San Marcos, Moreno battle in win over Alexander

Photo by Gerald Castillo

High School Baseball

As San Marcos looked to get back on track in Game 2 of the Comal Tournament head coach Brian Webb asked his guys to come out swinging.

The Rattlers had their hands full with another top-10 team in the state with San Antonio Alexander visiting. But junior Andrew Moreno answered the call and produced a solid outing on the mound.

San Marcos improved to 1-1 in pool play following the 5-4 win over the Bulldogs on Thursday.

“Getting beat by Hays like we did (Game 1) was probably one of the more demoralizing things there can be,” Webb said. “But we went in there, we talked about it. I said ‘guys you’re as low as you can get right now and the only thing you can do is respond.’ When a bully comes at you, you have to throw the first punch. And (Alexander) is a bully team they’re tough.”

The philosophy of going in swinging paid off for the Rattlers with a quick start in the early innings. With two outs on the board, senior Josh Wilder connected with a single and moved a baserunner into scoring position. A pass ball opened the door for San Marcos to get on the board in the first inning.

In the second, a series of singles and walks led to a convincing 4-0 lead with Moreno keeping the Alexander offense under control.

“I told (Moreno) on Monday he would start the second ball game and I told him we’re going to go in here and pitch backwards,” Webb said. “We’re going to throw the changeup, we’re going to show the curve ball and we’re going to slip a fastball by them. And he did it. He kept us in it, we settled down and got in a groove.”

The junior pitched 4.2 innings and recorded one strikeout while only giving up three hits and one run in his second start of the season. 

“I was sort of nervous at first knowing we were going up against a top-10 or 11 team in the state,” Moreno said. “But coach talked to us in the locker room about having to trust in our team. We have to go to war with those guys so it felt better knowing the guys had my back. It gave me some confidence throughout the game as we made the mid game adjustments.”

Alexander didn’t go away quietly as it began to climb its way back into the game in the final two innings. The Bulldogs strung together three hits and a sacrifice fly to come within one in the seventh. 

Senior RJ Pardo was brought in with hopes of closing out the game for the Rattlers. With two outs and a base runner on second, Pardo delivered the pitch. Alexander connected and the ball was sent to left field. 

San Marcos released a deep breath as the play was made for the final out of the game. The Rattlers held on for the win and Moreno was awarded the win.

“We’ll see (how Day 2) goes,” Webb said. “We’re not showing up and playing a patsy in the morning. We got Johnson, another top-15 team and they’re going to be solid. Youth can’t play a part in it in anymore. This is why we have the schedule we have. It’s a learning experience. I’m learning (the guys) just like they’re learning me. As long as we keep playing hard and making routine plays we’re gonna be alright.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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