Rattlers Split Four Game Set With Lopes
March 5, 2014
The Otero Junior College Baseball team took the field last Thursday afternoon at home for a double header versus Lamar Community College. In game one, the Rattlers faced one of the best arms in the league and could not get anything going against him. Otero fell in the first game of the series, 6-1.
The second game of the double header was a different story. Dallas Oquist, a freshman right handed pitcher from La Junta, had the Lopes off balance all game long. Both teams remained scoreless through the first two innings, but in the bottom of the third Otero exploded with four runs. Sophomore Anthony Boyle, hit a two run home run with two outs to give Otero a 2-0 lead. Then Blake Johnson singled and Marcus Gilmore doubled to put Otero runners on second and third. Kevin Barnes then singled to drive in both Johnson and Gilmore and stretch the lead to 4-0.
That would be plenty for Oquist who threw a complete game, four hit shutout. Oquist had 11 strikeouts and no walks on the day. Otero took game two 4-0.
“Oquist absolutely threw his tail off for us,” said OJC Head Baseball Coach Chris Carrillo. “What I love about Oquist is that even though he threw a complete game shutout, he came to practice on Monday ready to work in preparation for Northeastern this upcoming weekend. He is constantly trying to improve his game.”
On Friday, the Rattlers traveled to Lamar for another double header. Matt Smith started on the mound for Otero and went five innings, giving up only one run and two hits. Otero and Lamar both scored one run in the first inning.
The score remained the same until the sixth inning when Otero added two runs. Boyle got hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, followed by a Johnson single. Gilmore hit a double to drive in both runners and give Otero a 3-1 lead going to the bottom of the sixth. The lead did not last long, as Lamar scored two runs off Jarrett Bott in the bottom half to tie it up.
Neither team scored in the seventh inning, sending the game to extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Lamar had a leadoff triple, followed by a single to win the game 4-3.
“Gilmore stepped up and came through with another timely hit,” said Carrillo. “We are going to need guys to continue to step up in those situations and Gilmore has done a great job finding a way to drive in runs late in the game.”
The last game of the series was another tight contest. Freshman Brett Hull from Canada started for Otero and went six innings giving up three runs. Otero struck first with a RBI single from Gilmore in the first inning. In the third, the Rattlers would score two more runs giving Otero a 3-0 lead. Lamar came right back and scored two in the bottom of the third. In the top of the fourth, Juandy Mendoza hit a double to centerfield and eventually scored on a wild pitch by Lamar. Otero took a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning.
Hull gave way to Brayden Price after a leadoff single. Price struck out the first two batters he faced, but the leadoff batter scored on a wild pitch making the score 4-3. Price walked the next two batters to make things very interesting. With runners on first and second and two outs, Price struck out the final batter of the game to give Otero a 4-3 win.
“I felt our guys did a great job of bouncing back after a rough game three loss to win game four in another close game” said Carrillo. “We are going to be in these types of battles all year, so it is good to get this experience early in the year.”
Otero Baseball drops 3 out of 4 to Trinidad this past weekend
February 26, 2014
The Otero Junior College Baseball team opened up conference play this past weekend against Trinidad State Junior College. On Saturday the Rattlers hosted Trinidad in the opening double header and on Sunday played a double header in Trinidad.
Otero went one and three on the weekend, which was not the start the Rattlers were looking for. Conference play continues this weekend against rival opponent Lamar Community College in a four game set.
“We just have to continue to get better every week,” said OJC Head Baseball Coach Chris Carrillo. “We are going through a few growing pains right now, but I have confidence that our guys will respond well to this past weekend, continue to work hard and strap on against Lamar this weekend.”
In game one on Saturday, right handed pitcher Matt Smith delivered a stellar performance on the mound. Smith pitched a complete game shutout, giving up only five hits and collecting ten strikeouts on the day.
“Smith has been a great addition to our staff this year,” said Carrillo. “We know exactly what we are going to get out of Smith every time that he takes the mound for us: an individual that competes his tail off and is going to give us a great chance to win the baseball game.”
Along with Smith’s pitching performance, Otero pounded out five hits and two runs on the day. Two of those hits came from sophomore second baseman Alex Flores, who was two for two on the day with a run scored. The Rattlers took the first game 2-0.
Marvin Ortiz took the mound for the Rattlers in game two. Ortiz went six strong innings for Otero giving up three runs on seven hits. “I felt Ortiz gave us a great chance to win the game,” said Carrillo. “He did a great job of pitching his way out of a few tough innings; we just couldn’t get anything going offensively for him after the first inning.”
