The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Tigers jump on Cats early, win 7-3

 

March 31, 2016

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks Clovis High senior Keaton Greenwalt has the ball waiting for the tag on Frenship’s Landon Everett to complete a 3-6 double play in the second inning of Thursday’s baseball game at Bell Park. The Tigers scored four runs in the top of the first and went on to a 7-3 victory over the Wildcats.

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Frenship baseball coach Chad Reynolds remembered Clovis High played the Tigers tough in a 5-4 loss last year at Wolfforth, Texas, so he expected more of the same in Thursday’s rematch at Bell Park.

link Staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Clovis High senior Keaton Greenwalt has the ball waiting for the tag on Frenship’s Landon Everett to complete a 3-6 double play in the second inning of Thursday’s baseball game at Bell Park. The Tigers scored four runs in the top of the first and went on to a 7-3 victory over the Wildcats.

It might have happened, too, except the Tigers took advantage of three Wildcats errors for four unearned first-inning runs and went on to a 7-3 victory.

“Our guys were locked in,” Reynolds said. “I told them we were kind of fortunate to beat them last year at our place. We expected a battle when we came over here

“We had a good first inning. I thought we hit some balls hard and they made some mistakes, and we were able to jump on them.”

Senior right-hander Matthew Hernandez made the lead stand up with six solid innings for the Tigers (13-6-1), allowing just three hits and three runs (two earned). Senior Tresten Kennard gave up one hit in working the seventh.

“Take away the first inning and it’s a good ballgame,” CHS coach Richard Cruce said. “Against good teams, you can’t make those mistakes.”

Senior Hunter Pipal settled in after the first, allowing seven hits and three runs the rest of the way. He finished with two walks and seven strikeouts.

“Hunter did a good job,” Cruce said. “He kept us in the ballgame.”

Meantime, Hernandez nearly pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth, but with two out sophomore third baseman Connor Langrell looped a two-run single over second base on an 0-2 pitch to make it 6-3.

The quick-working Hernandez retired eight of nine in one stretch before a two-out hit batsman, a wild pitch and an error got the Cats (10-4) on the board in the fourth. He walked two batters, hit three and struck out four.

“Our pitcher, Matthew, did a good job of attacking the strike zone,” Reynolds said.

The Tigers made it 6-1 in the fifth on a hit-and-run RBI double by sophomore shortstop Mason Weathers and a run-scoring single by senior right fielder Stephen Tackitt, both of whom finished the game 3-for-4. Weathers scored three runs, each time driven in by Tackitt.

Senior Keaton Greenwalt went 2-for-4 for the Cats, who are now idle until a week from today when they host Carlsbad in a 4 p.m. doubleheader to begin District 4-6A play.

“We’re right where we need to be,” Cruce said. “I think we’re right there with everybody in the district. It’s going to come down to who gets the big hits and who pitches well.”

 
 

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