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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, March 1, 2004

Girls get 5th in Midland tournament

After starting slow and finishing fast in their first tournament of the season a week ago, the Pecos Eagles started fast and finished slow this past weekend at the West Texas Classic Softball Tournament in Midland.

The Eagles, who lost on a tie-breaker in extra innings on Thursday to Midland High, ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 5A going into the tournament, came back to rout Snyder and El Paso Americas on Friday, by 8-1 and 9-0 scores.

Then on Saturday they put up 14 runs on district rival Fort Stockton, but all that came late in the game, as they had to rally from a big early deficit to beat the Prowlers, 14-7. After that, the Eagles weren't able to pull off any comebacks against Merkel or Coahoma, as the lost to the Badgers and Bulldogs, by 8-0 and 7-2 final scores.

"We just looked like we were worn down by the end," said Eagles' coach Tammy Walls, whose team still managed to place fifth overall in the tournament's final point standings. "It was cold and the wind was blowing very hard into right field and we had a hard time playing the ball."

"I was pleased with the way we played against Midland High, and we came back on Friday and played Snyder and El Paso Americas very well. But I knew the kids would be kind of tired on Saturday, and by the end we were pretty much drained," Walls said.

She said Fort Stockton jumped out to a 6-0 lead before the Eagles scored eight times in the fifth inning, once in the sixth and five more times in the seventh inning for the victory. Brittany Lobstein, Hillary Hinojos and Bre'Ann Windham had two hits apiece against the Prowlers, while Stephanie Herrera had two hits, along with picking up the win on the mound.

Herrera pitched the first five games of the tournament for Pecos, while Hinojos pitched the final game against Coahoma, the top-ranked Class 2A team in the state. Walls said Savannah Ewing drove in both runs against the Bulldogs, while against Merkel, "We got seven hits, but we left seven on base. We didn't do the things we were doing against Midland High and Snyder in those games on Saturday."

Pecos had 12 hits in their win over the Tigers, the team the Eagles had been scheduled to face last Tuesday in Midland, but were snowed out. Walls said Cassandra Terrazas had a pair of hits in the victory over the Tigers.

Midland High would follow up their victory over Pecos with an extra-inning win over Monahans, 1-0, but were later shut out by Big Spring and Weatherford on Saturday. As a result, the Eagles wound up fifth overall in the tournament's cumulative point standings with 39 points, one behind third place Monahans and Odessa High, though Walls said Pecos had a chance to end up third before their Saturday afternoon losses to Merkel and Coahoma.

Big Spring went undefeated during the tournament, including a comeback victory over the Loboes, and finished with 56 points, while Midland Lee was second with 50 points. Merkel and Midland High trailed Pecos, with 38 and 35 points. The Eagles are now 6-7 on the season going into their game on Tuesday evening, against the Seminole Maidens in Seminole. It's the first of a home-and-home match-up with the Maidens, who'll be in Pecos on Friday, along with the Kermit Yellowjackets. The Eagles then start the District 4-3A portion of their schedule on March 9, with a home game against Presidio.

Pecos boys 2nd, girls 6th at Comanche

The Pecos Eagles boys' track team picked up a few more points in the field events in their first meet of the 2004 season than they for most of the 2003 season, and a few less in the running events then they did by the end of last season. But the Eagles still managed to come away with second place behind the Andrews Mustangs at the Comanche Relays Saturday in Fort Stockton. Pecos' girls didn't have a good an afternoon as the boys, but they did pick up a trio of second place finishes while finishing sixth overall in their first meet of the season.

The Eagles scored 123 points to Andrews' 175 and got firsts in field events from senior John Parent and junior Rashad Terry, who later took first place in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Terry and Parent also were part of the Eagles' 800-meter relay team, which rallied at the finish to edge Andrews for Pecos' other gold medal of the cold, windy afternoon.

"I feel better after skipping the spring relay and going to the 800, because it worked for us," said coach Jerry Parent, who lost about a dozen team members to grades, and opted not to field a team in the 400 meter relay at Fort Stockton. The Eagles ran a 1:37.4 to win, though the timing of the 800 did have an effect on Alex Orosco and Parent, who had to follow up that race by running again in the 400 meter dash and the 300 meter hurdles in the races just after that.

Terry, who ran the 800 relay just after winning the 100-meter dash, was still able to make up about 15 meters on Andrews in the final 200 meters, and then won the 200-meter dash about 30 minutes later, with a 22.75 time.

Before the 800 relay, Terry won the 100 meters with a 10.62 time. Orosco would finish third in the 400 meters with a 56.14, while Parent was fourth in both the 300-meter hurdles and in the earlier 110-meter high hurdles.

In the field events, Terry cleared 6-foot-2 to take the high jump, while Parent won the discus with a 154-foot-9 throw. Chad Evans was second there with a 134-7 effort, and also took fourth in the shot put, with a throw of 45 feet.

The boys also picked up second and third place finishes from Andrew Grant and Justin Lara in the pole vault, though Jerry Parent said the win hampered both Grant and Lara and the other vaulters, as they cleared only 9-foot-6 to earn their medals.

The Eagles' other medals came in the 800 meter run, where Isaiah Juarez placed second with 2:10.65 time, and from the 1600 meter relay team, which finished third in 3:52.4.

"I was pretty well pleased with just 15 varsity kids. If we get some of the others back after the grading period, we'll be all right," said Parent.

