Little Leaguers battle elements and each other

Freedom Newspapers

CLOVIS — Lightning and rain put District 3 Little League 12-year-old winners bracket final on hold Saturday night at Dickenson Field, but not before Roosevelt County unleashed some thunder of its own.
Travis Stobb’s two-run homer put Roosevelt County ahead 7-6 in the bottom of the fifth. The game was delayed for lightning and rain two batters later, but tournament director Mike Harris said the teams hoped to finish the game late Saturday night. If the game were called, Roosevelt County would be the winner.
In a losers bracket game in Portales, Quay County defeated Zia 8-3. Quay advances to a Wednesday game against the Roosevelt-American loser, with that winner advancing to the tournament finals.
The tournament winner qualifies for state competition beginning July 22 in Carlsbad.
Leadoff batter Andrew Villanueva and pitcher Lathan Lieb hit first-pitch homers to stake Roosevelt to a 4-0 first-inning lead. Lieb’s homer followed a walk and a hit batsman, and he added a solo shot in the third.
American scored twice in the second, then added four in the fourth and took a 6-5 lead on two-out RBI singles by Lucas Walthers and T.J. Serna.
Lieb led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield hit and Stobb followed by knocking a 1-1 pitch over the left-center field fence.
American had a 9-7 advantage in hits when play was halted, but all of its hits were singles.

Quay County 8, Zia 3 — At Portales, Jake Martinez hit a go-ahead homer and Quay never looked back in eliminating Zia.
“I think the kids did really good,” Quay coach Michael Esquibel said. “They all did the job they were supposed to.”