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Wednesday, April 15, 1998

Ponies' bottom batters top Pecos

Staff Writer
ANDREWS, Apr. 15 -- The top of the batting order got the
bulk of the hits Tuesday night for the Pecos Eagles -- got
three times as many as the Andrews Mustangs' lead hitters
did, in fact.

But it was what the bottom of the Mustangs' order did in
their final two at- bats that allowed Andrews to rally from
a 4-0 deficit and clinch their seventh straight playoff
trip, with a 6-4 home field victory over the Eagles.

Jeremy Pitkin and Mike Hudgens, the eighth and ninth batters
in the order, smacked home runs on consecutive pitches in
the fifth inning, and No. 7 batter Anthony DelaCruz had a
solo shot with one out in the sixth of Jason Abila that
proved to be the game-winner for Andrews.

"The kids played a good game, but give Andrews credit, they
came back and hit the ball," said Eagles' coach Bubba
Williams, while noting the last homer, by DelaCruz' was a
`Fenway Park' type shot -- a high fly that left fielder
Joseph Contreras simply ran out of room on.

"It would have been caught in Pecos, or anywhere else,"
Williams said.

There was not doubt about the shots by Pitkin and Hudgens,
or on the one by Abila, off the first pitch of the game from
August Lewis, a line drive down the line in left that put
the Eagles up, 1-0.

The Eagles used their bats and errors by Andrews to score
twice in the first and third innings, but Lewis held Pecos'
No. 5 through 9 batters to just one hit on the night, an
infield chop by Joshua Casillas in the second inning.

"We had our chances early. We left runners on base, when we
could have gotten them in and that made a big difference,"
Williams said.

The Eagles' other run in the first was a gift. Lewis hit
Cisco Rodriguez, and courtesy runner Eric Aguilar then stole
second, went to third when the ball got by Shaud Williams at
shortstop, and he scored when DelaCruz' throw got past Joe
Sanchez at third and into the Mustangs' new unscreened

Pecos' missed chances came in the next two innings, though
they did manage to add to their lead in the third. Lewis
walked John Gutierrez after Casillas' hit with one out in
the second, but Kevin Bates was unable to get a bunt down,
then bounced into an inning-ending double play.

The new dugouts helped Pecos again in the third, when
Williams booted Abila's grounder, then threw the ball into
the dugout at first for a double error. Oscar Luna followed
with a bunt single and Richard Gutierrez doubled Abila home,
for a 3-0 lead.

But Lewis then settled down, getting Rodriguez on a fly to
right, then allowing Contreras' sacrifice fly before
striking out Luis Salgado to retire the side.

Abila had no trouble with Andrews in the first two innings,
before his own error let the Mustangs score in the third. He
walked Pitkin on a 3-2 pitch, and let him go to second when
a low pickoff throw got by Casillas and bounced off the
first base bag. Pitkin then score with two outs, on Gerald
Bueno's chopper that got under Ricky Herrera's glove and
into center field.

Pecos missed another scoring chance in the fifth, as
Gutierrez walked and Rodriguez singled with two out, before
Lewis fanned Contreras to retire the side. Abila then had an
0-2 count on Pitkin when he nailed a fastball into the power
lines in left center field, and Hudgens sent his next
fastball over the lines in center.

Abila then walked Williams, and the Mustangs' speedster was
able to move all the way from first to third on a hit and
run bunt by Bueno. Herrera was then able to field Elton
Emiliano's hard shot in the hole between first and second
for an out, but Williams scored to tie the game.

The bottom of the order also got Andrews' final run in the
sixth, when Hudgens doubled to center field to score Pitkin,
who walked after DelaCruz' home run. Lewis then walked Abila
with one out in the seventh, and was replaced by lefthander
Chris Trevino. He proceeded to pick off Abila on a close
play at first, then survived a bloop hit by Luna to strike
out Gutierrez, ending the game.

