San Marcos wins home tournament, ready for district play
San Marcos believes it is poised to make a run into the playoffs despite its youth.
The Rattlers closed out their second home tournament, going 4-0-1 over the weekend and defeating Killeen Ellison, 7-5, in the final regular season test before jumping into a brutally talented district. At one point in the weekend, the team threw onto the field a starting lineup with seven of the nine players being underclassmen and stepped up to the challenge.
Every time the team takes the field, it’s a different young player making plays. Freshman Reagan Chomel hit a two-run RBI after San Marcos’ slow start against the Eagles, making the score 4-3. In the bottom of the fourth, sophomore outfielder Ryan Hix made an outstanding diving catch that might’ve saved the game from getting out of hand. Sophomore pitcher Stephen Wilders played copy cat with Chomel by connecting on a two-run RBI single — his third of the night — making San Marcos tournament champions two weeks in a row.
“It doesn’t matter how old we are or who we’re playing,’’ Chomel said confidently. “We’re gonna go out there to compete and play our absolute hardest and hopefully, well, we are going to come out with wins.”
The purple and white haven’t seen slouch competition during its run of winning. Out of their last 10 games, seven of their opponents threw their No. 1 pitcher against San Marcos. It hasn’t fazed the team at all, especially once the bats get hot. The Rattlers trailed in almost every game they’ve won this season, including falling behind to Ellison, but they find a way to pull away and, most importantly, win.
Head coach Bryan Webb was honest, saying it’s hard to look at the team’s record and really critique one thing about it. If the Rattlers are to improve, Webb’s keys start behind the plate.
“To stay more consistent,” Webb said. “The lineup doesn’t change a great deal, which they feel comfortable with. They know what they’re supposed to do with the guy you got coming up to bat. You got a power guy, you got a bunt guy, you got a speed guy. Baseball is such a weird game because your stance could change, your jump shot doesn’t change a whole deal, there could be a flaw but, you know, a kid could come back and see he’s seeing under everything and then change his approach. So just a little more consistency.”
The first challenge for San Marcos out of the gate is the No. 1 6A team in the state, Lake Travis. The Cavaliers are loaded from top to bottom with eight players already signed to play college baseball. The Rattlers have adopted their coach’s fierce attitude and they aren’t scared to play anyone after one of the best starts in program history.
“We’re gonna go right at them. You get backed into a corner, you start swinging then we’re gonna go see what we got. We’re gonna go throw it all on the line. It’s a good test but our season is not based on two games,” Webb said. “I’ve got a philosophy: your best ball should be being played April 1. We try to be as hot as we can around April 1 and finish it up into the playoffs.”
San Marcos (12-1-2) and Lake Travis (15-2-2) take the field for the first of their three game series on Lake Travis Baseball field at 7 p.m. Monday night. The Cavaliers have yet to lose a home game with a 5-0 record.