San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 12th, 2010
Rattlers take one last tune-up before district

031110carrancoAndrew Carranco pitched clutch relief Tuesday night for the San Marcos Rattlers in their 9-6 win at home against Cibolo Steele. Staff photo.

STAFF REPORT

Bryan Webb has only seen his San Marcos High School baseball team win about half of the time. In total, though, he likes what he sees.

The Rattlers will make their District 17-4A debut at Hays next week with a seasoned ball club, tested against some of the best competition available in Texas. If the Rattlers aren’t quite there with the Brenhams of Class 4A or the better Class 5A teams in Texas, Webb believes his unit will be ready to strike during the district season.

The Rattlers pounded out a 9-6 win at home against Cibolo Steele Tuesday night after winning two of five in last weekend’s tough Brenham Tournament. The Rattlers are in the Austin ISD Tournament this weekend before going after the district championship starting next week.

After leaving 44 runners on base during the Brenham Tournament, the Rattlers made their opportunities count against Steele. In the second inning of that game, the Rattlers combined singles by Ryan Schweers and Dorian Perez with two walks, a sacrifice fly, a sacrifice bunt and an error to score five runs. Taking a 5-4 lead at that point, the Rattlers upped their lead to 9-5 in the fifth on E.J. Alba’s bases-loaded triple to knock in three runs.

“We had a meeting about hitting with runners in scoring position after the Brenham Tournament,” Webb said. “When you’re playing against teams that are that good, you have to take advantage when you get the chance.”

Blaine Bagley took the start and claimed the win for the Rattlers, pitching 4 1/3 innings. However, Steele loaded the bases with one out and the call went to the bullpen, from which Andrew Carranco emerged with two quick outs to end the threat without damage.

“Andrew came in and did a heck of a job,” Webb said. “That’s a senior stepping up when we needed it.”

Though the Bobcats entered the Austin ISD Tournament with a 6-6 record, Webb said, “We’re starting to turn the corner.” Webb said he’s beginning to put together a consistent lineup, and the pitching is good enough, he said, that he would probably opt for a best-of-three series in a playoff situation, if that were to present itself right now.

Of course, that remains to be seen. The Rattlers “surprised people last year,” Webb said, but now they are among the favorites to finish in the district top four and go to the postseason. That campaign begins next week.

At the Austin ISD Tournament, the Rattlers were to play Eagle Pass and Lake Travis on Thursday, Marble Falls and Austin Lanier on Friday and Grapevine on Saturday. All games are at Nelson Field in Austin.

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