San Marcos' rally falls short against Smithson Valley
Bryan Webb needed his team to respond.
The Rattlers pressed too much last week and let errors get the best of them, losing two games to New Braunfels. Webb reminded his players that mistakes happen in baseball and are survivable. But they had to shake it off.
It took the team an inning to do so on Tuesday, facing Smithson Valley on the road. San Marcos went scoreless in the top of the first, then surrendered five runs in the bottom of the frame. But the Rattlers did respond, outscoring the Knights in the final six innings and earning a chance to tie the game in a 7-5 loss.
“After the first inning, we outplayed them,” Webb said. “So, we’ve just got to keep battling. They could’ve quit when it was 5-0. They didn’t and they battled. And I’m still proud to coach these kids.”
Senior infielder Rich Santellana got the visitors on the board in the second inning, reaching first base and then turning three two at-bats later on a double from junior infielder Isaac Gonzalez. San Marcos kept building.
A single from junior outfielder Gage Mason brought sophomore pinch runner Kannon Webb home in the third inning. Senior infielder Ruben Miranda and junior outfielder Ryan Wilder followed with singles of their own, allowing Mason to cross the plate as well, trimming the lead to 5-3.
“We’re stubborn,” Webb said. “And this program’s got a lot of pride. You know, they’re not going to quit. These kids are not going to quit.”
Smithson Valley extended their lead over the next two innings to 7-3. But a double from senior infielder Julian DeLeon in the sixth allowed the Rattlers back into the game as he stole the final two bases. The hosts went scoreless to close out the inning, leaving the visitors needing three runs to tie the game.
Wilder led off by taking advantage of a Knights error to get on first and stealing second. Senior infielder Nick Villalobos moved him to third with a single to left field. Santellana hit into a fielder’s choice, allowing Wilder to score but failing to advance Villalobos.
Senior catcher Colt Ozmen moved Santellana into scoring position with a hit, but the Rattlers struck out in the final two at-bats to take the 7-5 defeat.
Miranda went 3-4 in the game with a double in the first inning. He also closed out the final 4.1 innings for the team, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out two.
“That’s the Ruben that we’re used to seeing right there,” Webb said. “You know, great at the plate, great on the mound. He’s put a lot of pressure on himself this year to try to do too much. We had that talk yesterday and we went in the cage and found some ways to get his swing going again. He had a great night.”
San Marcos and Smithson Valley will square off again Friday night at 7 p.m. inside the Rattlers’ baseball stadium. Webb hopes his team can keep finding ways to bounce back from mistakes.
“We keep putting ourselves in jams or we go in and start pressing,” Webb said. “How do we avoid it? We haven’t figured that one out yet. But we’re going to go back to work tomorrow and figure it out.”