St. Mary’s Hits the Road for Oklahoma: The Rattlers have jumped out to a 9-4 overall record, including a 7-1 mark in Heartland play. However, they have fallen in their last two games after a 9-2 start. They hope to get back on track when they head north to Goodwell, Okla., to face Oklahoma Panhandle State in a four-game Heartland Conference series on Friday and Saturday. As a team the Rattlers have been strong on the mound, with a 3.06 ERA. Brandon Lippe is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 10.2 innings of work. Caleb Staudt is 3-1 in a team-high 21.0 innings of work. Ricky Gonzalez is hitting .400 with three homeruns, 10 RBI and six runs scored. After this weekend’s series the Rattlers will return to action on March 7 to face Texas A&M-Kingsville in a single game at V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium.
About Oklahoma Panhandle State: After a 3-1 start to the season the Aggies have lost their last eight games. Freshman Josh Garcia leads the way for OPSU, hitting .390 with four doubles, three homeruns and 13 RBI. As a team the Aggies are hitting .271 with 70 runs scored in 12 games. They average 2.5 stolen bases per game and have been successful in 30 of 34 attempts this season. In the field the Aggies have a .928 fielding percentage and average more than two errors per game. On the mound OPSU has a 9.68 ERA and opponents are hitting .337 against them. Jeremy Hingtgen is 1-1 with a team-best 6.95 ERA in 22.0 innings of work.
St. Mary’s vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State: The Rattlers hold a 23-3 edge in the all-time series between the teams. In San Antonio the Rattlers lead 10-1, with OPSU winning for the first time last season, 5-4, in the second game of the four-game series. In Goodwell, Okla., the Rattlers lead 13-2, and have won the last six games. St. Mary’s won seven of the eight games played last season, including all four in Goodwell. The Rattlers won the first 14 games in the series, which started in 2003.
Gonzalez Earns Heartland Player of the Week Honors: Ricky Gonzalez was named Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week for his play against Montana State-Billings. Gonzalez had his best week as a Rattler. He entered the doubleheader against Montana State-Billings with just five at-bats so far this season, but took advantage of his second and third starts of the season. In the first game he went 4-of-4 with homeruns in three straight at-bats. That total tied the St. Mary’s single-game school record. His eight RBI is the second highest single-game total in school history. His four hits and four runs scored both tied for the fifth most in school history. He had two hits in three at-bats in the first game of the doubleheader the following day.
UTSA Edges Rattlers in Crosstown Battler: Texas-San Antonio built up a big early lead and held off a determined St. Mary’s rally in an 8-5 win. Trailing 8-4 entering the ninth inning, St. Mary’s posted another rally. With one out Ray Camacho walked and was replaced by pinch runner Nate Wilson. One out later Michael Brzezinski reached on the third UTSA error of the game and Ryan Femath singled to center, scoring Wilson with the fifth run of the game. Cody Pyle then walked to load the bases with two outs. J.T. Mackey came in from the bullpen and forced Jonathon Cisneros to ground out to first base, ending the threat, and the game. Brandon Key was the first of six Rattler pitchers in his first start of the season. He fell to 0-1, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits and three walks, while striking out four in 3 1/3 innings of work. Pyle had two base hits to lead the Rattler offense.