San Antonio – Just in case these two teams were to meet again in the postseason, St. Mary’s second baseman Weston Baros said the Rattlers wanted to make the right kind of first impression Tuesday.
St. Mary’s, the 11th-ranked team in the nation, pounded the Wildcats 12-5 in a non-conference game at V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium, delivering a statement against the team that ended their season a year ago.
“Last year we kind of got upset,” said Baros, a senior from San Antonio, referring to Abilene Christian’s extra-innings victory over St. Mary’s in last year’s NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament. “We wanted to come out with a spark. It’s good to beat them now so that later on in the year we can have that confidence.
“We’ll probably see them in regionals.”
Baros went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Rattlers (13-3, 9-0 in Heartland Conference) past their newfound rival, while centerfielder Jason Garcia (Sr., Falfurrias, Texas) also drove in three runs on a 2-for-4 showing.
Abilene Christian was ranked seventh in the nation, according to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, before dropping out of the Top 25 this week.
St. Mary’s jumped on Abilene Christian early, scoring four first-inning runs to take a quick 4-0 lead.
And just as the Wildcats started to get going, taking advantage of two St. Mary’s fielding errors to close the gap to 5-4 in the third, the Rattlers struck again.
St. Mary’s tacked on three more runs in the third for added cushion, and then shut the door on Abilene Christian with four more runs in the eighth.
“We’re rolling as a team,” Baros said. “Everybody’s kind of coming together.”
Skye Severns (Jr., Claremont, Calif.) got the victory on a day he exceeded the 100-pitch count, striking out three and allowing one earned run to improve to 2-0.
Left fielder Tyler Migl, the two-time reigning Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week, went 2 for 4 with one RBI and a run scored. One of his base hits was a double, his team-leading 12th of the season.
St. Mary’s has totaled 29 runs over its past two games.