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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, July 17, 2000
Pecos teams go 1-2 in district tourney finals
By JON FULBRIGHT
SAN ANGELO, July 17, 2000 -- The Pecos Little League All-Stars didn’t give
San Angelo Lake View a chance to force a deciding game in their District
4 11-12 year old Tournament over the weekend. But San Angelo Northern’s
9-10 All-Stars didn’t give Pecos’ team a chance either on Saturday, while
Northern’s 13-14 year old Junior League team took advantage of their second
chance against Pecos to force and then win a deciding game in their District
4 Tournament on Sunday.
The 11-12 year olds finished out the district tournament undefeated and earned
themselves a long trip to Shamrock on Wednesday for sectional tournament
play with a 8-2 win over Lake View at Northern’s field. A few hours later
on Lake View’s field, Northern’s 9-10 year olds completed a two-game sweep
of Pecos, rallying for a 9-7 win after a 14-8 victory on Friday.
Pecos’ Junior Leaguers had beaten San Angelo Lake View by an 11-1 score earlier
in the day, which advanced them to Sunday afternoon’s championship game.
But facing a Northern team they had beaten a week earlier by a 6-4 score,
Pecos came up short in the first game by a 3-2 margin, then were beaten
in the deciding game by a 9-5 final score.
Lake View’s 11-12 year olds had a little more trouble with Pecos pitcher
Eddie Vela than Pecos did with Kash Christopher, but the left-handed curveballer
kept the Little Leaguers off balance for much of Saturday’s. However, there
were enough bloop hits and soft dribblers that Lake View had trouble handling,
and combined with some aggressive baserunning by Pecos got the Little Leaguers
out to a quick 3-0 lead after two innings.
“We got off a little bit slow, but everything worked out well,” said manager
Vaughn Garnto. “Eddie wasn’t really up to his speed, but he did all right.”
Lake View actually had the two hardest hit balls of the game, a fourth inning
home run by Justin Ascevedo and a sixth inning homer by Preston McKnight.
But Lake View’s only other hit of the game was a Levi Clark single after
McKnight’s shot, and Vela settled down after some early control problems
gave Lake View a couple of baserunners due to walks.
Pecos got their first three runs after a bloop single to right by Carlos
Vela and a bloop infield hit by Chris Garnto that a diving Christopher couldn’t
catch on the fly. A wild pitch advanced both runners, and Vela scored on
Jonathan Garcia’s ground out. Thomas Paz was then hit by a pitch and then
Garnto would score on a wild pitch, when the throw back to home plate got
past the pitcher, and Paz would go to third and score on the play, when
first baseman Rodney Astin threw the ball down the left field line.
Pecos got another unearned run in the third, when Edward Valencia singled,
Eddie Vela walked, and Lee Roy Rodriguez reached on an error by shortstop
Sky Schmickle with two out. Garnto then scored Valencia with a single off
the glove of McKnight at third.
Ascevedo hit an 0-2 pitch from Vela over the fence in left to cut the lead
to 4-1, but in their next at-bat Pecos would score four more times to make
it an 8-1 game.
Paz would again score when a throw to third got past McKnight and down the
line in left, after he walked and Rocky Lozoya reached on an infield hit.
Lozoya scored when Schmickle booted Luis Licon’s grounder, and the final
two runs then came in off a single by Isaiah Rayos and a double by Eddie
Vela off new pitcher Astin.
“We had three or four little bloop hits and a couple of soft line drives,”
said Garnto. “That lefty was throwing nasty, and we were geared up for a
fastball pitcher. If they had thrown one we would have hit him.”
The 9-10 year olds dug themselves an early hole on Friday night against Northern,
falling behind 3-0 after the first half inning, and were never able to catch
up against pitcher Caleb Usry. They had better luck against Hunter Holdridge
in Saturday’s game, but were unable to make a few late inning plays that
allowed Northern to come back from a 7-5 deficit.
Chris Sotelo and Drake Bradley got Pecos on the board in the second inning
with a single and double, and a throwing error on a Manny Lujan grounder
and a Diana Parada single gave them a 3-1 lead. Northern came back to grab
a 5-3 advantage off Gerardo Saenz in the second thanks to two errors and
hits by Holdridge and Brian West, before Pecos rallied again, cutting the
lead to 5-4 on a single by Sotelo and two-base error by outfielder Jesse
Roper in the third, then tying the game in the fourth on an RBI single by
Joe Chavez and taking a 7-5 lead on Sotelo’s third single of the night.
Two walks, a wild pitch and a single by Usry tied the game in the bottom
of the inning, and Northern went ahead for good in the fifth when Parada
couldn’t come up with Holdridge’s fly ball after Sterling Curry reached
on an infield hit and West was hit by a pitch.
“We had a good team, but I could just never get them to play at their level,”
said coach Ray Palomino. They were nervous the whole game. They just played
with too much pressure on themselves.”
Northern’s Junior League team avenged the previous week’s loss to Pecos and
pitcher Hilario Bustamantes in Game 1 on Sunday, then took advantage of
some mistakes in Game 2 to go out to a big lead after four innings. On Saturday,
Pecos had used the pitching of Jose Reyes and a series of late Lake View
mistakes to win in five innings under the 10-run rule.
The first inning on Saturday and in Game 1 on Sunday proved to be key moments.
Pecos’ Lorrenzo Serrano was able to come through with a bases-loaded single
with two outs against Lake View to help the Junior Leaguers take an early
2-0 lead, but Pecos was unable to get the big hit with the bases loaded
against Northern the following day, after falling behind 2-0 after the first
half inning of play.
For some of the Pecos players, it was the second year in a row they had been
eliminated by Northern’s squad, after many of those same players won the
11-12 year old title last season. The Junior League subsectional tournament
is scheduled for this week in Midland, while San Angelo will host the Region
I Little League 9-10 tournament.
Pecos will face the Lubbock-area District 2 champion in their 11-12 year
old sectional opener at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. District 3 champion Midland
Northern will face the District 1 champ in the 5:30 p.m. game on Wednesday
in Shamrock, which is located 395 miles northeast of Pecos.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise