Astros, A’s join in nationwide protest against social injustice

On a day when thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to decry social injustice, the Oakland A’s and the Houston Astros joined together Friday to engage in a peaceful demonstration of their own at Minute Maid Park.

After a moment of silence, a Black Lives Matter T-shirt was laid across home plate, and then both ball clubs left the field.

As such, it became the 11th game in Major League Baseball in the last three days to be postponed in the wake of issues related to police brutality against Black citizens.

“I’m proud of this generation because in the ’60s, it was mostly African Americans and a few white Americans that stood up, but in this day and age, I’m seeing young people of all nationalities and all religions that are standing up together,” Astros manager Dusty Baker, who is Black, told the Associated Press. “The young people are a voice to be heard in the country, and I’m very, very proud of the young people in this country.”

The decision not to play came on Jackie Robinson Day in the major leagues.

It also came on the third day of protests by professional athletes in four U.S. sports leagues since Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by police in Wisconsin last weekend.

Robinson is known for breaking the color barrier in the major leagues when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. All Astros and A’s players were wearing jersey’s with Robinson’s No. 42 when they took the field.

Normally, Jackie Robinson Day is held in April, to commemorate the day that Robinson played his first game. But when the early part of the season was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic, baseball elected to hold it on Aug. 28.

The date was selected for two reasons, according to

First, it’s the anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, which the Robinson family attended. It is also the date in 1945 when Robinson met with Branch Rickey to discuss his future as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Jackie Robinson Day is always a festive day in the majors. But on Friday at Minute Maid Park, it took on a more somber tone, as a nod to the tragedy that left Blake paralyzed and a nation in anguish.

“I woke up this morning, and I’ve always known the story of Jackie Robinson, but I had a different view today,” A’s manager Bob Melvin told the AP, referring to how much he is learning about racial injustice. “I was angry today. I was sad. I was all of the above. So I was looking forward to putting this jersey on. I have the utmost respect for No. 42 and his play.”

Making the right decision ‘wasn’t necessarily easy’ for the Red Sox

Former San Antonio Missions manager Ron Roenicke has had his hands full in his first season as manager of the Boston Red Sox.

To this point, the Red Sox haven’t quite figured it out on the field, struggling to a 10-21 record. For a franchise that traditionally has been one of baseball’s best over the past two decades, times are tough.

Nevertheless, Roenicke might have enjoyed one of his finest hours in his job Thursday afternoon in Buffalo.

The game between the Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays had been called off, postponed as one of 10 in the majors scrapped in the last 44 hours since a wave of protest in professional sports commenced.

The protest has centered on the nation’s latest crisis on race relations, the tragic shooting of an African-American citizen by a police officer in Wisconsin.

“You know, this is a really important time in our country, and what are we going to do?” Roenicke asked. “These (athletes) have a platform to discuss some things that are serious issues … (things) that we need to straighten out.”

Roenicke, a California native, has roots in San Antonio.

He played for the San Antonio Dodgers as a minor league outfielder in 1978 and 1979. He also managed here in the 1990s, leading the 1997 San Antonio Missions to the Texas League title.

His leadership showed up again Thursday in handling a sticky situation that evolved after Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr., the team’s only black player, told management that he planned to sit out the Thursday night finale of a three-game series against the Blue Jays.

After Bradley made his intentions clear, the Red Sox engaged in discussions that led to a 4 p.m. team meeting at Sahlen Field, according to a published report at

“It was not an easy decision for a lot of us,” outfielder Kevin Pillar told the website. “We do stand with Jackie and we want to be in support of him, but a lot of us understand that us playing is an escape for a lot of people and the realities going on in the world. It is an opportunity for a lot of people to get away from the news and all the evil and bad that’s going on and be a distraction. This is what we do. It’s our responsibilities as athletes to come to the field and play.

“Ultimately, we came to a decision as a group that it is one game,” Pillar added. “It is a game but the power and impact that we have standing with those guys and their decision hopefully speaks volumes. We all believe we made the right decision even though it wasn’t necessarily an easy one.”

Speaking at the meeting were Bradley and Red Sox coach Tom Goodwin, a former Missions player. Bradley told the players why he planned to sit out and also said he would be OK with everyone if they wanted to play.

Goodwin, who is black, discussed “reasons why it might be prudent” for the Red Sox to play the game as scheduled, according to The Red Sox ultimately decided as a group to support Bradley and not play.

