Cats sweep Artesia to improve to 8-1

Clovis senior shortstop Jason Seefeld gloves the ball in the hole during the second game of their double header against Artesia Saturday at Bell Park. Seefeld juggled the ball and was late with the throw to first base. Photo by Eric Kluth

Rick White

Robert Riggins picked up a save even though he was no longer on the mound.

Riggins made a running, over-the-shoulder catch in left field to keep the game tied, and Sean Cruce doubled home the winning run an inning later, lifting Clovis a 7-6, eight-inning win over Artesia in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at Bell Park.

Clovis (8-1) won the second game 10-3 behind the pitching and hitting of Richard Urban.

Riggins, who pitched five innings of scoreless relief in the opener, said he was surprised as anyone when he hauled in Aaron McKenzie’s drive to left with two outs and a runner at second in the top of the seventh.

“I just took off,” said Riggins, who left the mound with Clovis up 6-5 heading into the seventh. “I didn’t know I caught it until it hit my glove.

“I’ve had trouble going back on ball. I think everybody’s heart stop.”

Jason Seefeld, who allowed Artesia to tie the score in the seventh, retired the side in the top of the eighth before Cruce’s liner to left scored speedy Mark Replogle easily from first to complete a Clovis comeback.

Cruce, a sophomore second baseman and the team’s leading hitter, finished the game with three hits while Seefeld was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a two-run single in the sixth that gave Clovis its first lead of the game.

“The kids did a good job of battling back in the first game,” Clovis coach Shane Shallenberger said. “I never really felt the game was out of hand even though we fell behind early.”
Artesia (2-5) jumped out to a 5-1 lead, knocking out Clovis starter Mark Young in the second inning.

“Mark just didn’t have it today,” Shallenberger said. ‘That happens some times. Robert had a low pitch (from Thursday) and did a great job of keeping us in the game.”
Riggins worked six innings Thursday in a 10-3 win over Frenship, Texas.

Left-hander Keaton Waters pitched the first five innings for the Class 4A Bulldogs, allowing four runs on nine hits. He also collected three hits, including a single that sent the game into extra innings.

In the nightcap, Urban continued his RBI tear with a pair of triples, including a bases-loaded shot to the right-field fence in a four-run sixth as Clovis pushed its winning streak to five.

He tripled in two more runs in the second, giving him six on the day and 23 for the season. Both triples came after Seefeld walked.

“It’s tough to pitch around Seefeld when the guy behind him’s already has 22 or 23 RBIs,” Shallenberger said.
On the mound, Urban worked the first five innings, allowing three runs and five hits.

Ryan Denton finished with two innings of scoreless relief. Denton also went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.

First game
Clovis 7, Artesia 6, 8 innings
Artesia 230 000 10 — 6 8 4
Clovis 112 002 01 — 7 11 4
Keaton Waters, Kullen Pacheco (6) and Brad Vierra; Mark Young, Robert Riggins (2), Jason Seefeld (7) and Richard Urban. W — Seefeld. L — Pacheco. LOB — Artesia 4, Clovis 8. 2B — Artesia, Eric Marrs, Brad Vierra. Clovis, Sean Cruce 2, Seefeld, Mark Replogle. Records — Artesia 2-4, Clovis 7-1.

Second game
Clovis 10, Arteisa 3
Artesia 100 110 0 — 3 5 3
Clovis 103 114 x — 10 11 5
Kris Vierra, Anthony Salisbury (6) and Brad Vierra; Robert Urban, Ryan Denton (6) and Mark Replogle. W — Urban. L — Vierra. DP — Artesia. LOB — Artesia 6, Clovius 8. 2B — Artesia, B. Vierra. 3B — Clovis, Urban 2, Matt Ulibarri. Records — Artesia 2-5, Clovis 8-1.