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.

Runs-hits-errors

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.

Runs-hits-errors

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.

Runs-hits-errors

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

Chanclas’ Flores makes the most of a tough year in baseball

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

Ryan Flores, who had been serving food at a barbecue restaurant in Corpus Christi earlier this spring, has batted .303 with a team-high 16 RBI for the Flying Chanclas this summer. – Photo by Joe Alexander

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down college baseball in March, Ryan Flores treated the abrupt change in his lifestyle sort of like a fastball tailing away on the outside corner — by slapping it into the opposite field for a base hit.

In other words, he made the best of a tough situation.

A little more than four months later, as Flores continues to bang out the hits to all fields, the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio are reaping the rewards, qualifying as a first-year franchise for the playoffs in the Texas Collegiate League.

On the eve of a series against the Brazos Valley Bombers, Flores said the Chanclas are thrilled just to have played in a season, let alone get the opportunity to compete in a postseason.

“I think we’re all just happy to be out playing again, because the past fourth months has been the longest we’ve all been without baseball in, like, five or six years,” he said. “So we’re just happy to be out there to try and win games.”

Flores, from Corpus Christi Carroll and the University of the Incarnate Word, has been a difference-maker.

His .303 batting average and team-leading 16 RBI in 23 games are two major reasons that the Chanclas have a chance in a best-of-3 South divisional series that starts Tuesday night at Wolff Stadium.

Naturally, he’d like to see the team win the championship to cap off what has been a crazy year for everyone on the roster.

“It would mean a lot,” Flores said. “We’re very excited to get out there and get a ring and hopefully bring back a championship to a team that was just (created) this year. Just bring it back to San Antonio, because, I know the fans enjoy coming out to the games.

“That would make me really happy if we could bring back a championship for the fans.”

In the spring, Flores’ hopes of helping UIW win a Southland Conference championship during his junior year were dashed. The season was called off after 16 games. His whole life was upended, really, because the campus was closed.

In response, Flores knew he’d need to make a plan on how to finish out his semester. How to further his career. How to make the best of it.

Flores, a practical man, decided that he would return to Corpus Christi, live at home and take his UIW classes online.

He decided he’d also work some shifts at the Salty Oak, a barbecue restaurant, to make a little extra money.

The best entree on the menu? If you ask Flores, it’s “The Big Salty.”

“It’s a two-pound sandwich with brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and cole slaw on top — just a big ‘ol sandwich,” he said. “That’s my favorite.”

So, while Flores was toiling with his UIW classes virtually and working to carry out food to curb-side customers at the Salty Oak, he was also trying to carve out enough time for baseball practice.

Working on his game was a chore, because with the pandemic, most fields were closed. He finally found one facility, known as the “Cage Nation USA,” where he’d go with friends to tinker with his craft.

Given his erratic workout schedule during the spring, it’s surprising in a way that he became such an offensive force with the Chanclas this summer. How did he do it?

“I’m not really sure,” Flores said. “I guess I’ve always been a good hitter, wherever I’m at. The way (Chanclas players) expected it to be, all the hitters were going to be behind, because all the pitchers were going to be able to throw during quarantine, while we hadn’t seen any live pitching or anything.

“It took a few games to get into it. But after awhile, I started getting my timing down and started getting back into rhythm. Started doing well.”

In watching Flores, it’s easy to see that he has worked hard at his game for some time. A left-handed hitter, his bat whips around swiftly and smoothly on a slightly upward arc.

He can jerk the ball to right field, but he also knows how to shoot line drives down the third-base line, a skill that will come in handy in his future endeavors.

Flores said he really felt like he started to make rapid improvements as a hitter when he arrived at UIW in 2017.

“My freshman year of college, is when I started getting better, (using) my legs and staying through the ball, rather than pulling off of everything,” he said. “It’s really been the last few years that I started to know myself as a hitter.”

His ability to hit to the opposite field could help immensely on the next level. Does he want to play pro ball? You bet, he does.

“I really think about it every day, honestly,” Flores said. “It’s the main goal for me. I’ve been dreaming about that since I was three or four years old.

“It’s just crazy that I’ve had those same dreams the past 15 or 16 years of wanting to play professional baseball, and how close I’m getting to it … I’m really hoping to get picked up by somebody.”

In the meantime, the Chanclas’ RBI leader would love to make something happen this week, for the fans and for his teammates, particularly against Brazos Valley.

The Bombers handcuffed Chanclas hitters in winning three straight games in Bryan a little more than a week ago.

“We’re just trying to redeem ourselves after that last not-so-lucky trip,” Flores said. “So we’re getting really prepared. We had practice (Monday). We’re really excited to get out there and play them again.”

