Meet your 2018 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.
2018 Baseball Season Outlook
The Rattlers will be more experienced this year as 16 sophomores are on the team.
“This year, we’re really excited,” Carrillo said. “We’re really sophomore-dominant. Other than our third baseman, Isaac Standridge, and our catcher, Xavier Posada, we’re all sophomores. The kids did an excellent job this past fall working and doing what we asked them to do on a consistent basis. They did an excellent job in the classroom as well which allows us to improve as a baseball team. They did their jobs in the classroom and that puts us in position as a baseball team to be more successful.
The Rattlers are going into this season with high expectations. We have a solid pitching staff that is very experienced and it is dominated by left-handed hurlers. “We are confident in the ability of our staff to collect outs on a consistent basis this spring” Carrillo Said.
“We’re sophomore heavy on the mound,” Carrillo said. “We have Matthew Sanchez back as our No. 1 this year. We have Sergio Lucero, a lefty, coming back. And we’re going to have Gerard Mendez, who is going to be either our No. 3 or No. 4. He has a potential to slide up to No. 2. The fourth slot is between a couple of freshmen and it’s probably going to go to Daniel Martinez, who is a lefty from Albuquerque. So three of our four starters are going to be from the left side and we’re really excited about that. We have experience in our pen as we will have a few older guys to fill key spots in the bullpen. We have Cody Sasser, who is going to mop up a lot of innings. David Tongue is our closer and he is going to be a key component to what we’re trying to do on the mound.” “We also feel that the freshman in our pen will be impactful to our success this spring as well.
To handle the pitching staff this season the Rattlers will rely on three younger catchers behind the plate: “Xavier Posada, is a freshman from Miami,” Carrillo said. “Finley Hastings is from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and he is going to be in the mix. Then we have Timothy Galindo, who is from Las Cruces, New Mexico back as well, so we have some depth behind the plate.”
The Rattler infield will also be very experienced.
“We’re starting freshman Isaac Standridge at third base,” Carrillo said. “He’s a kid who played a lot of outfield in high school and he’s a really good athlete. Our starting third baseman last year, Gaylan Young, we slid him over to shortstop. He’s a Roswell, New Mexico, kid and he’s doing a good job. Sam Avila is our returning starting second baseman and will also be our leadoff guy. At first base, we have McCoy Pearce, who is a transfer from New Mexico Military. He’s probably one of the best defensive first basemen we’ve had in a while. Along with that he’s going to be a threat in the middle of our lineup.”
There is also a lot of experience in the outfield.
“Carter Mossey is another Cheyenne kid and he’s starting in left field,” Carrillo said. “In center field, we have Trevor Schaefer. We also have a freshman in Alan Tabuyo and he’s done a good job for us. Then in right field, we have another sophomore in Wille Baez from Albuquerque. The biggest thing is that they’re already used to playing with each other.”
Carrillo also said that the offense will be effective.
“We have some experience and I feel that’s going to translate into more offensive production,” Carrillo said. “The guys have a pretty good idea at the plate and they’re buying into what we’re trying to do.”
The Rattlers open the season on Feb 10 and 11 as they will travel to Roswell to face New Mexico Military Institute.
“We open up against New Mexico Military,” Carrillo said. “It’s going to be a good test. NMMI at that point is going to have eight games under their belt. But we’re excited and looking forward to starting and getting going. The guys have new uniforms and they’re chomping at the bit. After that we go to Connors State (Oklahoma) and the last time I looked in the polls, they were 13th in the country.”
The Rattlers will contend with the always competitive National Junior College Athletic Association Region IX.
“It’s always tough,” Carrillo said. “That’s why we throw such a difficult nonconference schedule at them early. That’s because the conference is so competitive, we’re going to try to find every little edge we can find to try to come out of that thing towards the top. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day and it’s going to be the little things that will be the difference makers.”
Carrillo said that the goal for the Rattlers is to take it one day at a time.
“We’re going to take it one day at a time and today is the most important day,” Carrillo said. “We’ll worry about the next day once it gets here. We’re going take it one day at a time and make sure that our energy level and focus where it’s needed. We really try to hard not to get too high and not too low. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”