ALBUQUERQUE — Cibola rode its potent offense to a 11-1 win over Clovis on Saturday in the first round of the Class 5A state baseball tournament.
The fourth-seeded Cougars roughed up two Clovis pitchers for 11 hits in a game that ended after the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“We tried to contain them,” Clovis coach Shane Shallenberger said. “But we didn’t pitch real well. Overall it was just a tough day on the mound.”
Cibola (22-4-1) did most of its damage in the third inning, scoring seven runs and chasing Clovis starter Sean Cruce. The Cougars started the inning with two hits, then the Cats either walked or hit the next four batters. A few more singles and a three-run homer by Chris Eaton later, Cibola had an 8-0 lead.
The Cougars averaged nearly 10 runs a game in the regular season, second most in Class 5A.
The 13th-seeded Cats (11-15) scored their only run in the top of the fifth when Cruce scored Jared Powers with a single.
Clovis, which finished with 4 hits, earned an at-large bid in the 16-team tournament after finishing third in District 4-5A.
Cibola’s Devin Goodman pitched all five innings for the win.
Shallenberger said his team had the potential to be a state title contender this season, but never reached that level.
“I’m a little bit disappointed,” he said “I know we have a good team. We just had some tough breaks this year.
“I feel bad for our six seniors. I wish we could have gotten them to Isotopes Field, but it didn’t happen that way.”