No one knew a ton about junior Andres Sosa when he arrived at Reagan at the start of his freshman season.
At the time, he was the kid that just moved from La Mirada, California, the one with the silver cross chain around his neck. After a little while, his pitching prowess helped him become one of the rare freshmen on one of the area’s best varsity teams.
When he’s at Texas in a couple years, the Longhorns will be looking at his ability to play in the infield. But when Reagan starts its quest to make a repeat trip to the state tournament, the Rattlers will be leaning on Sosa to anchor their pitching rotation in the postseason.
“If you’re going to make any kind of playoff run, you have to have somebody that is ‘The Guy’ to turn to when things get tough,” Reagan coach Chans Chapman said. “And you know when he goes out on the mound, if we can score a couple runs, we have a really good chance to win.”
Reagan (25-3), last season’s Region IV-5A champion and the state’s fourth-ranked team in Class 6A, will begin the playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday at New Braunfels Canyon to start a best-of-3 first-round series. Sosa enters the game with a 5-0 record on the mound and a 2.47 ERA as the Rattlers’ ace.
Sosa has played baseball since around the same time he finished waddling around in diapers in the Mexican state of Sonora, where he was a standout player as a child. His father, Andres Sosa Sr., recalled an instance when his son was around 7 and homered in his first at-bat at a tournament in Mexico City.
But even then, he was honing his pitching skills.
“I’ve always pitched when I was little and growing up,” Sosa said. “I just wanted to pitch. That’s how I got on varsity.”
Reagan senior Jace Selsor said people didn’t know how to handle Sosa’s quick ascent to varsity during his freshman year. But after a while, the Rattlers found out he had one of the best work ethics on the team.
“Just by the way he practiced, you could tell that he wanted to be on the field,” Selsor said. “Then he obviously proved himself and earned a starting job his freshman year.”
That was evident even in his punishments, when he once ran between the foul poles 65 times, a number Selsor believes remains a team-high.
Chapman thought he would have Sosa for last year’s state tournament run. But those plans changed after the right-hander suffered a nagging shoulder injury during district play that left him playing shortstop.
Pitcher Troy Montemayor, now playing for Baylor, stepped up and eventually produced an incredible run during Reagan’s push to state.
Sosa said it was tough for him to stay away from the mound last postseason. Now he knows he will be ‘The Guy.’
“This year, it’s been a different story,” Sosa said. “My arm feels great. I’m feeling great with all my pitches. Thank God it’s working and it’s helping my team win.”
Area favorite: O’Connor
Others to watch: Reagan, Smithson Valley, MacArthur
Game we’d like to see: Reagan vs. Laredo Alexander — Reagan ousted Laredo Alexander in last year’s regional semifinals. Alexander enters this year’s playoffs ranked No. 1 in 6A by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Area favorite: Alamo Heights
Others to watch: Boerne Champion, Medina Valley
Game we’d like to see: Alamo Heights vs. Boerne Champion — The two teams finished the year as District 27-5A co-champions. A third meeting between the team would send the winner to the state tournament.
Article courtesy of Ben Baby, staff writer SA Express News. Photo courtesy of SA Express News.