“A lot has been placed on him and that’s important to all of us,” Roenicke told “It’s important to these players, realizing that Jackie is our lone Black player on the team and they want to support him in any way they can. Just supporting in what we did today is telling him, ‘Jack, we’re hearing what you’re saying, we’re hearing what the rest of the guys are saying, we want to make a difference and we want to support you in any way we can.’ ”

In a video produced by the Red Sox, Roenicke encouraged baseball fans to have meaningful conversations about race. At home. At work. He said talks about sensitive issues are important.

“We understand how important baseball is,” Roenicke said. We’re playing through a pandemic. We know it’s all important. But we know the issues in life are more important …

“If you’re a kid and you turn on the TV tonight … and you ask your parents, ‘Why aren’t the Red Sox on?” I hope the parents have a serious discussion with their kid.

“We need to discuss these things more. We need to listen more. That’s the only way we’re going to change,” Roenicke said. “There needs to be a change in this great country that we live in.”

Taking a stand: ‘Being a black man in America is not easy’

In a resounding call for reforms in racial justice in America, athletes in at least four different professional sports leagues on Wednesday did more than just wear T-shirts in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

They took the unprecedented action of forcing postponements of games in the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the Women’s National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer.

A top player in the Women’s Tennis Association also said she would withdraw from the Western & Southern Open.

ESPN was reporting that NBA owners and players would meet Thursday morning to determine how to proceed with the playoffs.

Events started to unfold Wednesday afternoon, when the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the floor for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The decision sparked similar actions among athletes in the other sports.

At issue are the deaths this year of African-Americans Ahmaud Arbury in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and George Floyd in Minnesota. The latest incident involves Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old who was critically wounded Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when an officer shot him at close range.

In a statement, the Bucks called on officials in Wisconsin to address the issue immediately.

“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable,” Bucks guard and former Spurs player George Hill said, in reading a statement. “For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform.

“We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on Nov. 3.”

Athletes speaking out included some of the biggest names in sports — namely, LeBron James of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and baseball players Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers.

New York Mets outfielder Dominic Smith was in tears discussing his feelings after he played in a 5-4 victory over the Miami Marlins at New York. Smith kneeled in protest during the national anthem before the game.

“I think the most difficult part is to see that people still don’t care,” Smith said later. “For this kind of thing to continuously happen, it just shows…the hate in people’s hearts. I mean, that just sucks, you know. Being a black man in America is not easy.”


NBA — Playoff games, Milwaukee vs. Orlando, Houston-Oklahoma City and Los Angeles Lakers-Portland.

MLB — Regular-season games, Cincinnati at Milwaukee, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco and Seattle at San Diego.

WNBA — Regular-season games, Atlanta-Washington, Los Angeles-Minnesota, Connecticut-Phoenix.

MLS — Inter Miami CF-Atlanta United FC, FC Dallas-Colorado, Real Salt Lake-LAFC, San Jose-Portland, LA Galaxy-Seattle

Women’s Tennis Association — Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Western & Southern Open.

Trade speculation swirls around former Mission Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams pitching for the San Antonio Missions against the Oklahoma City Dodgers on April 28, 2019 at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Taylor Williams pitched in 46 games for the Missions last year. He was 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA and six saves. – photo by Joe Alexander

The name of a player familiar to fans of the San Antonio Missions has surfaced in speculation with the baseball trade deadline approaching on Aug. 31.

It’s 29-year-old Seattle Mariners reliever Taylor Williams, who might be a target of teams contending for the playoffs.

According to a story in the New York Post, Williams, a right-handed reliever, might be a player who could help the New York Yankees. In addition, SB Nation mentions that the Tampa Bay Rays also might benefit from his talents.

Williams pitched in 46 games for the Missions last year, all out of the bullpen.

He was 3-3 with a 2.98 earned run average and six saves in San Antonio, where the Missions served as the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

During the season, Williams was called up to the Brewers a few times, but he never seemed to gain any traction. He was 1-1 with a 9.82 ERA in Milwaukee.

On Feb. 21, the course of his career took a detour as the Mariners claimed him off waivers.

Though the Mariners have struggled with an 11-19 record, Williams has emerged as one of the bright spots in the bullpen.

He has made 12 appearances out of the bullpen and has recorded six saves. He’s been steady, with a 3.00 ERA. In 12 innings pitched, Williams has struck out 17 and walked just four.