Records

Brazos Valley (19-11)
San Antonio (16-12)

Playoff schedule

Here is the TCL playoff schedule as spelled out in a Monday morning Twitter post from the league office:

South Division

Brazos Valley Bombers at the Flying Chanclas, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, at Wolff Stadium, San Antonio.

Flying Chanclas at Bombers, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, at Travis Field, Bryan.

(If necessary) Flying Chanclas at Bombers, 7:05 p.m., Thursday, at Travis Field, Bryan.

North Division

Amarillo Sod Squad at Tulsa Drillers, 7:05 p.m., Tuesday.

Tulsa at Amarillo, 7:05 p.m., Wednesday.

(If necessary) Tulsa at Amarillo, 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

Championship game

Teams TBA, at either Amarillo, or the South Division winner’s home ball park, 7:05 p.m., Saturday

Flying Chanclas manager feels good going into the playoffs

Flying Chanclas pitcher Austin Krob from TCU pitching against the Amarillo Sod Squad at Wolff Stadium on July 28. - photo by Joe Alexander

Austin Krob, from TCU, will start Tuesday night as the Flying Chanclas open a playoff series at home against the Brazos Valley Bombers. In his last outing, on Aug. 28, Krob pitched five scoreless innings against Amarillo. – Photo by Joe Alexander

When the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio open the Texas Collegiate League playoffs at home Tuesday night, it’s a fair question to wonder — will fans at Wolff Stadium see a Chanclas team that won 13 out of 18 during one red-hot stretch of the season?

Or, will they see the team that cooled considerably in recent weeks, losing five of its last six?

With some key roster additions on board, and with a weekend off to rest weary legs, the hope is that the Chanclas can turn on the jets again in a best-of-three, TCL South division series against the Brazos Valley Bombers.

“I think the guys got their second wind,” Chanclas manager John McLaren said. “I think we had a spell in there where we got tired, where we were dragging a little bit. I think we got our second wind.

“You know, we had our challenges, like all teams, with the (Covid-19) virus. We had a couple of guys go home early for school. We made a couple of roster moves.

“Picked a couple of guys up. We picked up (Jonathan) Tapia. He’s a local kid, and, we feel good about having him on the squad.

“The guys are very enthusiastic. They’ve never played this much before (in a compact schedule). So I think with a couple of days rest, getting away from the game a little bit, I feel good about it.”

Game 1 against Brazos Valley is set for Tuesday night in San Antonio at Wolff, where the Chanclas beat the Bombers two out of three and won 10 out of 14 overall this season.

The series shifts on Wednesday to Bryan and Travis Field, the home of the Bombers, where the Chanclas lost all three in a recent series. Game 3 would also be played in Bryan, if necessary.

McLaren said that Austin Krob, from TCU, will pitch the opener for the Chanclas. Krob’s friend and fellow TCU pitcher Marcelo Perez will start Game 2 in Bryan. The manager said he is undecided on his Game 3 starter.

Unexpectedly, the Chanclas got most of last weekend off.

They didn’t play their regularly-scheduled, season-closing, three-game series against the Round Rock Hairy Men. Friday’s game at Round Rock was canceled by rain. By the next day, games between the teams on Saturday and Sunday were scrapped, as Round Rock announced the end of its season because team members had tested positive for Covid-19.

In response, the Chanclas had some time to re-set. They played an exhibition game Saturday night, took Sunday off and had a light workout on Monday.

Records

Brazos Valley (19-11)
San Antonio (16-12)

Playoff schedule

Here is the TCL playoff schedule as spelled out in a Monday morning Twitter post from the league office:

South Division

Brazos Valley Bombers at the Flying Chanclas, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, at Wolff Stadium, San Antonio.

Flying Chanclas at Bombers, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, at Travis Field, Bryan.

(If necessary) Flying Chanclas at Bombers, 7:05 p.m., Thursday, at Travis Field, Bryan.

North Division

Amarillo Sod Squad at Tulsa Drillers, 7:05 p.m., Tuesday.

Tulsa at Amarillo, 7:05 p.m., Wednesday.

(If necessary) Tulsa at Amarillo, 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

Championship game

Teams TBA, at either Amarillo, or the South Division winner’s home ball park, 7:05 p.m., Saturday

.

Flying Chanclas to host Bombers on Tuesday in TCL playoffs

The Flying Chanclas de San Antonio will host the Brazos Valley Bombers Tuesday night at Wolff Stadium in Game 1 of the Texas Collegiate League playoffs.

The best-of-3 series between the South Division rivals will shift to Bryan for Game 2 on Wednesday night. Game 3 would be held Thursday, also in Bryan, if necessary.

