By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
The Clovis American offense woke up in the third inning and started a 17-run tear that lasted into the fifth inning to beat Roosevelt County in the second round of the 13- and 14-year-old juniors tournament 17-7 Saturday night at Ram Field.
“We’ve been working on hitting a lot and we’ve got some big sluggers on the team,” American head coach Albert Marez said, “They stepped up when they needed to tonight.”
“We were just really rusty,” Roosevelt County head coach Ricky Lovato said. “We haven’t had much time to practice.”
American’s frenzy began in the third inning as Boone Wheeler connected to deep centerfield for a two-run triple, followed by Wheeler scoring on a passed ball to grab a quick 3-0 lead. Conner Doolittle gave American a 4-0 lead with an RBI single through the infield.
The visitors added nine runs in their half of the fourth inning, capped by a two-run scoring shot to deep centerfield to extend the American lead to 13-0.
Roosevelt County scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth on a balk.
Tre Orozco and Trent Barclay both brought in runs in the fifth inning to give American a 17-1 lead.
Roosevelt County rallied in the bottom of the fifth for six runs on two balks and four wild pitches, but it wasn’t enough to escape the 10-run rule.
American advances to the championship game, awaiting the winner of Monday night’s game between Roosevelt County and Quay County.
“I think by Monday we’ll have better feedback from our kids playing ball, and I think we’ll do well against Tucumcari,” Lovato said.