CHS BASEBALL: Cavemen blank Cats twice

Clovis High catcher T.J. Farmer can’t get the throw in time as Carlsbad’s Anthony Franks slides in with a run during the first game of Saturday’s District 4-5A baseball doubleheader at Bell Park. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Clovis High’s baseball team got off to a good start Saturday. It just didn’t last.

Pitcher Jonathan Ware set down Carlsbad in order in the first inning in the team’s District 4-5A opener at Bell Park, and Wildcats’ leadoff man Omar Sosa stroked a single to left in the bottom half on first.

After that, it was all Cavemen.

Left-hander Kenneth Toves did not allow another hit after Sosa’s single, and right-hander Corey Weldon followed with a four-hit shutout in the nightcap as Carlsbad rolled to a pair of 10-0 victories. Both games called after six innings because of the 10-run rule.

Carlsbad coach Kenny Groves said his team struggled on offense, but the Cavemen (14-3, 2-0 district) didn’t need much help from their bats.

“Our No. 1 and 2 (pitchers) haven’t pitched that well all the time, but they threw well today,” Groves said. “Toves has been real consistent, and so has Corey.”

Toves walked six, but the Cats (8-8, 0-2) couldn’t take advantage of the few opportunities they had.

“Tip your hat to Toves,” CHS coach Shane Shallenberger said. “He threw a good game. He gave us a couple of opportunities (with the walks), but we just couldn’t get any hits.”

Carlsbad took advantage of three Clovis errors to stake out a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning. The Cavemen chased Ware in a five-run sixth highlighted by Toves’ three-run double.

Shortstop Matt Porter added a pair of run-scoring singles and catcher Daniel Martinez doubled twice and went 4-for-4.

In the second game, Carlsbad scored four unearned runs off senior Cade Wheeler in the fifth to break open a 2-0 game, and struck for four more in the sixth. First baseman Drew Hyden had the big hit, another three-run double in the fifth.

“Those were two hits that really got us going,” Groves said of the late-game blows by Toves and Hyden.

Weldon, a smallish senior, was efficient in the nightcap. He walked one, struck out eight and threw just 73 pitches.

The Cats’ best chance to score came in the third when freshman Emery Sierra led off with a single, took second on a balk, and moved to third on a bunt single by T.J. Farmer. But Farmer was thrown out stealing, and Weldon escaped damage by striking out Ryan Wimberly and Sosa.

“Johny (Ware) and Cade actually pitched OK,” Shallenberger said. “I’m not disappointed in the pitching — they pitched well enough to keep us in the games.”

Groves said while the Cats may be young, he thinks highly of the program.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of team Shane has, he’s going to get them ready to play,” Groves said. “I respect his program for that.”