Acadiana Cane Cutters no-hit the Flying Chanclas, 5-0

Three Acadiana Cane Cutters pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter in front of the home fans Wednesday night in a 5-0 victory over the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio.

Set back by the loss of two injured starters, the Chanclas never got it going against the Cane Cutters, who pulled off the no-no on the strength of efforts by Cane Cutters pitchers Brandon Mitchell, Nik Millsap and Hunter Meche.

The Texas Collegiate League game was played at Fabacher Field in Youngsville, Louisiana.

With the victory, the Cane Cutters snapped a four-game losing streak and avenged losing all three games against the Chanclas last weekend in San Antonio. The Chanclas had won four straight.

Mitchell, a left-hander, and Millsap, a righty, grew up in Texas. Mitchell, from Alief-Elsik High School, attends the University of New Orleans. Millsap, from South Lake Carroll, goes to college at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. Meche, a lefty from Rayne, La., attends LSU-Alexandria.

Mitchell worked 2 and 1/3 innings. In the third, he gave way to Millsap, who pitched 4 and 2/3 innings, striking out three. Meche finished up over the final two innings. The three combined for six walks and eight strikeouts.

The Chanclas had runners at first and second with one out in the ninth against Meche. But the 5-foot-9 lefty settled down, retiring Lee Thomas and Grant Smith both on outfield fly balls to end it.

San Antonio entered the game without their leading hitter, Porter Brown, and their starting third baseman, Conner Shepherd. Brown is out for the season and Shepherd is out for at least a week. Both have finger injuries.

Records

San Antonio 4-3
Acadiana 2-5

Pregame

Forced to make adjustments in the wake of two key injuries, the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio will put a four-game winning streak on the line tonight.

They’re playing the home-standing Acadiana Cane Cutters. Youngsville is located about 10 miles south of Lafayette.

In the wake of injuries to standouts Porter Brown and Conner Shepherd, Chanclas manager John McLaren sent out a lineup card with Leyton Barry starting in left field for Porter Brown, who is out for the season with a broken finger.

Tyler LaRue will start at third base for Conner Shepherd, who is out for at least a week, also with a finger injury.

Brown, leading the Chanclas with a .375 batting average, had been in the top spot in the batting order, with Jordan Thompson hitting second. Tonight, Thompson is leading off with second baseman Johnny Hernandez batting second.

Tuesday night’s series opener between the teams was canceled due to unfavorable field conditions, meaning the teams will play tonight and Thursday night. The Chanclas swept three games from the Cane Cutters last weekend in San Antonio.

Chanclas starters

Jordan Thompson RF
Johnny Hernandez 2B
Ryan Flores 1B
Kyte McDonald CF
Tyler LaRue 3B
Lee Thomas DH
Grant Smith SS
Leyton Barry LF
Nick Wolff C
Austin Krob P

Finger fracture sidelines Chanclas’ standout Porter Brown

The Flying Chanclas' Porter Brown had two hits Sunday at Wolff Stadium and is batting .400 after the first six games of the season. - photo by Joe Alexander

Outfielder Porter Brown is out for the season with a broken finger, Flying Chanclas manager John McLaren said Tuesday. The injury was revealed in an X-ray on Monday. – photo by Joe Alexander

Just when the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio seemed to pick up some momentum in their first season in the Texas Collegiate League, they’ve run into a rough patch of misfortune.

Manager John McLaren said Tuesday that outfielder Porter Brown, the team’s leading hitter, has been lost for the season with a broken finger. Also, third baseman Conner Shepherd is expected to miss at least a week, also with a finger injury.

McLaren delivered the news in a telephone interview just hours before the Chanclas, riding a four-game winning streak, were scheduled to play a road game in Louisiana against the Acadiana Cane Cutters. The game has since been canceled because of unfavorable field conditions.

Both players apparently suffered the injuries when they were hit by pitches. Brown’s incident happened last Wednesday in Game 2 of the season at Amarillo. Shepherd had to come out of Sunday’s home series finale against Acadiana.

McLaren said the diagnosis on both TCU scholarship players came on Monday when the two went in for X-rays.

