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April 2, 2001

Eagles survive rough start to score 7-5 win

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 2, 2001 -Hitting has been the biggest problem for the Canutillo Golden Eagles so far in the 2001 baseball season. But you wouldn't know it by the first inning of Friday's game against the Pecos Eagles.

Canutillo collected six hits off pitcher Angel Villalobos, and combined with two Eagle errors they gave the visitors a quick 4-0 lead. The Golden Eagles then used two more hits and an error in the second to go up by a 5-1 score, after Pecos had pushed across an unearned run in their first at-bat.

But that turned out to be all Canutillo would score on the night. Villalobos settled down, and survived a quartet of two-out jams in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, while the Eagles were able to scratch out runs in the second through fifth innings to rally for a 7-5 victory, and remain tied for first in the District 2-4A standings.

"One thing I liked about the game was they came out hitting Angel, but we didn't give up," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams. "We might not have played our best, but when you come back like that it looked pretty good."

Back-to-back errors by outfielders Rigo Ramirez and Alex Garcia with one out in the first got Canutillo on the scoreboard. Both misplayed singles by Carlos Torres and Jesse Ramirez into errors. Torres scored on the second error and Ramirez came home on an Eddie Hita ground out for a 2-0 lead.

But after that, the next four batters for Canutillo singled, with Edgar Munoz and Joe Rodriguez' hits scoring Manny Jimenez and Paco Molinar. Villalobos got out of the inning after that, but Julian Lopez singled to open the second inning and after an error by third baseman Matthew Levario, he would score on a base hit by Hita.

That got back the run Lopez had given up in the first, thanks to his own bad pickoff throw to first base. It allowed Garcia to go to third base with one out, from where he scored on Mason Abila's sacrifice fly. And Lopez helped the Eagles again in the second, balking Rudy Magana to third after his two-out double, and then scoring him on a wild pitch.

In the third, it was control problems by Lopez that helped the Eagles out. He walked three batters in the inning, beginning with Richard Rodriguez, who then scored on Garcia's single to left field. One out later, Lopez walked Villalobos and Barney Rodriguez to load the bases, and then got a break, when Molinar fielded Joey Ortega's grounder to shortstop with the infield in and opted to try for an inning-ending double play. The throw to second got Rodriguez, but Ortega was safe and Garcia scored to cut the lead to 5-4.

Pecos took the lead with two more runs in the fourth, again without benefit of a big hit. Rigo Ramirez beat out an infield hit and ended up on second when Joe Rodriguez threw the ball past Jimenez at first base. Richard Rodriguez then blooped a high pop up just fair down the left field line for a single, and went to second on the throw to third base. Garcia then scored Ramirez with a grounder to shortstop, and Lopez then wild pitched Pecos into the lead, as Rodriguez scored.

The Eagles' insurance run in the fifth game on a throwing error by Molinar on Magana's two-out grounder to shortstop, and an RBI single by Ramirez. The Eagles might have had more, but Ramirez at third base made several good defensive plays on the Eagles, while right fielder Luigi Rose robbed Ortega of a double in the second inning, just before Magana's double to nearly the same spot in right-center field.

"We didn't hit the ball the way I'd like, but you can't take anything away from Canutillo. Their third baseman made some good plays and made one throw from his knees, and that right fielder make a heck of a catch on Joey," Williams said.

Meanwhile, Villalobos was keeping Canutillo from getting any more big two out hits after the second inning. He fanned Torres after two hits put runners on first and third with two outs in the third inning, got Munoz too pop to shortstop after a two out single and error in the fourth, got Ramirez to bounce into a fielder's choice to Magana at second with two on and two out in the fifth and then got out of a slightly tougher jam in the fifth, when Magana and Rodriguez turned an inning ending double play on Munoz, after a Hita infield pop up fell in for a single and Molinar blooped a hit to center field.

Canutillo ended up with 14 hits to only five for the Eagles, but Villalobos was still able to pick up his third victory in four decisions, while the Eagles improved to 3-0 in district and 12-5 on the season. Canutillo is now 1-2 in district and - overall.

Pecos has only one game scheduled this week due to the District 2-4A track meet this coming weekend. They'll host El Paso Mountain View on Tuesday, and then take a week off before hosting San Elizario on April 10. Mountain View fell to 0-3 in district with a 13-6 loss to Clint, while San Eli stayed tied with Pecos for first by beating Fabens, 11-5.

