Otero Baseball splits four game series at McCook
April 13, 2015
The Otero Junior College Baseball team traveled to McCook, Neb. for a four game road series this weekend. The Rattlers got off to a great start in game one with a six to one win.
Sophomore ace, Jarrett Bott threw a complete game while giving up only one earned run on a homerun. Bott had six strike outs on the day and improved his record to 5-3 on the year. Bott’s earned run average is a 1.58 which is second best in the conference.
Evan Maecker went 3 for 4 and Colton Wardle went 2 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI’s.
In game two, the Ratters jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Brandon Feldman hit a sacrifice fly to score Maecker who walked to lead off the inning. McCook answered back in the bottom of the third off starter Jarron Monroe for three runs to take a 3-1 lead.
Otero got one back in the top of the sixth inning when Wardle hit a leadoff double and later scored on a RBI groundout by Ty Archuleta. In the top of the seventh trailing 3-2, Brandon Feldman hit a double with two outs but did not score as Wardle flew out to end the game.
After splitting the first day of the series the Rattlers looked to rebound on day two, but lost another close game in extra innings. McCook struck first in the bottom of the third inning for two runs off starter Jorge Venegas who went five and a third innings for Otero on the mound.
Otero answered in the top of the fourth inning for two runs of their own when Jordan Moniz doubled down the left field line to score James Cordova and Wardle. Neither team would score again until the eighth inning.
In the top of the eighth Otero scored three runs. Juandy Mendoza and Feldman hit back to back doubles to start the inning and give Otero the 3-2 lead. Then Wardle walked with one out and stole second base to leave Otero runners on second and third and one out for Jared Rodriguez.
Rodriguez came through with a two run single and gave the Rattlers a commanding 5-2 lead going to the bottom of the eighth. Steven Bishop, who came in for Venegas in the sixth inning, stayed in the game, but came up short as McCook scored four unearned runs off of two costly errors. The Rattlers fell to McCook 6-5 in game three.
The fourth game of the series was all Rattlers as McCook struggled to hit Brayden Price who started on the mound for Otero. The Rattlers scored four runs in the first inning off two hits and three free passes. Wardle hit a two run double and Moniz had a two run single.
Price struck out the side in the first two innings and would end up going six innings and striking out 10 McCook batters while giving up three unearned runs. The Rattlers added six more runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to win the game 10-3 and come away with a four game split.
“We didn’t come out with the intensity and energy that we needed to for a conference road series. I thought a few guys were ready to go, but as a whole we weren’t ready to play. McCook competed all weekend and played well. We let game three get away from us because we didn’t take care of the baseball. That was our problem for much of the weekend. We kept giving up extra bases on throws and just didn’t make the plays that we have been making for most of the year. We have another big week coming up for us and we need to clean some things up before that,” said head coach Chris Carrillo.
Otero is now 24-17 overall on the year and 17-6 in conference. Up next for Otero is a midweek nine inning game at home against Trinidad State on Wednesday. Then the Rattlers travel to Northeastern Junior College for a four game set on Saturday and Sunday. The Rattlers hold a two game lead in the Empire Conference Standings with 13 games to play.