RIO RANCHO — The Clovis High baseball team took advantage of eight walks, three hit batsmen and five Roswell High errors to shell the Coyotes 15-2 Saturday in the seventh-place game of the Sal Puentes-Rio Rancho Invitational.
The Wildcats (6-6) added nine hits to the mix and jumped out to a 15-0 lead after 3 1/2 innings. The game was called after five because of the 10-run rule.
Senior right-hander Lane Drake benefitted from the offensive support, throwing his second complete game of the season. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out three.
“It wasn’t pretty,” CHS assistant coach Drew Hatley said. “It wasn’t one of those deals where we hit the ball all over the field.”
Junior Matt Southard, getting his first varsity start, went 2-for-3 and scored three runs. His RBI single helped key a three-run first for the Cats.
Already leading 5-0, Clovis had five-run innings in the third and fourth. Catcher Ricky Sanchez hit a two-run single in the third, while another run scored when Omar Sosa’s popped-up squeeze bunt went over the pitcher’s head and landed safely for a single.
Sosa, who went 2-for-4, and Parker Wood hit consecutive RBI singles in the fourth after Sebastian Flores and Jordan Hill drew walks and then worked a double steal.
Hill, in fact, drew walks in all four plate appearances and scored four runs. He and Flores each had three of the Cats’ eight stolen bases.
Drake also threw a five-inning, complete-game win on March 21 when the Cats rallied for all of their runs in the bottom of the fifth to beat Alamogordo 12-2 and complete a doubleheader sweep at Bell Park.
“He threw well today,” Hatley said. “He kept the ball down in the (strike) zone.”
Danny De La Cerda had a run-scoring single and stole two bases for the Coyotes (4-10).
Later final-round matchups on Saturday had St. Pius facing Eldorado for fifth place, Artesia meeting Santa Fe High for third and Rio Rancho taking on Rio Grande for the championship.
The Cats’ next outing comes in a 4 p.m. twin bill on Tuesday at Portales.