Recently, the Vancouver, Wash., native of has pitched well in two outings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the best record in the majors.

Combined, Williams yielded only one hit in two scoreless innings while striking out five L.A. batters. On Aug. 17 at Dodger Stadium, he struck out two in one inning. Two nights later, at Seattle, he walked two but retired the side on three strikeouts to earn the save.

Emergence of Tatis shines light on Missions’ talent level

As a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, the San Antonio Missions didn’t play a single game at Wolff Stadium this summer. Their season was canceled. But that doesn’t mean that they have stopped making headlines.

Fernando Tatis, Jr., who started at shortstop for the Missions in 2018, has emerged at age 21 as one of the most talked about players in the game with the San Diego Padres.

In addition, Dinelson Lamet (Missions, 2016), Franmil Reyes (2017), and then Chris Paddack and Cal Quantrill (in 2018) have surged from the Double-A level to establish themselves as some of the most promising young players in the MLB at the moment.

Among players on the Triple-A Missions from last year, Keston Hiura and Trent Grisham have delivered with the most impact in the majors thus far.

Here’s a glance at some of the Missions players from the past four seasons and how they have fared in their jump to the top level of the game:

Keston Hiura played for the San Antonio Missions for part of the 2019 season before being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers. - photo by Joe Alexander

Keston Hiura played for the San Antonio Missions for part of the 2019 season before being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers. – photo by Joe Alexander


Keston Hiura — The batting average for the Milwaukee Brewers’ infielder (.240) has slipped from last season (.303). But he has continued to slug homers, seven of them in 25 games. He hit 19 for the Brewers last summer after his call up from the Missions, for whom he hit another 19 round-trippers and a .329 average.

Mauricio Dubon — San Francisco Giants utility player is hitting .265 in 27 games. The Brewers traded Dubon to the Giants last July. He became the first player from Honduras to make an opening-day MLB roster this season.

Trent Grisham — San Diego Padres’ starting center fielder (.261, 7 HR, 14 RBI) has figured prominently in the team’s rise into playoff contention in the National League. He hit three home runs out of the leadoff spot Saturday night. Grisham was traded from the Brewers to the Padres in the offseason.

Taylor Williams — Seattle Mariners right-handed reliever (six saves, 3.00 earned run average) is pitching well. The Mariners claimed Williams off waivers in February. Williams made 46 appearances out of the bullpen for the Missions last year. He was 3-3, earned six saves and posted a 2.83 earned run average in Triple-A, but he had some rough outings in 10 appearances with the Brewers at the major league level.

Devin Williams — Williams (1-1, 0.93 ERA) has a bright future with the Brewers. He throws in the high 90 mph range and has been a strikeout machine, fanning 20 in 9 and 2/3 innings this season. Missions’ fans might not remember him well. He was in San Antonio for the last half of the 2019 season and appeared in only 13 games.

Burch Smith — The San Antonio native is currently on the Oakland A’s injured list. Previously, he established himself as a key member of the A’s bullpen. Smith is 2-0 with a 2.25 earned run average and a save with the A’s, who have the best record in the American League. Smith split time between the Missions and Brewers last summer. He was picked up off waivers by the Giants last Aug. 12 and then purchased by the A’s on Feb. 15.

Trent Grisham played for the San Antonio Missions for part of the 2019 season before being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers. - photo by Joe Alexander

Trent Grisham is batting leadoff for the resurgent San Diego Padres. The former standout at Richland Hills High School played for the Missions in 2019. – photo by Joe Alexander

Corbin Burnes — Burnes (0-0, 3.42) is still searching for consistency. But he has shown flashes of potential to become a quality pitcher. With a high-90s stuff and extremely good breaking stuff, he’s got a chance. Burnes started last year in Milwaukee and then was sent down to the Missions to find himself. He’s 25 years old. Might just need time.

Adrian Houser — Houser is a starter in the Brewers’ rotation. The Oklahoma native is 1-2 with a 3.72 earned run average after going 6-7 with a 3.72 ERA in Milwaukee last summer. Houser started the Missions’ first game as a Triple-A franchise in April 2019 at Oklahoma City.

Travis Shaw — Shaw has played 18 games for the Toronto Blue Jays. A former 30 home run slugger with the Brewers, he’s hitting .231 with three homers and seven RBI for the Jays.


