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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Friday, July 10, 1998

Seniors make quick work of Northern

Staff Writer
PECOS, July 10 -- Five batters into Thursday evening's game
at Maxey Park, the Pecos Senior League All-Stars had all the
runs they would need to win their District 4 Tournament
opener against San Angelo Northern.

Pecos chased starter Aaron Jones before the righthander
could record an out, scoring five times in the first, capped
by Pifi Montoya's two run home run. The Senior Leaguers had
more problems against lefthander John Black and his
curveball, though not nearly as many as Northern would have
all evening against Montoya, who tossed a six-inning
no-hitter in Pecos' 11-1 win.

"I wasn't even aware of that. I was so much into the game,"
said Senior League coach Frank Rodriguez after the win,
which keeps the Senior Leaguers at home for their next game,
at 6 p.m. Sunday against San Angelo Western, which defeated
Pecos and Montoya for the District 4 title last July.

The lefthander wasn't overpowering and struggled with his
control in the second and third innings. But he still
managed to record 10 strikeouts, including five of the final
six batters he faced, while giving up only an unearned run
in the third inning.

He had an easy first inning while Jones struggled, walking
Benny Juarez then giving up singles to Richard Rodriguez and
Angel Villalobos. Both runners would then score on a balk
and two wild pitches, and after Mason Abila walked, Montoya
sent a high fly ball just over the fence in right for fourth
and fifth runs of the game.

That brought on Black to pitch, and while he also had some
control problems, his curveball frustrated Pecos' hitters
for the next three innings.

"It took them a little bit to get used to their lefthanded
pitcher, but they're hitters and they can adjust," Rodriguez

Montoya survived walking the bases loaded in the second by
getting a strikeout on Jason Harrison, then worked out of a
third inning jam with Rodriguez' help at shortstop.

After Jones reached on Juarez' error at second and Chris
Cotton walked, a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring
position with none out. Montoya fanned Black, but then Dusty
DeVos hit a high chop to short that looked to be an RBI
infield hit until Rodriguez caught Cotton too far off second
and was able to toss to Juarez for the put out. Jones scored
on the play, but Montoya then got Jason Perez to pop to
Juarez, retiring the side.

Pecos has a couple of baserunning mistakes of their own that
cost them runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but
they still managed to get single runs in the third and
fourth, both off wild pitches.

Paul Juarez scored in the third after he and Gilbert Fierro
singled, though Fierro missed a chance to score by failing
to tag on Rodriguez' fly out to right. Montoya would score
in the fourth on a wild pitch, while Capi Magana was thrown
out trying to go from first to third on the play, and in the
fifth, Fierro was thrown out at home trying to score on a
wild pitch, as his slide came up short of home plate.

Despite those missed chances, Pecos was still able to end
the game in the sixth under the 10-run rule, thanks to four
unearned runs with two outs.

The big error was by leftfielder Jorad DelaGarza, who
dropped Alex Garcia's two out fly ball to left with Montoya
on first base. Black then walked Paul Juarez to load the
bases, and Fierro followed with a bases-clearing double to
the gap in right-center field. Benny Juarez then ended the
game, singling to left to score Fierro.

Montoya's no-hitter was the second in two District 4
tournament games for Pecos' youth baseball teams. Eddie Vela
and Jacob Jaramillo combined for one Wednesday in a 16-1
opening game win for the 9-10 year olds, who'll host San
Angelo Lake View in their next game, at 6 p.m. Saturday at
Chano Prieto Field.

Tonight in San Angelo, Pecos' Little League and Junior
League All-Stars play their first games in the District 4
Tournament, with the 11-12 year olds facing Lake View while
the 13-year-old meet San Angelo Southern.

A win would sent the Junior Leaguers to Ballinger Saturday
night for a 6 p.m. game, while a loss would drop them into a
game at that same time Saturday against San Angelo Northern
in the double-elimination tournament. The Little Leaguers
will go to either San Angelo Southern or Crane on Sunday if
they win tonight, while a loss would put them in a 6 p.m.
home game Sunday against Sterling City in the elimination

France hopes for repeat of `86 win

AP Sports Writer
PARIS, July 10 -- If Sunday's World Cup final is anything
like the last time Brazil and France met in the tournament,
well, bring it on.

