STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Wearing their new No. 1 nationally ranked badge proudly, the Rattlers scooped up another victory Wednesday over Tarleton State that gave further evidence of their right to be on top.
St. Mary’s (26-5, 19-2) nearly reached double-digits over Tarleton State (12-10) in the 9-2 win, displaying a show of talent sparking from the mound and plate – with one player starring from both spots.
Derek Moczygemba (Jr., Bulverde, Texas), the Rattlers’ starting left fielder, took the hill for his second job for St. Mary’s as the starting left-handed pitcher Wednesday, throwing for his third win of the season to improve his ERA to 2.74. The junior pitched four strikeouts for the day that almost matched his total hits as he led the team with three.
Moczygemba led the rally in third, starting the three-run inning with a single to left field. The third not only started Moczygemba’s quality day but also showed the cracks in the Texan pitching staff that rotated six pitchers for the nine-inning game. Moczygemba later scored off a wild pitch that was followed by three straight free bases as Josh McElroy (Sr., Helotes, Texas) and M.P. Cokinos (Jr., Houston) both walked and Tyler Migl (Sr., San Antonio) was hit by a pitch. The free bases became a regular occurrence for two Rattlers with McElroy walking a total of three times and Migl being hit by a pitch once more as well as getting a free base on balls.
History repeated itself in the fifth as the Rattlers capitalized with four runs with McElroy leading the inning with a walk followed by Migl getting hit by a pitch. But St. Mary’s didn’t forget how to swing as Esteban Raygoza’s (Sr., San Antonio) double brought in a run that served as a preview for Moczygemba’s second hit of the day. Another double, this time from Moczygemba, would bring in two RBIs to end the inning, 7-1.
In their last at-bat in their last meeting with Tarleton State for the year, the Rattlers went out with a bang. Raygoza plummeted his second homer of the season to bring in two RBIs for his 21st of the year to end the game, 9-2.
Moczygemba and Raygoza’s multi-hit days (three and two, respectively) made up half of the Rattlers’ total hits of 10.
The Rattlers will continue to walk on the field as the No.1-ranked team in the nation this weekend as they start a three-game series with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith on the road. Game One is at 1 p.m. Friday in Fort Smith, Ark.