Rattlers Look to Continue Roll Against MSUB: Coming off a four-game sweep of Lincoln last weekend, the Rattlers look to build on their six-game win streak when they host Montana State-Billings on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium. During their six-game win streak the Rattlers have scored 51 runs on 65 hits, including 16 doubles. The Rattler pitching staff has been equally strong, posting a 3.21 ERA and allowing opponents to hit just .217. Michael Pawelek has hit .500 during the streak with four doubles and six RBI. Cody Pyle has hit .444 with three doubles, nine RBI and seven runs scored. The Rattlers are in the midst of a 10-game homestand.
About Montana State-Billings: The Yellowjackets have struggled in the early going, posting a 2-4 record. They split a doubleheader at Texas A&M-International on Tuesday, winning game one 8-5 and losing 5-2 in game two. They dropped three of four at Incarnate Word over last weekend. However, their three losses were by a combined five runs. As a team they are hitting .234 with eight doubles, three triples and 31 runs scored. Their pitching staff has an ERA of just 6.52 and opposing batters are hitting .297 against the Yellowjackets. They are averaging 2.0 errors per game in the field.
St. Mary’s vs. Montana State-Billings: The Rattlers hold a 7-1 lead in the all-time series between the teams. All eight previous meetings took place last season. The Rattlers swept the four games in San Antonio by a combined 31-5. They followed that up by winning three of four in Billings, Mont., scoring 39 runs, while allowing 11. MSUB won just one game, 5-4 in the second game of the series.
St. Mary’s Completes Sweep of Lincoln: Tommy Vrzal tossed a one-hitter and St. Mary’s rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to complete a four-game sweep of Lincoln, 10-7 and 2-1. The Rattlers were held in check for six innings by Blue Tiger pitcher Matt Rose, who worked his way in and out of trouble. Meanwhile Vrzal was shutting down Lincoln. After a pair of errors led to an unearned run in the second inning Vrzal took things into his own hands, retiring 16 of the next 17 batters. Vrzal took a no-hitter into the seventh until, with two outs; Mike Hall broke up the no-no with a soft single to right. The Rattlers scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to pick up the win. In the first game of the day the Rattlers overcame five errors and four Blue Tiger rallies to come out with a 10-7 win. Jason Anderson went a perfect 3-of-3 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored. Michael Pawelek went 2-of-4, including the game-winning three-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the Rattlers ahead for good.
Pyle, Vrzal Earn Heartland Player of the Week: Cody Pyle and Tommy Vrzal were named Heartland Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for their play last weekend against Lincoln University. Pyle had hits in all four games as the Rattlers swept Lincoln in a four-game series. He hit .636 with three doubles, a homerun, nine RBI and six runs scored, all season highs. In the series opener he went 3-of-3 with a double, homerun, three RBI and three runs scored. He had three RBI in each of the first three games of the series. Vrzal saw action in one game, tossing a one-hitter against Lincoln. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a bloop single to right with two outs in the seventh. He allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out eight to earn his first win of the season.