The Rio Grande City Rattlers, ignited by the two-hit shutout pitching of Osbaldo Perez and a potent hitting attack, continued their excellent start in District 31-5A play at home on Tuesday night, March 19 with a 10-0 shellacking of the PSJA Memorial Wolverines in a game that ended after the top of the fifth inning under the “10-Run Rule.”
The victory against the Wolverines, which took place in poor weather conditions of constant drizzle, boosted the Rattlers to a 3-0 district record. In their three district wins, the Rattlers have outscored their opponents by a 33-6 margin, with the last two games ending early under the 10-Run Rule.
The Rattlers got off to a hot start, scoring five runs in the first inning and four more in the second. They put the finishing touches on their outstanding hitting display with another run in the third.
Senior righthander Osbaldo Perez was dominating on the mound as he gave up only two hits, one walk, and one hit batsmen while striking out nine in five innings.
The powerful Rattler hitting was triggered by Marc Perez’s solo homer in the second inning, a two-run triple by Noe Aguirre in the first, and three doubles by Emmanuel Garza. Emmanuel Garza further ignited the first inning Rattler surge with a double, and he added doubles in the second and third innings. Osbaldo Perez helped his own cause with an RBI double in the second, and Emmanuel Saenz chipped in with a run-scoring double in that same inning.
After Osbaldo Perez retired the Wolverines in the top of the first, Marc Perez led off the bottom of the inning by reaching first on a hit batsman. Perez then stole second and reached third on an infield throwing miscue. With nobody out, Eduardo “Eddie” Garza grounded out to shortstop to drive in Perez and give the Rattlers a 1-0 lead.
Emmanuel Garza then belted a drive to deep right center that hit the wall on one bounce for a standup double. Osbaldo Perez then hit a grounder to the right side and the Wolverine first baseman bobbled the ball for an error, putting runners on first and third with one out. Perez then stole second and Emmanuel Garza scampered home for a double steal to boost Rio’s margin to 2-0.
With still one out, Eden Barrera hit a squibber past the pitcher for an infield single. Barrera then attempted to steal second and the ball squirted past the Memorial infielder into centerfield, allowing a run to score and Barrera to advance to third for a 3-0 Rattler advantage. With two outs, Jose “Memo” Chapa walked to put runners on first and third. Noe Aguirre then hammered a line drive over the rightfielder’s head that bounced off the wall and Aguirre scampered into third for a triple that drove in two runs and increased Rio’s lead to 5-0. The inning finally ended when A.B. Garza popped out to the pitcher on a bunt attempt.
In the bottom of the second, leadoff hitter Marc Perez slammed a 2-0 pitch over the left field fence for a solo homer to increase the Rattlers’ margin to 6-0. With one out, Emmanuel Garza hit a high fly ball that dropped safely in short right center for a double. Osbaldo Perez then lined a double to right center to score Garza and make the score 7-0.
With still one out, Emmanuel Saenz hammered a long drive to deep left field that bounced off the wall and he raced into second with a run-scoring double that increased the margin to 8-0. Eden Barrera hit a slow grounder toward shortstop and was safe at first with an infield single, putting runners on first and third. Jose “Memo” Chapa then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Saenz and boost the Rattlers’ advantage to 9-0. The Wolverine pitcher retired the next hitter to end the inning.
In the top of the third, the second Wolverine hitter lined a single to center. The next batter hit a slow grounder to the second baseman, who flipped to the shortstop for one out, and the shortstop threw to first base to complete the inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the third, A.B. Garza led off with a walk and Eddie Garza grounded a sharp single to left with one out. Emmanuel Garza hit a blooper down the left field line for an RBI double to score A.B. Garza, but Eddie Garza was thrown out at third for the second out. The inning ended with a 10-0 Rattler lead after the next hitter grounded out to third.
In the top of the fourth, the second hitter hit a ground ball single to left. Osbaldo Perez struck out the next hitter and retired the inning’s fourth batter on a fly ball to right that Eden Barrera caught in foul territory.
In the top of the fifth, the leadoff Wolverine hitter reached first on a hit-batsman. Perez struck out the next three hitters to end the inning, with the final batter striking out looking on an 0-2 pitch. At that point, the game ended under the 10-Run Rule with a dominating 10-0 Rattler win.
The Rattlers, now 3-0 in district play, will face the Wolverines again on the road this Friday at 7 p.m. They will face the Roma Gladiators in Roma at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 in another district battle, and will return home to host the Gladiators on Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m.