Errors doom Wildcats in Carlsbad

CNJ staff

CARLSBAD — The Clovis Wildcats had a chance Saturday to rebound from a shaky start to the District 4-5A season.

But they dropped the ball. Or overthrew it. Or bobbled it.

Carlsbad completed a three-game sweep Saturday by beating Clovis 20-7. Carlsbad beat the error-prone Wildcats 16-6 and 11-7 wins Friday.

“At this point, I’m lost,” Clovis coach Shane Shallenberger said. “I really don’t know what it is. I’m shocked. I don’t have any answers. If it’s not one thing with these guys, it’s another.”

Of Carlsbad’s 47 runs, 23 were unearned and Clovis wound up with more errors (21) than hits (20).

“They threw strikes and we didn’t swing,” Shallenberger said.

Clovis had struggled with inconsistent play through the non-district season, especially at the plate, but Shallenberger believed defense was strength of the team.

“When that fails, you really have nothing to turn to,” he said.

Junior Devin Sweet was a bright spot for Clovis (7-10, 0-3 District 4-5A), finishing 8-for-10 with a home run, two doubles and six RBIs.

In the opener, Cade Wheeler’s two-out, three-run homer gave Clovis a 4-3 lead in the top of the second inning, but the Cavemen (10-3, 3-0) responded with a six-run third and never looked back.

Carlsbad overcame eight errors by outhitting Clovis 17-4. Sweet had a pair of singles for the Cats.

The Cavemen ended the game on the 10-run rule with five in the fifth, capped by Aaron Pate’s two-out, two-run single.
In the second game, Carlsbad took the lead for good with an eight-run second.

The Cats put together rallies with two out and no one on in each of the first two innings to open a 5-1 lead. In the first, Sean Cruce walked and scored on Sweet’s double. John Props added an RBI single.

Wheeler reached on a two-out error in the second. Matt Ulibarri singled and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Freshman Jared Kiser singled home Wheeler, and Cruce followed with a two-run double.

Carlsbad’s Sonny Yturralde took over on the mound for Pate at the start of the third and pitched five innings for the win, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out four.

Both teams finished with 11 hits. Cruce, Sweet, Ulibarri and Nathan Dodge all had a pair of hits for the Cats.

On Saturday, Clovis jumped on Carlsbad pitcher Dyar Debbrecht with four runs in the top of the first, but Carlsbad responded with five, four and 10 runs in the next three innings to wallop Clovis.

Yturralde picked up his second win of the series after relieving Debbrecht in the first.

Shallenberger is still holding out hope his team can still turn things around.

“We can still make the playoffs and still do the things if we maintain focus,” he said. “Our season is not over, by any means, but it’s up to our kids to get it done.”