Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hobbs baseball's sweep of Carlsbad changes outlook on Eagles' season

Clayton Jones/Hobbs News-Sun
Hobbs' Ricky Aranda scores the winning run against Carlsbad in game one
of a doubleheader on Saturday at Sportsman Field in Hobbs.
  The split second after Hobbs pitcher David Thomas froze Carlsbad’s Broc Landreth with strike three to complete the doubleheader sweep of the Cavemen under the sizzling Saturday sun at Sportsman Field, the Eagles had the look of a completely different ballclub than the one that arrived just hours earlier.
  Any doubts Hobbs had about its ability to not just compete, but defeat a top-tier team in the state lifted by handing district-rival Carlsbad a pair of losses – a Caveman team that entered Saturday’s contest 17-3 on the season and was considered a top-three team in the Land of Enchantment.
  Sure, the wins are important because it ties Hobbs with the Cavemen for first in District in 4-5A at 3-3 with each having a pair of games left at home against 2-2 Clovis (Hobbs hosts Clovis on Tuesday, Carlsbad plays Clovis on Saturday). Carlsbad owns the tiebreaker with Hobbs, however, via run differential as the Cavemen have outscored the Eagles by two runs in splitting their four district contests.
  In short, the Eagles need to sweep Clovis and have Carlsbad drop one to the Wildcats in order for Hobbs to bring home its second consecutive district championship.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Former NMJC player Carpenter makes MLB debut with Angels

  Former New Mexico Junior College baseball player David Carpenter was called up by the Los Angeles Angels on Friday and made his Major League Baseball debut at Yankee Stadium – becoming the sixth Thunderbird to play in the majors.
  The 24-year-old Carpenter – a Grand Prairie, Texas, native – pitched in relief in the eighth inning of the Angels’ 5-0 loss to the Yankees, throwing a scoreless inning while giving up a hit to Nick Swisher while retiring Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and Raul Ibanez.
  “I always thought about what kind of emotions I’d feel once I get that call – cry, scream – and when it finally happened, it was just pure shock, actually,” Carpenter said to “I just kind of sat there with an expressionless face.”
  Carpenter joins Brendon Donnelly, Armando Almanza, Jose Flores, Mike Vento and Johnny Lujan as NMJC baseball players that have played in the majors.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lost opportunity: Hobbs baseball lets one slip away against Carlsbad

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Tyler Janecka slides into third against Carlsbad on Tuesday.
  The Hobbs baseball team was right there, in a position to steal the first game of its District 4-5A opening doubleheader from Carlsbad on Tuesday in Carlsbad.
  Hobbs scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead – just six outs away from making a bold statement. After all, many had pegged the Cavemen as the district favorite despite Hobbs winning the district crown last season – breaking Carlsbad's 18-year stranglehold on the top spot.
  But an error here, a wild pitch there and suddenly the Cavemen scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth and Jered Meek shut the door on the Eagles in the seventh (which included Hobbs getting the lead-off runner on before the courtesy runner got picked off).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Lovington grad Heath Ridenour new Cleveland coach

  I just received a call from former Hobbs athletic director and current Rio Rancho schools athletic director Bruce Carver telling me Lovington graduate Heath Ridenour is the new head football coach for Class 5A defending state champion Cleveland High School.
  Ridenour takes over for Kirk Potter who resigned from the position Monday.
  Ridenour was Cleveland's offensive coordinator the last two years, helping the Storm set a Class 5A state scoring record last season with 642 points.
  Ridenour, who was a finalist for the Hobbs head coaching position and has also coached at Clovis, played quarterback at Lovington and at Eastern New Mexico (where he graduated from in 2003).
  "He's our guy," Carver said. "We didn't want to open the job up because we knew we had the guy we wanted. He has a great background in football and has done an outstanding job with us."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hobbs football, Gleghorn putting the pieces together this spring

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs coach Charles Gleghorn talks to a player during the Eagles' athletic
period Tuesday at Watson Stadium.
  I really wasn't sure what to expect when I went out to Hobbs' football athletic period earlier this week.
  New head coach Charles Gleghorn has the huge duty of turning a football program that has lost 14 of its last 17 games with its run-first, conservative style of football into a wide-open, hurry-up spread offense.
  After all, he's just had since the middle of January to work with the Eagle players so my expectations weren't too high.
  I must say, I was impressed with what I saw.
  Players had a bounce in their step and morale was good as Gleghorn and defensive coordinator Mike Felicetti put the Eagles through the paces. Drills were run crisp and, most importantly, the Eagles appear to be taking to the spread offense well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hobbs baseball close to breaking through, needs to throw strikes

Hobbs' Tyler Janecka, hitting .511 on the season, gets a hit Saturday in Hobbs.
   I caught my first glimpse of the Hobbs baseball team Saturday when the Eagles hosted Alamogordo and I came away with a few thoughts after the two teams split the doubleheader.
  - Hobbs' pitching staff is strong, but has to start throwing strikes: As I wrote in my preview for Hobbs' game 5 p.m. Tuesday against Odessa Permian, the Eagles have the talent and depth to be one of the better pitching staffs in the state.