Going into the exams, McLaren thought Shepherd’s hand injury was more serious and that Brown was just sore. But it turned out to be the other way around.

Brown, a former Reagan High School standout, said in a text message to The JB Replay that the fracture was on his right-hand pinky finger. He had played in all six games and was leading the team with a .375 average.

“He’s a tough kid,” McLaren said. “I asked him every day how he was feeling. He said, ‘I’m good skip. I’m ready to go.’ The way he was swinging the bat, he wasn’t favoring it at all … You’d have never known anything was wrong with him.”

As the Chanclas open a series in Louisiana, starting a stretch in which they play six of the next eight on the road, they’re expected to transition infielders Leyton Barry and Lee Thomas into left field, where Brown was playing.

“We’ll mix some guys in there at third base (to replace Shepherd),” McLaren said. “We got some versatility. So, we’re going to utilize it. We’ll try to mix some guys into different positions.”

After losing two straight to open the season, the Chanclas defeated Amarillo on the road last Thursday, and then followed by sweeping three games at home from the Cane Cutters.

Flying Chanclas de San Antonio reliever Arturo Guarardo from UTSA pitches against the Acadiana Cane Cutters on Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Reliever Arturo Guajardo delivers a pitch against the Acadiana Cane Cutters on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. He struck out six in 2 and 2/3 innings. The Chanclas’ bullpen has helped spark the team’s four-game winning streak. – photo by Joe Alexander

Even though the weather has been hot and humid, McLaren said his team has held up well in the early going of the 30-game season.

“We’re fine,” McLaren said. “We got a good group of kids and we got a lot of enthusiasm. There’s days that we hit (indoors) in the cage when it’s hot, and taking infield. We’re doing our best to monitor the situation as we go on.”

Pitching out of the bullpen has been a strength of the team during the winning streak, with the Chanclas getting solid performances from Tyler Flores, Kobe Jaramillo, Matthew Sesler, Connor Schmidt and Arturo Guajardo.

“We’re still sorting things out (on the pitching staff), trying to get everybody a role,” McLaren said. “We’ll see where we are, see if we need to flip some guys from starting to relieving. I’ve been very happy with the way the guys have been throwing. It seems like they’re getting better every time out, getting more relaxed.

“That’s a big part of it, for them to feel comfortable.”

Coming up

San Antonio (4-2) at Acadiana (1-5), Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.

Chanclas sweep homestand, extend winning streak to four

The Flying Chanclas' Kyte McDonald (right) steals second base in the eighth inning Sunday night at Wolff Stadium. McDonald scored later in the inning. - photo by Joe Alexander

The Flying Chanclas’ Kyte McDonald (right) steals second base in the eighth inning Sunday night at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Kyte McDonald sparked a two-run eighth inning with his bat and his daring on the bases, leading the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio to a 6-3 victory over the Acadiana Cane Cutters Sunday night at Wolff Stadium.

For the Chanclas, who won all three on the homestand against Acadiana, it was their fourth straight victory.

Flying Chanclas pitching coach Calvin Schiraldi talks to pitcher Arturo Guajardo after Guajardo threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday night at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas pitching coach Calvin Schiraldi talks to pitcher Arturo Guajardo after Guajardo threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday night at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

McDonald, who attends Mississippi State out of San Antonio’s Antonian High School, paced the Chanclas with two hits and three runs scored.

In the eighth inning, he singled to drive in one run. Then, he stole second base. After also stealing third, a throw from the catcher was wild, allowing McDonald to race home to make it 6-3.

McDonald’s offense backed the bullpen pitching of Arturo Guajardo, Garrett Egli and Johnny Panatex, who combined to hold the Cane Cutters to one run on three hits over the final 5 and 2/3 innings.

Guajardo, entering in relief of starter Lance Lusk, was particularly effective, throwing 2 and 2/3 hitless and scorless innings. The Laredo native, who plays for UTSA, struck out six and walked one.

Panatex, from St. Mary’s University, pitched the last two innings. With a batter at the plate as the potential game-tying run in the ninth, Panatex retired Billy Garrity for the final out.

