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

Wildcats claim 1-0 win with Gonzales' pinch-hit walk-off


March 23, 2018

RIO RANCHO — Senior Sebastian Nunez gave the Clovis Wildcats' baseball team a chance to win Thursday night. Senior E.J. Gonzales took it.

Gonzales delivered a two-out, pinch-hit single to score Nunez from second base, and the Wildcats nabbed a 1-0 walkoff over Albuquerque Academy in the Sal Puentes Tournament.

The Wildcats (10-3), who will play Rio Rancho (12-4) in a 6:30 p.m. tournament semifinal today, got just four hits on the day but found two when they needed them off reliever Nick Williams.

Clovis started the inning with a senior Colson Faircloth walk and a Nunez single, but quickly had two outs with a miscue on a bunt and a fielder's choice to force Faircloth out at third.

That's when Clovis coach Richard Cruce decided to give Gonzales a chance.

"I've got a lot of confidence in E.J.," Cruce said. "He works hard in practice every day. I felt like he'd been swinging well in practice, and it was a time for him to shine today."

Gonzales singled up the middle, and Nunez scored from second as the relay throw was offline.

Junior Garrett Langrell recorded two strikeouts and pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory in the pitcher's duel — with just six combined hits and one Clovis error on the day.

"Sebastian pitched well," Cruce said. "He didn't have his best stuff, but battled. He got us out of some jams, kept us in the ballgame."

Chargers starter Cameron Russell was tough throughout.

"He threw very well," Cruce said of Russell. "He kept the ball down in the zone. We chased pitcher's pitches, they made some great plays behind him, including a few in the outfield."


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