Clovis coach Drew Hatley feels like the Wildcats are starting to believe in the team they can be. They came a base hit away from being that team Saturday.
The Wildcats recovered from early errors and forced extra innings with a two-run seventh, but couldn't take advantage of runners at second and third with one out, allowing Artesia to escape with a 6-5 win in eight innings.
Clovis (5-8) took the second game 7-3 behind a complete game performance from junior pitcher Tyler Greene.
Green threw 110 pitches, 65 of them for strikes, and avoided big innings in a solid complete game. He posted seven strikeouts, and left six of Artesia's seven stranded runners in scoring position.
"I think our team's probably seen the best pitching around the state with Carlsbad and Hobbs and Rio Rancho," Artesia coach Clay Foster said of Greene. "He's every bit as good as every one of them, and he threw well today."
Greene helped his own cause with an RBI single in the third, and tagged out Artesia's Matteo Doporto — who tripled to lead off the sixth — after his pitch got to the backstop.
Despite disappointment over not pulling off a sweep, Hatley was pleased with Greene's pitching performance and with Clovis' late rally in the opener.
"We had an opportunity to sweep," Hatley said. "We had a baserunning miscue earlier and we still had an opportunity to win with our 3, 4 and 5 guys (in the seventh)."
Hatley said senior pitcher Matt Woodbury didn't have his best stuff on the mound in the opener, giving up four runs in four innings of work. But Hatley noted that Woodbury went 2-for-6 with four RBIs in the doubleheader, and in the nightcap stole a base and made an over-the-shoulder catch at first base that likely kept two Bulldogs from scoring.
"He made some good plays," Hatley said of Woodbury. "He didn't hang his head down, and he helped us in other ways."
Foster, whose Bulldogs program Hatley said he is modeling his Wildcats program after, felt fortunate to get the opener despite leaving 17 men on base, and felt games against the Wildcats will help them later in the season.
"We've played our last eight games on the road,"said Foster, whose team is now 8-8. " Playing on the road is difficult, but we feel like it helps us get to where we need to be."
Clovis is at Roswell Goddard for a 3 p.m. Tuesday