Records

San Antonio 4-2
Acadiana 1-5

Coming up

The Chanclas will have a day off Monday to travel to Louisiana, where they will open a series against Acadiana on Tuesday night.

Surging Flying Chanclas win 12-2 for third straight victory

Flying Chanclas first baseman Ryan Flores from University of the Incarnate Word hitting his first double of the game against the Cane Cutters on Saturday, July 4, 2020, at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas first baseman Ryan Flores, from University of the Incarnate Word, hits his first double against the Acadiana Cane Cutters. – photo by Joe Alexander

After a slow start to the season, the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio have soared to three straight victories.

The Chanclas, behind the hitting of Ryan Flores and the starting pitching of Derek Klosowski, defeated the Acadiana Cane Cutters 12-2 on Saturday night at Wolff Stadium.

Klosowski hurled four shutout innings and Flores smacked a couple of doubles as the Chanclas improved to 2-0 against the Cane Cutters on the homestand and to 3-2 on the season.

Earlier last week, the Chanclas sputtered in their first two games of the Texas Collegiate League season.

In the opener, played on Tuesday at Amarillo, they committed four errors and struck out 14 times in a 9-6 loss to the Sod Squad. On Wednesday night, they fell flat again, losing 1-0 to the Sod Squad while managing only two hits.

Since then, they’ve turned it around completely.

In the first game of the winning streak, they claimed an 11-5 victory at Amarillo on Thursday. Returning home to the Wolff, they downed the Cane Cutters 7-4 on Friday, before they won going away again on Saturday.

Acadiana pitching was generous in walking 12 batters on a night when the ball club celebrated with a post-game, Fourth-of-July fireworks display.

The teams play the finale of the three-game series Sunday.

Records

San Antonio 3-2
Acadiana 1-4

Coming up

Acadiana at San Antonio, 7:05 p.m. Sunday

Notable

Flores, from the University of the Incarnate Word, has played in 113 games for the Cardinals in the past three years. The former standout at Corpus Christi Calallen hit .329 as a freshman, .335 as a sophomore and .270 as a junior during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Klosowski is a 6-1 right-hander who’s on the team at Midland College.

Flying Chanclas starting pitcher Derek Klosowski, a Madison High School graduate, pitched four scorelessy innings against the Cane Cutters on Saturda. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas starting pitcher Derek Klosowski, a Madison High School graduate, pitched four scoreless innings and allowed only one hit. – photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas rally for 7-4 victory in TCL home opener

Flying Chanclas reliever Matthew Sesler pitched 3 1/3 scoreless inning and gave up only one hit on Friday, July 3, 2020, at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas reliever Matthew Sesler yielded one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings for the Flying Chanclas. – photo by Joe Alexander

The Flying Chanclas de San Antonio scored five runs in the fourth inning Friday night and rallied to claim a 7-4 victory over the Acadiana Cane Cutters in their Texas Collegiate League home opener at Wolff Stadium.

Trailing 3-1, the Chanclas started the uprising with one out when Johnny Hernandez walked and moved to second on a Leyton Barry single.

Eric Cervantes followed with another single to load the bases.

At that point, the Cane Cutters slowed the momentum with catcher Marshall Skinner firing to Ethan Lege at third to pick off Hernandez for the second out.

That’s when the Chanclas broke through, with Porter Brown and Jordan Thompson drawing back-to-back walks. Thompson’s free pass forced in Leyton Barry, trimming the Cane Cutters’ lead to 3-2.

On the next play, an error by Lege allowed two runs to score, giving the Chanclas the upper hand at 4-3. Another run came home on a wild pitch, and then Conner Shepherd produced an RBI single for a 6-3 lead.

The series between the Chanclas and Cane Cutters continues with Game 2 on Saturday an Game 3 on Sunday at The Wolff. Both games are at 7:05 p.m.

