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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, May 10, 2004

Eagles’ season ended by Indians

Staff Writer

The Seminole Indians tightened up their defense in the second game of their bi-district playoff series against the Pecos Eagles on Friday in Monahans. But the Eagles’ defensive problems from Thursday’s extra-inning loss in Andrews continued, and combined with a lack of timely hitting ended their 2004 baseball season.

Pecos fell behind early by a 1-0 score on Friday, took the lead in the fourth inning and then immediately gave it back, as a pair of errors allowed the Indians to grab a 4-2 lead. The Eagles then failed to take advantage of a pair of leadoff singles by Jamie Muela and Victor Reyes in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Seminole then broke the game open with four more runs in the sixth, as they went on to a 10-3 victory to sweep the best-of-three series.

“I told the kids before the game in order to win we were going to have to cut down on everything that happened in Andrews and play good ball,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan. Both teams made a series of mistakes in the opener, before Seminole came out on top in eight innings by a 6-5 score.

“I think our problems today were more mental than physical,” Payan said. “We had an opportunity in the first inning with the bases loaded and one out, and it came down to we just didn’t get the job done. In the first part of district we probably would have done it, but we’ve been in a little slump.”

A bloop single by Muela off freshman pitcher Michael Martinez opened the inning, and he hit Oscar Parada and then walked Jose Reyes. But Isaiah Rayos then hit into an inning-ending double play, the first of three Pecos would hit into on the evening.

In the top of the first Eddie Vela had retired the first two batters he faced, but then walked Matt Castleberry and Evan Stone before surrendering an RBI double to Robert Ramirez. Vela then shut Seminole down over the next three innings until the Eagles got to Martinez for two runs in the fourth inning.

Parada’s line drive went off the glove of Trey Curiel at third base to open the inning, and one out later he scored on Rayos’ double to left-center field. Then with two away Vela walked and Jonathan Garcia followed with an RBI single back up the middle.

Defensively, the Eagles survived one early mistake around first base, when Vela was late covering the bag on a Tyson Farmer grounder. But mistakes at first would cost Pecos in the fifth and sixth innings.

In the fifth Matt Hawkins reached when a Robert Nunez couldn’t stay on the bag on a wide throw to first base. Pete Guerra and Castleberry followed with singles, and then with one out Ramirez hit a slow bouncer to shortstop that Jose Reyes fielded. He had no chance to get Hawkins at home plate, but his throw to second went past Rayos, allowing Guerra to score the go-ahead run. Castleberry then came home on a sacrifice fly by Martinez for a 4-2 lead.

Martinez left the game after the singles by Muela and Victor Reyes in the bottom of the fifth. Ross Whitfield replaced him and shut Pecos down, getting Parada to fly out to center, Jose Reyes to force Victor Reyes at second on a grounder and Rayos to ground to shortstop.

Then in the sixth Vela walked Farmer to open the inning, was late getting over to cover first on a sacrifice bunt by Curiel and threw to third too late to get Farmer on a sacrifice bunt by Hawkins loading the bases. Guerra then singled through a drawn-in infield to score two runs for a 6-2 lead, and while the Eagles then turned a double play on Castleberry, Vela then walked Stone and gave up an RBI single to Ramirez to make it 7-2.

“I think early on he was pitching well enough to win the game. He started having problems when he started putting runners on base, but he did a good job,” Payan said. Edward Valencia replaced Vela on the mound after Ramirez’ hit, but balked home a run before getting the final out.

Two singles, a double by Hawkins and an error at shortstop in the seventh got the Indians their final two runs. The Eagles got a run back in their last at-bat on a Victor Reyes double and a Jose Reyes single, but Rayos then hit into his second double play of the evening to end the game.

The loss reversed last year’s bi-district results, when Pecos swept Seminole in two games. It also ended the Eagles’ season with an 11-17 record, following a 3-13 start. “I attribute that to our seniors. They held it all together, and that was a good example for the younger kids to show them how they should never give up, and I’m really proud of this group for that.”

Muela, Parada and both Reyeses will be the four departing senior starters for the Eagles, who had five sophomores and freshmen in their starting lineup for most of the 2004 season.

Seminole will go on to face District 1-3A champion Canyon in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs. Meanwhile, third place Greenwood was swept in their bi-district playoff series against Sweetwater, losing a pair of low scoring games in San Angelo by 3-1 and 2-1 scores.

Pecos to host playoff game against Monahans

After two playoff wins the past two Thursday in Andrews, the Pecos Eagles’ softball team will be playing again on Thursday this week, in their Region I-3A quarterfinal game against the Monahans Loboes.

But this time, they’ll be playing at home, and as long as the weather cooperates Thursday night and Friday morning, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah athletic director Patrick Willis said things should work out OK for senior pitcher Stephanie Herrera.

Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls had been hoping to play on Tuesday against either the Loboes or Canyon Eagles in the quarterfinals, because Herrera is scheduled to throw the discus at 3 p.m. on Friday in the Class 3A state finals in Austin. “I wanted to play Tuesday, because Stephanie is going to the state track meet,” Walls said. “Then they looked at Saturday, and the finally got together and decided it would be Thursday, and they would fly her out.”

But while the day was set, the site wasn’t decided until the Eagles won a flip this morning for home field with Monahans, who defeated Canyon on Friday by a 5-0 final score. The teams will face each other at 7 p.m. at the Pecos High School softball field, with the winner advancing to the I-3A semifinals next week.

“After the game she’ll go to the airport and stay the night there and then catch the red-eye out,’ said Willis.

Herrera pitched 11 innings on April 29 in a 4-3 bi-district victory over Lubbock Cooper, and then won the Region I-3A discus competition the following morning in Odessa. She placed third on May 1 in the I-3A shot put finals.

Monahans had a first round playoff bye after winning the District 4-3A softball title over second place Greenwood. Pecos finished third in district, losing both games to Monahans by 3-0 final scores.

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