"We lost, but I'm still proud of the way the kids played. We
didn't beat ourselves tonight, they just hit the ball," said
Williams, whose team fell to 2-5 in district, 10-8 overall,
but are still in the playoff race, as long as they can win
their final three games -- at home against San Angelo Lake
View and Fort Stockton, and in Big Spring next Tuesday.

Lake View all but wrapped up the second playoff berth
Tuesday with a 5-2 win over Fort Stockton, which kept the
Eagles tied for fourth with the Panthers in 4-4A play. Big
Spring is 4-3, two games up on the Eagles after their 12-11
win over Sweetwater, but close out their season against
Pecos and Andrews, which is now 7-0 in district.

Eagles take small steps in Steers' 14-0 victory

PECOS, Apr. 15 -- The Pecos Eagles were no-hit and didn't
get a runner past first base in their first meeting with the
Big Spring Steers. So Tuesday's 14-0 loss to the District
4-4A champs in Big Spring was a step up.

The Eagles, who lost the first meeting in three innings,
19-0, went five innings this time, and got three hits off
Steers' pitcher Jessica Canales. "We got two runners thrown
out at home plate when they didn't slide, so there's two we
could have gotten right there," said Eagles' coach Tammy

The Steers jumped on Pecos in the second and fourth innings
for most of their runs, with a three-run homer by Melissa
Martinez capping the scoring. "They have a good team.
They're undefeated and clinched district last night," Walls

Nicole Payne, Erica Orona and Valerie Gonzales had hits for
Pecos, and Walls said Payne "had a great game at third base.
She made a couple of plays over there."

Walls added that Monica Meza did a good job in her first
start at first base for the varsity. "I moved (first
baseman) Heather Uptergrove to center field, and she caught
everything hit to her," Walls said.

Alexa Marquez again pitched for the Eagles, as she has for
all but one of Pecos' 4-4A games. "She's coming along and
not walking many people. Her speed will come with
experience," Walls said. "She's just a freshman and has
shown a lot of character. She's going to be good in the next
couple of year."

The loss left Pecos with a 0-9 district mark and 1-14
overall record, while Big Spring improved to 9-0 and 25-4.
The Eagles' first softball season ends Saturday at Martinez
Field against second place Andrews, 15-0 winners over San
Angelo Lake View on Tuesday. That game has been moved from a
1 p.m. to an 11 a.m. start.

`Red-faced' Raiders apply own penalties

Associated Press Writer
LUBBOCK, Apr. 15 -- Now that Texas Tech has slashed athletic
scholarships and promised to forfeit perhaps dozens of
victories because of rules violations over the last six
school years, it's up to the NCAA to decide if the
punishment fits the crime.

Tech announced the penalties Tuesday before releasing a
1,250-page response to 18 NCAA allegations leveled last
October. Football, baseball and men's basketball endured the
brunt of the sanctions, part of a three-year probation.

``It's just important to face the issues, get it behind you
and get it over with,'' Tech athletic director Gerald Myers
said. ``The longer it lingers ... the more difficult it's
going to be for a lot of reasons. That's why it's important
we've already imposed really strong penalties.''

Tech will state its case April 24-25 before the NCAA
Committee on Infractions in Cleveland. The committee usually
takes more than a month to mete out punishment, if any.

Tech admitted last October that four sports awarded too much
scholarship money and 76 athletes had competed while
ineligible from 1991-97; the number has increased to 81
after recalculations, Tech compliance director Bob Burton

Tuesday, Tech accepted all or parts of 11 other charges
related to improper benefits, academic wrongdoing and a lack
of institutional control in football and men's basketball.
Tech will outright challenge three more charges and wasn't
sure about the other two.

Because of the sanctions, football will lose 14 scholarships
over the next two years, baseball will lose a total of 7½
through 2002 and the men's basketball team will shrink from
13 scholarship players to 11 for the next three seasons.

Men's track and golf and women's basketball were hit with
lighter scholarship sanctions. All six sports, along with
men's tennis and women's volleyball, also must forfeit every
victory in which an ineligible athlete participated.

