Meet your 2019 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.
2019 Baseball Season Outlook
With the 2019 season just a few short weeks away, the Rattlers feel confident that they are ready to start the season. “We’ve had a great fall season and the guys are excited to get the season going,” Carrillo stated. In preparation for the 2019 Spring Season, the Rattlers played a tough fall schedule facing several NCAA Division II programs. The Rattlers open the season February 2nd and 3rd against New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). NMMI is always a good first test, especially on the road. The Rattlers will face NMMI in Roswell, NM, for a four game set, weather permitting. According to Coach 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 and as a result we are making progress in a positive direction. Overall, we feel that the guys are prepared and they are excited to start spring season.”
The Rattlers are looking forward to the challenges of another tough spring schedule. “We need to be a good road team with 18 of the first 23 games of the season being on the road. We have the ability to have a really solid spring season if we can find ways to win on the road,” Carrillo stated.
A key variable to the Rattlers success in 2019 will be no different from any other year which will be their ability to compete on the mound. This year Otero is extremely young on the mound only returning two starting arms from last year’s staff. “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 getting the job done. We have guys that compete their tails off and have made huge strides this past fall. We are excited to watch the pitching staff compete this spring. They are definitely going to give our baseball team a chance to win games this spring,” Carrillo stated. Guys to look for on the mound will be Marcus Casados LHP, Ty Jordan LHP, and Tim McIntyre RHP. Casados, Jordan, and McIntyre pitched for the Rattlers last spring and had success on the mound. According to Coach Carrillo, “these sophomore arms are going to be the anchor for the pitching staff this spring. The sophomores within the Rattler staff have been great examples for our freshman arms this fall.”
Carrillo and the staff were anxious to see how the pitching staff would perform in the first few weeks back from Christmas break. “For the most part, the guys came back from break ready to compete. The weather cooperated with us for a few weeks in January so we were able to get outside which really helped us. The staff 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,” Carrillo stated.
“We will continue to get them on the mound each week up until the first game. Our plan is to get the players into competition mode as soon as possible. We may have to adjust for weather issues early on in the season, but the guys are ready to go,” Carrillo stated.
A few sophomore position players that will play huge roles for the Rattlers this spring are infielder Lucas Kaber from Pueblo, CO, and Bailey Benz from Rye, CO. Benz will be huge for the Rattlers offensively, bringing some power to the middle of the order for the Rattlers. Sophomore Bryer Rew from Rifle, CO, is another offensive threat for the Rattlers. Finley Hastings who is also a sophomore from Cheyenne, WY, had a great fall and the coaching staff are looking for him to do some really good things for the Rattlers as a utility guy. “We are fortunate to have Finley. He is very versatile and competes his tail off for you,” Carrillo said.
Other position players to watch for this spring are: outfielders Tyler Scheler, Albuquerque, NM, JT Grizzell, Monument, CO, Kenny Nova, Miranda, VEN, Julian Crook, Aurora, CO. Infielders, Lucas Watson, Lamar, CO, and Catcher Andres Quintana, from Albuquerque, NM.
The Otero Junior College baseball program is extremely excited about the upcoming season. They look forward to seeing you at the field this spring.