Amarillo High deals Cats pair of setbacks

CNJ staff

AMARILLO — The Clovis High baseball team, idle since winning its own season-opening invitational last weekend, had a tough time Saturday in its first road trip of the season.

Amarillo High pounded out 23 hits in a doubleheader and posted a 10-4, 13-3 sweep over the Wildcats, dropping them to 3-2 for the season.

“They’re a good ballclub,” CHS coach Shane Shallenberger said of the Sandies (3-2-1). “They showed us where we need to get to.”

Blanked for five innings by Amarillo High’s Victor Black in the opener, the Cats took advantage of three walks and a hit batsman to pull to 7-4 with a four-run sixth. Matt Ulibarri belted an RBI double and Parker Wood hit a run-scoring single for Clovis in that inning.

The Sandies, though, came right back with a 3-spot in the bottom of the inning to pull away.

Senior Sean Cruce pitched the first two innings for Clovis and took the loss. Ulibarri had two of Clovis’ six hits, while Amarillo High’s 11-hit attack included two hits apiece from four players.

The second game ended on the 10-run rule when the Sandies sent 10 batters to the plate and scored seven runs. Wilkinson led off the frame with a home run and then ended it with an RBI single.

Amarillo High’s Brad Elder drove in six runs in the nightcap. He hit an RBI double in the second, a two-run triple in the third and a three-run homer in the sixth.

The Cats jumped in front in the second inning on RBI hits by Casarez and Wood. Elder’s double made it 2-1 in the second, and his triple highlighted a three-run third that put the Sandies in front for good.

Blaire Wieck pitched a complete-game four-hitter for Amarillo High.

“We had some shots in both games,” Shallenberger said. “We just made some mistakes that we’ll need to correct.”

The Cats return to action on Thursday with a 1 p.m. quarterfinal game against Santa Fe in the opening round of the Rio Rancho Invitational. Clovis defeated the Demons 13-5 in the opening round of their own invitational on Feb. 23.