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).
  It was a gut-wrenching loss for Hobbs as it also held a 3-0 lead after scoring three in the top of the third only to have Carlsbad come back and score three in the bottom of the frame.
  The Eagles just couldn't hold onto a lead.
  Hobbs isn't far off. It has good arms on the mound, a solid lineup and a good enough defense to get the Eagles a long way when state tournament time comes around.
  But Hobbs has to finish teams off when it has the chance. It can't let a team like Carlsbad hang around – particularly in a game as important as Tuesday's contest. A win would've made a world of difference in the District 4-5A picture.
  The Eagles have a chance to redeem themselves this weekend, however, as they hit the road for a doubleheader against Clovis on Saturday. Hobbs needs to win at least one of these games because starting  district play 0-4 would make for a long up-hill climb to get back into it.