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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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Rattler Baseball splits with Dodge City
March 26, 2015

The Otero Junior College Rattlers traveled to Dodge City, Kan. for a non-conference double header against Dodge City Community College on March 25.  The Rattlers got off to a slow start not plating a run until the top of the seventh inning. The Conquistadors’ offense had things going early plating two runs in the bottom of the 1st inning.

The weather was not ideal for baseball to say the least.  The wind was blowing strait in from centerfield with gusts up to 40 MPH and the temperature was a crisp 30 degrees.  As a result of the weather both sides were struggling to start any type of offense.

“We knew going into today that it was going to be tough to score runs simply due to the weather.  Dodge City did a great job of finding ways to score early in the game,” said Head OJC Baseball Coach Chris Carrillo. 

The Rattlers sent Sean Halsey to the mound in game one.  Halsey went 5 complete innings for the Rattlers giving up a total of 4 runs only 2 of which were earned. 

“Halsey competed for us and threw the baseball well.  The weather conditions were tough to pitch in, but he gutted it out and gave his team a chance to win,” said Carrillo.

Offensively the Rattlers couldn’t get anything going at the plate.  Otero had a few chances early but couldn’t produce a two out hit.  Late in game one, Otero managed to get some momentum going when Grant Templin scored off of a bases loaded walk to Evan Maecker.  The Rattlers dropped game one with a score of 4 to 1.

The Rattlers carried the late rally into game two and used it as momentum to get the split on the road.  They bounced back with a win of their own with a score of 6 to 3. 

In game two, the Rattlers battled behind another gutsy performance from starting pitcher Aiden McIntyre.  McIntyre went 3 complete innings without giving up a run or a walk. 

“It was great to see one of our younger arms in McIntyre go out in those conditions and perform the way he did,” said Carrillo.  “Aiden came out of the game in the third inning so that if needed, he would be able to come out of the pen for conference play this weekend.”

The Rattlers bull pen took the game the rest of the way with Justin Bishop picking up another seventh inning save.  “The guys in the bullpen have done a great job of closing games out for us the last few weeks, which is always great to see”. 

Unlike game one, the offense jump started early with a run in the first as a result of a leadoff double from Evan Maecker.  The Rattlers went scoreless in the second, but in the top of the third inning, pushed 3 more runs across the board.  Mathew Ing led the third inning off with a walk, which brought the top of the lineup to the plate with no outs. 

“Ing had a great at bat for us in the third to turn the line up over and stole 2nd for us which was huge with no outs,” Carrillo explained. 

Maecker executed the sacrifice bunt, which was misplayed by the Dodge City defense and allowed a big inning for the Rattlers.  Tanner Wade then hit a 0-2 pitch to the short stop which was also misplayed.  With no outs in the inning, Juandy Mendoza produced a run for the Rattlers off of a well-executed drag bunt that went in the books as an RBI single. 

“Due to the weather conditions we had to be efficient with the small ball game.   We executed when we needed to and found ways to score runs,” said Carrillo. 

The Rattlers are back in conference action this weekend against conference rival Lamar in a four game set.  The Rattlers are 7-1 in conference and Lamar is 10-5 in conference entering the weekend.  The first pitch is scheduled for 1:00 for both Friday and Saturday.  The double header on Friday will be in Lamar and on Saturday the Rattlers are back home to close out the weekend. 

Rattlers win sixth straight game
March 25, 2015

The Otero Junior College Baseball team played at home on Friday against conference rival Lamar Community College for the second time in a week. The Rattlers came out with the win again. 

Otero jumped out to an early lead and would never relinquish it.   The Rattlers scored two runs in the first on a two-out hit from freshman Colton Wardle. Evan Maecker added one more run in the second inning off a two out hit. 

Lamar got one back in the third inning, but Otero answered right back with another run in the bottom half of the third when Wardle singled again.  The Lopes got two in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3. 

Jorge Venegas picked up his third win of the year on the mound for the Rattlers after going five innings and giving up three earned runs.  Venegas struck out eight Lopes on the day.  Neither team scored after the fifth inning. The Rattlers won 4-3 and Steven Bishop picked up the save after throwing two and a third scoreless innings.

The Rattlers then traveled to Scottsbluff, Neb. on Saturday morning for a conference double header with the Western Nebraska Cougars.  In the first game sophomore pitcher Jarron Monroe started on the hill and threw a complete game shutout for the Rattlers. 