The distance races were where the girls had their best success. Jennifer Martinez placed second in both the 3200 meter run, with a 10:32.02 time and in the 1600 meters, in 6:15.05, while Leslie Rodriguez was fifth in the 1600 and Alessandra Carrasco was fifth in the 800 meters. In the shorter races, Pecos also picked up one medal, by Jummy Akinyode in the 200-meter dash, where she was second with a 28.28 time. The 1600-meter relay team also picked up a medal, finishing third with a 5:00.74 time.

Martinez 's time in the 1600, along with Rodriguez's time of 6:23 led coach Roxie Chavez to say, "Looking at the district teams here, we would have come in first and fourth, and Jummy would have come in first in her race. For the others, it tells me what we need to work on, and I told them not to worry about Andrews, but I did look at Seminole, because we'll see them at regionals."

In the field events, Rodriguez picked up Pecos' lone medal taking third in the high jump with a 4-foot-8 effort. "We didn't have many field event people, and I didn't have some of them here today and some of my sprinters, because some of them had a softball game," Chavez said.

The girls finished with 53 points, which left them behind, but within striking distance, of Monahans (74 points), Greenwood (57) and Presidio (56). Andrews won the meet with 179 points, while Seminole was second with 104 points. Trailing Pecos on the boys' side was Monahans, with 93 points, Greenwood with 72 and Presidio with 47.

Saturday's meet was the first of two this year for Pecos in Fort Stockton. They'll run there in April, prior to the District 4-3A track meet in Kermit. This coming Saturday, the Eagles will host five other teams in the West of the Pecos Relays, at Eagle Stadium.

Pecos drops trio of weekend games

When you're not hitting, you need good pitching and defense to win. The Pecos Eagles got good pitching on Friday night at home against Big Spring, but not good defense and little hitting, and wasted a good pitching effort by Eddie Vela in a 5-3 loss to the Steers.

On Saturday, the Eagles again struggled at bat, while Snyder took advantage of some more Pecos mistakes to win by an 11-1 score. After that, coach Elias Payan said he pretty much ran out of pitchers, and Abilene Wylie's hitters took advantage by scoring a 12-4 win at Moffett Field in Snyder.

"It was just the same thing as last week. We'd field the ball and then can't throw it to first, or we'd drop a pop up, and with hitting we're having too many strikeouts and called third strikes," said Payan, who added he thought starter Jose Reyes pitched well against the Tigers despite the final score.

"He may have not pitched well enough to win, but he pitched well enough to keep the game close. But when you have six or seven errors, it's hard to win," the Eagles' coach said.

Freshman Robert Nunez pitched the final two innings against the Tigers in his varsity debut, while against Wylie, Payan went with three other pitchers making their debuts on the mound, starting with senior Oscar Parada.

"I had to start Oscar on the mound because every pitcher said they were sore. Edward Valencia came in in the second inning, but his arm was sore and he could only give me one inning," Payan said. "Chris Garnto came in and threw hard and did a good job considering I had never worked with him before. He was a competitor out there even though he was knocked around."

Payan said the freshman was knocked around even before he got to the mound, being forced out of Game 1 against Snyder while playing catcher after being injured on a play at home plate. "He got spiked around the eyelid, and it was kind of like a boxer's cut. Then (against Wylie), he took a line drive in the thigh, but was able to field the ball and throw him out," Payan said.

Victor Reyes had the only RBI of the game for Pecos against Snyder, singling home a run with two outs in the third. Against Wylie, Payan said both Reyeses hit the ball, while Garnto got his first varsity hit. "I felt like we swung the bat a little better, but we still have to be more disciplined at the plate," he said.

In the loss on Friday to Big Spring, Vela pitched well for five innings, and then began getting behind the hitters in the sixth, when Big Spring scored two runs. Meanwhile, Lee Gillian and Mike Ornelas combined to two-hit Pecos, striking out eight batters.

"We just made mistakes on fundamental plays. We gave them just about everything they got," Payan said.

The Steers won after Michael Shockley walked with one out, stole second and scored on Chad Heinig's bloop single to left field. Heinig would move up on a ground out and came home on a passed ball third strike by catcher Jaime Muela. Big Spring then got an unearned run in the seventh, when J.W. Beauchamp reached on an error by freshman Robert Nunez at first base and scored on Jerry Doporto's bad-hop single over Josh Anchondo's head at shortstop.

An earlier error by Nunez at first fielding a throw from Anchondo on a J Ross Sparks' grounder in the third inning set up Josh Caldwell's RBI ground out to the pitcher, when Vela failed to look Sparks back to third base. But the Eagles would take a 2-1 lead in the fourth after a single by Jose Reyes and a walk to Anchondo, when a diving Beauchamp couldn't field Edward Valencia's grounder in the hole cleanly, then threw past first base, allowing both runners to come home.

Big Spring then tied the game thanks to a two-base throwing error by Anchondo at shortstop and a mental mistake by Nunez, who allowed C.J. Lowerty's bunt to roll back into fair territory for a single. Justin Green then singled off the glove of a diving Parada in centerfield to tie the game, though Lowerty was then thrown out at home on a double-steal attempt.

The losses left Pecos with an 0-4 record going into their next two games, both against District 4-3A rivals. They'll go to Monahans on Tuesday night for a non-district game against the Loboes, and then return there on Thursday afternoon to face Presidio in the opening round of the Sandhills tournament.

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