The Denver Generals had their sights set on turning their season around as they hosted the Fort Collins Bandits, a team who had already beaten them twice this season by scores of 15-2 and 7-3. Generals were set to flip the course on their home turf.
“We just need to put it together as a team,” said Generals shortstop Quincy Jaksch. “We’ve had offensive days we’ve had some pitching days. Recently our pitching’s come around a little bit so we’re just looking to put it all together.” The Generals put everything together from the get-go.
Starter Kade Douglas made quick work of the Bandits in the first inning to set the tone for the game. The team’s two Smith’s (Ryan and Will) got the scoring started. They knocked in back-to-back runs in the bottom of the first to put the Generals up 2-0. The latter had a big night. The Bandits responded with one run in the top of the second but Douglas limited their damage . He surrendered four runs through 4.1 innings of work, but only one of those runs was earned. He worked his off-speed pitches effectively throughout the frame. This threw hitters timing off and held the Bandits to weak contact.
His performance also made matters easier for what has been a high-scoring Generals offense. They won the game by an eight-run-mercy-rule after seven innings of play. At the bottom of the seventh, the game ended thanks to a game-winning RBI base hit by Austin Hillier to cap off their a 14-6 victory.
At the core of the offensive frenzy was centerfielder Will Smith. He ravaged Bandits pitching with three hits, seven RBI’s and two home runs on the night, both of which were hit opposite field. The centerfielder took a new approach at the plate.
“I was just trying to start relaxing a little more,” said Smith. “I was pressing a little too hard for the rest of the season, just wanted to come in and relax today, keep the energy up and keep the team’s energy up.”
The relaxed energy seemed to flow throughout the team. This is something the Generals will look towards for the remainder of the summer.
“It seemed like everybody stopped pressing today,” Smith added on the team moving forward. “Just stayed back, relaxed and had fun instead of just being stressed out the whole time.”