Clovis senior shortstop Jason Seefeld throws out a runner at first base during the first game of Friday’s double header at Bell Park. Photo by Eric Kluth
By Eric Butler
Mark Replogle used his feet as much as his bat to beat Eldorado.
With a doubleheader sweep over the Eagles, the Wildcats pushed themselves to the brink of clinching a postseason berth. Clovis won the opening game of a Friday twin bill by rallying to beat Eldorado 3-2.
In the nightcap, the error-plagued Eagles succumbed quickly in a 10-0 rout — a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
“I remember that last year that they had this one big inning and came back on us,” said Robert Riggins, who hurled the second-game shutout for the ‘Cats. “When they started throwing the ball around, I got pretty confident.”
In the first game, Clovis pushed across the winning run in the seventh through the efforts of catcher Mark Replogle.
With two outs in a 2-2 tie, Replogle singled up the middle and stole second.
On the next pitch, Replogle took off for third. When the throw from the Eldorado catcher got away, he headed for home to end the game.
“When I sent him to second, I knew we had to get a runner in scoring position with two outs,” Clovis coach Shane Shallenberger said. “When he went to third, they just weren’t holding him on. I figured if we could get him to third, we had a chance to win on a passed ball.”
“I have the green light (to steal), so I was just trying to make things happen,” Replogle said.
Eldorado got off to a quick start by rapping three hits in the first inning. Run-scoring singles from Noel Colbert and Reese Semanek got the Eagles off to a 2-0 lead.
But Clovis tied it in the third via RBI singles by Replogle and Sean Cruce.
“I think we just started hitting the ball in the air too much,” Eldorado coach Jim Johns said. “And their shortstop (Jason Seefeld) made some big-time plays that ended innings – you’ve got to tip your hat to that guy.”
The second game of the doubleheader became anticlimactic almost as soon it started.
Cruce scored the game’s first run when a fly ball by Richard Urban to shallow center was bobbled and dropped. After Ryan Denton squeezed a double just inside the right-field line, Mark Young hit a hot shot that got by Eldorado third baseman Bud Wilborn to score two more runs.
Before the first inning was over, Clovis designated hitter Jordan Moore singled home Young.
Like the first frame, the Wildcats’ scoring in the second started via an Eagles’ error — which sent Replogle across the plate for a 5-0 lead.
One batter later, Urban singled in Cruce and Seefeld as Clovis gave Riggins all the runs he would need.
Clovis 3, Eldorado 2
Eldorado 200 000 0 — 2 7 0
Clovis 002 000 1 — 3 6 1
Greg Wilborn and Noel Colbert; Urban and Replogle. W — Urban (7-1). L — G. Wilborn (3-5). Top hitters — Eldorado: Isaac King 2-3, run; Chris Hart 1-3, double; Reese Semanek 1-3, RBI. Clovis: Replogle 2-4, run, RBI; Seefeld 1-2; Sean Cruce 1-3, RBI.
Clovis 10, Eldorado 0
Eldorado 000 00 — 0 5 6
Clovis 430 12 —10 9 1
Kyle Weiland, Mike LeMon (6) and Colbert, Elwell (6). W — Riggins (6-2). L — Weiland (4-2). Top hitters — Eldorado: Elwell 1-2, double; Phillip London 1-2; B. Wilborn 1-2. Clovis: Jordan Moore, 2-3, double, 2 RBI; Urban 1-2, 3 RBI; Mark Young 1-2, 2 RBI. JV scores — Eldorado 10-6, Clovis 4-1.