Senior pitcher carries Reagan into regional final

Reagan’s fortunes during its playoff run have largely been determined by the right arm of senior Troy Montemayor.

Montemayor has pitched in seven of Reagan’s nine playoff games and is 6-1 in 371/3 innings in the postseason.

Over the previous two weekends, he has pitched in five of Reagan’s six games. Reagan battled back from one-game deficits to win three-game series against Corpus Christi King and Laredo Alexander. Montemayor is 4-1 in that span.

Some may be concerned that Montemayor is being overused. He isn’t one of them.

“I’m not really an all-out guy,” Montemayor said. “I like to mix in some off-speed (pitches). When you aren’t throwing as hard as you can every pitch, you can go more innings.”

That won’t be a concern this week as Reagan takes on Eagle Pass in the regional finals. They are set for a one-game playoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Laredo’s Veterans Field. The winner advances to next week’s UIL state tournament.

Montemayor’s dominance during the postseason has put Reagan coach Chans Chapman in a tough spot. When the Rattlers’ season has been on the line over the last two weekends, Chapman has elected to start Montemayor in the rubber game.

On Saturday, a day after earning a complete-game victory, Montemayor took the mound against Alexander.

“I just wanted to give my team a chance to win,” Montemayor said. “I did this last week — came in the second and third game — and I was pretty confident that I could do it again this series.”

Montemayor went 51/3 innings and helped Reagan win 9-3 on Saturday.

“Just whatever he could give us,” Chapman said of his approach to starting Montemayor on Saturday. “If all he could give us was one inning, that’s what we were going to go with. I kept asking him after every inning how he felt. He said he was good. When I went out there to take him out, he said, ‘I’m good.’ He got us to that point, and that was the most important thing.”

Playing in big games is nothing new for Montemayor.

He, along with Reagan teammates Drew Brooks, Jace Selsor and Zach Morrow, were members of the McAllister Park team that advanced to the Little League World Series in 2009. That team, which was the first from San Antonio to advance to the LLWS, was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year.

If Reagan is going to advance to the state tournament for the first time in school history, Montemayor will have a large say in the matter.

“Troy does what he does,” Rattlers sophomore catcher Leyton Leone said. “He’s a stud out there. If he thinks he can still go on, he will. He’s a heck of a pitcher.”  Original article & image courtesy of San Antonio Express News.