It was a great start,” Nelson said. “He gave us a chance to win and really set the tone early, pounding the strike zone. He’s as good as it gets for us in this league, and we’re excited about him down the stretch for us.”
Dobbins opened with three perfect innings, then Texarkana (12-12) plated its first run in the top of the fourth on an error by Bombers’ first baseman Sam McElreath. The Twins added two runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Ryne Randle and a sacrifice fly by Tom Lichty.
Aggie Cameron Wynne worked the seventh in relief of Dobbins, striking out one without allowing a hit.
Brazos Valley will make its first road trip of the second half of the season on Sunday and Monday for two games against the Acadiana Cane Cutters in Youngsville, Louisiana.