Otero Baseball drops three of four to NJC
April 10, 2014
Otero Junior College Baseball is still in third place in conference play after a rough weekend. In a two-day series against Northeastern Junior College, the Rattlers lost three of the four games.
“We just couldn’t get any type of momentum going in our dugout all weekend” stated head Coach Chris Carrillo. “We just need to do a better job of doing the little things that make us successful” Carrillo.
In game one of the series the Rattlers gave up 4 runs in the bottom of the first inning as a result of 3 walks, a double and a single. The Rattlers responded in the top of the second with 4 runs of their own. Kevin Barnes led off the inning with a solo homerun. After 2 strikeouts, Juandy Mendoza walked, followed by a single by Blake Stoehr. Landon Merka then drew the free pass bringing up Blake Johnson who walked on 4 strait to get an easy RBI. With the bases loaded and two outs, Marcus Gilmore came through with a two RBI double, tying the ball game. In the bottom of the 3rd inning the Rattlers came across more trouble giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. The Rattlers were only able to push one more run across in the top of the 6th inning. They lost the game 8-5.
In game two, it was more of the same story for the Rattlers, not being able to eliminate the big inning defensively. They gave up 3 runs in the 2nd and 4 runs in the 3rd inning which is all that NJC needed to defeat Otero 7-4.
“We didn’t get the pitching performances that we needed out of our starting arms this weekend” said Head Coach Chris Carrillo. “As a result of our starting pitching struggling this weekend we struggled as a team to maintain any type of tempo. We are a team that likes to play fast and we were unable to do that this weekend which resulted in a lot of momentum in the other dugout.”
Day two of the series again started off much of the same as day one. The Rattlers were winning the ball game 3-2 after 3 innings and then gave up a 7 spot in the bottom of the 4th inning. The Rattlers offense tried to climb back in the game in the 6th inning but it was too little too late. The Rattlers lost 11-7.
In game four of the series, the Rattlers put it all together getting the win in 6 innings. Otero defeated NJC 15-3. Working to avoid the sweep on the road, the Rattlers came through both on the mound and at the plate to come away with a win.
“I was proud of the way our guys pulled their hats down and grinded out a win to avoid the sweep, but we need to be better all the way around,” Carrillo.
The Rattlers went to work this week in practice and are looking forward to getting back out on the field this weekend against Trinidad. The Rattlers dropped 3 out of 4 to the Trojans early in the season and are looking forward to completing this weekend. Otero will take on Trinidad State Junior College in a four game set on Friday and Saturday. Both days will have a start time of 1 p.m. The double header on Friday will be in La Junta and the double header on Saturday will be in Trinidad.
“This is a big series for the conference standings against a good Trinidad team, with that said I feel our guys will respond to the challenge,” said Carrillo.
OJC's Smith throws perfect game
March 31, 2014
Matt Smith, a sophomore pitcher from Albuquerque, N.M. threw a perfect game on Saturday against McCook Community College. Otero won the game 10-0 in five innings and won three out of four games in the series.
“Smith was locating very well and keeping McCook off balance with his off speed pitches. I couldn’t be happier for Matt,” said OJC Baseball Head Coach Chris Carrillo. “Before the game started Smith said, ‘I don’t feel real good today, but let’s do this coach.’”
In the game Smith had four strikeouts, six fly outs, and five ground outs. In the game Smith threw 48 pitches and 37 of them were strikes.
“After the game was over Smith thought he had thrown a no-hitter, but didn’t realize it was a perfect game,” said Carrillo. “He was pretty excited as was the entire Otero Baseball Team when they realized it was a perfect game. It was pretty fun to be a part of,” Carrillo added.
With the win, Smith improved his record to 5-2 on the season. “Matt has been outstanding all year long for us. He goes into a different zone when he pitches,” said Carrillo. “On the season Smith has a 1.80 ERA with 52 strikeouts and only 4 walks.”
