08 de Marzo de 2016
The following is an excerpt from an article submitted to ENLACE NEWS by Kenneth Roberts. The full version of this article can be read online at www.rgherald.com or on this publication’s website.
A young and talented Rio Grande City Rattlers varsity baseball team that features several multi-year starters is eagerly preparing for the 2016 season with high hopes of jelling into one of the strongest teams in District 31-5A. Roque Cortinas is the new Rattler head coach after serving as the Roma Gladiators head coach for the past eight years. Immediately before his tenure as Gladiator head coach, Cortinas was an assistant coach at Roma for four years.
The Rattlers launched the 2016 regular season at home on Tuesday evening, March 1 against the Grulla Gators in a non-district battle. They will begin district play at home against the Roma Gladiators on Tuesday, March 15.
Cortinas predicted, “I feel that the season will be a good one. There’s too much talent not to do well. The players need to believe that they can and will do well…The hitting needs to be stronger than it was last year. There also needs to be consistently strong defensive play.”
Cortinas noted that the Rattlers return seven starters, including two pitchers, from the 2015 team. He indicated that “we have roughly five pitchers that we’re counting on.”
“I think we have a very good team right now,” the new coach contended on Feb. 16, “The hitting looks to be coming along real well; we’ve scored 29 runs in three preseason scrimmages. We do have some players who can hit home runs. We do teach our players to focus on hitting the ball from gap to gap for extra bases.”
Cortinas explained, “We don’t teach swinging for the fences constantly; that tends to produce a lot of strikeouts. I feel we have a lot of players that can drive the ball for extra base hits. We have a good combination of speed and power.”
The coach stressed, “We have good speed on the base paths. We’re going to try to steal bases when we can and with the right people.”