It was a simple message. Nothing fancy. No panic. Rodney Chapman just wanted baserunners.
His Reagan (San Antonio)
Rattlers sent 14 to the plate in the top of the seventh inning and eight of them scored in a wild 13-11 win at Judson on Saturday to help secure a Class 5A bi-district playoff win and two-game series sweep.
Reagan fought back from a five-run deficit to score an 8-7 win over Judson on Friday.
With all that momentum, Chapman had confidence going into his team's final at-bat Saturday. For it, he earned the San Antonio High Yield Coach of the Week presented by Capital One Bank.
"We told them we had to have baserunners," Chapman told San Antonio Express-News reporter Raul Dominguez Jr
. "It wasn't going to be something where one guy walks up there and hits a six-run homer. We had to get it to the next hitter." Tyler Frick
opened the inning with a homer, M.J. Baker
followed with a double and after an out, Bryan Warhurst
singled and Jack Thompson
walked before a sacrifice fly from Ben Brookover
made it 11-7.
With two out, the Rattlers received five walks and three scored runs before Baker drilled a game-winning, bases-clearing double.
"It doesn't always work out, but we preach to them, ‘You've got to be patient,'" Chapman told the newspaper. "You've got to make them throw you strikes and we did that. When he did throw strikes, we were able to get the big hit.
"I think it let us know that we weren't ever out of it. They kept fighting, and that's what it's all about."
With Chapman as manager, the Rattlers stand a fighting chance.
Since 2007 with Chapman as coach, Reagan has won at least 21 games every season. It is currently 23-5-1 and now plays O'Connor (25-4-2) in further playoff action.
In 2008, Chapman and the Rattlers won a career-high 35 games a season after going 31-5-1. After 2008, the Rattlers were 31-7, 28-8, 28-12 and 21-9 before this season.