Eldorado sweeps Cats in baseball
Last updated 4/2/2017 at 4:28am
CLOVIS — Despite strong performances from the mound, the Clovis High baseball team struggled defensively on its way to a District 2-6A-opening sweep by Eldorado on Saturday at Bell Park.
The Wildcats committed 11 errors in losing to the Eagles 5-1 in nine innings in the opener and 6-4 in Game 2.
A total of 11 errors on the day led to the Wildcats (11-7, 0-2) dropping game one, 5-1, followed by a game two loss, 6-4. Both teams hit well, with the Eagles (10-4, 2-0) recording 18 hits over the two games and the Wildcats finishing with 20.
The opener saw Connor Langrell throw a solid seven innings, allowing just one unearned run, five hits and two walks as the teams battled to a 1-1 tie before entering extra innings. Junior Tomas Gallegos took the loss in relief when the Eagles (10-4) scored four times in the top of the ninth.
"That whole game we had our chances to take the lead here and there," Clovis coach Richard Cruce said. "You leave a team like that inning then go into the last inning and make a few mistakes, it just snowballs."
While the Cats (11-7) recorded eight hits, they struggled to string anything together, especially with runners in scoring position. Traejn Reams led the effort for Clovis, going 2-for-4.
The Wildcats seemed to carry over the final inning into the next game, coming out of the gates and giving up four quick runs on just two hits and four errors. Pitcher Sebastian Nunez took the loss despite allowing only one earned run in five innings.
Clovis answered the Eagles' big opening inning with two of their own in the bottom of the first, but the deficit proved too large to overcome.
"The first inning was a hangover from the ninth inning of game one and it snowballed, made four errors in the fourth inning," Cruce said. "Sebastian pounded the zone and did his job and got ground balls, but we didn't help him. Pitchers did their jobs (today) — we have to play defense."
Even though they collected 12 hits, the Cats were done in by their eight errors in the field. Down 6-2, the Wildcats scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but it was too little, too late.
Langrell — playing third base in game two — and teammate Chris Encinias each went 2-for-3 in the nightcap for Clovis. Lefty reliever Colson Faircloth allowed two hits and no runs for the Cats over the final two frames.
The Wildcats resume the schedule with a district doubleheader matchup at Manzano next Saturday at 1 p.m. Cruce said he hopes the time between games will allow the team to refocus, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
"We've got lots of work to do on defense," he said. "We will go back at it Monday with a lot of ground balls and a lot of focus. Just try to get better, then on to Manzano."