Chanclas down Sod Squad to end skid, stay in playoff hunt

Jalen Battles doubles to left-center field to drive in the Flying Chanclas' first two runs of the game in the fourth inning against the Amarillo Sod Squad on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jalen Battles doubles to left-center to drive in the Flying Chanclas’ first two runs in the fourth inning against the Amarillo Sod Squad. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

After losing four straight games, the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio rebounded Wednesday with a 5-1 victory over the Amarillo Sod Squad, keeping alive hopes for a spot in the Texas Collegiate League playoffs.

A crowd of 591 at Wolff Stadium watched as the Chanclas snapped out of their funk on offense with 10 hits.

They scored two runs in the fourth inning and three in the sixth to back the pitching of Marcelo Perez, Arturo Guajardo and Garrett Egli, who combined on a seven-hitter while striking out 14.

The Flying Chanclas' Johnny Hernandez scores the first run of the game on a double by Battles. - photo by Joe Alexander

Johnny Hernandez scores the first run of the game on a double by Jalen Battles. – photo by Joe Alexander

Perez, from TCU, pitched six scoreless innings, allowed four hits and struck out eight.

Offensive standouts included Jalen Battles, whose two-run double in the fourth gave the Chanclas the lead and some much-needed momentum.

Also, Kyte McDonald ignited the three-run sixth with a one-out double. Ryan Flores highlighted the uprising with an RBI single for the third run of the inning to make it 5-0.

During the four-game losing streak, the Chanclas produced only five runs on 22 hits. In that time, they batted a cool .173 as a team.

Coming into Wednesday night, they had been shut out in two of their last three games and had scored runs in only two of their past 37 innings.

The Flying Chanclas' Grant Smith scores the second run of the game on a double by Jalen Battles in the fourth inning against the Amarillo Sod Squad on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Grant Smith, from first base, races around to score on Battles’ blast to make it 2-0. – photo by Joe Alexander

They finally broke through in a two-run fourth. With two outs, Johnny Hernandez singled, Grant Smith walked and Battles drove both of them home with a two-run double off Amarillo starter Jared Lyons.

In the sixth, a walk and then a double off the bat of McDonald set up another big inning, putting runners at second and third with one out.

The Chanclas scored on Smith’s sacrifice fly, a wild pitch and a run-scoring single by Flores, the team’s RBI leader.

Runs-hits-errors

Amarillo — 1 7 0
San Antonio — 5 10 0
Please click on a link here to see Wednesday night’s box score.

Records

Amarillo 16-10
San Antonio 14-11
Please click on a link here to see the TCL standings after Wednesday night’s games.

Coming up

Amarillo at San Antonio, 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Next, three games vs. Round Rock. San Antonio at Round Rock, 7:05 p.m. Friday. Round Rock at San Antonio, 7:05 p.m. Saturday. San Antonio at Round Rock, 7:05 p.m. Sunday. (End of regular season).

Playoff races

In the TCL, two teams from each division qualify for the playoffs. With four days left in the regular season, eight teams remain alive — four in the South and four in the North.

In the South, Round Rock and Brazos Valley (both 15-11) are tied for first, followed by the Chanclas (14-11) and the Acadiana Cane Cutters (11-13). Round Rock tightened the race Wednesday with a 5-0 victory at home over Brazos Valley.

The North is also a four-team race featuring the Sod Squad (16-10), the Tulsa Drillers (15-10), Frisco RoughRiders (14-10) and the Amarillo Sod Dogs (14-12). Tulsa beat the Sod Dogs 5-3 on the road in Amarillo.

Flying Chanclas starting pitcher Marcelo Perez went six shutout innings and allowed four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks against the Amarillo Sod Squad on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Flying Chanclas starting pitcher Marcelo Perez went six shutout innings and allowed four hits, with eight strikeouts and two walks. – photo by Joe Alexander

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