By Nicholas Brady
San Marcos High School baseball is entering its 13th year under head coach Bryan Webb. Coach Webb has seen a lot of success in his time running the Rattler baseball program.
When asked about the goals for the season San Marcos High School baseball senior Isaac Gonzalez didn’t hold back.
“Playoffs is not just a goal for us,” Gonzalez said. “it’s an expectation.”
Usually a perennial contender for the playoffs, the Rattlers had a tough year in 2019. They struggled to hit a stride with a younger lineup and ended with a 9-22 overall record and a 2-12 record through district play. However, the 2020 season looks like it could be one of the best in recent memory for the Rattlers with a roster another year older.
The Rattlers return every single starter in the lineup and will have the experience to compete in a tough district giving them trouble in the previous season.
The talent starts with pitcher/outfielder Ryan Wilder, a second team all-district performer in 2019 that bats in the middle of the lineup. In addition, Gage Mason and Aaron Martinez should provide a 1-2 punch at the top of the Rattlers’ pitching staff. Other seniors expected to contribute are Gonzalez, Issac Mancias, Devon Camacho, Gilbertray Gonzalez, Sean Esquivel, Diego Cruz, Gabe Sanchez and Gunner Webb.
Two juniors should see starting time this season as well. Selvin Anderson, has great size as a catcher and a cannon for an arm–he should be another big bat in the Rattler lineup. Junior Kannon Webb should start in centerfield as he did as a sophomore adding some speed to the lineup.
Rattler baseball under coach Webb has always been known for their defense but when speaking with coach Webb he mentioned the focus they have put into improving the offense this season.
“This off-season we’ve been working on RBI situations,” Webb said. “Hitting with runners in scoring position, learning the plate, learning the strike zone, learning what you can do with certain pitches.”
During the 2019 season the Rattlers struggled with leaving runners on and as coach Webb told me “left on base is a disease.” The emphasis on hitting with runners in scoring position should pay dividends for the Rattlers in this season.
Coach Webb has never been one to shy away from the competition. The Rattlers will be tested early and often as they prepare to compete in one of the toughest districts in 6A baseball. Six of the Rattlers’ first 18 opponents are top 10 teams in 5A and 6A, including Austin Lake Travis, Kerrville Tivy and San Antonio Reagan.
In district play, San Antonio East Central is expected to be the district front runner coming off a 26-9-1 season while going 12-2 in district play, with an appearance in the area finals of the playoffs. Smithson Valley, New Braunfels Canyon and New Braunfels are all coming off playoff seasons and should be in the running for the district title as well.
For a team with so many seniors, it will be an emotional season for the Rattlers.
“Going from freshman year all of us together playing for fun,” Martinez said. “Now we are all back on the same team again playing for one goal and that’s to make the playoffs”.
The Rattlers’ road to the playoffs begins on Feb. 27 when the Victoria East Titans come to town.
Featured image by Garrett Martin.