A dozen years ago in the quarterfinals at Guadalajara,
Mexico, an entertaining, aggressive France met the usually
creative, sometimes brilliant squad from Brazil.

Unlike this year's final, in which the four-time champion
Brazilians are favored, that game was considered a tossup.
France featured possibly the best midfielder in the world in
Michel Platini -- the organizer of France 98. It had such
other stalwarts as Luis Hernandez, Jean Tigana, Jean-Pierre
Papin and Dominique Rocheteau. The French could score with
anyone and did outscore Brazil, winning a 4-3 shootout after
a 1-1 tie in regulation.

Brazil featured Careca, Zico, Socrates, Julio Cesar and
Junior, all considered among its greatest players.

``It'll be a battle for control of the midfield and we'll
have to close up the lanes and block the space,'' Junior
said, echoing the exact task the French will have on Sunday
in Stade de France.

``We have the belief we can compete with Brazil,'' coach
Henri Michel said. ``We are a strong team, also.''

The two strong teams pushed for a goal early and never

Brazil's Muller hit the goalpost and the crossbar. Rocheteau
missed a wide open net.

In the 17th minute, Careca, one of Brazil's greatest
finishers, completed a three-way move with Muller and
Junior, sending a one-touch shot past goalkeeper Joel Bats.

The French didn't back down to merely try to keep it close.
It simply was not their style, and they got the tying goal
as Platini ended a scramble in the penalty area with a short
shot. On his 31st birthday, no less.

That was the only goal Brazil allowed all tournament.

Brazil looked like it was in charge when Bats was forced to
tackle Branco in the box with 16 minutes to go. Awarded a
penalty kick, up stepped Zico -- now the team's coordinator,
but then one of its veteran players.

He missed, with Bats making a diving save.

In overtime, both teams had excellent scoring opportunities,
but couldn't find the net. That led to the shootout.

Brazil was magnificent in its semifinal shootout against the
Netherlands on Tuesday in Marseille, knocking in all four
penalty kicks to win. But back in Mexico, it hardly was as

Socrates, another veteran, shot to Bats' right and the
goalie got there to block it. Yannick Stopyra scored for

Alemao was successful for Brazil and Manuel Amoros hit for
France. Zico, getting another chance, drilled in his shot,
but Bruno Bellone connected. It was 3-2 for France.

Branco evened matters, but Platini certainly would give the
French the lead. Sorry -- he shot well over the crossbar.

That brought on Julio Cesar with a chance to give Brazil the
lead and force Hernandez to score to keep France in the
shootout. But he hit the goalpost, putting Hernandez in
position to win it.

No problem.

That began wild celebrations on the field and in Paris --
the kind expected Sunday if France wins.

And it began some deep soul-searching in Brazil, where the
world title is considered a birthright.

``It's time now to form a new selection that has
possibilities for winning the next World Cup,'' midfielder
Elzo said. ``This can't afford to wait four years.''

Tele Santana, who resigned as Brazilian coach after the
loss, looked for consolation in the quality and high drama
of the match, calling it ``the best I've ever seen in a
World Cup . . . it should have been the final.''

This time, it is.

Ninth inning win deflected Rangers' way

AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif., July 10 -- Second baseman Bip Roberts broke
toward the middle as soon as the ball was hit, hoping he
could turn Ivan Rodriguez's grounder into a double play and
kill Texas' ninth-inning threat.

But the ball deflected off reliever Billy Taylor's heel and
skipped into right field through the spot Roberts just

The single by Rodriguez broke a tie and sent the Rangers to
a 4-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

``You never can say you could definitely turn the double
play. But there was a chance, maybe a slight chance, we
could have turned it,'' Roberts said. ``At the last second,
as we were breaking, Taylor hit it. It made the play look a
little wacky.''

Pinch-hitter Tom Goodwin led off the ninth with a single off
Taylor (3-6). Goodwin stole second and continued to third on
a throwing error by catcher Mike Macfarlane, who entered the
game at the start of the inning. Will Clark then walked.

