Tristan Stivors, Will Johnston and Zach Poe combined on a two-hitter Saturday night as the Brazos Valley Bombers beat the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio, 4-0, in Bryan.
With the victory, the Bombers (14-9) moved into first place in the South Division of the Texas Collegiate League. The Chanclas (13-9) fell into second after losing two straight in Bryan at Travis Field.
Stivors, a right-hander from Medina Valley High School and Texas State, set the tone with four innings of one-hit, scoreless pitching. He struck out seven.
In the fifth inning, the Bombers replaced Stivors with Johnston, a 6-foot-3, left-hander from Texas A&M. With a herky-jerky motion and a heavy fastball, he also pitched four scoreless, allowing no hits. He walked two and fanned five.
When Johnston walked two in the eighth, it broke a string of 20 straight Chanclas batters retired.
Poe issued a one-out walk to Anthony Forte and allowed an infield single to Jordan Thompson, giving the Chanclas hope for a comeback in their last at bat. But Ryan Flores popped out to center field for the second out.
On the last play, Forte was caught straying too far off second base. He was picked off to end it, giving Bombers pitching 17 straight scoreless innings over the last two games.
San Antonio and Brazos Valley will play once more in the regular season, on Sunday night in Bryan. Both have seven games left in the regular season.
In the TCL, the top two teams in both the North and South divisions reach the playoffs.
Behind Brazos Valley and San Antonio, Round Rock (13-10) and Acadiana (9-12) both remain in the postseason chase with a chance to finish second.
Acadiana beat Round Rock 3-0 on Friday night. But Round Rock rebounded to win 10-0 in the second game Saturday.
The series, being played in Acadiana’s home of Youngsville, La., will be completed on Sunday night.
San Antonio — 0 2 0
Brazos Valley — 4 11 0
Please click on the link for Saturday’s box score.
San Antonio 13-9
Brazos Valley 14-9
San Antonio at Brazos Valley, 7:05 p.m., Sunday, in Bryan.
Down the stretch
After a day off on Monday, the Chanclas return home Tuesday for the first of three games at Wolff Stadium against the Amarillo Sod Squad. They finish the regular season with three against Round Rock.
On Friday July 31, the Chanclas will play at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond. On Saturday, Aug. 1, it’s Round Rock at San Antonio. On Sunday Aug. 2, the teams will return to Round Rock for the regular-season finale.
The Chanclas have been kept off the scoreboard three times this season, all on the road. In their two previous shutout losses, they fell 1-0 on a two-hitter at Amarillo on July 1. They lost 5-0 on a no-hitter at Acadiana on July 8.
Chanclas starter Lance Lusk wasn’t sharp, but he did complete five innings. He gave up two runs, only one of them earned, on eight hits. He walked two and struck out none.
Bombers right fielder Sean Arnold had a big night. On defense, he had an assist in throwing out a runner at third base to end the first inning. On offense, he went 2 for 3, scored a run and knocked one in. In the fourth inning, he slapped a single that scored Austin Bost.
Manny Garcia continued to torment the Chanclas with two hits and two RBI. In the opener of the series Tuesday in San Antonio, he homered and doubled and drove in five runs. He’s also made three diving catches in the outfield.
With Saturday’s performance, Brazos Valley has now won three of the five games in the head-to-head series against San Antonio.