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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, April 5, 2004

Eagles pick up six firsts at Permian Basin Relays

The Pecos Eagle boys picked up four gold medals and the girls two on Friday at the Permian Basin Relays in Kermit, where they’ll be returning in two weeks for District 4-3A track meet.

Rashad Terry took first in three events, while Stephanie Herrera picked up the two gold medals for the boys, who ended up in third place overall with 75 points. Andrews won the meet with 181 points, while Monahans was second with 116.

The girls got almost all their points from Herrera and Jummy Akinyode, as they ended up 10th in the girls’ division, which also was won by Andrews with 135 points to 88 for the host Yellowjackets.

Herrera, who was taking a break on Friday from the Eagles’ softball team, had 20 of the Eagles’ 34 1/3 points, winning the shot put with a 37-foot-9 throw and taking the discus with a 122-foot-3 effort. “She broke the meet record in both the discus and the shot put,” said Eagles’ coach Roxie Chavez.

Akinyode, who won the 100 and 200-meter dashes in El Paso a week ago, ran in the 200 and 400 meters this time, placing third in both events. She ran the 400 for the first time this season and had a 64.72 time, while running a 27.65 in the 200.

“I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to keep her there (in the 400 meters). I’m still kind of up in the air as far as district goes,” Chavez said. Akinyode won the 200 meter dash at district a year ago.

Pecos’ other 2 1/3 points came from a fifth place finish by Chantell Mazone in the shot put and from Leslie Rodriguez, who wound up in a three-way tie for sixth in the high jump.

Terry bounced back from a sixth place finish last week in the high jump at San Angelo to take first in that event, with a 6-foot effort, while taking first in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes for the first time in three weeks. He went 10.47 to win the 100 and 22.18 to take the 200-meter dash.

“Rashad had a good meet,” coach Jerry Parent said, with the exception of the 800 meter relay. “Rashad got the baton before he got to the (exchange) zone, so they DQed us, or we would have gotten third.

“We would have been right up there with Andrews. I know we can run better than a 1:33, so we’re going to work on that this week and change it around a little to settle in with what we’re going to run at district,” he said.

The boys’ other first place finish came from Chad Evans. He threw 48-foot-6, his best effort of the year, and won the shot put by half an inch. In the discus, Evans placed fifth while John Parent took third place, with a throw of 134-0 1/2. Justin Lara also took third place for Pecos in the field events, clearing 11-feet in the pole vault.

“He’s coming on. Chad’s got to get to 50 (feet) at district, but he may be ready by then,” Parent said.

Pecos’ other medal was by Julio Orosco, who took third in the 400-meter dash with a 50.38 time. Jeremiah Mora was sixth in that race, and earlier took fourth in the 800 meter run. Both were also part of the 1600-meter relay team, which finished fourth.

Before making their second trip of the season to Kermit for the District 4-3A meet on April 15-16, both Pecos teams will be in Fort Stockton for the second time this season on Thursday for their final meet before district. The Eagles opened their 2004 season in February at the Comanche Relays.

Rains stop Pecos netters before tournament finals

The coaches were busier than the players for most of Saturday, at the Fort Stockton Tennis Tournament. But before then the Pecos Eagles did get both of their singles players into the tournament finals with victories over Andrews.

“It started raining too hard. We’d squeegee off the courts and then - boom - here it comes again,” said Eagles’ coach Mike Ortiz. “It’s too bad, because I had both my singles players in the finals, and I thought they had a good chance to win.”

Rains delayed play on Friday at the tournament as well, forcing Trent Graham to play his semifinal match early on Saturday, while Natalia Ornelas didn’t get onto the court for her semifinal match until 10 p.m. Once on the court, she defeated Andrews’ Stacey Gillespie, 6-3, 6-3 after earlier beating Del Rio’s Amanda Calratti, 6-2, 6-2.

Graham won his semifinal match over Andrews’ Charlie Griffin, 6-3, 6-2 following a pair of wins on Friday, 6-0, 6-0 over Niran Bhakta of Andrews and then 6-1, 6-4 over Dustin Rowe of Del Rio.

Graham was scheduled to face Fernando Herrera of El Paso Del Valle in the tournament finals, while Ornelas would have played Monahans’ Christy Gatzki, who she had split tournament final matches with the previous two weeks.

Ortiz said while the players were sidelined by the rain on Saturday, the coaches did get in some work. “Since all the district teams were there, we got our seeding meeting taken care of instead of waiting until Tuesday.”

The district tournament is next Wednesday and Thursday in Fort Stockton, and Ortiz said Graham and Ornelas are seeded No. 1 in singles, while Mimi Ornelas and Whitney Lamb are the No. 2 seeds in girls doubles.

Lamb played doubles with Crystal Ikeler at Fort Stockton, and the two lost their opening round match and then fell in the consolation quarterfinals. The other doubles team, Sarah Natividad and Catherine Garcia, won their opening match before losing in the quarterfinals.

Chantel Orona lost her opening round match in girls singles, and Francisco Hernandez fell in his opener in the Eagles’ other boys’ singles match. In boys doubles, Jerris Rayos and Francisco Ornelas dropped their two matches on Friday.

Reyes gets 13-strikeout win as Eagles beat Panthers, 2-1

Staff Writer

District 4-3A baseball began for Pecos Eagles with a pair of wins over the Kermit Yellowjackets and Monahans Loboes. But both wins were at home and games in which the opposing teams committed 14 errors to only two for the Eagles.

So going into Friday night’s game against the Fort Stockton Panthers, the question was how would the Eagles fare playing on the road, and how would they do against a team that didn’t make a ton of mistakes.

For now, the answer is” Pretty good.

