February 18, 2012
ODESSA, Texas – St. Mary’s first doubleheader on the road didn’t change its performance as seen at home, trumping the University of Texas–Permian Basin Saturday with strong showings across the board in a closeout wins of 9-0 and 4-1.
It was a shutout at the plate and on the mound for the Rattlers (8-2, 8-0 in conference) in their first look at the Falcons on Saturday.
Carl O’Neal (Jr., San Antonio) picked up his third straight win of the season, pitching seven innings with seven strikeouts to leave the Falcons (1-7, 1-3 in conference) scoreless in Game One, 9-0.
But Rene Solis (So., San Antonio) might have stolen the headlines when he then followed up with a 14-strikeout effort in a 4-1 victory, coming three strikeouts short of the Rattlers’ modern-day record for a single game.
St. Mary’s saw seven hits in Game One and sparked for two quick runs in the first with leadoff man Billy Richard (RS-Jr., Schertz, Texas) starting his four-hit day; three coming from Game One in his first three at-bats over the first three innings. The second inning saw another single from Richard who was the lone hit before the rest of the Rattler bench powered up in the third.
Left field was Tyler Migl’s (Sr., San Antonio) sweet spot, smacking his third home run of the season at the top of third to start a six-run inning. Ivan Sigala’s (Jr., El Paso, Texas) hit to right field brought home an RBI before Richard geared up for his third hit of the day: a hard-hit double for a pair of RBIs. Josh McElroy’s (Sr., Helotes, Texas) single gave the final RBI of the five-hit inning.
The Rattlers fed off Richard’s heat at the plate in Game Two with McElroy, Migl, Michael “M.P.” Cokinos (Jr., Houston) and Sigala all picking up two hits apiece in the 11 total hits for St. Mary’s.
Richard’s fourth hit of the day wasn’t a quiet one. The Falcons were there to experience Richard’s first home run of the season as he plummeted the homer for two RBIs in the fifth to start the Rattlers’ four-run game, 4-1.
The University of Texas–Permian Basin didn’t get relief with O’Neal off the mound as Solis aced 14 strikeouts – half of his batter’s he faced. Solis also picked up his third win of the season in seven innings, earning a promising 0.86 ERA thus far.
With the lineup and mound performing up to par Saturday, the Rattlers will look for the series sweep when they take the field for the third game against the Falcons on Sunday. Game time is at 1 p.m.