By Dave Wagner
Two key members of the Clovis High baseball team, Darren Davis and Matt Cordova, plan to sign letters of intent this morning to play next season at Trinidad State (Colo.) Junior College.
Davis, a pitcher-outfielder, and Cordova, a second baseman, have helped put the Wildcats on the verge of a second consecutive Class 5A playoff berth. They are tied for first with Carlsbad in District 4-5A at 6-3 going into this weekend’s season-ending three-game series against Hobbs at Bell Park.
The signing was scheduled to take place at 8 a.m. in the office of CHS athletic director Randy Adrian.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach both kids,” second-year CHS coach Shane Shallenberger said. “They’ve helped our program become better and get headed in the right direction.”
Davis has been the Wildcats’ No. 1 pitcher this season, and plays outfield when not on the mound. He’s being looked at primarily as a pitcher by Trinidad coach Scott Douglas.
Davis shut out Eldorado on three hits through five innings on Friday before the Eagles knocked him out in an 11-run sixth. But he came back the next day with 3 1/3 shutout innings in relief to get a win as the Cats swept a doubleheader.
“Darren throws about 85-87 (mph), with a good curveball and a changeup,” Shallenberger said. “He’s 4-3 right now, which is pretty good considering he’s facing the other team’s No. 1 pitcher most of the time.”
Davis said the initial connection to Trinidad came from Trojans assistant Rich Loomis, who was Shallenberger’s assistant coach last season.
“They’re supposed to have a pretty good team next year,” Davis said. “Rich Loomis told me they’ll probably have one of the better teams they’ve had in a long time.”
Cordova has been a productive leadoff hitter for Clovis, hitting .444 last year and .493 so far this season.
“He’s the type of kid that’s just going to get on base and cause havoc when he gets there,” Shallenberger said.
A line-drive, singles type of hitter, Cordova stole 17 bases as a junior and has 20 thefts so far in 2003.
“I just try and get on base as a leadoff hitter, and try and use my speed,” Cordova said. “I’ve always wanted to play college baseball; it’s kind of been a dream of mine.”
Both players visited the Trinidad campus in early February and had a chance to work out with some of the Trojans players.
“It’s great to get (the signing) out of the way and be able to concentrate on winning,” Cordova said. “We expect nothing less than a district championship and to be able to go to the state tournament.”