Pecos didn’t hit as well as they did in their first two games, managing just three hits off Fort Stockton’s R.J. Bernal, and unlike Kermit and Monahans, the Panthers played errorless ball on Friday, with the only mistakes being a pair of balks by Bernal. That turned out to be the difference in the game, as the Panther pitcher balked home Victor Reyes in the fourth inning after he had tripled home Jaime Muela, and Pecos pitcher Jose Reyes made that lead stand up, as he tossed a 13-strikeout four-hitter in leading the Eagles to a 2-1 victory.

Pecos’ third straight win since opening district came after the Eagles dropped 12 of their first 15 games, including six straight going into 4-3A play. “Like I told the kids, we’ve come a long way and matured as a team,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan. “We’re not giving up when something goes wrong and losing our composure.”

Jose Reyes came into the game still in search of his first victory of the 2004 season. He allowed a couple of baserunners in the early innings and then an unearned run in the third, then got out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth by striking out pinch hitter J.J. Hickman.

“Jose did a good job on the mound. He threw strikes when he needed to,” Payan said. “Fort Stockton isn’t a ‘gimme’ any more. You’ve got to go out there and beat them, and he competed.”

Victor Reyes had a hand in all three runs of the game. He dropped Octavio Contreras’ fly ball down the right field line to open the second inning, and that cost Pecos, as Contreras ended up on third, from where he would score on a double-steal, following a walk to Alfredo Agredana.

Then in the Eagles’ next at-bat after Muela beat out an infield hit down the third base line, Reyes lined a triple into the gap in left center field to tie the game. Three pitches later he was awarded home on the first of two balks on the night by Bernal.

The Fort Stockton pitcher would come back to strike out the side after that, and ended up with six strikeouts of his own while allowing just one more hit, a two-out double in the seventh by Josh Anchondo.

Meanwhile, Reyes didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, when Bernal singled off Isaiah Rayos’ glove at second base. Courtesy runner Dominic Villalba would steal second and go to third when Muela’s throw went off Anchondo’s glove and into center field, but Jose Reyes then struck out Donnie Dominguez to retire the side.

The Eagles almost got in trouble due to a mental error in the sixth, after Jeremy Velasquez singled to open the inning. Vic Lujan followed with a sacrifice bunt, but Rayos failed to come over to cover first. But with third baseman Edward Valencia coming in with Jose Reyes to field the ball, Velasquez tried to go from first to third. Valencia beat him back to the bag, took the throw from Reyes and tagged the Panthers’ runner out.

Fort Stockton would then load the bases with two out, when Contreras was intentionally walked and Esteban Lara was hit by a pitch, before Reyes came back to fan Hickman to retire the side.

“It’s good to see a low-scoring game like that where you win, because that’s the kind of games you have to win to make the playoffs,” said Payan, whose team will be back at home on Tuesday to face Greenwood, then closes out the first half of the 4-3A schedule in Presidio on Thursday. Pecos 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 3 2 Ft. Stockton 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 J. Reyes and Muela. Bernal and Accidan. W - Reyes. L - Banda. E - Pecos V. Reyes, Anchondo. DP - Ft Stockton 1. LOB - Pecos 1, Fort Stockton 7. 2B - Pecos, Anchondo. 3B - Pecos, V. Reyes. SB - Ft. Stockton, Lujan, Agredana, Contreras, Villalba. HBP - J. Reyes by Bernal, Dominguez, Lara by J. Reyes. Balk - Bernal 2. WP - J. Reyes.

Pecos gets past Presidio despite changes to lineup

The Pecos Eagles’ softball team was minus two of their three senior starters on Friday in Presidio, but despite some mistakes due to different players in different positions, the Eagles still managed a fairly easy 15-5 victory over the Blue Devils.

Pecos, which scored 13 times in the first inning last month at home against Presidio, in a 15-0 win, scored four times in the first inning off pitcher Amy Velasquez without benefit of a hit, thanks to three errors by Presidio. The Blue Devils would cut that margin in half in the bottom of the first inning off freshman Amalie Herrera, but Pecos would then score seven straight runs while Herrera held Presidio scoreless until the sixth inning.

Brittany Lobstein, the lone Eagle senior in the lineup Friday, hit a bases-loaded fly ball that was misplayed by Blanca Gutierrez into a three-base error in the first inning, and another error on a Hillery Hinojos fly ball would score Lobstein. Presidio’s runs in the bottom of the first inning also were unearned, as Jenny Palomino dropped a fly ball by Velasquez around two walks, and that set up Belinda Rodriguez’s bases-loaded single.

Herrera was pitching in place of her sister Stephanie, who was competing at the Permian Basin Relays in Kermit, while Palomino moved over from right field to replace Bre’Ann Windham, the other absent senior. Amalie Herrera’s normal spot at shortstop was taken by Vanessa Valeriano, who was able to turn a double play on an Ivet Medrano grounder in the third inning.

The Eagles had made it 5-2 before then, when Herrera walked and scored on Savannah Ewing’s single, while in the fourth errors by Jessica Gutierrez and Medrano following a lead-off single by Palomino opened the door for three more runs to score, off a Velasquez wild pitch, a single by Lobstein and an error by Gutierrez on Kelsey Flores’ fly ball.

Pecos would eventually go up by an 11-2 score before errors by the Eagles allowed Presidio to cut that to 11-5 in the sixth inning. But the Eagles would push across four more runs in the final at-bat for the 10-run final margin.

The win put Pecos at 4-2 in district, while Presidio remained winless at 0-6. The Eagles’ next two games are against the two teams ahead of them in the District 4-3A standings, Monahans and Greenwood. They’ll host the Loboes on Tuesday and then go to Greenwood to face the Rangerettes the following Tuesday.

Monahans beat Kermit on Friday by a 10-0 score, while Greenwood downed Fort Stockton, 8-0 in the other district game.

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