By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
After jumping out to a 10-0 lead after 2 1/2 innings, the Clovis American All-Stars had to go the full six-inning distance before subduing Roosevelt County County 10-5 in a District 3 Little League 9-10 first-round game Friday night at Rotary Park.
Kordell Tindle picked up the win for American, striking out four batters in four-plus innings. Samuel Conlee finished the game and added three strikeouts.
“The kids played hard, very hard,” American coach Eloy Flores said. “Our defense was excellent and the pitching was there all night.”
After a throwing error netted American’s Jaylen Harris three bases in the top of the second, the American All-Stars went on to build a 5-0 lead. They tacked on five more in the third and were looking to 10-run-rule Roosevelt County until Payton Casey bounced an RBI ground-rule double over left field fence to put the Portales squad on the board.
Roosevelt County’s first three innings were plagued with numerous errors, but its batters remained steady all night at the plate. Roosevelt held American scoreless over the last three innings, but couldn’t put together enough offense to make up for the earlier lapses.
In the fourth, Michah Obenhaus connected on a two-run single to make it 10-4.
Casey blasted a triple in the fifth inning to score a runner, then scored himself after a single by Christopher Aranda.
“We didn’t wake up until the fifth inning,” Roosevelt coach Carleton Casey said. “We had a little trouble at first, but we’re ready now.”
Both teams are back in action at 7 p.m. Monday. American faces Zia at Rotary Park in Portales, while Roosevelt plays Quay County at Beachum Field in Clovis.