February 22, 2012
San Antonio – The fans at Wolff Stadium saw another skill-filled game Tuesday as the pine continues to blaze for the Rattlers in another double-digit hitting performance.
And following the Rattlers’ 8-2 victory over Tarleton, St. Mary’s centerfielder Billy Richard urges fans to come see it for themselves.
“Just come out and see some games,” he said. “We love the support. We love the fans.”
Richard, the St. Mary’s centerfielder (RS-Jr., Schertz, Texas), has become one of the Rattlers’ (10-2, 9-0 in conference) main attractions this season, housing the highest batting average for the team and was named the Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week for his performance at the plate last week.
Tuesday was no different for Richard or the rest of the Rattlers, who pounded 11 hits off Tarleton State’s (4-2) pitching staff – all eight of them – in the victory.
And it didn’t take long for the Rattler rally to start.
Richard’s leadoff single started the Rattlers on a three-hit streak in the first to come away with two runs. Michael “M.P.” Cokinos (Jr., Houston) and Brandon Bates (Jr., Boerne, Texas) had an RBI apiece.
Rattler fans at home or not watching online also missed the heat from newcomer Bates. Fast becoming another scare for pitchers, Bates went 3 of 5 from the plate Tuesday, racking in half of St. Mary’s total score with four RBIs.
Tarleton State went through a rotation of eight pitchers in its first faceoff against St. Mary’s, each trying a hand at a powerful Rattler lineup, while St. Mary’s Derek Moczygemba (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) had a quality start with four strikeouts in seven innings for his first win of the season.
When not on the mound pitching a 1.83 ERA, Moczygemba frequents left field, showcasing the Rattlers’ versatility as a team.
Manning left field Tuesday was the Rattlers’ usual starting first baseman, Tyler Migl (Sr., San Antonio), who punched two RBIs of his own with a single in the bottom of the second. Shifting from third to shortstop, Ivan Sigala (Jr., El Paso, Texas) picked up the Rattlers’ final run of the day in the fourth – all of which is on Richard’s mind as he steps up each game as the Rattlers’ leadoff man.
“When I step up to the plate for the first at-bat of the game,” says Richard, “I try to work the count. I want to see some pitches, I want the guys behind me to see some pitches. When I feel like I’ve seen enough I try to find one I can handle.”
Slicing one to left field in the first Rattler at-bat set the tone for another hit-heavy game for St. Mary’s as well provide a preview of the outlook for the rest of the season.
“We’re looking to stay hot: keep the bats going, keep the pitching well,” says Richard, “and just come out with as many W’s as we can. We actually want to beat our record of last year.”
As in the 47-10 mark that set the school’s single-season winning percentage record.
With only those 10 losses to their name last season, the Rattlers have started off on the right foot so far this year. They’ll kick off a three-game series this Friday against Oklahoma Panhandle State at Wolff Stadium. Game One is set for 1 p.m.