Good news: San Marcos beat New Braunfels Canyon last Friday night by a score of 5-0.
Better news: Nothing fazed the Rattlers, especially senior starting pitcher Colin Gonzales, as they made it look easy against the Cougars. Gonzales tossed another complete-game shutout.
Best news: San Marcos won’t need to go through Converse-Judson in order to secure its playoff spot out of District 25-5A. By virtue of the Rattlers’ win and a loss by the Rockets, Bryan Webb’s team locked up second place.
“That would have been the third year in a row that we would have to play them,” Gonzales said of a potential runner-up playoff with Judson. “Now it’s just a practice tomorrow morning and it’s back to the routine.
“We’re glad to have handled our business and it’s just one in the books. It keeps us rolling and really sets the tone for next week.”
San Marcos (22-9-1, 7-3) looked playoff-ready after a complete victory against Canyon (15-12-2, 3-7).
It began at the plate, where the Rattlers settled their nerves with two first-inning runs. Gonzales knocked in senior D.A. Tobias and fellow senior Noel Zapata followed with a sacrifice fly to score Elijah Perez.
“Our kids came in focused,” Webb said. “You worry when you got ‘Parent Night’ or something that toys with your routine, but our kids were ready and that’s a sign of a mature ball club.”
San Marcos added another run in the second on an RBI single by Tobias and that was more than enough breathing room for Gonzales, especially with a solid defense behind him.
Gonzales rarely got himself in trouble (scattered six hits and struck out four), but the Rattlers were sure to bail him out when the Cougars got within striking distance. Tobias made several diving stops at second and San Marcos turned two double plays, the second of which ended the sixth inning as Gonzales fielded a sharp ground ball and threw it to freshman shortstop David Hamilton, who fired it to Perez.
“It’s really calming to have a defense like that,” Gonzales said. “You just get to throw it. We’ve been working on all those plays and they’ve come to be routine. We expect it of ourselves.”
Now the Rattlers prepare for a rematch with San Antonio-Johnson, a team that placed third in District 26-5A. San Marcos fell in a three-game series to the Jaguars two years ago, something several of Webb’s players hold in the back of their mind.
“I got five starters that were on that team that started in that series,” Webb said. “We were young and just didn’t know what to do, but maybe the experience and maturation will help us.”