Laredo, Texas – Freshman Carl O’Neal tossed a four hit shutout, while Courtney Behrend won his eighth game on the mound as 28th-ranked St. Mary’s University swept a Heartland Conference baseball doubleheader against Texas A&M International University Saturday afternoon to claim the conference regular season title.
In the first game of the day, the Rattlers fell behind 3-0 after four innings, thanks in part an error that led to two unearned runs. But the Rattlers rallied in the fifth inning, sending eight batters to the plate and scoring five runs to take the lead for good at 5-3. Jason Garcia (Jr., San Antonio) had the big hit, plating two runs with a single. In the sixth inning the Rattlers added three insurance runs to put the game out of reach. This time it was Reagan Moczygemba (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) who had the big hit, a two-run single to key the rally.
Behrend (Sr., Comfort, Texas) improved to 8-2 with the victory. He allowed one earned run on seven hits and one walk, while striking out six. Garcia led the offensive attack with three hits and two RBI.
In the second game of the day, O’Neal (Fr., San Antonio) was the story. The reigning Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Week allowed just four hits and two walks, while striking out six batters. Only one batter reached third in the game against O’Neal. The shutout was his first as a collegiate player and the fourth for the Rattlers this season. He improved to 5-1 with the victory.
Ryan Morrow (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) and Moczygemba each had run-scoring singles in the first inning, giving O’Neal all the run support he would need. Seven different Rattlers had at least one hit in the game, with Morrow and Moczygemba each tallying two base knocks.
With the sweep, St. Mary’s finished the regular season with a 39-15 overall record and a 35-13 mark in Heartland Conference play. TAMIU finished its 2010 season 15-37, 14-35. The Rattlers finished the regular season winning 12 of their last 13 games. St. Mary’s wrapped up the regular season in first place in the Heartland Conference, one-half game ahead of second place University of the Incarnate Word. The Rattlers will open play in the 2010 Heartland Conference Tournament on Friday at the University of Texas’ Disch Falk Field. St. Mary’s will open the tournament against St. Edward’s University, the fourth seed in the tournament.