In the top of the first inning Otero jumped out on Trinidad with a two run double by Blake Johnson. Trinidad shut down Otero offensively after the first inning and beat the Rattlers 3-2 to close out the double header on Saturday.
On Sunday, Otero traveled to Trinidad for the second double header of the weekend. In game three, Dallas Oquist took the mound for the Rattlers. Oquist pitched four innings for the Rattlers giving up only 2 runs on 3 hits. “Oquist did a great job of attacking hitters and keeping them off balance and he is only going to get better as the season progresses,” said Carrillo.
Otero managed just two runs off of four hits in game three, losing the game 12-2. “We simply did not make the offensive adjustments that we needed to make early on in the ball game,” added Carrillo.
In the final game of the series, Brett Hull started on the mound for the Rattlers. Hull pitched four innings giving up six hits and no earned runs. “Hull’s performance on the mound was good enough for us to win the game, if we had taken care of the baseball for him,” Carrillo said.
The Rattlers only gave up one earned run, but accumulated 6 errors in a seven inning game. “Simply put, we need to do a better job of taking care of the baseball. If we continue to give our opponents more than three outs in an inning as a result of making defensive errors, it will be a long spring,” added Carrillo.
The final score in a losing effort in game four was 6-4. “This past week, although disappointing, was also a learning experience for us and hopefully will help us grow and mature as a baseball team,” said Carrillo.
Otero was back at practice on Monday with high expectations going into this upcoming weekend against Lamar Community College. Otero will compete at home on Friday in a double header starting at noon. Saturday, Otero will travel to Lamar for a double header slated to begin at noon.
According to Carrillo, “Lamar is always a tough team to beat, but I feel that our guys will be up for the challenge and complete at a higher level this weekend. We hope to see a strong group of fans at the field supporting Otero Baseball. ”
Otero Baseball heads into conference play with 4 -3 record
February 26, 2014
The Otero Junior College Baseball team traveled to Roswell, NM for a four game set this past weekend against New Mexico Military Institute then returned home on Monday for their home opener against Western Nebraska Community College. The Rattlers took three of four games in Roswell and then beat Western Nebraska 7 - 4 at 22nd St. Field.
In game one on Saturday the Rattlers won 9-7. Freshman, Marvin Ortiz from Albuquerque, N.M. got his first college win. He threw four innings, giving up three runs and striking out five batters. The Otero offense, led by Anthony Boyle, Blake Johnson, Marcus Gilmore, and Alex Flores, pounded out ten hits in the game. All four of these players had two hits in the game. Jarrett Bott recorded his first save of the season.
In game two, the offense never got going and the Rattlers fell 6-1. Freshman, Sean Halsey got his first start of his career and had trouble finding the strike zone consistently. He walked six batters in four innings and took the loss for Otero. Gilmore and Boyle each had two hits apiece in the losing effort.
Game three of the series was led by a strong pitching performance from Sophomore Matt Smith. He threw five innings, giving up only one earned run, and striking out eight NMMI batters. Freshman, Matt Wood threw one scoreless inning in the sixth and freshman Brayden Price threw the seventh. Price gave up one unearned run.
The Rattlers won the game 10-2. Smith improved his record to (1-1) on the year. The offense in game three was led by Landon Merka who went two for five with a double and two RBI’s. Boyle went two for four with two RBI’s. James Cordova also had a big game, going three for three with two RBI’s.
The final game of the series was tight. The Rattlers led the game off with a Merka home run. The game would remain one to zero until the sixth inning when the Rattlers added two more runs on a RBI ground out by Johnson and a RBI single from Cordova. La Junta native Dallas Oquist started game four on the mound for the Rattlers. He threw 6 2/3 innings giving up two unearned runs, one in the sixth inning and one in the seventh. Oquist only gave up three hits on the day and struck out six batters. Bott came in to record the final out of the game giving Otero the 3 - 2 victory and picking up his second save of the weekend.
In the home opener on Monday, the Rattlers struck first in the second inning when Gilmore scored on a RBI single from Kevin Barnes. Western Nebraska would take the lead back in the fourth when they scored two runs off starting pitcher Brett Hull. In the fifth, Hull gave up another run and the Rattlers were down three to one until the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Otero scored six runs all with two outs. Otero took a 7 - 3 lead to the ninth inning.
