San Antonio – Texas A&M-Kingsville got the best of the No. 1-ranked St. Mary’s baseball team on the road earlier this season.
Back at home, it was the Rattlers’ turn to return the favor Tuesday.
Powered by nine strikeouts from pitcher Derek Moczygemba and a balanced offensive attack, St. Mary’s trounced the Javelinas, 10-0, in a seven-inning run-rule victory in the team’s final game at Wolff Stadium.
But Rattlers coach Charlie Migl doesn’t anticipate this being the final time the two teams match up.
“They’re a good team,” said Migl, whose Rattlers fell 10-1 to Kingsville on the road earlier this year. “We feel like they’re going to be in the regional. We might see them later on.”
The Rattlers (36-7), who moved back to No. 1 in the national rankings this week, have to hope Tuesday showed a flash of what would come in such an instance.
Brandon Bates (Jr., Boerne, Texas) and Tyler Migl (Sr., San Antonio) had two RBIs apiece, with Bates recording a triple and Migl a double on the day. Meanwhile, M.P. Cokinos (Jr., Houston) and Esteban Raygoza (Sr., San Antonio) recorded two-hit days in an afternoon in which St. Mary’s logged 10 runs on nine hits and seven bases on balls.
It was Moczygemba (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) who started the scoring, singling to right field to drive in a run for a 1-0 lead in the second. St. Mary’s sprinkled on five more runs over the next four innings, setting the stage for a big, four-run seventh inning that ended the game.
Raygoza singled past the shortstop to drive in Josh McElroy (Jr., Helotes, Texas) for the first run, while Bates scored on a wild pitch moments later. Ivan Sigala (Jr., El Paso, Texas) then reached on a fielding error on a hard-hit ball that brought in Raygoza. Moments later, another Javelina miscue, a wild pitch that walked Moczygemba and drove in Migl from third, was enough to stop the action.
Not lost in the sequence was the brilliant outing turned in by Moczygemba, whose left pitching arm and bat each played a big role in the victory.
“We were really lucky last year with Skye (Severns) being our Tuesday starter,” Migl said, “and ‘Mooch’ has really stepped into that position this year. We feel like we have four really good starters.
“For him to pitch like he did today, that just fires us all up.”
Also firing them up is their next opponent: St. Edward’s. With the Heartland Conference title essentially at stake, the teams will battle this weekend at the SAISD Sports Complex in San Antonio. Saturday’s doubleheader will get under way at 1 p.m.