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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Monday, March 16, 1998

Eagles spook Demons in rematch

Staff Writer
SNYDER, Mar. 16 -- The Pecos Eagles didn't come away with
the title at the Snyder Invitational Tournament over the
weekend. But they did come up with three wins in four games,
a third place finish and a pitching staff in better shape
than it appeared just a week ago.

After dropping their tournament opener on Thursday to Dumas,
5-0, despite a 14-strikeout effort by Jason Abila, the
Eagles rallied from a 2-0 deficit Friday to down District
4-4A rival Big Spring, 4-2. Pecos then blanked Lubbock
Christian Saturday morning by a 10-0 score, before avenging
their opening loss that afternoon, beating Dumas by a 7-2
final score.

Louis Valencia tossed a five-hitter in the victory over the
Steers, while Jason Aguilar had a pair of RBI doubles, as
the Eagles scored three times in the fourth and once in the
sixth off Big Spring pitcher Clint Bamert.

On Saturday, Eric Muniz and Aguilar both got defensive help
early in going onto complete-game victories, with Muniz
allowing just four hits and Aguilar five, as the Eagles
raised their record to 7-3 on the season.

Eric and Jason did a good job pitching, Louis did a good
job, and even Jason Abila looked good pitching, but we just
didn't get him any runs," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams,
whose team will play its final pre-district game today, when
they host Crane in a 7 p.m. start.

The Steers' Wes Mouton drove in a run and scored another in
the first and third innings on Friday, but after that
Valencia's only jam came in the sixth, when the Steers left
the tying run on third.

Pecos got their runs off Bamert quickly in the fourth
inning, after the freshman worked through the Eagles'
batting order without problems the first time around.
Richard Gutierrez led off with a double, John Gutierrez was
the hit by a pitch, and Cisco Rodriguez followed with an RBI

Joseph Contreras then tied the game with another single,
though Rodriguez was thrown out trying to score, but Aguilar
followed with his double to center field, giving Pecos a 3-2
lead. Rodriguez would score in the sixth, after a leadoff
single, when Aguilar collected his second double, a shot
down the line in left.

Muniz helped himself out in the first inning against Lubbock
Christian Saturday morning, starting a double play off a
comebacker to the mound, one of six plays the senior would
be involved in off pop-ups or ground outs. The toughest was
a line drive by Brian Takaes in the second, one batter after
Aguilar threw out Jason Adams at home plate trying to score
on Jay Jenkins' single.

The Eagles then scored four times in their half of the
second off Takaes. Kevin Bates singled to score Contreras,
Luis Salgado scored Aguilar on a ground out, and Oscar Luna
and Abila followed with RBI singles.

Luke Reeger replaced Takaes in the third after a leadoff hit
by Rodriguez. He allowed an unearned run off an error,
passed ball and sacrifice fly by Salgado before surrendering
five runs in the fifth.

Another Rodriguez single began the inning, and after
pinch-runner Eric Aguilar was safe at second on Contreras'
grounder to third he scored on Jason Aguilar's base hit,
while two more runs scored off Bates' RBI single. Bates was
picked off first, but Salgado then walked, and after Luna
struck out, a single by Abila and double off the fence in
center by Richard Gutierrez brought in two more runs and
ended the game under the 10-run rule.

The Eagles kept on hitting to start the third place game
against Dumas, which beat Brownfield but then lost to El
Paso Ysleta after their Thursday win over Pecos.

Luna led off with a single off Josh Hoffman and scored on
Abila's double over Tim Anderson's head in right field.
Gutierrez then singled him home, and the Eagles might have
gotten more, but catcher Cody Hendricks would catch
Gutierrez stealing and then do the same to Arron Roman,
running for Rodriguez after he singled.

Aguilar gave one run back in the bottom of the first, wild
pitching Jarrett Lesly home after he doubled. But Rodriguez
was able to hunt down an earlier wild pitch and throw to
Aguilar, who tagged out Pedro Chavez at home after he walked
to lead things off.

Contreras then broke Pecos' three game home run drought in
the second, sending one over the wall in right-center field
for his fourth and Pecos' 14th homer of the season. It came
after a leadoff single by Bates and gave the Eagles a 4-1

They'd make it 5-1 in the third and chase Hoffman from the
mound, off another Gutierrez double and an RBI single by
John Gutierrez, before Dumas got the run back in the bottom
of the inning on Hendricks' RBI hit.

It came after Aguilar walked Chavez and hit Lesly with a
pitch. but the senior settled down to get out of the inning,
then survived leadoff errors by the Eagles in the fourth and
sixth innings and a bloop double by Hendricks in the fifth.

