Cats take third place in own tourney

Clovis’ Parker Wood, center, tags out Johnathan Rodriguez of Carlsbad at first base during Saturday’s semifinal game in the Clovis Invitational summer baseball tournament at Bell Park. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

CNJ staff

Emery Sierra tossed a one-hit shutout and Jarod Kiser and Jordan Jacobs delivered two-run singles in a six-run third that lifted Clovis past Portales 9-0 in the third-place game of the Clovis Invitational summer baseball tournament on Saturday night at Bell Park.

Sierra, who will be a freshman in the fall, finished with one walk, one hit batsman and seven strikeouts in a game called after 4 1/2 innings due to the eight-run rule. It was Sierra’s second outing and first start this summer on the mound.

Portales’ only hit was a third-inning infield single by Kevin Gonzales. Mario Salazar threw the first two innings for the Rams and took the loss, giving up just one run.

Carlsbad won the championship in what was to have been a 12-team tournament — it became 11 teams when Alamogordo did not show up on Friday — with an 8-3 victory over Hobbs.

Ricky Sanchez added an RBI double in the third for the Wildcats (5-1). Clovis finished with 10 hits off three Portales pitchers.
In the semifinals on Saturday, Carlsbad scored seven runs in the first and handed the Cats a 14-9 loss.

“We felt like we had one bad inning this whole tournament,” Clovis coach Shane Leatherwood said. “Other than that, the kids played great. Our intensity was high, and we learned about some things we have to get better at.”

Parker Wood led a 12-hit attack against Carlsbad, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and three runs batted in. He was also the victim of Carlsbad’s early eruption.

Josh Burrell took over in the second and went the rest of the way for the Cats.

“If we could’ve gotten out of the first inning, it might’ve been a different game,” Leatherwood said. “We had a couple of opportunites to (get out of the inning), and we didn’t do it.

“(Burrell) pitched well. He kept them off-balance with his changeup.”

Clovis returns to action on Tuesday with a 4 p.m. doubleheader at home against Shallowater, a team the Cats swept in their opening twin bill in Shallowater.