Otero put up a seven spot in the third inning and never looked back.  Otero added two more runs in the fourth and fifth innings and won 11-0 in five innings. 

“Matthew Ing got us going with a big two run homerun in the third inning,” said Rattler head coach Chris Carrillo.  “After that we started hitting the ball pretty hard and put up some runs.  Ing hadn’t played in the last couple weeks, but he has been putting in work at practice and was ready when he got his opportunity.”

The second game of the double header was a hard fought game.  The Rattlers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning, but Western Nebraska answered right back with three runs of their own.  Otero scored one run in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Sophomore Marvin Ortiz who came in relief of starter Brandon Feldman on the mound threw three scoreless innings.

“Feldman didn’t have his usual command today, so we went to the bullpen early and they did a great job of keeping us in the game”, said Carrillo.

Ortiz gave way to Steven Bishop in the sixth inning.  Bishop gave up one run in the sixth, but picked up his second save in two days, got the win for the Rattlers 6-4 and increased their win streak to six games.

The Rattlers have won 12 of their last 14 games and have improved their record to 13-11 overall and 7-1 in the Empire Conference. 

“Our guys have been doing a really good job of showing up and competing the last few weeks.  We did a great job of getting a win on Friday against a very good Lamar team and then got up early on Saturday and drove up to Western Nebraska and came ready to play,” said Carrillo.  “Western threw their number one and two pitchers at us and we put good at-bats together and scored some runs.  It’s never easy to go up to Scottsbluff and win.  I am proud of the effort and the way we have been competing.”

Next up for the Rattlers is a non-conference double header on Wednesday at Dodge City Community College.  The first game is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. CST.  Then Otero is back to conference for a four game set with rival Lamar Community College again.  Otero will travel to Lamar on Friday and play at home on Saturday.  Game times for Friday and Saturday are 1:00 p.m. both days.

Rattler Softball mid-season review
March 23, 2015

The Lady Rattler’s softball team is half way through their season with a current record 9-21 overall. On Feb. 6 the Rattlers competed in their season opening tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz. The tournament provided some tough competition that saw the Rattlers losing three games by one run, including a 3 to 2  loss to Central Arizona C.C., who was ranked 12th in the Nation at that time.  Otero was able to pick up their first win of the season against South Mountain C.C. 5 to 4.

On the way to Midland C.C.’s Tournament in Midland, Texas, the Rattlers played a double header vs. Frank Phillips, winning both games in 5th inning run-rule fashion. At the Midland Tournament, the Lady Rattlers went 1-4.

The third weekend in Feb., the Lady Rattler’s had their home opening weekend and dominated Region IX opponent Northeastern Junior College with a 4 game sweep.

Following the successful NJC series, and due to poor weather, multiple games were cancelled during the last weekend in Feb. and the beginning weekend in March. Games had to be rescheduled to later dates, and put the Otero softball team on hiatus and indoors for two weeks. Fortunately, the Lady Ratter’s were able to make up the originally scheduled home game series against McCook C.C. in Neb. on March 6 and 7.  The team competed well despite the 0 and 4 weekend.

After the tough road trip at McCook, Otero continued the Region IX play vs. Western Nebraska C.C. (WNCC) on March 8 at home, and split the series 1-1. The Lady Rattler’s current record at Tippy Martinez field is 5-1.

After the long weekend, Otero softball traveled to Lamar on March 10 for a Region IX double header and split. For the first game, Otero finished in 5 innings of work with a 9-1 win, and the second game fell short with a 8-7 loss.

For the spring break, Otero softball traveled to Scottsbluff, Neb. to play WNCC. The Lady Rattler’s went 0-4 and were only able to squeeze out one offensive run. Despite the tough weekend and stiff completion, the team hung tough.

Head Softball Coach Noél Wees comments, “I was extremely proud of our pitching staff. They threw well against WNCC, who is a tough hitting team. Our defense keeps improving, and I’m proud of how the girls hung in there, and never gave up. Our team is full of resilient players, who are determined to succeed, and we are looking forward to having a winning weekend against Colby.”

Otero Baseball beats #12 ranked Lamar
March 20, 2015

The Otero Baseball Team traveled to Lamar Community College to face the 12th ranked team in the nation on Wednesday afternoon.  After a scoreless first inning the Rattlers jumped out to a four to zero lead when freshman Grant Templin hit a two-run homerun and freshman Evan Maecker hit two-RBI double. 

