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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, March 22, 2004

Rangers, Mustangs outscore Eagles in tourney

The Pecos Eagles are still struggling in baseball, with District 4-3A play just five days away. But the Eagles did hit the ball better in their final two games at the Andrews Tournament.

The Eagles, who lost their opener to Big Spring, 11-8, were routed Friday morning by district rivals Greenwood, 15-3, then fell behind Andrews early, before ending up losing by a 13-7 final score. The loss put Pecos into another match-up with Greenwood on Saturday in the round-robin tournament, and this time the Eagles had a lead, but saw the Rangers rally for a 12-9 victory.

“One thing we got out of it, we saw some good pitchers up there and our hitting finally seemed to come around,” said Eagles’ assistant coach Junior Williams. “Our 1-9 batters were hitting, but defensively we’re still lacking. We’re making mistakes that hurt us.”

“Jaime Muela’s really stepping up as the leadoff hitter. He’s doing the job he’s supposed to do, and Robert Nunez, hitting at No. 8 or 9, is starting to get on a lot,” he added. Williams said sophomore Eddie Vela started in the Friday loss to Greenwood, while Nunez and another freshman, Chris Garnto pitched in relief. Senior Jose Reyes went the distance later in the day against Andrews and Edward Valencia went all the way in Saturday’s loss to Greenwood after lasting just six batters in his previous start, against Brownfield.

“We were up 7-5 against Greenwood, then they tied it at 7-7 and went ahead,” Williams said, while in the loss to Andrews on Friday, the Mustangs led all the way.

“They hit the ball pretty well, but early on Jose held them scoreless in the first inning. Then in the second they had two outs and a runner on second base and they hit a ball we didn’t make a play on, and they ended up scoring three runs in the inning,” he said. Andrews then scored six more times in the third for a 9-0 lead.

“That’s the game that gave them some confidence, because they could have easily 10-run-ruled us, but we came back, and they were throwing their No. 2 pitcher, but we hit the ball pretty well,” Williams said.

The three losses dropped Pecos’ season record to 3-11 on the season going into their final pre-district game, at home on Tuesday night against the Midland Christian Mustangs. It’s the first of three straight home games for Pecos, which will start off District 4-3A play against Monahans on Friday.

Pecos netters claim titles at Monahans tournament

Pecos Eagle seniors Trent Graham and Natalia Ornelas took home first place honors in singles competition on Saturday from the Sandhills Tennis Tournament in Monahans, while the Eagles ended up taking second place overall in the tournament.

Graham defeated Midland Trinity’s Jack Roberts, 6-1, 6-0, in the finals of the tournament, while Ornelas downed Monahans’ Christy Gatski, 6-3, 6-3, to win the tournament title.

“That’s a major victory for seeding purposes at district,” said Eagles’ coach Mike Ortiz. “Their girl also went to the same (tennis) camp that Trent did in New Braunfels, so it was a big win for Natalia.”

Ornelas began with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Nicole Hillman and then beat Lydia Jackson, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, and Carley Senger, 6-3, 6-0, to reach the finals. Graham had a first round bye, then defeated Edward Martinez, 6-0, 6-1, and Joey Toca, 6-0, 6-2, to advance to the finals.

“My other boy, Frankie (Hernandez) also did real well. He got fourth place, so I was real proud of him,” Ortiz said. Hernandez would fall to Roberts and Tora after wins in his first two tournament matches.

The Eagles’ coach said his other girls’ singles player, Crystal Ikeler, ended up beating Hillman, 8-4, to take 11th place in the tournament.

In girls’ doubles, Mimi Ornelas and Whitney Lamb won their opening round match, before falling to eventual division champions Colby French and Alex Thomas in the tournament semifinals. They then loss to Rangel and Pacheco of Fabens in the fourth place match.

In boys’ doubles, Frankie Ornelas and Jesse Hanks won their opening match, then fell to division champs Jay Bates and Antoney Kelley in the quarterfinals. They then advanced to the fifth place match of the tournament before falling to Monahans John Wilhelm and Chris Vidona. The other doubles team, of Michael Orona and Donald Walker, took seventh place.

Ortiz said the Eagles ended up sixth earlier this month at the Region I-4A competition in Levelland. Pecos opened with a 15-4 victory over Greenwood, then lost to Fort Stockton, 14-5, before beating Slaton, 12-7 and falling to Brownfield, 10-9. “We were playing for fifth place, and it came down to a last match tiebreaker, and we lost by two points,” he said.

“Trent and Natalia went undefeated through the whole tournament, so that will help them with seedings at district, especially with the wins over Fort Stockton,” he added. Canyon ended up winning the Region I-3A title.

Ortiz said Tuesday’s scheduled match in Monahans has been canceled, due to the rescheduling of the Eagles’ tennis tournament that was snowed out in February. The tournament is scheduled for this Friday at the Pecos High School tennis courts.

Loboes use Eagles’ errors to score 3-0 win

The Pecos Eagles figured to have little margin for error in their game Friday afternoon in Monahans against the Loboes, and that turned out to be the case, unfortunately for the Eagles.

The defending district softball champs took advantage of a couple of a passed ball and wild pitch with two out in the first inning to score one run, and then used a throwing error by pitcher Stephanie Herrera in the fourth inning to score two more times to back the three-hit pitching of Nicole Dickson, as the Loboes scored a 3-0 victory.

“We didn’t play bad, we just didn’t hit the ball,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls. “Our 5 through 9 girls in the lineup couldn’t hit their pitcher, and we left runners on second and third twice. You have to capitalize on situations like that.”

