Urban, Wildcats start season strong at Invite

Clovis sophomore Sean Cruce tries to turn a double play as Hobbs’ Tyler Barnett slides into second during Saturday’s Clovis Invitational at Bell Park CNJ staff photo by Eric Kluth.

By Rick White

Even a fast-moving cold front on Saturday afternoon couldn’t cool off Richard Urban.

The Clovis senior lashed a pair of two-run singles and Jason Seefeld provided four solid innings of relief in a 12-5 win over Hobbs in the championship game of the Clovis Invitational baseball tournament.

“I was just really seeing the ball,” Urban said. “I’ve been working hard at keeping my hands up instead of letting them drop when I start my swing.”

Urban also belted a home run and two doubles and drove in seven runs in a pair of games Friday.

Against Hobbs, Mark Replogle added a double and a triple for the Wildcats (3-0), who scored four times in the bottom of the fourth to break the game open.

Urban ripped a two-run single to the left-field gap and Replogle tripled to right in the rally.

Seefeld was credited with the win in relief of starter Mark Young. The senior right-hander allowed five hits and three runs. He struck out four and walked two.

“We played pretty well for this time of year,” Clovis coach Shane Shallenberger said. “Overall, the kids played hard.”

The third-year Clovis coach said it was good to have a competitive game against Hobbs after opening the season-opening tournament with a pair of blowouts.
“You want to find out what you’re made of,” Shallenberger said. “We got down, but the kids fought back.”

Hobbs took a 2-0 lead in the first on a pair of unearned runs and tied the score in the fourth on Zach Jarrett’s double to left.

In Friday’s 17-1 win over St. Michael’s, Urban had a big day on the mound and at the plate.

He belted a three-run home run in the first inning — when the Wildcats scored 13 runs — and added a three-run double in the second.

The game was halted after 4 1/2 innings by a 10-run mercy rule.

Urban also got the win on the mound, allowing two hits and an unearned run in three innings. Ryan Denton finished with two innings of scoreless relief.

Denton also helped out at the plate, going 3-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs as Clovis (2-0) collected with 14 hits.

Earlier Friday, Robert Riggins pitched a four-hitter and Replogle led a 13-hit attack as Clovis opened the tournament with a 14-1 win over Fabens, Texas.

Replogle went 3-for-4 with two RBI, three runs scored and three stolen bases from his leadoff position. Sean Cruce and Denton added two hits each for Clovis.

Matt Ulibarri had a two-run triple and Replogle a two-run single in an eight-run second inning. Denton and Eric Smith added run-scoring singles as Clovis jumped to a 12-0 lead.
Riggins struck out eight and walk two in five innings.