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Friday, May 11, 2001

Pecos, Canyon hope for no weather woes

Staff Writer

Weather conditions were a big factor the last time the Pecos  Eagles and Canyon Eagles met in the Class 4A baseball playoffs. And  weather could be a factor again this weekend, when the Eagle teams meet in the  area round of the playoffs beginning this afternoon at Howard College in  Big Spring.

Game 1 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. today, with Game 2 at 10 a.m. Saturday and a deciding game, if needed, at about 1 p.m. on Saturday. The winner will face Frenship or El Paso Burges in the Region I-4A quarterfinals next weekend.

Forecasts today call for a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain in the Big Spring area. Afternoon showers there would definitely cause problems for Pecos and Canyon, because there are no lights at Howard College's field, meaning the teams would either have to drive to find a field with lights, or possibly cut their series down to a one-game playoff on Saturday.

Moffett Field in Snyder, 50 miles from Big Spring, is the nearest field with lights that is not being used for baseball playoffs this weekend.

Canyon already has experience with rainouts in the 2001. Their series last Friday against Big Spring was supposed to be played in Lubbock, but had to be moved to Seminole because of thunderstorms in the Lubbock area. The Panhandle Eagles lost the rain-delayed game last Friday, but came back Saturday to defeat the Steers, 11-10 and 8-7, to advance to the area round against Pecos, which won the District 2-4A title and drew a bye in the first round of the state playoffs.

Canyon and Big Spring's 75-mile trip to Seminole was nothing compared with the ordeal Pecos and Canyon went through 14 years ago, when the teams faced each other in the playoffs on Memorial Day weekend in Lubbock. That series opened up on May 22, 1987, when storms ranged throughout West Texas, including the worst storm in Reeves County's history, which spawned the Saragosa tornado that left 30 people dead.

The storms weren't as severe around Lubbock, but they did stop Game 1 of the series in the sixth inning, with Canyon winning 7-1, and forced Eagles' coach Bubba Williams to spend half of Saturday trying to find a dry field to play on, in order to get in the final two games of the series.

The teams ended up driving 140 miles southeast to Eunice, N.M., and didn't get their game started until just before 6 p.m. Pecos ended up winning that contest, 7-5, then came back and won the deciding game of the series by the same 7-5 score, in a game where the final out wasn't recorded until 11:30 p.m.

That was still 45 minutes earlier than Andrews and Hereford finished up their series, 20 miles to the south in Jal, N.M. Both those teams also were rained out in Lubbock, and couldn't get Game 2 of their series started until the Jal field dried off, after 9:30 p.m. In that case, Hereford, which had won the first game on Friday, also took Game 2, preventing the teams from having to play a deciding game at 1:15 in the morning.

Hereford is back in New Mexico this weekend, playing El Paso Riverside in Hobbs after sweeping Andrews. The Eagles are hoping there are no side trips to New Mexico on their schedule this weekend, but will be hoping for the same final results against Canyon this time around.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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