Sophomore Jarrett Bott started on the hill for Otero and he was in command all day.  Bott went seven innings giving up only one unearned run in the second inning, while collecting his third win of the year.

Maecker scored again in the fourth inning on a double play ground out by Brandon Feldman.  Otero struck for another four runs in the top of fifth inning.  Templin got the fifth inning going with his second hit of the game on a double down the left field line.

“I was seeing the ball well today and I just tried to stay short and hit the ball hard,” said Templin.

Cordova walked and Jordan Moniz followed that up with a single to left field.  Maecker walked with the bases loaded to give the Rattlers a 6-1 lead.  With two outs and the bases loaded, sophomore Juandy Mendoza would open the game up with a bases clearing double off the center field wall.  The Rattlers had a 9-1 lead after five innings of play. 

Bott would come out of the game after seven innings and the Rattlers leading 9-1. “I commanded my fastball and slider pretty well today and my defense made plays.  It was fun to be out there competing with my guys and getting the win today,” said Bott.

“When Bott is on the mound we know we are going to have a great shot to win.  He knows how to compete and he gives us all he has every time out,” said Rattler Head Coach Chris Carrillo.

Steven Bishop pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Otero; striking out one batter and getting two ground outs. 

In the top of ninth inning Maecker scored his third run of the game on a RBI single by Feldman giving the Rattlers a 10-1 lead going to the bottom of the ninth.  Brayden Price came in for Otero and walked the leadoff batter, then hit the next batter.  Then Price gave up an RBI single.  Marvin Ortiz came in to relieve Price.  Ortiz gave up two singles and two walks before finally closing the door and giving the Rattlers the 10-6 win.

“I thought our guys competed all day and played extremely well until the ninth inning.  We made things very interesting in the ninth inning.  We have to do a better job of the closing games out and staying locked in for all nine innings, but it’s never easy coming down here and winning.  It was a good team win and we are happy with the way our team competed today,” said Carrillo. “We play them again at home on Friday and I’m sure Lamar will be ready to go, so we have to be ready to compete for nine innings.”

With the win the Rattlers improve to 4-1 in conference, while Lamar falls to 9-2 in conference play.

Rattler Baseball falls to Garden City 4-0
March 13, 2015

The Rattlers were in non-conference action against Garden City Community College this past Wednesday.  Otero picked up the loss in this contest 4-0. 

The Rattlers had solid starting pitching and the bullpen held the Broncbusters; not allowing a run from the third inning on.  Although Otero had a few scoring opportunities early on in the game, they were unable to capitalize.

The Rattlers sent Brayden Price to the mound to face the Broncbusters.  Price went three complete innings facing 17 batters giving up four runs, on four hits, and two free passes on the day.  Of the four runs that Price gave up, only two were earned.

“We were looking for a solid outing from Price this week so that we could develop some positive momentum moving forward and he gave us just that” said Rattler Baseball Head Coach Chris Carrillo.   “Price did a good job of commanding the strike zone and provided us with a chance to win the game.  He is a tough competitor and will continue get better with each outing,” added Carrillo. 

In the fourth inning the Rattlers went to right hander and La Junta native Casey Weber.  Weber went four complete innings without giving up a run.  He faced 13 batters, only gave up two hits and had two strike outs on the day. 

“Weber has been lights out for us as a bullpen guy and is going to play a crucial role within our staff down the stretch,” Carrillo said. 

In the eighth inning the Rattlers called on sophomore Sean Halsey.  Halsey put up a zero for the Rattlers after giving up a leadoff single to Garden City’s four hole.   Halsey then retired the fifth, sixth and seventh hitters for the Broncobusters sending the Rattlers into the ninth still trailing by four.  In the ninth inning Justin Bishop faced three batters, gave up one hit, recorded two strikeouts and allowed no runs.  The Rattlers compiled a total of six hits on the day. 

“When we have opportunities to score runs early in the game, we have to take advantage and we just simply didn’t put the barrel on it when we needed too,” said Carrillo.  “We hit some balls hard and had a few scoring opportunities but just didn’t capitalize.  Our lineup just didn’t make the adjustments from at bat to at bat,” said Carrillo. 

The Rattlers are hard at it in practice again and looking forward to Adams State JV coming into town on Saturday.  The start time for this double header is set for 1 p.m.

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