Bott came into the game with the tying run on deck, but he would close the door for the Rattlers and record his third save in as many days. Otero won the game 7 - 4. Barnes had a big day for Otero going three for four with an RBI. Boyle also went two for four with a two-run homerun. Neiko Martinez picked up the win for Otero after pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Otero’s overall record is 4-3 on the year. The Rattlers start conference play this weekend against Trinidad State Junior College. The Rattlers will play at home on February 22nd for a doubleheader and at Trinidad State on February 23rd for a doubleheader.
OJC Softball Season Outlook
February 6, 2014
The Otero Junior College Softball team begins the2014 season with high hopes and a strong drive to carry on the winning tradition of Rattler Softball.
"We are looking to build off of last year’s finish as Region IX champs and go even a step or two further,” said Head Coach Bennie Garcia. “Our approach will be to stay to play at the end. We want to make sure we have a fast start and a better finish. We have a strong softball tradition here at Otero to uphold so we want to make sure we do our part to represent OJC in the right manner.”
The squad is very young, but features an experienced pitching staff. Tayler Hall, Region IX freshman of the year, and Region IX first team utility player Cierra Cosslett are both back to lead the way on the mound. Also returning is Region IX second team short stop Nalani Hernandez. Other sophomores that will make an immediate impact will be Jacque Solis, Emily Bauer and transfers Danielle Johnson and Morgan Booth.
The strong freshmen class will hold the key to success depending on how quickly they can adjust to college softball. The Lady Rattlers will look for much needed support from Mia Gutron, Anna Souza, Nicole Montoya, Ashley Carrillo, Chermayne Yago, Brooke Booth, Sheradann Jones, Kaley Kamaka, Kasaundra Mascarenaz, Alexis Ferguson and Daniella Maestas.
The 2014 Otero Rattler Softball team features an 18-person roster with 7 sophomores and 11 freshmen. It will be tough to repeat last year’s total wins of 53, but the makeup of this year’s team has the potential to do some special things. The key will be the chemistry of these players coming together as one unit.
The Rattlers will open up the season on the road in Scottsdale, Arizona, where they will play some of the top ten teams in the nation.
OJC Baseball Season Outlook
February 6, 2014
Although it may not feel like spring, Otero Junior College Baseball is gearing up to begin its 2014 season. The Rattlers are looking forward to a strong season this year.
"We are approaching this season with the expectation of winning every game," said Head Baseball Coach Chris Carrillo. "Our goal is to always represent Otero Junior College in the best way possible. We go into every season looking to be the top team in Region IX, consistently working to be the best baseball program that we can possibly be.”
Much like every year in college baseball, Otero has some rebuilding to do. The Rattlers lost ten regular starters from last season which included six position players and four starters on the mound.
"We are very fortunate to have guys like Landon Merka, Kevin Barnes, Marcus Gilmore, Marcus Steward, Alex Flores, Devin Fox and Jorge Venegas back,” Carrillo said. “It is crucial for this program to have impact guys with the character of these young men. Each worked really hard during the offseason and will bring great talent and leadership to our team this season," added Carrillo.
"If you look at our roster, you see a good mix of young guys and some experienced players that have been in the program for two years and are potential leaders for this ball club," said Carrillo. "We are going to be playing some freshman at many key positions, but overall I like this team and I like the leadership that our seasoned players bring to the field every day. I think leadership has been one of those missing pieces of the puzzle in years past."
The 2014 Otero Rattler Baseball team features a 32-man roster with eleven sophomores and 21 freshmen. Although the Rattlers are only bringing 2 players back with pitching experience in the program, the Otero coaching staff feels confident with the arms that they have brought in this year.
“We are young on the mound but the guys that we are going to run out there showed a great deal of poise and maturity this past fall,” said Carrillo.
The 2014 squad, reflective of Otero Baseball tradition, will be aggressive offensively; throw strike one on the mound; and play solid defense, while approaching every game with a playoff mentality.
“The schedule is going to be interesting this year,” added Carrillo. “Region IX is now playing a 40-game conference schedule, unlike years past, in which a 30-game conference schedule was played.”
The Rattlers will play each conference opponent eight times this spring. The eight games will consist of a four game series at home and a four game series on the road.
The Rattlers will open up the season against Luna Community College in Las Vegas, N.M. on Feb. 5. Their first home game is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8 at noon versus the Colorado State University club team.