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Rattlers split Saturday slate with Cibolo Steele, Antonian Prep

San Marcos Baseball
Monday, March 14, 2022

The Rattlers had an eclectic finish to their final tournament before district play.

San Marcos (8-7-1) began its day with a 10 a.m. rematch with Norman (4-1-1) that resulted in the Rattlers’ second loss of the tournament, 4-3. But the team finished the day with a commanding 10-0 win over Antonian Prep (6-7).

“We had a pretty good, healthy meeting in between games about what we needed to do to finish these games off,” head coach Bryan Webb said. “I told them, ‘You were a hit away. You’re one play away from getting on a roll.’ And you know, things didn’t go our way. That’s the game of baseball. We just gotta keep our confidence, keep our head and, you know, the game of baseball is a game of failure and understand why it happened and try to correct it.”

The purple and white jumped out to an early lead against the Tigers from Oklahoma, powered by sophomore Dylan Nunez pitching a shutout through the first four innings.

Junior catcher Sunray Estrada drove in junior infielder Steven Wilder in the bottom of the second on an RBI single to put the first run on the board. The Rattlers followed that up in the third inning, scoring another run to extend their lead off another RBI single from sophomore Kutter Gage Webb.

Norman subsequently pushed a run across home plate in the fifth inning, but San Marcos got its bats moving again as well with another RBI single. Kutter Gage got himself into scoring position, and junior Gavin Gomez drove him in on a hit to left field.

The Rattlers’ three runs scored would end up being the only runs they’d put on the scoreboard, though, as the Tigers came roaring back in the last two innings. They cut the deficit to one in the sixth off an RBI single, and then capitalized off Rattler mistakes in the seventh. 

The purple and white’s pitching staff gave up two walks and then hit two straight batters with a pitch to tie things up. They then forced a grounder on what could’ve been a double play, but made a fielding error resulting in no outs on the play and the Tigers taking the lead.

San Marcos got out of the jam but didn’t capitalize on a bases-loaded scenario in the bottom of the seventh, which ended in a double play from Norman, to split the tournament series with the Tigers.

“I think that we’re trying so hard, we’re actually screwing ourselves up some, in some situations we’re trying so hard not to lose instead of playing to win the game,” Bryan Webb said. “And it’s not an effort deal with us right now. It’s just that we’re trying so dadgum hard that we’re just screwing it up. And, you know, we played very average baseball this weekend and had a chance to win every ball game. 

“So, we ended up tying that first ball game (against Steele) and losing the one today (against Norman) and had a chance to win both of them in the last inning, you know, and we went in there and actually ran yourself out of a couple of innings because we were trying to do too much. And we just play within the confines and do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll be OK.”

The Rattlers got off to a much better start against Antonian Prep at 2:30 p.m. to finish off the day, and dominated throughout the five innings it lasted.

San Marcos got it bats moving early, putting up a momentous seven runs in the first inning. The purple and white’s momentum continued in the second, with Wilder driving in senior infielder Johnny Pardo and Nunez moving Wilder across the plate to extend their lead to 9-0.

“I think we’re ready (to go into district). I think we’re ready to go kick some butt,” Nunez said. “Honestly, I just think that it’s a mental thing for us. I think we try to put too much pressure, we try to be the hero, when we just need to go in there and do what we need to do.”

The Rattlers would put up three more runs in the third, and then carry their 10-run lead to the fifth, where the game would end in a run-rule victory. Sophomore Vlario Prado would get the win on the day, allowing just one run in five innings.

The purple and white will retake the field and began district play against Austin Westlake on the road Monday, the game ending after press time. The teams will meet again in San Marcos on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“I told them going into this Westlake series, we need to go in there and be playing solid baseball and not get the start like we had last year,” Bryan Webb said. “We started out 0-5, 1-6 and then had to get hot towards the end. I said, you know, we gotta go to Westlake. Westlake’s a big name. And I don’t say it’s a big series because I always just say every game is a glorified practice. But you know, it is going in and starting district playing Westlake and I think we’re healthy and we’re ready right now.”

San Marcos Record

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