Herrera surrendered leadoff singles to Raquel Hawkins and Katie Hill in the first inning, then seemed to get out of trouble, striking out Dickson and getting Emily Speed to ground into to third base, where Savanna Ewing forced out Hawkins. She then got two strikes on Stacy Fuentes, before a 1-2 pitch got past catcher Brittany Lobstein, allowing the runners to move up, and Hill scored when ball four sailed by the Eagles’ catcher. Speed would be caught on a steal of home to end the inning, but the Loboes scored twice more in the fourth without getting the ball out of the infield.

Ashley Jarrett opened the inning with an infield hit, and then Herrera threw away Lindy Stoeffer’s sacrifice bunt, allowing her to go to third and Jarrett to score.

“The shortstop was late getting over, and she just threw it to the base when nobody was there. Those things cost us,” Walls said. Stoeffer then came home on a Lupe Navarette ground out for the final run of the day.

Dickson, meanwhile, survived problems in each of the first three innings to keep Pecos off the board. Jenny Palomino had an infield hit with one out and Herrera singled with two away in the first inning, but Dickson got Hillary Hinojos to line out to Hawkins at shortstop. She would get a pair of strikeouts in the second after hitting Bre’Ann Windham, and then in the third would strand two runners again, after a hitting Lobstein to open the inning and then walking Herrera with two outs.

Herrera would be left stranded again in the sixth inning after a two out double, as Dickson picked up her second straight shut out over Pecos, after blanking the Eagles at home a year ago, 5-0.

“We played good. It just wasn’t good enough to win,” said Walls. “Their pitcher did a good job pitching, and we just weren’t able to hit.”

The win put Monahans at 15-5 on the season and 2-0 in district, while Pecos is 1-1 in district, 10-8 overall going into their 5 p.m. game on Tuesday at Kermit against the Yellowjackets

Pecos boys 3rd, girls 7th at Sandhills

Staff Writer

A couple of ailing runners and a mistake near the finish line made the final part of Saturday’s Sandhills Relays a bit of a disappointment for the Pecos Eagles. But overall, coach Jerry Parent and Roxie Chavez weren’t unhappy about the final outcomes, which saw the boys place third and the girls seventh in their divisions.

The boys picked up two firsts and finished with 78 points, while the girls had one first place finish and wound up with 37 points, as Andrews’ boys and Big Spring’s girls took home the team titles.

“I happy. With what we’ve got, just 14 kids, they competed,” said Parent. “We’re just playing around now with what we’ve got. We’ve got two more weeks before district and hopefully we’ll get a couple of kids back before then.”

Rashad Terry earned both of the Eagles’ gold medals, winning the high jump Saturday morning with a 6-foot-2 effort, then taking the 100 meter dash with a 10.48 time. But the junior missed a chance for a third gold when he let up down the stretch of the 200 meter dash and was surprised by Big Spring’s Jeremy Williams, who won with a 22.42 time to Terry’s 22.56.

“That was disappointing, but he learned a lesson, I hope,” Parent said. “That’s the first time anyone’s beaten him in the 200 in the last two years.”

Pecos still picked up 12 points in the event, eight from Terry and four from Pete Juarez, who finished fourth in the 200 finals.

The girls, meanwhile, didn’t score any points in the 200, as junior Jummy Akinyode was scratched from that race, and later the 1600 meter relay along with Alessandra Carrasco. “I pulled Jummy out of the 200 and running the relay because she started pulling and Alessandra was starting to pull,” Chavez said. “I just didn’t want the girls too get hurt feeling like that, especially with district coming up.”

In-between the 200 and 1600 meter relay, sophomore Jennifer Martinez picked up the Eagles’ lone gold medal, winning the 1600 meter run with a 5:54.28 time.

“That’s her best time of the year,” Chavez said. Earlier in the day, Martinez placed second in the 3200 meter run to Andrews’ Christie Feland with a 12:48.62 time. “She cut about 14 seconds off her time,” the Eagles’ coach added.

The girls’ other medal Saturday came from Stephanie Herrera, who finished third in the discus with a 109-foot-6 throw. Jessica Flores was sixth in that event, while Herrera was fourth and Chantel Mazone placed fifth in the shot put.

The girls’ remaining points came from Leslie Rodriguez, who tied for fifth in the high jump, and the 400 and 800 meter relay teams, both of which placed sixth.

Chavez said she opted to hold Rodriguez, Lily Valdez and Olivia Legarda out of the hurdles competition because “They aren’t ready yet.” The Eagles haven’t had any hurdlers so far in their three meets this season.

The boys’ 800 meter relay team of Terry, Juarez, Alex Orosco and John Parent picked up a second place finish behind Andrews for the Eagles’ other medal of the day in the running events. Chad Evans had Pecos’ lone medal in the field events, taking third in the shot put with a 45-foot-5 effort.

Evans was sixth in the discus, while in the pole value Justin Lara took fifth and Andrew Grant finished sixth. The 1600 meter relay team finished fourth, as did Jeremiah Mora in the 400 meter dash, while Parent was sixth in the 110 hurdles, Gonzalo Reyna was sixth in the 3200 meter run, and the 400 meter relay team also took sixth for Pecos’ other points.

The Eagle track teams will both be taking long trips this coming Friday and Saturday, but in opposite directions. The boys will be going 210 miles east to San Angelo for the San Angelo Relays, while the girls will travel 210 miles west to El Paso for the San Elizario Relays.

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