San Antonio – The dark, lightning-streaked sky and rain-soaked field that caused a half-hour delay didn’t gloom the Rattlers Friday, as they picked up their final win over Fisher College to sweep the series.
After trumping the Falcons (0-12) 19-3 and 18-1 in the doubleheader Thursday, St. Mary’s (22-5, 16-2 in conference) topped those performances Friday, scoring their most runs in a single game this season with a 20-2 victory.
“This is a confidence builder,” says head coach Charlie Migl. “I think that’s how you’ve got to look at it. Really, as a team we weren’t hitting that well. And we’ve come to a place and all the sudden we have a good weekend.”
The Rattlers pounded 18 hits Friday with Derek Moczygemba (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) leading the way with four RBIs. In his first at-bat, Moczygemba slugged his first triple of the season, which not too many players can say – let alone a pitcher.
Moczygemba was honored as the Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Week last week for his victory over rival Incarnate Word and had three hits Friday.
“Pitching definitely helps me at the plate,” says Moczygemba, who also mans left field when not on the mound, ‘because I think ‘OK, the count’s 2-2 or whatever, so what would I throw right here?’ So, I mean, it helps me being a pitcher; it helps me think about what will be coming from the opposing pitcher.”
While Moczygemba may be the only conference pitcher with a triple to his name, the left-hander hasn’t had the same success with the bat as he did last season. But Friday may be exactly what he needed to get him to where he used to be.
“It felt good,” he said. “I’ve been working in the cage with Coach (Ryan) Femath and my brother (recent Rattler graduate Reagan Moczygemba) just trying to get my swing. It’s mainly just a mental thing, having the confidence you can and today I tried to be positive and it worked out.”
Moczygemba hasn’t been the only Rattler in the cage as Tyler Migl (Sr., San Antonio) also smashed three hits Friday, including his 10th double of the season. Billy Richard (Jr., Schertz, Texas), Scott Slusher (Jr., Grapevine, Texas), Angel Cedillo (RS-Sr., San Antonio) and Ivan Sigala (Jr., El Paso, Texas) all picked up two hits apiece to round out the 18-hit day.
On the mound, Skye Severns (Sr., Claremont, Calf.) picked up his fourth win with seven strikeouts in five innings pitched. Making his 11th appearance on the season, freshman Matt McClain (San Antonio) pinched two straight strikeouts in his three batters faced.
While the road to the Falcon sweep may have been jovial and fun, the Rattlers are all-game as they enter the second half of the season and take on Newman University next weekend to start a seven-game trek on the road.
“Next weekend, going into Newman is going to be a very tough place to play,” says Migl of the Jets, who were the Rattlers’ season-opening opponent. “They’ve been playing very well. We’re going to have to be ready to go and hopefully offensively, (today) is a good confidence builder for us. And pitching wise, our guys pitched well again this weekend and hopefully we keep all that going.”
The Rattlers finished the series over Fisher College with a total of 57 runs and 46 hits, allowing just six runs for the Falcons. The numbers that extended throughout the St. Mary’s bench, as well as the pitching staff, seems to be more than enough to fuel the Rattlers for the second half of the season.
St. Mary’s will take on conference foe Newman University on Fri., March 23 in Wichita, Kan., at 4 p.m.