Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West outlasts rival to win baseball title

Six innings into the Fresno Easter Baseball Classic championship game, Clovis East's unexpected run was still rolling strong.

Facing off against Clovis West in a rematch of the 2008 Classic title game, the defending champ Timberwolves kept it close until the wheels wobbled and fell off in the seventh.

Connor Williams blooped a single to left field and the Golden Eagles took advantage of two final-inning errors to claim the tournament crown 4-1 Thursday night.

"I was just trying to hit the ball into the outfield any way I could," Williams said smiling. "They kept throwing me away, and I finally got a piece of one and it fell in."

Williams' hit to shallow left scored Jacob Alvarez, and when the ball was misplayed, Eric Karch also came home to break what was a 1-1 tie.

While Williams' hit was key, Sean Silva's play proved critical as well.

The tournament co-Most Outstanding Pitcher struck out four batters -- including the final batter of the night looking -- and pitched a four-hitter. He provided a bit of his own run support with an RBI double in the fourth inning.

Silva is committed to Fresno State as a walk-on but has one scholarship offer in the bank from UC Santa Barbara and said he expects another from UC Davis.

If he continues to play as well as he did Thursday night, more might be rolling in. He came into the contest with a 1.15 ERA in 35 innings, coach Kevin Patrick said.

He said Silva's performance was no surprise, and added that the Golden Eagles' pitching and defense have been constants that have led to an 18-2 record.

While Clovis West used the tournament to get bench players more experience and have fun while sharpening itself for the resumption of Tri-River Athletic Conference play, Clovis East was seeking to turn its season around.

Clovis East coach Rigo Ledezma said he thought his team did that.

After losing seven straight games headed into the 40th annual tournament, the Timberwolves (10-10) reeled off four consecutive wins while allowing just three runs.

Timberwolves pitcher and infielder Jeff Owen, who earned the other half of the co-Most Outstanding Pitcher award for his complete-game two-hit, nine-strikeout performance earlier in the tournament, said the Timberwolves "came out a completely different team" and expects his team to move forward positively.

Clovis West's J.D. Salles was named co-MVP of the tournament after going 7 for 17 with two doubles, four RBIs and six runs. Cody Keefer of Davis High was the other co-MVP.