Records

San Antonio 2-2
Acadiana 1-3

Flying Chanclas catcher Eric Cervantes doubled and scored San Antonio's first run in the third inning on Friday, July 3, 2020, at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas catcher Eric Cervantes doubled and scored San Antonio’s first run in the third inning. – photo by Joe Alexander

Notable

Attendance was announced at 1,080 at Wolff, with fans turning out for the Chanclas’ first home game in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday night, the Chanclas played in Amarillo and erupted for eight runs in the eighth inning, defeating the Sod Squad 11-5. On Friday, they erupted for a big inning again, scoring five runs in the fourth on three hits, three walks and one error.

Barry sparks eight-run inning as Chanclas claim first TCL victory

Leyton Barry was batting .353 when the pandemic cut short his season at UTSA in March.

Barry produced three hits in a 12-hit attack Thursday night to lead the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio to their first victory in the Texas Collegiate League.

Jordan Thompson and Barry produced two-run singles in an eight-run, eighth inning as the Chanclas rolled to an 11-5 victory at Amarillo.

Records

San Antonio 1-2
Amarillo 2-1

Coming up

The Chanclas open at home Friday night against the Acadiana Cane Cutters. Please click the link here for policies related to COVID-19 precautions.

Notable

The Chanclas had only eight hits combined in their first two games, including just two in a 1-0 loss Wednesday night.

Manager John McLaren made an adjustment, moving Porter Brown from second to first in the batting order. Conversely, he moved Thompson from the No. 1 hole to No. 2.

Both Brown and Thompson picked up two hits apiece. Kite McDonald and Lee Thomas also had a pair of hits for the Chanclas.

Sod Squad wins 1-0 as Flying Chanclas’ bats fall silent

Five Amarillo pitchers combined on a two hitter Wednesday night to lead a 1-0 victory over the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio.

The Sod Squad hosts the Chanclas Thursday night at Hodgetown ball park as the teams close out a season-opening series in the Texas Collegiate League.

Julio Marcano’s bases-loaded single off Chanclas starter Austin Krob scored Kamron Williams in the first inning for the game’s only run.

Chanclas outfielder Porter Brown produced singles in the first and third innings for the Chanclas, who were then shut down completely after that by the Sod Squad bullpen.

Records

Amarillo 2-0
San Antonio 0-2

Amarillo rolls 9-6 past San Antonio in a sloppy TCL opener

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.

Coming up

Chanclas at Amarillo on Wednesday and Thursday, returning home to open a three-game series Friday against the Acadiana Cane Cutters.

Notable

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.

Minor-league baseball season canceled on ‘a very sad day’

Feeling the effects of a national health crisis, minor league baseball announced Tuesday afternoon that the season has been canceled, effectively stripping San Antonio of one its most enduring traditions.

Flying Chanclas de San Antonio outfield work at Thursday's practice at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

The Flying Chanclas de San Antonio, an entry in the Texas Collegiate League, will open play tonight in Amarillo. – Photo by Joe Alexander

It is the first time in 53 years that baseball fans in the Alamo City will not have their own professional team to cheer.

“This is news we expected, but it’s still a very sad day to know we won’t have professional baseball in San Antonio this summer,” Missions president Burl Yarbrough said. “We look forward to things getting better and know that Opening Day 2021 will be really special.”

In anticipation of the cancellation, the Missions in May moved forward with plans to host a team in the Texas Collegiate League. The team, known as the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio, will open a 30-game season Tuesday night.

San Antonio’s last summer without pro ball came in 1967 in the third year of a three-year stretch following the sale of the team to a group in Amarillo.

Pro ball returned to the Alamo City in 1968, with home games held at V.J. Keefe Field on the campus of St. Mary’s University.

It’s been played every summer since then, getting a boost in 1994 when the Missions moved to city-owned Wolff Stadium.

“We’ve been around since 1888 with only a few occasions without baseball,” Yarbrough said. “We’ll come back strong. Baseball fans in San Antonio have always supported us.”

Baseball has been in a holding pattern since March when the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of activity in spring training.

Last week, Major League Baseball announced a plan to return to play in a 60-game schedule that will start July 23.

But because of projected financial losses, MLB owners elected to scrap plans for a traditional minor league season.