Up next for the Otero Rattlers is Northeastern Junior College who is currently in second place in the Empire Conference. Otero won three out of four games against NJC the last time the two teams played in early March. The games will be played in Sterling on Saturday and Sunday April 5 and 6 at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Otero is currently in third place in the Empire conference with a 12-12 record and is 20-15 overall on the season.
OJC Baseball wins first conference series: Rattlers take 3 of 4 versus Northeastern Junior College
March 14, 2014
Otero won their first conference series of the year this past weekend, taking 3 out of 4 games against Northeastern Junior College. As a result, Otero now holds a 6 – 6 record in conference play and stands 10 – 9 overall.
In game one of the series, the Rattlers lost 5-0 behind starting pitcher Dallas Oquist. “Dallas didn’t have his lights out stuff that he usually has but still pitched well for us,” said OJC Head Coach Chris Carrillo. “Defensively we simply couldn’t make a play for him when we needed to which resulted us digging ourselves a hole early.”
After the rough first inning, Oquist settled in on the mound and put up zeros in the 2nd and 3rd innings. The Rattlers went to the bullpen in the 4th inning. First out of the pen was right hander Valentine Sanchez who went 3 innings giving up zero runs. The Rattlers turned to Brandon Feldman to throw the 7th. Feldman put up another zero, but the Rattlers dropped game one with a final score of 5-0.
“The staff did a great job of holding NJC to zero runs after the first inning,” said Carrillo. “Our pitching staff gave us a shot to win the game; we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
The Rattlers bounced back in game two behind starter Marvin Ortiz and an early offensive attack from the Rattlers lineup. Ortiz went 5 complete innings, giving up 3 earned runs, 0 walks and 9 hits. Going into the sixth inning, the Rattlers went to their pen again to close out the game with Sean Halsey, Braden Price and Jarrett Bott each contributing.
“So far this season we have been able to go to our bullpen with total confidence,” said Carrillo. “We feel that we can give the ball to our pen late in the game and they are going to get the job done, which takes some pressure off our starting arms early in the season.”
With big offensive performances from Landon Merka, Phillip Cruz and James Cordova the Rattlers won game two 9 – 4.
In game three of the series, Matt Smith took the mound for Otero. He went five innings for the Rattlers giving up one earned run, one walk and 3 hits. He had six strikeouts on the day and improved offense for his record to 3-1 on the year for Otero.
The Otero offense showed up early in the game, with four consecutive hits to start the game. Merka and Blake Stoehr both singled and then Cruz came up and hit a double to score Merka. Blake Johnson hit another double scoring both Stoehr and Cruz and bringing the score to 3-0.
Otero added another run in the second inning as Johnson doubled again to score Merka. The score remained 4-0 until the fourth inning. Johnson hit his third double of the game with two outs, and then Marcus Gilmore had a RBI single to make it a five run lead. Otero scored two more runs in the fifth inning on hits by Merka and Stoehr. Northeastern loaded the bases in the sixth inning off Price, but Matt Wood came in and got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat. Wood struck out the side in the seventh and Otero won 7-1.
Otero dominated the final game of the series. Freshman, Brett Hull had another good performance on the mound for the Rattlers. He threw a complete game shutout, giving up only four hits, while striking out three Plainsmen. Hull improved to 2-0 on the year for Otero and also lowered his earned run average to 3.09.
The Rattler offense racked up 14 hits in the game led by Merka who went three for four with two runs and double; Johnson, who went three for four with two RBI’s; Stoehr, who went two for four; and Ben Martinez, who also was two for four with two runs scored. Otero closed out the series with a 10-0 win.
The Rattlers are back on the road Wednesday to face Garden City CC in a non-conference double header. Game one in Garden City is scheduled to begin at 3:00pm with game two starting approximately at 5:00pm. The Rattlers then jump right back into conference play against McCook CC this upcoming weekend in McCook, Neb.
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. ”
April 29, 2014
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