Flying Chanclas de San Antonio third baseman Grant Smith has executed several gold-star defensive plays over the last few nights during a grind-it-out series against the Victoria Generals.
On Saturday night, he produced three hits and three RBI, including a game-deciding, run-scoring infield single in the bottom of the 11th, as the Chanclas rallied past the Generals, 7-6, at Wolff Stadium.
It was the third straight extra-innings game between the Chanclas and the Generals in the last three nights. The Generals had won the last two, and they had a chance to make it three straight when scored four runs in the top of the third inning for a 5-1 lead.
After the Chanclas rallied to tie it 5-5 after the regulation nine innings, the Generals broke through with a run in the top of the 11th to make it 6-5.
In the bottom half, the Chanclas, by rule, started with a runner at second base. All teams in the Texas Collegiate League start extra innings with a runner on second, mirroring a rule installed in minor league baseball a few years ago.
The Chanclas had been unsuccessful in capitalizing on the opportunity the past few nights. But, they finally broke through in the bottom of the 11th against the Generals. With Ryan Flores opening at second base, he came around to score to tie it 6-6 when Tyler LaRue led off with an RBI single.
After the Chanclas loaded the bases, Smith stepped up to face Victoria left-hander Dylan Turner.
Smith hit a sharp grounder up the middle. The ball was knocked down by Generals shortstop Jonathan Tapia. But Tapia couldn’t control it to make a force play at second, allowing Kyte McDonald to race home from third with the winning run.
With the victory, the Chanclas improved to 3-2 in a hotly-contested series against the Generals. In Victoria, the Chanclas won the first two and lost the finale. In San Antonio, they dropped the opener at home, before they pulled out the second game in dramatic fashion.
The series finale is Sunday night at Wolff.
The Generals won 8-7 in 11 innings on Thursday night at Riverside Stadium in Victoria. As the series shifted to San Antonio on Friday, the Generals won again, claiming a 4-3 victory in 10 innings.
Victoria — 6 8 2
San Antonio — 7 12 2
Please click on the link for Saturday’s official box score.
San Antonio 10-6
Victoria at San Antonio, 7:05 p.m. Sunday, at Wolff Stadium.
The Brazos Valley Bombers (9-5) and the Chanclas (10-6) are in a virtual tie for first in the TCL South division, with the Bombers holding an edge by percentage points. After a league-wide day off on Monday, the Bombers and Chanclas will open a three-game series Tuesday night at Wolff Stadium.