Goodwell Okla. – No. 2 St. Mary’s continues its trek of road victories and its trek back to being the top-ranked team in the country with a pair of wins over Oklahoma Panhandle State Friday with the help of designated hitter Brandon Bates and the Rattlers’ top aces.
The doubleheader saw complete games from St. Mary’s (34-7, 23-3) No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers with Carl O’Neal (Jr., San Antonio) snagging his 10th win in Game One and Rene Solis (So., San Antonio) grabbing his ninth in Game Two.
O’Neal and the Rattlers took Game One 7-1 and Solis’ Game Two saw a 6-1 victory. The flow on the mound worked as well as the bats did as the Rattlers smacked 12 and 17 hits in each game, respectively. Bates (Jr., Boerne, Texas) was one of the heavy pines, batting 1.000 in Game Two to score half the team’s runs.
But the victory of Game One first had to be clenched.
It was Josh McElroy (Sr., Helotes, Texas) pounding away at the plate in Game One, going 3 for 4 that included a triple to bring in his 13th RBI of the season. McElroy remained hot for Game Two, also banking three hits to lead the team for the day with six hits overall.
The Rattlers pelted 12 hits to the Aggies’ (4-33, 4-24) five with newcomers M.P. Cokinos (Jr., Houston) and Mario Maldonado (Fr., Laredo, Texas) each smacking two hits for two RBIs. The Rattlers would continue their wrath at the plate in Game Two for bigger and harder hits.
Five out of the Rattlers’ starting nine had multiple-hit games in Game Two with Bates leading with four.
As the Rattlers scored one run in six out of the nine innings, the Aggies became familiar with Bates as he brought in half. The designated hitter recruited to hop off the bench ready to connect did his job well, going 4 for 4 at the plate including a double and solo home run for three RBIs.
Out of the five Rattlers with multiple-hit days, four were straight off the first four in the lineup with leadoff man Billy Richard (Jr., Schertz, Texas), McElroy and Cokinos all having three hits apiece and Bates with four. The latter part of the lineup cleaned up as well with Ivan Sigala (Jr., El Paso, Texas) cracking a pair of hits. Derek Moczygemba’s (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) double and Tyler Migl’s (Sr., San Antonio) chopper to short rounded out the 17-hit Game Two.
The Rattlers will go for the sweep against the Aggies Saturday in Goodwell, Okla., at 1 p.m.