March 16, 2007
Rattlers Look to Continue Home Success Against Dustdevils: St. Mary’s returns home after playing 10 of their last 11 games on the road. The Rattlers will host Heartland newcomer Texas A&M-International in a three-game series as St. Mary’s looks to improve on a 10-1 home record this season. The Rattlers continue to be the top hitting team in the Heartland Conference with a .352 batting average, and are scoring nearly 10 runs per game this season. Seven Rattlers starters are hitting .300 or better this season led by Ricky Gonzalez with a .473 average. Ray Camacho has been red-shot, batting .611 over the last two weeks and has been rewarded with back-to-back Heartland Hitter of the Week honors for his play. This weekend’s series starts a seven-game homestand for St. Mary’s.
About Texas A&M-International: The Dustdevils have gotten off to a strong start in their first season of baseball. They had an early season 13-game win streak and any thoughts that their record was because of a weak schedule was erased last weekend when they pushed Incarnate Word to the limit in a three-game series, including an 11-10 win in the second game. Ricky Hernandez leads the team with a .375 batting average and 24 runs scored. As a team the Dustdevils are hitting .304 and average 8.3 runs per game. The Dustdevils have been built on speed, picking up a total of 78 stolen bases in 98 attempts this season. They have just six total homeruns. TAMIU averages over three stolen bases per game. They have a 5.24 ERA on the mound with Daniel Lopez leading the way at 4-1 with a 3.96 ERA. Eight different Dustdevils have at least one win this season with five earning at least two wins. Opponents are batting .298 against TAMIU this season.
St. Mary’s vs. Texas A&M-International: This will be the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Vrzal Rattlers Defeat Tarleton State: Tommy Vrzal limited Tarleton State to just four hits over eight innings and Ricky Gonzalez and Danny Cantu led the offense for St. Mary’s in an 8-5 win. Vrzal allowed just three runs on four hits and five walks, while striking out 10 in his longest outing of the season. He improved to a team-best 4-1 this season. Down 2-1 heading into the top of the fourth inning, the Rattlers rallied. Gonzalez singled and one out later Cantu brought him home with a double to right-center, tying the game at 2-2. One out later Jason Anderson doubled home Cantu to give the Rattlers the lead. In the fifth inning the Rattlers broke the game open. A sacrifice fly by Gonzalez scored the first run and he was followed by Cantu, who smacked his second homerun of the season to cap a four-run inning. Gonzalez led the Rattlers offensively, going 3-of-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Cantu finished by going 2-of-3 with a double, homerun, three RBI and two runs scored. Ray Camacho continued his red-hot hitting, going 2-of-5 with a double and a run scored.
Camacho Earns Heartland Honors for Second Straight Week: Ray Camacho was named Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week for his play against Texas A&M University-Kingsville and St. Edward’s University. For the second straight week Camacho was nearly unstoppable, hitting .556 with two triples, a homerun, four RBI and eight runs scored. He had three or more hits three times last week, including four against St. Edward’s in the second game of the doubleheader Friday. Against Texas A&M-Kingsville he went 3-of-5 with a triple and three runs scored. In the series finale against SEU he went 3-of-4 with his third homerun of the season, two RBI and a run scored.
Rattlers Crush OPSU in Four-Game Series: St. Mary’s had a series to remember as they swept Oklahoma Panhandle State in dominating fashion. St. Mary’s won the four-game series by scores of 39-8, 14-1, 9-6 and 20-4. The opener set numerous team records and set several NCAA all-time marks. The Rattlers set a school record for runs in a game with 39, breaking the old mark of 28, set against Incarnate Word during the 2001 season by 11 runs. The total is also the third highest in NCAA Division II history. The 47 combined runs between the two teams is the seventh most in NCAA history. The Rattlers also tied for the ninth most homeruns in a single inning when they smacked four in an inning. St. Mary’s set a school record with 15 runs in the second inning, and then followed that up with 11 more in the third. Ray Camacho was one of many Rattlers to have a strong series, hitting .714 with four doubles, two homeruns, 16 RBI and 16 runs scored.