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

Cats now 15-3 in baseball

Clovis claims pair of shutouts over Eldorado


April 1, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE — Clovis High’s baseball team posted consecutive shutouts — 2-0 and 6-0 — at Eldorado on Saturday behind the pitching of seniors Colson Faircloth and Connor Langrell, making for an impressive opening of the Wildcats’ District 2-6A schedule.

And with those victories, the ’Cats improved to 15-3, already just one shy of last year’s win total and one ahead of their 2016 wins on the last day of March.

“All the hard work in the offseason is paying off right now,” Clovis coach Richard Cruce said. “And the kids are buying into what we do as a team and not individually.”

Aside from the Wildcats’ overall win total, they were happy to perform so well on the road.

“Coming to Albuquerque and getting two wins against a good Eldorado club says a lot about how these kids compete day in, day out,” Cruce said.

Faircloth and Langrell each improved to 5-0, holding the Eagles to just five total hits on the day. Faircloth scattered four hits in the opener, with Langrell tossing a one-hitter in the second game. Clovis committed just one error in the 14 innings combined, that lone miscue occurring in the last game.

“Connor and Colson pitched their tails off today,” Cruce said. “They competed very well, and defensively we made plays behind them, just like we’re coached to do.”

The opening game was scoreless through five innings, before Clovis finally punched a couple home in the top of the sixth. Cam Kuykendall led off by getting hit by a pitch, and after moving to second base on Connor Langrell’s sacrifice bunt, Kuykendall scored on Jace Piepkorn’s double to left-center.

Junior Garrett Langrell then whacked a single to left, scoring Piepkorn with an insurance run.

Faircloth was able to finish it off from there, preserving his complete-game shutout and the Wildcats’ first district win of the year.

Garrett Langrell was 2-for-3 in that game, including his RBI-single.

In the second game, the ’Cats picked up the only run necessary in the top of the second when they took a 1-0 lead. It began the same as their momentous sixth inning of the first game — with a batter getting plunked. This time it was Faircloth taking one for the team, and he was sac-bunted over to second base by Sebastian Nunez, before Anthony Gonzales knocked him home with an RBI single to left.

Gonzales finished the game 3-for-4, with three RBIs and a run scored. Kuykendall went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Connor Langrell chipped in an RBI-double.

The Wildcats won’t play again until next Saturday, when they host Manzano in a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m. at Bell Park.

“Long week of practice,” Cruce said. “Just clean up some little things and get after it again next Saturday.”


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