Meet your 2016 Rattler Baseball Team
Since 1986 Rattler Baseball has been an important part of the Otero Junior College campus. Hundreds of student athletes have worn the OJC uniform all the while they were building their athletic skills, gaining academic credentials and developing a path for their future. The OJC Baseball program focuses on the balance between athletic success and academic achievement.
2016 Baseball Season Outlook
With the 2016 season just a few days away, the Rattlers feel confident that they are ready.
“We had a great fall season and the guys are excited to get this season going,” said Otero Junior College’s Head Baseball Coach Chris Carrillo.
According to Carrillo, “the last two weeks of inter-squads and practice have produced a lot of positive things. What we as a coaching staff have been excited about is the fact that we are not having to coach effort every day. Guys are coming out to the yard ready to work. Overall, we feel that the guys are continuing to make progress in a positive direction and they are excited to start spring season.”
The Rattlers are coming off a solid season last year with a 33-25 record, competing in the Region IX championship for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, the Rattlers fell short of reaching their goal of winning the Region IX championship.
“We are in a position at this point in our program that we are consistently playing for championships. Now we have to find that missing variable to go get the job done this May,” Carrillo said.
A key variable to the Rattlers success in 2016 will be no different from any other year - their ability to compete on the mound. This year Otero’s pitching staff is extremely young, only returning one from last year’s staff, Casey Weber.
“We are young on the mound but we like the guys that we have. We feel that we have guys on the front end and the back end that we have confidence in to get the job done,” Carrillo explained. “We have guys that have competed their tails off and who made huge strides this fall under Coach Richter’s tutelage. We are excited to watch the guys on the staff compete this spring. They are definitely going to surprise some people,” Carrillo added.
Look for Nicholas Kakavas LHP, Jonathan Cote LHP, Troy Shrivogal RHP, Casey Weber RHP, Ian Durgin RHP, Lane Greiman RHP, and Franco Munoz RHP to really make an impact on the mound. Each will hold opposing teams down and give the Rattlers a great opportunities to win ball games, according to Rattler coaching staff.
Anxious to see how his pitchers would perform in the first few weeks back from Christmas break in intersquads, Carrillo was happy that the weather allowed for outdoor practices. “For the most part, the guys came back from break ready to compete. The weather cooperated with us this January so guys were able to get outside which really helped. For the most part all the guys competed and threw strikes, especially for the first outing. Each time they go out on the mound, they will continue to get better and better,” said Carrillo.
A sophomore key position player that the Rattlers are excited about this upcoming spring are sophomore Colton Wardle from The Woodland, Texas. Last spring Wardle finished the season with a .333 batting average, 24 RBI’s, and 20 SB and was an all-region player for the Rattlers. Returning starting left fielder for the Rattlers Evan Maecker finished the 2015 season with a .365 batting average, 31 RBI’s and 47 Runs, will be handling the left field duties again this spring for the Rattlers.
Other position players to watch for this spring are: outfielders Jesus Chavez, From Espanola, N.M., Briton Schiewe, Roanoke, Texas, and infielders Miguel Othon, Will Hamilton, and Carlos Ramirez. The Otero Junior College baseball program is excited about the upcoming season. They look forward to seeing you at the field this spring.