March 31, 2012
FORT SMITH, Ark. – The Rattlers bit back hard in the final game against the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith on Saturday in a hit-heavy, near double-digit victory after splitting the day Friday.
St. Mary’s (28-6, 21-3) smacked 13 hits off the Lions (15-16, 11-12) that had five Rattlers bank a multiple-hit day in the 8-3 victory.
After a rough loss in only their third Heartland Conference upset of the season Friday, the Rattlers came pumped Saturday to have explosive bats that included a two-homer inning.
The Rattlers came out of the game racking up runs, tallying up in the first inning with an RBI single from Brandon Bates (Jr., Boerne, Texas). The third saw Billy Richard (Jr., Schertz, Texas) score on a wild pitch to pump the Rattlers to a 2-0 lead. The Lions responded in the fourth to tie it up but the Rattlers picked up another RBI single from Ivan Sigala (Jr., El Paso, Texas) in the sixth before their biggest show of the game.
The seventh was the Rattlers’ bite with leadoff man Richard hammering a solo home run to start the four-hit, four-run inning. A single from the conference’s leader in stolen bases, Josh McElroy (Sr., Helotes, Texas), followed the yard and picked up his 14th stolen base of the season once on the bag. Bates picked up his second RBI single of the day to bring McElroy home and prime shortstop Esteban Raygoza (Sr., San Antonio). Raygoza pelted a two-run shot for his third of the season and the Rattlers’ second of the inning to end the rally with talent, 7-2.
In their last at-bat, the Rattlers drove the victory home with another run with Sigala’s second RBI single for the day to end the game, 8-3.
Richard and Bates led the hitting spree Saturday, each coming away with three hits apiece. Raygoza, Sigala and Derek Moczygemba (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) all had pair of hits for the day.
The victory over the Lions on Saturday ended the Rattlers’ seven-game road trip on a winning note that will hopefully last until their return home Tuesday.
St. Mary’s will take on non-conference University of Houston-Victoria on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium at 5 p.m.