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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, July 8, 1998

LLers ready to start district play

PECOS, July 8 -- District 4 Tournament play gets underway
tonight for the youngest of Pecos' four youth baseball
teams, when the 9-10 year old Little League squad goes to
the San Angelo area to face North Concho, in a 6 p.m. game.

It's the first-ever game for Pecos in the 9-10 year old
division, which itself was only begun a few years ago by
Little League. The tournament itself began on Monday, and
while Pecos and North Concho (the Water Valley/Carlsbad area
northwest of San Angelo) drew opening byes, Crane and San
Angelo Lake View, have already played two games, with Lake
View beating San Angelo Northern, 6-4, and Crane falling to
Western, 12-1, on Tuesday.

Because North Concho is such a small area -- with a combined
population about the size of Wink -- Pecos should have an
advantage tonight, though coach John Salcido was cautious.

"We've come across teams like that that don't have as much
as we do and we play sloppy," he said. "You don't want to
come down to there level. You want to jump right on them
when you can."

The first-ever 8-10 year old group is made up of Mark
Mendoza, Jacob Jaramillo, Cody Hernandez, Edward Valencia,
Thomas Paz, Isiah Rayos, Jonathan Pete Garcia, Rocky Lozoya,
Chris Garnto, Adrian Solis, Adrian Hernandez, Eddie Vela,
John Paul Salcido and Kenny Rayos.

Coach Jesse Rayos said Tuesday they hadn't decided yet who
their pitcher would be. "We'll see what they look like
before we decide. We'll probably go with either Jacob
Jaramillo or Eddie Vela," he said.

"Whoever goes in there will have to throw strikes, or else
we'll be in the same boat they're in," Salcido added.

A total of 14 players make up the team, and unlike the older
divisions, the youngest group will go by regular season
rules, where all players must participate in a game.

"It's either three outs or one at-bat," said Salcido.

Pecos' Senior League All-Star team will be the next to open
tournament play, at 6 p.m. on Thursday at home against San
Angelo Northern. The Little League 10-12 team and the Junior
League begin play on the road Friday, against opponents to
be determined tonight.

Second girls fast-pitch clinic tonight

PECOS, July 8 -- A second girls fast-pitch softball clinic
has been scheduled for tonight, starting at 7 p.m. at the
women's softball field in Maxey Park.

The three hour fast-pitch clinic will be for girls ages 7
and older and will cost $20 per player. For further
information, call Connie Herrera at 445-2611.

AL hitters have blast in Denver

AP Sports Writer
DENVER, July 8 -- There was never another All-Star game like
this. Then again, there had never been one at Coors Field.

Fly balls become home runs. Bouncers took off like rockets.

Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine -- they were mere
mortals in the Rocky Mountains' home run heaven.

``This was a different type of All-Star game,'' Roberto
Alomar said Tuesday night after the American League's
record-setting 13-8 victory over the National. ``When you
watch the scoring in Denver, you're always seeing big
numbers, 13 to whatever.''

Alomar, matching the feat of his older brother last year,
homered and won an All-Star MVP award. Alex Rodriguez also
homered as the AL tied the record for runs and hits (19).
The two teams set an All-Star record for combined runs and
tied the record for hits with 31.

``No lead is ever good in this place,'' Mark McGwire said.
``You have to play it to the last out.''

The AL had at least one hit in every inning and overcame
deficits of 2-0 in the fourth and 6-5 in the sixth.

The NL trailed 5-3 before Barry Bonds' 451-foot, three-run
homer off Bartolo Colon in the fifth, a drive that hit a San
Francisco banner hanging off the upper deck in right. The
ball just missed (by a yard or so) hitting a sign that would
have led to a fan winning $1 million.

``Maybe it's the light air here in Colorado,'' Cal Ripken

McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. failed to homer, but the crowd
of 51,267, a Coors Field record, got to see the type of game
the stadium is known for.

Maddux, the four-time Cy Young Award winner who leads the
majors with a 1.54 ERA, was hit hard at the start, giving up
singles to Kenny Lofton and Alomar.

Maddux managed to escape with two shutout innings, but six
of the next seven NL pitchers gave up runs.

Want to know why pitchers hate it here?

Clemens pointed skyward in the third inning, thinking Bonds
popped up. Lofton caught the ball on the warning track.

``I was a bit nervous there for a moment,'' Clemens said.

Alomar and Ivan Rodriguez each went 3-for-4, and 10 players
drove in runs for the AL, which cut the NL's All-Star lead
to 40-28-1. Rafael Palmeiro's RBI single in the ninth
accounted for the 21st run, breaking the record set in the
AL's 11-9 win in 1954.

The game nearly turned around in the eighth, when Greg
Vaughn's two-run single off Tom Gordon pulled the NL to
10-8. Devon White -- who also had three hits -- followed
with another single, but left fielder Paul O'Neill threw out
Fernando Vina at the plate, and shortstop Omar Vizquel
followed by turning a nifty double play on Andres Galarraga.

Did the light air help O'Neill, a regular right fielder
unfamiliar with the other side of the ballpark?

``I'm sure it didn't hurt,'' he said.

