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April 10, 2001

Freshmen pull off surprise at 2-4A golf tourney

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 10, 2001 - There didn't figure to be that many surprises at the District 2-4A golf tournament on Monday at the Reeves County Golf Course. But there were a few, and they were provided by the Pecos Eagle boys `B' golf team.

The Eagles' `B' team came close to beating Pecos' `A' team for the district championship, and did ended up with the district's top three medallists in freshmen Sal Nichols, Pete Vasquez and Jake McKinney, who shot 76, 78 and 79 in the one-day tournament.

Both Pecos teams ended up earning the district's two regional tournament berths for the third year in a row, and on the girls' side, the Eagles `A' and `B' teams also earned the top two spots and trips to the regional tournament for the third straight season.

On the boys' side, the `A' team won the tournament with a 328 score, seven shots up on Pecos' `B' team. This year's tournament was closer than the past two seasons; with the `B' team's 335 total only 23 strokes ahead of third place Canutillo, which shot a 358.

McKinney won a playoff with senior Cortney Freeman for third place, as Freeman's 79 was the best total for Pecos' `A' squad. He was followed by the Eagles' other senior, Tye Edwards, who shot an 80, Jack Stickels with an 84, David Bradley with an 85 and Casey Breiten with an 86. Edwards, Stickels, Bradley and Breiten placed fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth in the medallist competition, while Pecos' other golfer, Jacob Gonzales, shot an 84 to finish seventh overall.

"Last week I worked more with the `B' team," said coach Kim Anderson. "We worked on putting technique and short game techniques with the `B' team and it looks like it paid off. They chipped and putted a whole lot better, especially Jake and Sal."

The teams will move on to regional competition at San Angelo in two weeks, where the `A' team has played this season, but didn't fare very well, placing 20th at the San Angelo Invitational.

"I probably need to take the `A' team out there and work with them, because when you get out on Quicksand (Golf Course) in San Angelo it's a whole different thing," Anderson said. "You've got sand everywhere and those fairways get tight."

The other two `B' team golfers, Daniel Munoz and Dustin Gulihur, shot 102 and 104 scores Monday. Canutillo's Mark Dominguez and Chris Fernandez tied Breiten for ninth in the medallist race, while Fabens was fourth in the team standings with a 404, followed by Clint at 417, El Paso Mountain View with a 427, Fabens `B' at 436 and Canutillo `B' at 455.

The girls' results were more to form, as the Eagles' `A' team captured the top five medallist spots and finished with a 317 team score, while the `B' team earned four of the next five spots and placed second, wit a 369 total. Only two other teams had enough golfers to field `A' squads, with Canutillo shooting a 448 and Fabens a 473.

"I thought the girls did a fantastic job, and I feel like if we continue to shoot those low rounds we can be competitive at regionals," said coach Tina Hendrick.

Salem Mitchell shot a 77 to win medallist honors, while Candace Hilliard was second with a 79 and Cassie Foster finished third, winning a playoff from teammate Lauren Martinez after both shot 80s. Brandi North had an 86 for the other `A' team score.

The `B' team was led by Dena Dutchover's 87 score and Sarah McKinney's 88. Kattie Davis shot a 94, Kristian Aguilar had a 100 and Jena Cranfill shot a 110, while Pecos' other golfer, Bianca Mendoza wound up in 10th place in the medallist race with a 101 score.

Pecos' girls will also be in San Angelo for regionals on April 23-24, at the Riverside Golf Course. The girls place fourth in the San Angelo Invitational back in April, and based on scores so far this season, figure to battle Snyder and Southlake Carroll for the second berth at the Class 4A state tournament in Austin behind Andrews, which has been the top Region I-4A team in girls golf so far in 2001.

Eagles look to keep district records perfect

PECOS, April 10, 2001 - Comebacks have been pretty common for both the Pecos Eagles baseball and softball teams so far in District 2-4A play. So have victories, as both squads go into their home games today with perfect district records.

But so do the San Elizario Eagles, who'll come into Pecos today tied with the Eagles for the lead in the 2-4A baseball standings, when the teams complete the first half of the district season in a 7 p.m. game.

Three hours earlier, the Eagles softball team will try to clinch their third straight trip to the playoffs and hand the Fabens Wildcats a setback in their bid for the playoffs, when they host Fabens at Martinez Field, starting at 4 p.m.

The boys have been off a week, since beating El Paso Mountain View by a 24-6 score, while the girls' last game was on Thursday, when they downed Mountain View by a 7-1 margin. That improved the Eagles' record to 6-0 in district, and got them back to the .500 level overall, at 9-9, for the first time since the opening weekend of the season.

The Eagles didn't hit the ball all that well in their win over Mountain View, but took advantage of walks and errors to score four times in the third inning and three more in the sixth to back the three-hit pitching of Stephanie Herrera. Last month in Fabens, Herrera came onto pitch after the Wildcats took a 5-2 lead on the Eagles, and shut them out the rest of the way, as the Eagles rallied for a six-inning, 15-5 victory.

Fabens is 4-2 so far in district, and come into the game off a 7-6 win at Canutillo last Tuesday. Corine Garcia picked up the win, while Brittany Zapatillo and Olga Portillo had two hits apiece for the Wildcats, who are tied for second with San Elizario in the district standings.

Tonight's baseball game is the fourth home game in five district contests for the Eagles, who have won 10 straight games overall and are 13-5 on the season after their win over Mountain View. But despite the score, the game was the third straight at home in which the Eagles have had to rally from an early deficit, this time falling behind 6-2 after 1½ innings.

"When the kids come out tomorrow I told them to just play ball and whatever happens will take care of itself. Just take care of business," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams, whose team beat San Elizario by a 13-6 score at the Alpine Tournament last month, in a g game that was called after 4½ innings.

Capi Magana got the victory and Robert Ceballos took the loss, but Williams said Barney Rodriguez, 4-0, would start on the mound for Pecos, and expected San Elizario's Bo Solis to get the start for the visiting Eagles.

"I just know him from last year. He held us down for a while with his curveball," Williams said. Solis and Mike Tapia have been San Eli's main pitchers in district, and have been among their top hitters, along with Jose Herrera and Rigo Esparza.

"Their first four batters hit the ball pretty good," Williams said. "Tapia didn't play last year, but he's a pretty good shortstop and has a pretty good stick."

San Eli was outhit by Canutillo last Tuesday, 14-12, but pulled out a 7-5 victory over the Golden Eagles, who also outhit Pecos last month, but lost to the Eagles by the same 7-5 score.

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