ARTESIA — Clovis High baseball coach Shane Shallenberger knew the Wildcats were facing a quality opponent in unbeaten Artesia on Saturday. He just wishes his team hadn’t helped the Bulldogs so much.
The Wildcats committed 11 errors in the doubleheader and that, combined with 10 hits for extra bases by Artesia, proved to be far too much to overcome in a pair of 12-2 setbacks.
Clovis (6-6) scored first in both games, but little else went right for the Cats. Both games were stopped early due to the 10-run rule.
Shallenberger said the errors contributed to 11 unearned runs for the Bulldogs (12-0).
“When you give up that many unearned runs, it’s kind of hard to stay in the ballgame,” Shallenberger said. “They hit the ball well; they found some gaps, but they basically capitalized on our errors.
“Artesia’s a great team, but I think we could’ve slowed them down if we’d played better defense.”
The Cats broke on top in the opener on first-inning doubles by Jarod Kiser and Parker Wood. Artesia snapped a 2-2 tie with two runs in the bottom of the third and eventually finished the game by plating three in the fifth.
Senior right-hander Cade Wheeler took the loss, but Shallenberger said five of the 10 runs he gave up were unearned.
“Cade struggled a little bit early, but then he found his curveball and contained them after that,” Shallenberger said.
In the second game, losing pitcher Jonathan Ware tripled and scored on Andrew Gillilard’s groundout in the first, but the Bulldogs countered with five runs in the bottom half and never looked back.
The Bulldogs had 10 hits in each game and finished with six triples — three in each contest — and four doubles. Artesia pitchers Bryant Liles in the opener and Kirby Wheeler in the nightcap worked complete-game four-hitters.
Wood had two hits for the Cats in the opener, while Omar Sosa went 2-for-2 with a walk in the second game.