Eagles have high, low points at Crane

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 2, 2001 -The final pre-district track meet for the Pecos Eagles answered a couple of questions while creating a few more for both the boys and girls squads at the Golden Crane Invitational Saturday afternoon.

Pecos' boys scored 23 points and picked up one medal on the afternoon, a third place finish in the 3200 by Isaiah Juarez. Pecos' girls got 36 points and three medals, thirds by shot putter Stephanie Herrera and 3200 meter runner Mari Martinez and 800 meter runner Christina Arenivas, though both teams were shorthanded in their best events so far this season.

The boys had to do without 400 meter runner Daniel Terrazas, who missed the preliminaries to take SAT tests. He was still able to run in the 400 and 1600 meter relays, where the Eagles placed fifth, while the girls went with one new runner in the 800 meter relay and as a result had a handoff problem that cost them a shot at a third place medal.

The boys also got a fourth place finish from Peter Juarez in the triple jump, a fifth from Nolan Blount in the 3200 meter run, and fifth and sixth place results from Justin Mora and Will Armstrong in the pole vault.

"I'm happy with some results and unhappy with others, mainly towards the end of the day. There was a lack of concentration," said boys' coach Jerry Parent. Pecos failed to place any runner in the top six in an individual event after the 3200 meter run, and two slow legs on the 1600 meter relay caused the Eagles to run a 3:41 time, three seconds slower than a week ago.

"I may have to do some juggling this week for district," Parent said. "I make take him (Ricky Plummer) out of the half mile and put him in both relays and the quarter (800 meter dash). It he could run a 53 (second) split, he could place there at district."

The girls failed to qualify their 400 meter relay team, but got fourth place in the 800 and 1600 meter run, though coach Lily Talamantez said, "I had to do some subbing because a couple of my girls were hurt."

Talamantez held Michelle Saenz out of the 800 meter relay after she placed fifth in the 800 meter run. "She said her knee was hurting and I wanted to give her more time to rest to see if she could run the mile (1600 meter) relay," she said. Freshman Pilar Juarez ran in her spot in the 800 relay and left a little early on the first handoff, which cost the Eagles a few seconds overall. "That's the first time she's run that race, and she was a little nervous," Talamantez said.

Crane's boys and Midland Greenwood's girls took the division titles at the meet, which featured number of the Eagles former, and possibly future district rivals, in Fort Stockton, Monahans, Kermit, Alpine and Presidio. The Eagles' district rivals for this year and next year will join Pecos in Canutillo on Friday and Saturday for the District 2-4A meet, with the top two finishers advancing to Region I-4A competition at San Angelo on April 27-28.

Pecos stays in first with win at San Elizario

PECOS, April 2, 2001 -The Pecos Eagles opened up some room between themselves and their closest District 2-4A softball rival on Friday, as they scored a 15-5 win in San Elizario over their Eagle counterparts.

The Eagles, who went into Friday with a half-game lead over San Eli in the District 2-4A standings, jumped out to a 6-0 lead on the host Eagles before San Elizario got on the board. The teams traded runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but then Pecos was able to put the game away by scoring five times in the sixth inning, and pitcher Stephanie Herrera then retired the side in the sixth to give the Eagles the win under the 10-run rule.

Herrera, who had shut down Clint and Fabens in relief to get wins, then one-hit Canutillo in the Eagles' previous, game, was touched for earned runs for the first time in district play on Friday. But coach Tammy Walls said, "Stephanie had a good game. One girl hit the ball hard, but their other hits were bloops in the gaps."

Meanwhile, the Eagles got to pitcher Valerie Soto throughout the afternoon, though they didn't come up with a big inning until the sixth. "She was the best pitcher we've see in district so far, but she had some control problems and we took advantage," Walls said. "We were a little more patient and when she threw strikes, we hit the ball hard."

Walls said Jessica Rodriguez went 2-for-3 on the day, and Rebecca Wein and Ashley Salcido had doubles in the victory. "Defensively we looked real good," Walls added. "Kathy Maldonado had a good game in centerfield."

The win improved Pecos' record to 4-0 in district and 7-9 on the season, while San Elizario fell to 3-2 in district and 7-9 overall.

The Eagles go to Clint on Tuesday for what was to have been the start of the second half of their district schedule. But last Tuesday's rain-out against El Paso Mountain View means the game will be the midpoint of the season for the Eagles, who began 2-4A play with a 13-9 win over Clint. Pecos will make up their game against Mountain View this Thursday, starting at 4 p.m. at Martinez Field.

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