The Amarillo Sod Squad undoubtedly considered themselves fortunate on opening-night in the Texas Collegiate Baseball League.
Playing at home, their pitching walked 11 and their defense committed four errors in the field. And yet, in the end, they came out on top of the equally rusty Flying Chanclas de San Antonio, 9-6.
Twin brothers Julio and David Marcano did most of the damage for the Sod Squad, combining for four hits and three RBI.
Trailing 5-0 early and 7-4 in the middle frames, the Chanclas showed some fight in their TCL debut, scoring four runs in the fourth and two in the sixth to pull within one run of the home team.
But in the bottom of the seventh, 6-foot-5 Amarillo slugger Lyle Miller-Green stepped to the plate and hit the two-run homer off Chanclas lefty Jaime Ramirez Jr. to seal it.
Kyte McDonald, from Antonian High School, led the Chanclas with three hits and two RBI. Former Reagan High School standout Porter Brown had two hits, a run scored and an RBI. Lee Thomas, from the University of the Incarnate Word, stroked a two-run single in the four-run fourth.
The Chanclas failed to take advantage of their many opportunities, leaving 13 on base. In the first and second innings, they loaded the bases with no out each time, and failed to score.
The visitors also failed to hit make contact when it counted, striking out 14 times. In the field, they committed four errors, all in the nightmarish second when the Sod Squad sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs.
Chanclas at Amarillo on Wednesday and Thursday, returning home to open a three-game series Friday against the Acadiana Cane Cutters.
The Flying Chanclas de San Antonio are a creation of the San Antonio Missions professional baseball club. They’ll play home games this summer at Wolff Stadium, the long-time home of the Missions. The Missions, a Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, aren’t fielding a team this season.
All of minor league baseball’s teams have been shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials in the minors have known for months that their season wasn’t likely to take place.
It became official on Tuesday afternoo0n, when MiLB president Pat O’Conner announced it in a statement out of St. Petersburg, Fla.