In a fitting twist, Colon was the winner despite giving up
Bonds' homer.

``He had to give up a three-run homer to get the win,'' AL
manager Mike Hargrove said. ``It's kind of a double-edged

Ugueth Urbina was the loser in a game that lasted 3 hours,
38 minutes -- the longest nine-inning All-Star game ever.

The big bashers, the ones who have sparked increased
interest in baseball this year, did little.

McGwire, leading the majors with 37 homers, was 0-for-2.
Juan Gonzalez, leading the majors with 101 RBIs, got up with
nine runners on base and drove in just one. Griffey, who has
35 homers, was 2-for-3 with an RBI, but showed no power.

``You have some great pitchers on the mound,'' Griffey said.
``When you have great pitchers, the ball doesn't fly much.''

It flied for the AL lineup in the sixth, but not necessarily
off the bat. A passed ball by Javy Lopez tied the score, a
wild pitch by Urbina put the AL ahead for good and Ivan
Rodriguez followed with an RBI single.

``It was a Coors Field-type game,'' NL manager Jim Leyland
said. ``You saw some balls bloop in, freak hits, guys had to
play deep. Then they hit some balls out of the ballpark.''

Atlanta shortstop Walt Weiss got two hits and the cheers of
his 3-year-old son, Brody, recently out of the hospital
after fighting off a life-threatening strain of E. coli

``Looks like it's going to be a happy ending,'' Weiss said.
``My boy is going to be fine.''
«MDBO»Notes:«MDNM» Ripken broke Willie Mays' record with
his 15th straight«MDNM» start, then hit a two-run double off
the top of the 14-foot wall in right that keyed a four-run
fourth off Tom Glavine for a 4-2 lead. ... NL reliever Jeff
Shaw, celebrating his 32nd birthday, pitched the eighth. He
was traded from Cincinnati to Los Angeles on Saturday,
making him the first All-Star ever to be dealt between the
time he was selected and the game itself. He wore a Dodgers
uniform for the first time. ... The AL stole a record five
bases. ... Next year's All-Star game will be at Fenway Park
in Boston. ... Barry and Bobby Bonds joined Griffey Jr. and
Griffey Sr. as the only father-son combos to hit homers in
All-Star play.

France, Croatia battle for spot in Cup finals

Associated Press Writer
SAINT-DENIS, France, July 8 -- For France, the World Cup
semifinal is a chance to end decades of frustration in a
tournament it created. For Croatia, just playing in the game
is perhaps the biggest event in the nation's history since
it broke away from Yugoslavia.

Two different points of view, one goal: a trip to the final
to play Brazil for the championship of the world.

The Brazilians will be seeking their fifth World Cup title
after goalie Claudio Taffarel made two saves in a penalty
kick shootout Tuesday to lift the defending champs to a 4-2
win against the Netherlands after a 1-1 tie.

``We showed willpower and desire and the Dutch did the
same,'' said Brazil coach Mario Zagallo, who guaranteed
victory to each of his players before the shootout.

``I went up to each one and said, `We are going to win,
we're going to be champions.' I passed confidence to them,''
Zagallo said.

Brazil, which won a shootout against Italy to take the '94
tournament, hit all four shots, by Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Emerson
and captain Dunga. Taffarel stopped consecutive attempts by
Phillip Cocu and Ronald de Boer to end a classic game.

The Netherlands has never won the title, and last made the
final game 20 years ago. There was nothing separating the
teams through 120 minutes of scintillating soccer.

``It hurts because we were so close,'' Ronald de Boer said.

The team that wins tonight probably will depend on which
ironclad defense cracks first.

France, which has never reached the title game, is seeking
to become the first host nation in 20 years to play in the

Croatia, which gained independence only seven years ago,
already has surpassed whatever modest expectation it had to
reach the final four in its very first World Cup. Unburdened
by pressure, it has improved game by game and is within one
win of a shot at being the first World Cup rookie to win the
title since Italy in 1934.

Players, coaches, fans, even President Franjo Tudjman, have
talked of soccer success giving the nation an identity. And
their team has looked very good.

In the coming-of-age game against Germany, a 3-0 win last
Saturday, Davor Suker personified Croatia's play with deft
skills and lethal finishing, showing that newcomers can have
the cool heads of veterans.

Suker believes Croatia has the edge because it will be
fresher for the semifinal than France, which needed a
sudden-death overtime goal to down Paraguay in the second
round and penalty kicks to overcome Italy after a scoreless
draw in the quarterfinal.

``This is our advantage,'' Suker said. ``They will feel that
more and more with every minute the game goes on.''

French forward Youri Djorkaeff conceded: ``They have the
wind in their sails.''

Yet, the French are considered the favorite.

For one thing, they have the crowd behind them. France,
which came up with the idea for the World Cup in the Roaring
'20s, has slowly but surely awakened to the prospect of
winning the title, and with every game the pulse of 60
million people has quickened.

At the Stade de France tonight, the vast majority of the
80,000 fans will be rooting for ``Les Bleus,'' dressed all
in royal blue for this match of majestic proportions.

Home advantage would seem a formidable help, but no host
nation has won the Cup since Argentina in 1978.

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