Seven-run seventh lifts CHS to first-game win

Apr. 23—Were it not for three big crooked numbers, there wouldn't have been much going on offensively in Friday's District 4-5A baseball doubleheader between Clovis High and Carlsbad at Bell Park.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, their big frame — a seven-run seventh — was just enough to pull out a 7-6 victory in the opener. The Cavemen posted their second six-run round of the night in the nightcap en route to an 11-0 victory.

Carlsbad (13-7) took two of three from the Cats (11-8) in the district-opening series for both teams.

Clovis coach Richard Cruce bemoaned the fact that his squad left 20 runners on base, including 11 in the Game 1 win.

"We had chances to score all night," he said. "We just didn't do it except for that one inning."

Carlsbad took the lead in the opener with a six-run fourth, and it appeared that would hold up as senior right-hander Hazen Wright and reliever Delmonico Granger blanked the Cats on three hits until the seventh.

Senior Eli Rodriguez led off with a walk and took second on a passed ball. After a flyout, senior Jasiah Mendoza singled in Rodriguez, took second on a wild pitch and came home on senior Nate McIntosh's base hit to center.

Senior Koby Rivera reached on an error, but Hernandez got a strikeout for the second out.

Senior Quinn Culiver then tripled home two runs and scored on a wild pitch to cut it to 6-5. Junior Jax Piepkorn followed with a pinch-hit single and Rodriguez walked to load the bases before freshman Javi Jimenez delivered a walkoff two-run single to center.

"We walked too many people all weekend," Cruce said of the series. "We put ourselves between a rock and a hard place. But I thought the kids battled all day."

Clovis' seven hits were scattered among six players, with Rivera finishing 2-for-4. Senior Fabian Hernandez and junior Tanner Collins each doubled and had two of Carlsbad's six knocks.

There were no such shenanigans in Game 2. Carlsbad scored six runs in the second and sophomore right-hander Eloy Lopez made it stand up with a complete-game, six-hit shutout.

Carlsbad's 12-hit attack included three hits from senior Fabian Hernandez and two each from senior Delmonico Granger, Lopez and junior Jonas Molinar, whose grand slam keyed the second-inning explosion. The game ended in six frames on the 10-run rule.

No one had more than one hit for the Cats, and all their hits against Lopez were singles.

CHS has a three-game series with Hobbs this week. Friday's 4:30 p.m. doubleheader at Bell Park has been moved to the same time on Wednesday to accommodate umpire availability, while Thursday's single tilt at Hobbs is set for 4 p.m.