The Eagles, meanwhile, were shut out over 2_ innings by
pitcher Damon Martin, stranding two on with none out in the
fifth. Martin was replaced in the sixth by Joe Stewart, who
had shut the Eagles out two days earlier. He survived a
leadoff single by Contreras in the sixth, but Pecos finally
got a run off Stewart in the seventh when Rodriguez singled
home Abila, who had reached on a one-out error by Chavez at

Dumas gave Pecos one last scare in their half of the
seventh, when Luke Everson smashed a one out line drive off
Aguilar's leg. Aguilar, who walked Chavez to lead the inning
off, limped around for about a minute before returning to
the mound, where he caught Hendricks looking, then got
Marcus Gomez to fly to center field, ending the game.

"Jason threw a lot of pitches, but he came through when he
needed to, and the kids backed him up with some early runs,"
said Williams, whose team will try to continue their run
production today against Crane. The teams met in the
semifinals of the Monahans Sandhills Tournament on Feb. 27,
where Abila no-hit the Cranes in a 13-1 Eagles' victory.

Upsets create Sweet 16 family reunion

By The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY, Mar. 16 -- One game will be a family affair.
Another will feature two schools with a total of 17 national
championships. And another will be a dogfight between

Rhode Island-Valparaiso, UCLA-Kentucky and
Connecticut-Washington are among the eight matchups in the
final 16 of the NCAA tournament.

The most intriguing game might be eighth-seeded Rhode Island
vs. No. 13 Valparaiso on Friday night.

Rhode Island is coached by Jim Harrick, who led UCLA to the
national title in 1995, but was fired after the following
season. Harrick's son, Jim Jr., is an assistant to
Valparaiso coach Homer Drew, whose star player is his son

Rhode Island upset top-seeded Kansas 80-75 Sunday in the
Midwest Regional to reach the final 16 for the second time
in school history. Earlier on the same court in Oklahoma
City, Valparaiso beat 12th-seeded Florida State 83-77 in
overtime to send the smallest school in the tournament to
the regional semifinals.

``Nobody gave us a chance,'' said Jamie Sykes, who scored 19
points for Valparaiso. ``Now we can say we are in the Sweet
16. This is beautiful. You just want to cry. Nobody knew us
and now people are trying to buy Valpo shirts off us.''

Bryce Drew, whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer upset Mississippi
in the first round, scored 22 points and clinched the
victory for Valparaiso with two free throws in the closing

Cuttino Mobley had 27 points and Tyson Wheeler had 20 points
and eight assists as Rhode Island (24-8) stunned Kansas
(35-4), which got 22 points and 14 rebounds from Raef
LaFrentz and 23 points from Paul Pierce.

It was another bitter loss for Kansas coach Roy Williams,
who hasn't reached the Final Four since 1993, even though
his Jayhawks have been a top seed three of the last four

The regional semifinals start Thursday night with North
Carolina-Michigan State and Connecticut-Washington in the
East at Greensboro, N.C., and West Virginia-Utah and
Arizona-Maryland in the West at Anaheim, Calif.

On Friday night, it's Duke-Syracuse and UCLA-Kentucky in the
South at St. Petersburg, Fla., and Purdue-Stanford and Rhode
Island-Valparaiso in the Midwest at St. Louis.

The most interesting thing about the Connecticut-Washington
matchup might be their nicknames. Both teams are called the
Huskies, a nickname used by only two other Division I teams
- Northeastern and Northern Illinois.


At Lexington, Ky.
Duke 79, Oklahoma State 73
Roshown McLeod had 22 points and 10 rebounds as Duke (31-3)
reached the final 16 for the first time since 1994.

The Blue Devils made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 40
seconds to clinch coach Mike Krzyzewski's 42nd tournament
win, tying Louisville's Denny Crum for third on the all-time

Joe Adkins led Oklahoma State (22-7) with 20 points.

Syracuse 56, New Mexico 46

Todd Burgan had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Syracuse's
zone defense held New Mexico (24-8) to a season-low 26
percent from the field.

The Orangemen (26-8) shot just 34 percent, but committed
only eight turnovers and outrebounded the Lobos 49-36.

At Atlanta
Kentucky 88, Saint Louis 61

Jeff Sheppard showed no lingering effects from an ankle
sprain, scoring 18 points as Kentucky (31-4) routed Saint
Louis (22-11).

UCLA 85, Michigan 82

Coming off the worst game of his career, senior Kris Johnson
sank eight straight free throws over the final 37 seconds to
lift UCLA (24-8) over Michigan (25-9).

At Chicago

Stanford 83, W. Michigan 65

Arthur Lee scored from the outside, and Tim Young and Mark
Madsen dominated inside as Stanford (28-4) overpowered
Western Michigan (21-8).

Purdue 80, Detroit 65

Chad Austin scored 20 points and Brad Miller had 18 as
Purdue (28-7) advanced past the second round for only the
third time in coach Gene Keady's 18 seasons.

Derrick Hayes, Detroit's top scorer, was held to two points
on 1-for-7 shooting.

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