Rattlers get ready for opener
Published: Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
The Tucumcari Rattlers baseball team may be short on high school experience, but the members hope experience as teammates makes all the difference. “A lot of these guys, you’ve been with since Little League,” said pitcher and infielder Matt Smith. “You’ve been through everything with everybody.” The Rattlers are hoping they can go through one more thing by the time this season is done — a run at the state baseball tournament. Tucumcari begins that mission next weekend at an eight-team tournament at Rattler Field. The Rattler team that shows up next weekend might show a little bit of inexperience early. Of the 22 players practicing, there is only one senior. Also, five more players are expected after basketball season concludes, and they’ll only have one week of practice before the tournament. The Rattlers are without the services of coach Tony Alarcon, who is performing National Guard duties until the end of the week. Coaching duties are being handled by assistant Mike Russell “I never like to say we’re rebuilding,” Russell said. “We’re reloading. These kids have been making good progress.” The Rattlers hope history doesn’t repeat itself with their home tournament, which has been rained out each of the last two seasons. The team, however, wouldn’t mind history repeating itself in district play. Tucumcari has advanced past district play in 2004 and 2005 and made the state tournament in 2005, where it was eliminated by Tularosa. Junior catcher Matt Garcia figures team speed and team pitching will decide the Rattlers’ fate. “I think we have a pretty strong team here,” Garcia said. “We’re fast, strong. We should have a good pitching staff.” Tucumcari opens district play April 4 in a home doubleheader against Santa Rosa.
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