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

Cats win 'Sal' with walkoff hit in ninth


March 25, 2018

RIO RANCHO — Wins are always cool. Walk-off wins to capture a tournament title are way cooler.

Clovis’ baseball team had a way cool win on Saturday, beating Cleveland 3-2 on junior Garrett Langrell’s RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth to capture the Sal Puentes Tournament championship in Rio Rancho.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Clovis coach Richard Cruce said. “We needed to get even with Cleveland for seeding purposes.”

Cruce’s team won the Sal Puentes crown and improved to 12-3 in the process by squeaking out Saturday’s game in extra innings. With the game tied 2-all heading into the bottom of the ninth, senior Connor Langrell drew a leadoff walk and was bunted to second by senior Jace Piepkorn. Garrett Langrell then singled up the middle to score big brother with the game-winner.

Clovis had taken a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Piepkorn started it off by getting plunked, moved to second on Garrett Langrell’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a Colson Faircloth groundout. Sebastian Nunez walked and eventually came in to score on a Kayden Shober single.

The lead held until the top of the sixth, when Cleveland scored twice to tie it.

Faircloth (4-0) worked all nine innings, overcoming four walks by scattering five hits and fanning three.

Garrett Langrell was named the tournament's MVP. Joining him on the all-tournament team were Wildcat teammates Piepkorn, Nunez and senior Cam Kuykendall.

Clovis picked up the big one on Saturday to bring back home. After opening with a home doubleheader against Hobbs on Feb. 22, the Wildcats finally get back to playing at the friendly confines of Bell Park on Tuesday, with a 5 p.m. game against Lovington (2-9).

“We need to get back home,” Cruce said. “It’s always fun to play at home, and hopefully we can get a good crowd out for Senior Night.”


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