If the Chanclas can get past the Bombers, they would play the winner of a North Division series between Tulsa and the Amarillo Sod Squad.

A winner-take-all, TCL title game would be played Saturday night.

According to the TCL, if Amarillo wins the North, Amarillo would host the championship game. If Tulsa wins, the winner of the San Antonio – Brazos Valley series would host.

The Bombers won four of six meetings against the Chanclas this season.

Brazos Valley (18-12) on Sunday completed a three-game sweep of the Victoria Generals in the regular-season finale for each team. The Bombers won 11-1 in Bryan.

The Chanclas (16-12) didn’t play any of their three regularly-scheduled games against the Round Rock Hairy Men this weekend.

The first game of the series was rained out in Round Rock on Friday night. On Saturday, the Hairy Men announced the end of their season after members of their team tested positive for Covid-19.

As a result, the Chanclas got credit for two victories in the official standings and Round Rock got two losses.

In an exhibition game Saturday night at Wolff Stadium, the Chanclas, playing with several newcomers to the roster, defeated Texas USA of the CENTEX League, 10-1.

Schedule

Here is the TCL playoff schedule as spelled out in a Monday morning Twitter post from the league office:

South Division

Brazos Valley Bombers at the Flying Chanclas, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, at Wolff Stadium, San Antonio.

Flying Chanclas at Bombers, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, at Travis Field, Bryan.

(If necessary) Flying Chanclas at Bombers, 7:05 p.m., Thursday, at Travis Field, Bryan.

North Division

Amarillo Sod Squad at Tulsa Drillers, 7:05 p.m., Tuesday.

Tulsa at Amarillo, 7:05 p.m., Wednesday.

(If necessary) Tulsa at Amarillo, 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

Championship game

Teams TBA, at either Amarillo, or the South Division winner’s home ball park, 7:05 p.m., Saturday

Chanclas win 10-1 in exhibition after Round Rock bows out

Jonathan Tapia from UTSA and O'Connor High School made his debut with the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio against Texas USA on Saturday night at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jonathan Tapia, from UTSA and O’Connor High School, made his debut with the Flying Chanclas on Saturday night at Wolff Stadium. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Flying Chanclas de San Antonio warmed up for the Texas Collegiate League playoffs by cruising to an easy exhibition victory Saturday night, downing Texas USA from the CENTEX League 10-1 at Wolff Stadium.

San Antonio will meet the Brazos Valley Bombers in a best-of-3 divisional series next week. The series will start Tuesday in either San Antonio or Bryan. The series winner will represent the South against the North in a one-game playoff for the TCL title.

The Chanclas’ exhibition game was played in the wake of an announcement earlier in the day that their final two TCL regular-season games against the Round Rock Hairy Men had been called off.

San Antonio and Round Rock were scheduled to close out their respective TCL schedules by playing in San Antonio Saturday night and in Round Rock at Dell Diamond on Sunday.

But those games were scrapped after Round Rock officials said that members of their team had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

“With two games remaining in the season, out of an abundance of caution, we felt it was in the best interest of the players and staff to end the season now,” general manager Tim Jackson said in a news release posted on Twitter.

Going into the weekend, the Chanclas and Hairy Men were scheduled to meet three times. On Friday night, the game in Round Rock was rained out.

After the cancellation of the last two games were announced Saturday afternoon, Round Rock finished its season with a 16-11 record.

A Chanclas spokesman said the TCL plans to move forward with playoff games next week. He said it means that Brazos Valley (17-12) and San Antonio (14-12) will meet in a best-of-three series for the South title.

Notable

The Bombers have won four out of six against the Chanclas this season. Most recently, the Bombers swept three games from the Chanclas in Bryan. Earlier, the Chanclas won two out of three in San Antonio at Wolff Stadium.

Brazos Valley downed the Victoria Generals, 4-3, in Bryan on Saturday night. Brazos Valley and Victoria will close out the final regular-season series in Bryan on Sunday.

Rain in Round Rock forces cancellation of Chanclas game

Victoria Generals center fielder Jonathan Tapia (left) and right fielder Hobbs Price are both from UTSA. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jonathan Tapia (left) and Hobbs Price run off the field as members of the Victoria Generals in a game played at Wolff Stadium on July 17. Tapia has been added to the Flying Chanclas’ roster for the stretch drive of the regular season. – photo by Joe Alexander

The first game of a season-ending series between the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio and Round Rock Hairy Men has been canceled because of heavy rain in Round Rock.

Officials said the game will not be made up, meaning that the series has been reduced to two games.

The teams will play Saturday night in San Antonio at Wolff Stadium and then on Sunday night in Round Rock at Dell Diamond.

