San Antonio – The No. 1-ranked team in the country continues to rack up awards as two more have been named the Heartland Conference Co-Pitcher and Heartland Conference Co-Hitter of the Week, the league announced today.
For the third time this season and the second week running, St. Mary’s No. 1 pitcher Carl O’Neal (Jr., San Antonio) has been named the Heartland Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week. The junior had another sensational week, striking out nine in a complete-game shutout of Arkansas-Fort Smith. O’Neal improved to 9-0 on the season with a 0.47 ERA, and the shutout marked his fifth in nine starts.
O’Neal is not only triumphing the conference as he leads in strikeouts and wins, but the Rattler ace is also nationally recognized. No pitcher in the country has pitched as many innings with as good of an ERA as O’Neal. As he dominates each mound, the No. 1-ranked team in the country has the top pitcher on the hill.
At the plate, slugger Esteban Raygoza (Sr., San Antonio) has been named the Heartland Conference Co-Hitter of the Week. The senior had a big week for No. 1-ranked St. Mary’s, hitting .500 with six RBIs, two homers, four runs scored, a double and a triple. He had a slugging percentage of 1.143 as the Rattlers (28-6) went 3-1 for the week.
Hitting a cycle for the week has Raygoza at a .303 batting average and third in RBIs for the Rattlers with 24. To match his team’s top status, Raygoza leads the conference in triples with three for the season. St. Mary’s starting shortstop has nine doubles and three home runs for the season.
O’Neal and Raygoza’s honors mark the seventh and eighth Heartland Conference awards for the team, making the Rattlers also at the top of the conference in honors.