Photo by Gerald Castillo
Rattlers look to ‘finish things right’ after loss to Rangers
San Marcos was six inches away from getting on the board.
The Rattlers trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning in their game against Smithson Valley on Friday. Senior infielder Ruben Miranda led off the frame with a single to right field. Junior outfielder Ryan Wilder moved him into scoring position with another single to left field.
The Knights struck out the next batter, then drew sophomore infielder Selvin Anderson at the plate. Anderson swung at the first pitch he saw. The ball rifled toward left field, appearing to be a line drive. But Smithson Valley’s third baseman reached up and snagged it mid-air, then threw to second base before Miranda could return for a double play, ending the inning.
The visitors scored another four runs in the top of the fifth and the hosts never registered another hit, ending in a 5-0 loss for San Marcos.
“We got beat 5-0 squaring some balls up and playing pretty solid defense,” Webb said. “I’m not gonna leave here sad because we lost. (Smithson Valley’s) kid pitched a pretty good ball game and they just beat us tonight.”
The Rattlers started the game off even-keel with the Knights, neither team surrendering a run in the first two innings. Even when the situation seemed bleek, the hosts showed poise.
The visitors led off the third inning with a single on San Marcos junior starting pitcher Aaron Martinez. Smithson Valley followed up with two bunts to load the bases with no outs. But the Rattlers tightened up on defense and got the next three outs in three at-bats, allowing only the lead runner to cross home plate.
“Aaron gave us a great start,” Webb said. “They put some bunts down there. They put the leadoff guy on, they put some bunts down. The bunts didn’t hurt us … He gave us four good innings of relief and we were playing defensively.”
The team’s luck eventually ran out. After the visitors’ four-run fifth inning, the hosts only reached base on balls twice. San Marcos couldn’t build on it though, leaving both runners stranded. The Rattlers were aggressive in the final frame, making contact in all three at-bats, but flew out every time, sealing the 5-0 defeat.
Wilder finished the evening batting 2-3, both hits going for singles. Junior infielder Isaac Gonzalez went 0-1, but was walked in two at-bats. Martinez struck one out and only gave up one run on six hits in four innings of work in the loss.
San Marcos (9-19, 2-9 district) will host New Braunfels Canyon on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Rattlers are no longer in contention for a playoff spot, but Webb still wants to see his players finish the season strong.
“Like I told them, we’re going to enjoy every moment for the rest of the year and we’re going to finish this thing right,” Webb said. “We’re not gonna play outside the box. We’re not gonna get out and do things that we’re not used to doing. We’re not gonna get into verbal confrontations with other teams. We’re gonna finish this thing right. We’re gonna play Rattler baseball … We haven’t had any problems with that, but we’re going to finish this thing right”