Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hobbs baseball a dangerous 12th seed in Class 5A state tournament

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Caleb Young
  As I returned home from Albuquerque on Sunday and hopped online to find out where the Lea County teams were going to be seeded for the state softball and baseball tournaments (go to nmact.org to see full brackets), I was surprised to find Hobbs baseball seeded 12th and hitting the road to play No. 5 Mayfield 5 p.m. Friday in the first game of a best-of-three series.
  Particularly considering Carlsbad – the team the Eagles tied with atop District 4-5A (but lost a run-differential tiebreaker by two runs) – picked up the third seed.
  I guess to me it's puzzling how two teams that played so close throughout the season are nine seeds apart in a 16-team tournament.
  But it's just extra motivation for a team that already has a bit of a chip on its shoulder – that it partially put there itself. As I've said before, Hobbs lost a lot of close games early and its record isn't that of a top-five team in the state.
  However, over the last two weeks the Eagles have played like the team many expected. The Eagles have won seven games in a row, including a sweep of Carlsbad, and I'm really not too happy if I'm Mayfield having to face a Hobbs team with good arms on the mound, a solid defense and a lineup that can get a key hit one through nine in the order that's been tabbed as a 12th seed.
  Time will tell if Hobbs has a Lovington girls basketball-esque run in them (remember, the Lady Wildcats were a 12th seed heading into the playoffs). Class 5A is wide open. Anything is possible.