Rattlers open weekend tournament with a win

Thomas Garcia

The Tucumcari Rattlers baseball team opened its baseball season with a 9-4 win over Questa to open its own tournament.

“The team did well today,” said Rattlers head coach Tony Alarcon. “Our pitchers had to adjust quickly this week coming off their state basketball run.”

Tucumcari advances to face Santa Rosa 11 a.m. Saturday.

Jantzen Darnell, Dalton Wood and Jakus Martinez saw limited time on their first time on the mounds. The three Tucumcari Rattlers pitchers rotated through the game, with each throwing less then 50 pitches.

“Rotating the pitchers worked out great,” Alarcon said. “It kept the opponent on their toes as they had a different pitcher to read.”

Martinez said through the week the three senior pitchers increased the number of pitches they threw during squad games and practice.

“Going from the mechanics of basketball to baseball in a week is a challenge,” Martinez said. “We played in some inner squad games with the jv to help us transition,” Martinez said.

Martinez said he and the other senior Rattlers are slowly getting their arm strength back. He expected he and his basketball teammates should be up to speed within a few weeks.

The Wildcats managed two runs in both the first and sixth innings.

On offense the Rattlers scored twice in the second inning, twice in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth inning.

The game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to tournament time regulations, and the Rattlers looked forward to a challenge from their district rivals.

“We always know it is going to be a good game to play Santa Rosa,” Alarcon said. “They are our rivals and are well-coached. It should be a very interesting game.”