Fernando Tatis, Jr. –Tatis has emerged as the major league leader in home runs (12) and RBI (29). He’s also seventh in OPS (1.023). His grand slam on a 3-0 count last week in Arlington, against the Rangers, touched off a controversy on baseball’s “unwritten rules.” It also set the stage for the Padres to hit grand slams in five of six games, a major league record. Tatis played parts of the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Missions.

Chris Paddack — Right-handed pitcher from Austin (2-2, 4.26) started on opening day for the Padres. It’s his turn again on Tuesday when the Padres, on a seven-game winning streak, host the Seattle Mariners.

Ty France — Outfielder has moved into the Padres’ starting lineup in the absence of injured Tommy Pham. He aided in the destruction of the Texas Rangers last Thursday with a home run in the eighth inning of an eventual 8-7 victory in 10 innings.

Austin Allen — Won the backup catching job with the Oakland A’s after an off-season trade from the Padres. He hit his first career home run on Aug. 5 in a 6-4 home victory over the Texas Rangers. The two-run shot put Oakland ahead for good. Allen also made some waves on Aug. 9 when he was among players ejected in a benches-clearing brawl in Houston.

Cal Quantrill — The Padres right-hander (2-0, 2.93) enjoyed a big moment on Aug. 10 when he pitched three scoreless innings of relief to get the victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The native of Port Hope in Ontario, Canada pitched in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons for the Missions.


Franmil Reyes — The 6-foot-5 Reyes has been one of the hottest hitters for the Cleveland Indians over the last few weeks. In his past 10 games, he’s hitting .342 with four home runs and eight RBI. In a stretch from Aug. 15 to Aug. 17, he hit three homers in Detroit, including one that traveled 462 feet and another 453.

Luis Urias — After sitting out the first several weeks of the season, the Brewers’ infielder started fast but is now in a bit of a slump. He is 2 for 18 in his last five games, driving down his batting average to .294. Urias has had some physical setbacks since joining the Brewers in an off-season trade. He broke a bone in his hand in spring training and tested positive for Covid-19 during summer camp.


Dinelson Lamet — The 28-year-old, right-hander (2-1, 1.89) leads the Padres in earned run average and innings pitched (33.1). He’s also the team leader in strikeouts (45). Lamet, in perhaps his best performance this summer, took a no hitter into the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 9. He started 14 games for the Missions in 2016. Lamet was 5-7 with a 3.39 earned run average in Double-A.

Tatis Jr. homers twice and drives in seven runs for the Padres

Fernando Tatis Jr. made himself at home Monday night in the new home of the Texas Rangers.

The San Diego Padres’ second-year phenomenon belted two home runs, produced seven RBI and stirred one controversy in a 14-4 victory at Globe Life Field.

In a stunning show of power, Tatis crushed a line drive to left for a three-run homer in the seventh inning. In the eighth, he followed with an opposite-field grand slam.

The grand slam left the Rangers fuming.

It came on a 3-0 count with the Padres holding a seven-run lead. After it sailed over the wall in right field, the Padres expanded the advantage to 14-3.

“There’s a lot of unwritten rules that are constantly being challenged in today’s game,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward told reporters, as noted in a Twitter post from San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Jeff Sanders. “I didn’t like it, personally. You’re up by seven in the eighth inning. It’s typically not a good time to swing 3-0.”

Added Woodward, “It’s kind of the way we were all raised in the game, but like I said, the norms are all being challenged on a daily basis. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not right. I don’t think we liked it as a group.”

On the next play, Texas reliever Ian Gibaut threw a pitch that sailed behind San Diego slugger Manny Machado. Woodward said there was no purpose to the location of the pitch. “It slipped out of his hand and went wide,” he said, in comments relayed by Sanders.

“(Umpires) didn’t issue any warnings, so they must have come to the agreement that it wasn’t intentional. I was expecting them to warn somebody, but they didn’t.”

Jayce Tingler, a first-year Padres manager who worked with the Rangers for the past 13 years, congratulated Tatis for the slam but also told his young star that he had missed a take sign.

“He’s young, a free spirit and focused and all those things,” Tingler said in a story published by the Associated Press. “That’s the last thing that we’ll ever take away. It’s a learning opportunity and that’s it. He’ll grow from it.”

The power show boosted Tatis into the home-run lead in the major leagues.

Two years ago, he was one of the top prospects in baseball with the San Antonio Missions. Now he has 11 homers on the season, one more than Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.

