Cats roll past Levelland

CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle Levelland’s Garrett Claire races home safely as Clovis catcher Michael Sena tries to corral a high throw during the second game of Tuesday’s West Texas Baseball League doubleheader at Bell Park.

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

The Clovis High baseball team put the long ball together with solid pitching Tuesday night for an 8-3, 12-4 West Texas Baseball League sweep of Levelland at Bell Park.

The Wildcats (5-4) got home runs from Jarod Kiser, Andrew Gilliard and Emery Sierra in the first game, while right fielder Jordan Jacobs added a fourth-inning leadoff home run in the nightcap. Clovis pounded out 24 hits against the Red Stixx, who brought just nine players to town.

“I’m really happy with the way we’re hitting the ball this summer,” CHS coach Shane Shallenberger said. “I think we’re really starting to understand the game.”

He said the team hasn’t had much in the way of practice time since the spring season ended.”

“I don’t know if we’ve taken any ground balls since we played Hobbs (in the last spring game in early May),” Shallenberger said.

Right-hander Josh Burrell came within one out of a shutout in the opener before Levelland strung together three run-scoring hits. Burrell finished off the win with his eighth strikeout.

Kiser went 2-for-3 with three RBIs while Jacobs and Gilliard also added a pair of hits in the opener. Kiser hit a two-run double in the first and made it 3-0 with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the third.

Gilliard and Sierra then went back-to-back to start the fifth, and the Cats tacked on three more in the sixth — two on a double by Jacobs.

Burrell, who walked no one, finished with a seven-hit complete game.

In the second game, the Cats broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run fourth. After Levelland pulled to 4-3, Jacobs led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to start a five-run rally.

Sierra and Andrew Gilliard were both 3-for-4 and combined to score seven runs. Pitcher Brandon Gilliard and catcher Michael Sena were both 2-for-2.

Brandon Gilliard pitched five innings, allowing six hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Sierra worked the final two innings, giving up a run on no hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

“Josh pitched well in the first game,” Shallenberger said, “and Brandon and Emery kept us in the second game.”

The team travels to Hereford on Thursday for another WTBL doubleheader, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (MDT).