Roster moves

Jonathan Tapia, a .356 hitter in 18 games this summer with the Victoria Generals, has joined the Flying Chanclas.

‘Yes, we picked him up last night,’ Chanclas manager John McLaren said in a text.

Tapia is from O’Connor High School and UTSA.

A Chanclas spokesman also said they have added pitchers Jacob Morin from New Braunfels Canyon and Texas Southern University and Nico O’Donnell from Churchill and Fresno State. O’Donnell (6-4, 220) spent his first two years out of high school at Texas.

The two will replace departing John Gaddis and Lance Lusk, he said.

Playoffs looming

Two teams from the South Division of the TCL will make the playoffs.

Round Rock (16-11) and Brazos Valley (16-12) are in the best position to get to the postseason, with the Chanclas (14-12) having an outside shot.

Brazos Valley, playing at home in Bryan, defeated the Victoria Generals 12-4 in the first game of its season-closing series Friday night.

Amarillo hangs on to defeat the slumping Flying Chanclas, 4-2

Matt Whelan from the University of Texas went to the mound for the Flying Chanclas in the fifth inning and retired three straight batters against the Amarillo Sod Squad on Thursday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Matt Whelan from the University of Texas went to the mound for the Flying Chanclas in the fifth inning and retired three straight batters. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Struggling all night long, the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio caught a spark in the bottom of the eighth inning. They scored a single run against a shaky relief pitcher to pull within two of the visiting Amarillo Sod Squad.

The Chanclas even loaded the bases with one out. They had the potential tying run at second and the go-ahead at first. But it was just a tease, as the Sod Squad turned a double play in the infield and went on to claim a 4-2 victory Thursday night at Wolff Stadium.

As a result, the Sod Squad took two out of three games in San Antonio and held on to first place in the North Division of the Texas Collegiate League. In addition, the loss for the Chanclas was also meaningful. But not in a good way.

Anthony Forte had the Flying Chanclas' only RBI of the game when his sixth-inning ground ball brought in Jalen Battles from third base against the Amarillo Sod Squad on Thursday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander

Anthony Forte had the Flying Chanclas’ only RBI of the game when his sixth-inning ground ball brought in Jalen Battles from third base. – Photo by Joe Alexander

A victory would have vaulted them into second place in the TCL South going into the final three games of the regular season. Instead, they remained in third place, one spot in the standings out of the playoffs, with three games left.

Looking on the bright side, at least they’re still in the playoff chase, which is something of a miracle in that they have now lost five of their last six.

In what is shaping up to be a wild finish, it is now a three-team race between the Round Rock Hairy Men (16-11), the Brazos Valley Bombers (15-12) and the Chanclas (14-12) for the two playoff berths out of the South Division.

Round Rock took the upper hand for the division title with a three-game series sweep over Brazos Valley, punctuated by a 3-2 victory at home Thursday night.

In the first of the final three games of the season, the Chanclas play at the Hairy Men’s home park at Dell Diamond in Round Rock on Friday. They return home to host the Hairy Men on Saturday at Wolff. Then, they return to Round Rock for the finale on Sunday.

Brazos Valley closes at home with three games against the Victoria Generals (9-18).

Holding the upper hand in the North, the Sod Squad (17-10) finishes with three at home against the Tulsa Drillers (15-11). The North race is coming down to Amarillo, second-place Frisco (15-10), Tulsa and possibly the Amarillo Sod Dogs (15-12).

Jacob Montejano from Brandeis High School and Our Lady of the Lake started in right field for the Flying Chanclas on Thursday at Wolff Stadium. Montejano scored the Chanclas' second run of the game in the eighth inning against the Amarillo Sod Squad. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Montejano, from Brandeis High School and Our Lady of the Lake, started in right field. He scored the Chanclas’ second run of the game in the eighth inning. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Records

Amarillo 17-10
San Antonio 14-12

Coming up

San Antonio at Round Rock, 7:05 p.m. Friday.

Notable

Victoria Generals standout Jonathan Tapia is apparently joining the Flying Chanclas, according to a Thursday night post on Twitter from a newspaper reporter in Victoria.

Tapia, from O’Connor High School and UTSA, can play the infield or the outfield. Better yet for the Chanclas, he is the TCL’s seventh-leading hitter at .356.

The move came on the same day that the Chanclas reported that outfielder Kyte McDonald (from Antonian HS) and pitcher Riggs Threadgill (Fredericksburg) had left the team.

Both are returning to school. McDonald is on his way back to Mississippi State University, a Chanclas spokesman said, while Threadgill apparently is headed for McLennan Community College.