Tatis is only 21 years old.


Former Missions players Franmil Reyes and Fernando Tatis, Jr., have produced multi-home run games on back-to-back days in the major leagues. Reyes hit two for the Cleveland Indians on Sunday in Detroit. Tatis followed with two on Monday at Texas.

X-rays on Franmil Reyes’ hand termed as negative

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters Sunday that X-rays on the hand of slugger Franmiel Reyes were negative.

Francona issued the statement in the wake of a two home-run performance by the former San Antonio Missions standout in an 8-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

In the ninth inning, Reyes, one of the hottest hitters in the American League, stepped to the plate for his last at bat of the afternoon. He was greeted with a fastball high and tight from Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez.

As the ball hit Reyes in the left hand, he spun away and screamed. Francona lifted him from the game for a pinch runner.

Later, Reyes said in a story published by the Associated Press that he was OK. “It was painful at the beginning, but it went away, thank God,” Reyes said.

He said he likes the spirit he sees from the Indians.

“What I could see from the team, especially today, was the support we give each other, how guys are fired up in the dugout,” he told the AP.

Reyes is one of the hottest hitters in baseball. He is batting .515 in his last nine games, slapping 17 hits in 33 at bats.

Against the Tigers, he showed off his prodigious power. He hit a home run tracked at 462 feet on Friday. On Sunday, he added one in the seventh inning that traveled 453 feet.

Two Texas State players aid Brazos Valley’s title-game victory

With two players from Texas State University contributing in a title-game victory, the Brazos Valley Bombers have emerged as champions in the Texas Collegiate League.

Trevis Sundgren (5-0, 3.38) started and pitched four innings in the Bombers’ 13-2 win over the Tulsa Drillers Saturday night in Bryan. He allowed one run on one hit in earning the victory.

Sundgren walked one and stuck out six. The 5-foot-11, right-hander from Silsbee led the TCL in victories.

Wesley Faison, who played first base, had a hit in three at bats and drove in two runs to give him 24 RBI on the season.

Faison, from Fort Bend Travis High School, finished with a .284 batting average in 26 games. He was tied for fourth in the league in RBI.


Tulsa — 2 3 2
Brazos Valley — 13 6 2
Please click on the link for Saturday night’s box score.

Flying Chanclas’ season ends on a bittersweet evening in Bryan

Flying Chanclas players gather for a photo after their game July 29 at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Players on the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio gather for a photo after their game July 29 at Wolff Stadium. – Photo by Joe Alexander

I will bet you that the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio remember this summer for the rest of their lives.

They came together at the height of a pandemic, practiced for a week or so, and then plunged head-long into a season of uncertainty. With the coronavirus raging all around them, with hundreds of people in the nation dying from Covid-19 on a weekly basis, a group of college-aged kids kept their wits about them and played well.

Bouncing back from an 0-2 start, they initiated a regular-season streak in which they won 13 of 18 games at one point. At the end of the stretch, they led the South division in the Texas Collegiate League by a game and a half. It looked like they might have enough juice to win the title. But, it wasn’t to be.

They were eliminated from the TCL playoffs on a hot and muggy Wednesday night in Bryan. The Brazos Valley Bombers won 7-3, sweeping both games from the Chanclas in a best-of-3 series for the South title. All told, the Chanclas lost seven of their eight games overall.

But, really, that’s not what the players should dwell on as they move on to the next chapter in their careers. What they should remember are the friendships they made and the bond that they created with a small — but passionate — group of fans who followed them.

For a few hours each night, they helped a gaggle of curious onlookers feel almost normal again.

Count me among them. As a precaution, I didn’t attend one Chanclas game at Wolff Stadium. I felt it was more important to stay home and stay out of the crowds. But I did watch nightly on the TCL live stream, and I did try to talk to manager John McLaren and to as many of the players as possible on the telephone.

I wanted to give them all their due, because everyone, from the Missions’ front office, to the vendors, and to the ticket takers, they all stepped up and kept the game of baseball alive in San Antonio for the summer.

Because of the pandemic, just about every aspect of our lives has been interrupted — baseball season included.

Major league camps were closed in March as the virus spread. They remained closed through June. Finally, just as the MLB came to life last month, officials canceled all the minor league seasons around the nation.

In San Antonio, it meant that fans would not have a pro team to cheer for the first time in 53 years.