Juan Gonzalez, who leads the majors with 101 RBIs, struck
out. But the single by Rodriguez broke the tie, Rusty Greer
followed with another RBI single to make it 3-1, and
pinch-hitter Bill Haselman hit a sacrifice fly off Buddy

``It's good to win a low-scoring ballgame. We haven't done
that a lot,'' Texas manager Johnny Oates said. ``That could
be a confidence builder for us, that we were able to beat a
very good pitcher.''

The first eight innings were a pitching duel between John
Burkett and Kenny Rogers.

Burkett (5-9) pitched eight strong innings for his first win
since June 6. Burkett, who lost his previous four decisions,
allowed one run on four hits and struck out five. John
Wetteland pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.

The only run Burkett allowed came on Rickey Henderson's RBI
bloop single in the sixth.

Rogers allowed one run on three hits and struck out five.
The only run against him came on Mike Simms' homer leading
off the third, his eighth of the season.

``I'm not disappointed at all, pitching that well against
that caliber of a ballclub,'' Rogers said. ``I don't mind
solo shots at all, unless you've got to win 1-0.''

Burkett came into the game with a 5.95 ERA, second highest
among AL starters with more than 90 innings pitched this
season. He has pitched well recently, though, and the
Rangers hope Burkett and Darren Oliver are strong in the
second half of the season.

In the first half, Aaron Sele (12 wins) and Rick Helling (11
wins) were the Rangers' most effective starters.

``Hopefully, they'll stay on their game and some of us guys
will chip in a little bit,'' Burkett said. ``It's nice to go
out there and win the first one after the break.''

Woman gets first-ever mound start

DULUTH, Minn., July 10 (AP) -- There was nothing unusual
about the numbers for a Northern League pitcher: five
innings, five hits, three runs, two walks, two strikeouts.

So why did 2,266 fans hang on every pitch? Why did CNN and
ESPN want footage? Why were Japanese media hounding the
pitcher's father?

Because this was history, pure and simple. Ila Borders
became the first female pitcher to start a minor league
baseball game Thursday night, taking the loss as the
Duluth-Superior Dukes lost 8-3 to the Sioux Falls Canaries
at Wade Stadium.

``I wish I could have gotten that win,'' Borders said. ``But
I wanted to keep my team in the game, and I wanted to pitch
the best I can. I think I did those things and I'm proud of

Borders, who had pitched 10 innings during six relief
appearances this season, took a 2-1 lead into the fifth, but
Benny Castillo and Eddie Gerald hit home runs off her to put
the Canaries ahead 3-2.

``I was a lot more nervous for this game than I was for the
first time I pitched professionally,'' said Borders, who
threw 71 pitches in the longest outing of her 23-appearance
professional career.

Borders said the support of her teammates helped a lot as
they joked and tried to keep her loose.

``My whole life, all I want out of baseball is the respect
of my peers, and that means more to me than wins and losses
or anything,'' she said.

Said Castillo: ``I think there may be players who don't want
to look dumb hitting against a woman, the old sexism thing.
That stuff doesn't matter to me. I'm a baseball player,
she's a baseball player.''

The Dukes (8-28) are last in the East Division and Canaries
(14-23) are last in the West. With both teams eliminated
from first-half races with six games left, the decision to
start Borders was logical.

Dukes manager George Mitterwald pronounced her historic
start a success.

``If all our starters could keep teams at three runs for
five innings, we'd probably be doing a lot better,'' he said
``She did an outstanding job. It's the opportunity she's
waited for two years, and she made the most of it.''

Borders, 23, was the most valuable player on her high school
team in Whittier, Calif. After graduating from Whittier
College in 1997, Borders was signed by the Northern League's
St. Paul Saints and went to the Dukes on a midseason trade
last summer.

Borders' family in Los Angeles was inundated with calls from
the Japanese media, which have taken a special interest in
her. She said her father got 33 phone calls from the media
after it was announced Tuesday she would start.

As the post-game interviews wore on, Borders began to
realize how important her start had been. Nearly an hour
after the game, she finally finished talking to reporters
and returned to a nearly empty dugout where she was handed a
slip of paper. ESPN Radio wanted her to call.

``I just need a minute,'' Borders said.

She reached down to tie her right shoe and took a last look
at eerie glow of the old ballpark, home to thousands of
ballgames, but never one quite like this.

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