Men's basketball already had forfeited all its Big 12
victories in 1997 and declared itself ineligible for
postseason play. The team also forfeited its two NCAA
tournament victories in 1995 and said it would repay the
NCAA the approximately $100,000 it earned.

Tech lost $1.75 million in Big 12 bowl revenue last fall
when the football team removed itself from postseason
contention, forcing the athletic department to slash its
budget by 15 percent across the board this fiscal year.

Ten ineligible football players competed in Tech's 55-41
victory over Air Force in the 1995 Copper Bowl, documents
show. However, Burton said Tech's 1993 national championship
in women's basketball won't be affected.

Burton declined to speculate on which other victories were
endangered but conceded the number could be high.

In the 6-inch-thick response document, Tech denied it failed
to properly monitor use of a Florida correspondence course,
that a former regent gave improper legal counsel to athletes
and that a professor awarded unearned credit to a football

Tech admitted to all or parts of charges involving academic
misconduct by an assistant football coach, athletes' failure
to pay off bail made by a booster, improper transportation
given to athletes and other accusations.

Stadium's woes give Yanks 70's flashback

NEW YORK, Apr. 15 (AP) -- Months ago, the New York Yankees
planned today as a turn back the clock day, selling $2
tickets in honor of the 75th anniversary of Yankee Stadium.

Little did they know they'd be turning the clock back to
1975 instead of 1923.

While city engineers continue to probe and X-ray Yankee
Stadium, the team was scheduled to play a regular-season
home game outside of the Bronx for the first time in 23
years, meeting the Anaheim Angels in Shea Stadium in the
opener of a rather unusual doubleheader.

After the AL game, scheduled to start at 11:05 a.m. CDT,
the New York Mets were to play the Chicago Cubs at 6:40 p.m.

``I wonder if we're allowed to stay,'' said Yankees pitcher
David Cone, a former Mets star. ``I'm not sure, I might have
to buy a ticket.''

Monday's crash of a 71-year-old steel-and-concrete joint
into the stadium's middle deck forced mayor Rudolph Giuliani
to postpone the first two games of the Yankees-Angels

With no clear idea of when the stadium will reopen to the
public, the American League moved today's series finale to

Yankee Stadium, due to celebrate the 75th anniversary of
its opening on Saturday, was ringed by dozens of city trucks
Tuesday, with hundreds of municipal workers in green hard
hats and orange construction vests checking the ballpark's
frame. Jerome Hauer, director of the mayor's office of
emergency management, said the inspection was about half

``At this point in time, there have been no major
structural problems found that would cause any concern,''
said Richard Visconti, deputy commissioner of buildings.

Stadium superintendent Bob Wilkinson had said the ballpark
is inspected once a year, but the city's three major
newspapers reported today that the last detailed look was 19
years ago after cracks appeared in concrete decks.

About 3,000 yards of wooden planks were placed in the
bowels of the upper deck, and lighting was installed so
engineers could examine every steel beam. Workers drilled
into a beam near the faulty joint to make sure it was still
safe, and the failed part was sent to a laboratory for
analysis. A replacement was manufactured overnight and
installed by late afternoon.

A joint similar to the one that crashed was located in the
right-field superstructure, and Hauer said no defects were
detected there. Visconti said that cracked concrete was
found, but it was normal for a structure of this age and
would be repaired to prevent accidents. Inspectors also
found a light held up by just two screws.

``I want them to physically inspect every single part of
the stadium,'' Giuliani said.

The city didn't know how long the inspection would take,
leaving the Yankees unsure if this weekend's series against
Detroit would be at Yankee Stadium, at Shea or in Detroit.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner met with Hauer at the

The Mets-Yankees doubleheader is unprecedented. While the
Yankees played home games at Shea in 1974 and 1975 while
Yankee Stadium was renovated, the teams never played there
on the same day.

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