Cats absorb pair of losses


Last updated 3/4/2023 at 11:31am

Gwyn Del Toro

Clovis High sophomore Koby Rivera slides in safely with a three-run, first-inning triple during Tuesday's game against Lovington at Bell Park. Rivera also had a two-run single in the inning as the Wildcats scored 10 runs and held on for a 15-14 victory.

HOBBS – Clovis High's baseball team got in an early hole on Friday night and dropped an 11-0 decision to Los Lunas in a tournament hosted by Hobbs.

The Wildcats were slated to finish play in the event against Belen (4-1) on Saturday. The Cats (1-5) lost to the Eagles 5-3 in their season opener at Rio Rancho Cleveland on Feb. 23.

The Tigers (2-3) scored seven times in the bottom of the first and rode the two-hit pitching of senior Kaden Bell in a contest shortened to 4 ½ innings by the 10-run rule. Junior Nathan McIntosh and sophomore Quinn Culiver each had a single for Clovis.

The Cats return to action on Thursday against Ruidoso in the opener of a three-day tournament in Roswell.

Artesia 6, Clovis 3 – Senior left-hander Davian Molina threw five effective innings for the Bulldogs and also led the way at the play, going 3-for-4 and hitting a one-out solo homer in the top of the first.

The game was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was pushed back to Friday morning due to 65 mph wind gusts in Hobbs on Thursday.

Senior Julian Rodriguez singled, doubled, drove in a pair of runs and scored one for the Bulldogs, playing their season opener. The Cats cut their early deficit to 2-1 when sophomore Koby Rivera hit an RBI double in the third, and they pulled to 6-3 in the sixth when McIntosh doubled in a run and later scored against reliever Dylan Fisher.

CHS coach Richard Cruce said the Cats failed to catch a foul pop-up which would have limited Artesia to a single run in the fifth, but the Bulldogs subsequently added a pair of unearned tallies to push their lead to 6-1.

"We've just got to come back and play," Cruce said. "It was encouraging, but we've got to start coming through when it's important."

Clovis 15, Lovington 14 (Tuesday) - Rivera drove in five runs – all coming in a 10-run first – and also earned the pitching victory in relief as the Cats notched their first win of the campaign in a wild one in their home opener at Bell Park.

Clovis led 10-1 after one frame and never relinquished the lead, although Lovington (2-1) made it interesting with eight runs in the final two innings of a game which took more than three hours to complete. The teams combined for 26 walks and three hit batsmen.

"This was the toughest game for me to get through over the last 20 years," Cruce said. "No one could find the strike zone.

"We'll take the victory any way we can get it. I don't like it, but it's got to get better."

Rivera had a three-run triple and a two-run single in the opening stanza for the Cats, who outhit Lovington 9-6 but committed five errors in the field. Seniors Joseph Albert and Jashias Jimenez each went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI, while sophomore Quinn Culiver was 2-for-5 with an RBI double and a run-scoring triple.


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