Rattlers win double-header against Clayton

Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Writer

Tucumcari Rattlers’pitcher Javier Villanueva advanced from the mound to catch the pop fly for the final out at the top of the third inning during Saturday’s district game against Clayton.

Tucumcari Rattlers’pitcher Javier Villanueva advanced from the mound to catch the pop fly for the final out at the top of the third inning during Saturday’s district game against Clayton.

The Tucumcari Rattlers baseball team opened district play this weekend winning a double header over the visiting Clayton Yellowjackets, leaving the Rattlers 2-0 in district play and 10-4 for the season.

“We need to continue playing as a team and concentrate on limiting our errors on defense,” said Javier Villanueva, junior pitcher.

The scored was tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning. Through the first three innings the Rattlers defense had limited the Yellowjackets’ scoring opportunities, while Villanueva’s pitching allowed few hits.

“We have to do a better job on getting hits and not leaving our runners stranded on base,” Villanueva said.

The Rattlers did just that in the fourth as they launched an eight-run rally with two outs. In the fifth inning, the Yellowjackets took advantage of errors, earning three runs to bring the lead down to five points. That prevented the Rattlers from winning by the 10-run mercy rule.

The Rattlers defense held over the next two innings, allowing no Yellowjacket scoring, and Rattlers won 10-5. The Rattlers also won the second match 3-2.

“This team can put together a victory when they focus on the game at hand and playing ball like they know how,” said Tony Alarcon, Rattlers head coach.

Alarcon said the Rattlers know the games are only going to get tougher from this point but know they are ready to rise to the challenge.

The Rattlers game Monday with the (3-5) (0-2) Logan Longhorns was canceled due to the weather.

Alarcon said the Rattlers will continue to work on hitting and defense in preparation for Thursday’s district game with the (10-6) (0-2) Santa Rosa Lions at Santa Rosa.

The (3-5) (0-2) Longhorns have a double header district game at 2 p.m., and 4 p.m., Thursday with the Floyd Broncos at Logan.

The (1-5) (0-2) Tucumcari Lady Rattlers softball team have a non-district double header at 3 p.m., and 5 p.m., Thursday at Raton.

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