Rattlers predict playoff victory

Thomas Garcia

The Tucumcari Rattlers enter the first round of the AA state baseball tournament Wednesday hosting Laguna-Acoma.

“The team has seen this level of competition in the past and should be ready to play,” Rattlers head coach Tony Alarcon said.

The Rattlers enter state play with a 21-2 record, earning them a third seed.

Their losses were to the Estancia Bears, games the team wishes they had back.

“We made too many errors,” said senior Jantzen Darnell. “If we could have any game back it would be the second loss to Estancia.”

The Rattlers are senior heavy with six on the roster. Those seniors all agree — if they play their game they cannot be beat.

“We need to take care of business,” said senior Dalton Wood. “We cannot afford to overlook anyone. That is how upsets happen.”

Wood speaks from experience. During his freshman year the Rattlers were upset in the first round of state play by the 14-seeded Penasco Panthers.

“We just need to play as a team,” Wood said.

Alarcon said the team’s success this year has been a complete team effort. He said the seniors’ leadership has aided in that success.

“These guys have worked hard to get to this portion of the season,” Alarcon said.

The Rattlers took to the field for practice Tuesday, focusing on the game ahead.

“This is the do or die time of the year,” said senior Jakus Martinez. “This is the best part of the season.”

Martinez said the team needs to concentrate on limiting mistakes and being constant on the hitting.

“We are a solid team throughout the lineup,” said senior Esteban Martinez.

The Rattlers will play in Tucumcari at 4 p.m.

“We need to go all out,” said Senior Jordan Maestas. “As long as we take care of basics, we’ll be fine.”