To the Missions’ credit, they battled through it. They didn’t quit. They bought into the TCL, gathered together a group of players from the local high schools and colleges and started playing ball.

The stands at Wolff weren’t packed, because they couldn’t be.

By state regulation, the gatherings were limited to 50-percent capacity. So, the fans didn’t really get to embrace the Chanclas en masse. But, all in all, I think it was a good show. A summer that I’ll always remember. In time, I bet the players will, as well.


San Antonio — 3 4 0
Brazos Valley — 7 5 2
Please click on the link for Wednesday’s box score.

Playoffs at a glance

Here is the latest on the Texas Collegiate League playoffs:

South Division — Brazos Valley wins 7-3, in Bryan. Bombers sweep two games from the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio for the title. They qualify for the TCL title game.

North Divison — Tulsa wins, 14-2, in Amarillo The Drillers even the series with the Sod Squad at one game apiece. Amarillo hosts Tulsa again Thursday night for the North title.

Championship game

The one-game, winner-take-all title game is Saturday night. If Amarillo wins the North, Amarillo will host Brazos Valley. If Tulsa wins, Brazos Valley hosts.

Heartbreak: Bombers spoil Chanclas’ TCL playoff debut

Ian Bailey drives in the Flying Chanclas' first two runs of the game with a double over third base in the bottom of the sixth inning against Brazos Valley on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Ian Bailey drives in the Flying Chanclas’ first two runs with a double over third base in the bottom of the sixth inning on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

As poorly as the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio played in stretches Tuesday night, they had a chance to forge a tie in the eighth inning when newcomer Ian Bailey hit a ball high and deep to left field.

For a moment, it looked like it might be a two-run homer and a tie game. But Brazos Valley’s Manny Garcia backed up to the warning track to make the catch for the last out.

The opportunistic Bombers tacked on another run in the ninth and went on to win 6-3 at Wolff Stadium, seizing a 1-0 lead in a best-of-3 South Division playoff series in the Texas Collegiate League.

With the road victory, the Bombers moved into position to clinch the series on their home field. They’ll try to deliver the knockout blow against the Chanclas in Game 2 on Wednesday night in Bryan.

The Chanclas, in their inaugural season of play in the TCL, had high hopes of winning their first playoff game. Despite losing four of six to the Bombers during the regular season, they had a hot pitcher on the mound and some new additions to the team in the field.

But the Bombers rolled out their own ace, right-hander Bryce Miller, who pitched no-hit ball through four innings. Though Chanclas lefty Austin Krob had very good stuff himself, he got in trouble in the sixth by allowing a couple of hits.

Flying Chanclas catcher Tyler LaRue tags out Brazos Valley's Wesley Faison at the plate in the top of the eighth inning Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas catcher Tyler LaRue tags out Brazos Valley’s Wesley Faison at the plate in the top of the eighth inning. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The base runners turned into two runs and a 2-0 lead for the Bombers, who would never trail again. The Chanclas tied it in the bottom half on a double by Bailey that scored a pair and forced a 2-2 tie.

From there, the visitors took advantage of Chanclas relief pitching that had trouble finding the strike zone. Employing timely hitting and aggressive base running, they added two runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and one in the ninth.

In the end, the Chanclas failed to generate enough offense to make a game of it. They were hitless through five innings. The top four batters in manager John McLaren’s lineup went 1-for-14 and failed to drive in a run.

Bailey’s two-run double into the left-field corner in the sixth made it interesting. But by the time Lee Thomas drove in a run with a single in the eighth, the Chanclas were playing from behind, which usually doesn’t turn out well in playoff baseball.


Brazos Valley — 6 8 1
San Antonio — 3 5 1
Please click on the link for Tuesday’s box score.

TCL playoffs at a glance

South: Brazos Valley beats San Antonio 6-3, at San Antonio. Bombers take 1-0 lead in a best of three series as it shifts to Bryan. Game 2 is Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Travis Field. Game 3, if necessary, is Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Travis Field.

North: Amarillo beats Tulsa, 4-3, in 10 innings, at Tulsa. Sod Squad takes a 1-0 lead as the series moves to Amarillo. Game 2 is Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Hodgetown. Game 3, if necessary, is Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Hodgetown.

Flying Chanclas starting pitcher Austin Krob held Brazos Valley scoreless through five innings but was responsible for two runs in the sixth on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas starting pitcher Austin Krob held Brazos Valley scoreless through five innings but was responsible for two runs in the sixth on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander