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Otero Junior College
1802 Colorado Ave.
La Junta CO 81050

PH: 719-384-6859
FX: 719-384-6933

Jim Rizzuto

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Gary Addington

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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.

Otero Junior College Rodeo Claims first win of the season
April 13, 2015

Photo Caption: Nicole Waggoner earned her first intercollegiate win of her career last weekend at the Colorado State University Skyline Stampede, placing first in barrel racing. Photo Credit:BQGauck Photography.

Otero Junior College Rodeo team member Nicole Waggoner (Fowler) showed why she is one of the top barrel racers in the Central Rocky Mountain region this weekend at the Colorado State University Skyline Stampede.  

With a first round time of 15.04 seconds Waggoner won the first round edging out the other 89 competitors by three tenths of a second.   In the Championship round on Sunday, Waggoner topped the competition with a time of 14.88 seconds, winning the go round and placing her first in the average on two runs.  Waggoner was 29.94 seconds on two runs, nine tenths of a second faster than the second place finisher.   Waggoner is currently sitting fourth in the regional standings.

“I am so excited for Nicole with her first intercollegiate win of her career.  She has been working extremely hard this season. She is on a horse that she and her family have put countless hours into. Nicole has had some hard luck with horses the past few years and has taken the challenges with a positive attitude. She rode smart, aggressive and correct this weekend and I have high hopes for her and her time at OJC,” said Head OJC Rodeo Coach Lindsay Sumpter.      

Also having a good showing this weekend at CSU was tie down roper Cody Hill (Thatcher, Utah) who finished second in the first round of competition and finishing fourth in the average.  Hill earned 100 points this weekend and moved into ninth in the regional standings.

Freshman, Miranda Johnson (Simla) finished eighth in the breakaway competition.

The COSU rodeo was the eighth rodeo of the season for the OJC Rodeo Team, which will travel to Casper, Wyo. for the Casper College rodeo April 17-19.

Otero Baseball drops midweek game
April 8, 2015

The Otero Junior College Baseball team saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday afternoon in Trinidad.  

Otero fell behind in the second inning when the Trojans scored three runs off starting pitcher Sean Halsey. The Rattlers came right back in the top of the third, scoring three on consecutive singles by James Cordova, Jordan Moniz, Evan Maecker, and Tanner Wade to tie the game up.  

Dallas Oquist came in for Halsey in the top of the third inning and kept Trinidad scoreless until the fifth inning when they scored two more runs off him.  

Otero was trailing five to three in the top of the sixth, but answered back with a leadoff double from Juandy Mendoza and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Colton Wardle.  With two outs, Cordova hit a two run triple to score Jared Rodriguez and Grant Templin who singled right before him.
Otero’s six to five lead wouldn’t last long as Trinidad hit a two run home run in the bottom of the sixth to knock Oquist out of the game.  Trinidad added one more unearned run off Marvin Ortiz who came in for Oquist in the sixth inning.  

The Rattlers scored another run in the eighth on a RBI single by Cordova to cut the lead to eight to seven, but the Trojans scored two more runs in the eighth to take a 10-7 lead going to the ninth.  The Rattlers had a leadoff single in the ninth, but did not score and fell to the Trojans 10-7.

With the loss, the Ratters fell to 15-4 in the Empire Conference standings, but still remain in first place and a game in a half ahead of Trinidad who is 15-7.  

“Today we hit the ball really well and put up some runs, but we struggled on the mound to get them out when we needed too.  I thought we competed well and played hard, we just came up short today.  We are back on the road this weekend at McCook and we need to be ready to go again in another tough conference series on the road,” said head coach Chris Carrillo.

The Rattlers travel to McCook, Neb. for a four game road series with the McCook Indians on Saturday and Sunday.  Game time is set for 1 p.m. CST both days.

Otero Baseball sweeps Miles CC and extends win streak to 8
April 6, 2015

Rattler Baseball swept Miles Community College this past weekend in a six game series at home.  In game one Otero won 3-1 behind Jarrett Bott’s complete game effort on the mound. 

In game two the Rattlers won 4-2.  Marvin Ortiz went six innings and picked up the win and closer Steven Bishop earned his fifth save of the year.  

Game three went 10 innings ending with a 2-1 win when Evan Maecker scored on a RBI fielder’s choice by Juandy Mendoza.  Jarron Monroe started on the mound and went six innings and got the no decision.  Dallas Oquist came in and went four scoreless innings and earned the win.

“Dallas has been battling arm issues since last summer and it was great to see him come into the game in a tough situation and get us on out of it.  He looked like he was back to last year’s form,” said head coach Chris Carrillo. Oquist was a first team All-Region pitcher last year for Otero.

Game four of the series was another tight game.  The Rattlers won 1-0 behind Brayden Price’s no hitter.  Price had 10 strike outs and four walks in the game. 

“Price’s performance was pretty special,” said Carrillo. “Price has been working extremely hard to make adjustments on the mound and to be able to consistently throw strikes.  It was great to see that his hard work paid off for him.”

The last day of the series was dominated by the Rattlers.  In game five Otero won 6-1 with Jorge Venegas on the mound.  Venegas threw six innings giving up one earned run.  Riley Edmonds threw a scoreless seventh inning to clinch the 7-0 victory for Otero. 

Aiden McIntyre started the sixth game and went five scoreless innings to pick up the win.  Casey Weber and Steven Bishop each threw a scoreless inning in the sixth and seventh innings.

“Offensively, the first two days of the series we weren’t having great at bats and we were struggling to score runs.  We were getting too long at the plate and trying to do too much, but the last day of the series we went back to our approach of going gap to gap and putting pressure on the defense. It showed as we scored runs and only had two strikeouts on the day,” said Carrillo

The Rattlers improved to 15-3 in conference and 22-14 overall on the year.  Otero has won eight straight games and won 21 of their last 26 games. 

Next up for the Rattlers is Trinidad State Junior College, who is in second place in the Empire Conference at 14-7.  They will play on Tuesday March 7.

“It’s going to be a tough test going on the road to Trinidad, but we are looking forward to going to play them,” said Carrillo.

The Rattlers have a four game road series at McCook Community College on April 11 and 12.

Otero Baseball wins season series versus LCC
March 31, 2015

The Rattlers win the season series against rival Lamar Community College 4-2 behind solid starting pitching and defense.  The bullpen for the Rattlers did a great job of getting outs when they needed to, especially late in the series. Offensively the Rattlers had a few timely hits and put a lot of pressure on Lamar’s defense on the bases. 

“Coach Richter and our pitching staff did a great job of preparing for Lamar’s lineup this past week,” said Rattler Head Baseball Coach Chris Carrillo. 

The Rattlers’ staff only gave up 11 runs on the weekend in the four game set. 

“The Lamar series is always a fun series to be a part of.  Both teams are going to show up and get after each other the entire weekend and the majority to the time it produces some quality baseball.  So to come out on top of that series was great for our guys,” said Carrillo. 

This rival series against Lamar was a split series.  The Friday double header was played in Lamar and Saturday’s double header was back at home for the Rattlers.  The home field advantage seemed to be a factor as Lamar took the first two games of the double header at home. The Rattlers bounced back to win both games at home on Saturday at 22nd St. Field.  

“Home field does play a role in this series because both yards play so differently.  Lamar’s yard is a lot smaller so the homerun ball plays a factor, while the extra base hit is hard to come by,” said Carrillo. “When we are home, it suits our lineup a lot better.  We like to hit the ball in the gaps and use our speed to try to get the extra base.  Along with the offensive difference our staff loves our yard because it is such a pitcher friendly park.”  

Along with solid starting pitching, the Rattlers played great defense.  Otero turned 6 double plays on the weekend, allowing them to escape a few potential big innings from the Lopes. 

The Rattlers dropped game one in the Lamar 3-1 behind a solid pitching performance from right hander Jarrett Bott.  He went 6.1 innings pitched with 7 K’s, 1 BB and only gave up 1 earned. 

“Bott pitched well enough for us to win the game, we just struggled to get him any run support.  Moreno for Lamar did a great job of keeping our lineup off balance with 3 pitches,” said Carrillo. 

In game one the Rattlers’ only run came from a lead-off single from Wardle in the top of the second inning.  Wardle then stole 2nd and then advanced to 3rd on a ground ball to right side by Rodriguez.  With two outs in the second inning, Sonora came up with a two out RBI single to give the Rattlers a 1-0.  After the run in the second the Rattlers would not score again in game one. 

In game two the Rattlers again struggled to put runs on the board behind starter Jarron Monroe.  Monroe went 6 complete innings; only giving up 1 earned run.  The only run the Rattlers could push across came in the seventh inning when Tanner Wade lead the inning off with a triple in the right center gap and then plated from an RBI single from the Rattlers cleanup hitter Brendon Feldman.  It was a little too late for the Rattlers again losing game two 3-1.

The Rattlers returned home on Saturday extremely confident, knowing that they were sending sophomore Jorge Venegas to the mound.  “Jorge is always tough to score runs against, he is 88-91 and has a nasty slider.  I knew if we could get the sticks going we would be in good shape,” said Carrillo. 

The Rattlers got off to a good start, scoring a run in the first as a result of a leadoff walk from Evan Maecker.  They struggled to score again until the sixth inning.  Trailing 2-1 going into the sixth, the Rattlers’ Brandon Feldman came to the plate with Tanner Wade on first with one out.  Feldman, with a full count, ran into a fastball that Thomas left up in the zone that left the 22nd Street Field in a hurry. 

As a result of the two run blast by Feldman, the Rattlers took the lead 3-2 going into the seventh.  Lefty closer Dustin Bishop closed the seventh out, giving the Rattlers the 3-2 win in game three. 

“We needed a big hit late in the game and Feldman came through for us with a big time hit,” Carrillo said.  

In game four, the Rattlers carried the momentum from the win and put up five runs off of left handed starter Walker Williams.  The Rattlers scored a run in the first as a result of 3 singles and a walk giving the Rattlers the offensive momentum. 

In the bottom of the second, the Rattlers hit through the lineup and put up four runs, putting Lamar in a hole early on.  Five runs was all the Rattlers would need to win and take the overall season series 4 games to 2.  The final score in game four was 5-3. 

The Rattlers head into another big conference series against Miles Community College in a six game set starting Thursday at 1:00.  The Rattlers will have a double header against Miles Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.  The start time for all three days is 1:00 p.m.  “Miles has a good club, so we will have to come ready to play from the first pitch,” said Carrillo.

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