RIO RANCHO — Shane Leatherwood wasn't too disappointed with his team's pitching and defense Thursday, but the offense? That's another matter.
La Cueva junior Trey Alexander pitched a five-inning, two-hit shutout and the Bears broke away late for a 9-0 win over the Wildcats in the quarterfinals of Rio Rancho's Sal Puentes Invitational.
La Cueva (6-2) scored twice in both the third and fourth innings before adding a five-spot in the top of the fifth. The game ended after five on the eight-run rule.
Leatherwood said Alexanderson made quick work of the Cats' hitters, and that didn't help sophomore Matt Lanier, the Cats' starting hurler.
"He started out fine," Leatherwood said of Lanier. "It's tough to go out and work through a tough inning and then when you come in you're not even there long enough to get a drink."
Conner Calvert and Jeff Deimling both went 3-for-4 and combined for five RBIs for the Bears, who finished with 10 hits. Lanier struck out five in 3 2/3 innings before Landon Williams and Joe Shelley finished up for the Cats.
Clovis' only hits off Alexanderson were singles by juniors Michael Cordova and Andres Tapia.
The Cats (4-4) face Roswell Goddard, a 2-0 loser to Rio Rancho on Thursday, in a 10:45 a.m. consolation semifinal today.
"Goddard returns a lot of varsity starters (from last season)," Leatherwood said. "I think they're in the top five in (Class) 4A, so it should be a pretty good game."