MLB informed the minor league office that it would not provide minor league affiliates with players, meaning the end of any hopes for even a shortened season.

“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played,” said MiLB president Pat O’Conner.

“While this is a sad day for many,” O’Conner added, “this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”

Chanclas shrug off adversity, prepare for season opener

The coronavirus knocked one player out of action even before the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio opened practice last week. Two more players, Chanclas manager John McLaren said Sunday, have tested positive in the past few days.

Flying Chanclas de San Antonio manager John McLaren. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas manager John McLaren. – Photo by Joe Alexander

On top of that, one of his key pitchers has had to leave town because of a personal matter in his family, leaving a significant gap in the starting rotation.

But even with the adversity, McLaren has developed a good feeling about the potential of his team, which is set to open open play in the Texas Collegiate League this week.

His spirits were lifted by performances that he witnessed in a scrimmage on Friday and in an intra-squad game on Saturday at Wolff Stadium.

Supplying an update in a phone interview on Sunday night, McLaren, a former manager of the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals, said some of his players have a chance to excel in professional baseball.

He also likes their overall attitude and willingness to be coached.

“We talked about the (intra-squad) game yesterday, and we shared some ideas with them,” he said. “You know, the kids, they’re all ears. They want to learn the game. And we love teaching it. We’re having a lot of fun with this. I think they are, (too).

“For myself, it’ll be nice to follow these kids (in the future), seeing how they’re doing in their career. A couple of them, I’m really, really high on. They can take this to the next level, and maybe higher.”

McLaren is set to board the bus with his players Monday morning.

They’ll leave at 7:15 a.m., en route to Amarillo, where they’ll open their first season in the Texas Collegiate League on Tuesday night.

After three games in three nights against the Amarillo Sod Squad, the plan calls for the Chanclas to motor eight hours back to the Alamo City, where they’ll open at Wolff on Friday night against the Acadiana (La.) Cane Cutters.

It’s the start of a 30-game schedule that will run through the end of July.

Talking about Saturday’s practice game, McLaren cited the play of his outfield, namely Porter Brown of TCU, Kyte McDonald of Mississippi State and Jordan Thompson, who will play for Texas A&M next season.

“These kids are scrappy, and they hustle,” he said. “They’re multi-talented. They run the bases aggressively. They have nice (hitting) strokes. I think our strong suit is our outfield.

“I’m hoping our pitching is our strong suit, too, but that’s yet to be seen. We’ll have to see how all the pieces fall together.”

McLaren said Marcelo Perez, Austin Krob and Riggs Threadgill have entered the picture as pitchers slotted into the starting rotation.

Stopping short of naming an opening-day starter, the manager said it likely would be Perez or Krob, both from TCU.

Catching is rounding into form with Tyler LaRue, the son of former major league catcher Jason LaRue, and Nick Wolff.

On the corners in the infield, Conner Shepherd is at third, with Ryan Flores and Lee Thomas at first.

McLaren mentioned Leyton Barry and Grant Smith as two with versatility to share the middle infield positions.

It’s been a hectic first week on the job for McLaren, an Arizona resident, in putting together his team.

Not only has he tried to get things organized with only six days of practice, he’s also had to do it against the backdrop of the worst health crisis in the United States in more than 100 years.

Since the coronavirus hit the United States in March, it has sickened more than 2.5 million people and killed more than 125,000.

To complicate matters more for McLaren, Texas is now considered a hot spot for the disease.

Bexar County, which includes San Antonio and surrounding areas, has reported more than 10,000 cases since March, with more than 7,300 coming since June 1.

McLaren said he has been on the phone with other managers to see how it is affecting the 10-team league.

“Like I said, we’ve got our challenges,” he said. “We talk every day, about social distancing and doing the right thing. You know, I think with the bars and night clubs closed down, it’ll help, because these kids won’t have any place to go hang out.

“I mean, I don’t care how many times you tell ’em, they’re kids. They go out. They like to go have a good time, and there’s consequences during these tough times.

“We put it right in their lap — it’s up to you. If you be as careful as you can, we can maybe get this season in. If not, we might have a problem. So, that’s where we are.”