AUSTIN, Texas – Well, the Rattlers had to lose at some point.

The sixth-ranked St. Mary’s baseball team split the opening day of a three-game series with St. Edward’s on Friday, losing the nightcap 7-0 to snap a nine-game winning streak.

Earlier in the day, though, the Rattlers were the ones to win in shutout fashion, blanking the hosting Hilltoppers 4-0 behind another shutout performance from ace Carl O’Neal.

The junior from San Antonio struck out six in a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits in the process to improve to 5-0 on the season. Remarkably, it marked the third shutout in five appearances for the soft-spoken star pitcher, who is maintaining a 0.57 ERA on the season.

O’Neal, the reigning Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Week, was named earlier this week the National Pitcher of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America after pitching an 11-strikeout one-hitter in a victory last week.

But it wasn’t just O’Neal starring for the Rattlers on Friday.

Catcher M.P. Cokinos (Jr., Houston) drove in a pair of runs and scored once in the victory, while Josh McElroy (Sr., Helotes, Texas) and Ivan Sigala (Jr., El Paso, Texas) also had an RBI apiece.

Cokinos’ two-RBI single in the third gave St. Mary’s (15-2, 13-1 in Heartland Conference) a 3-0 run that would extend to 4-0 in the sixth.

Things didn’t go as well in Game 2, as a six-run fourth inning for St. Edward’s broke open a scoreless game. The Rattlers managed five hits but stranded seven runners in the game.

The teams will play Game 3 at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lucian Hamilton Stadium.

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