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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wedensday, July 15, 1998

Errors aid Senior Leaguers' win

Staff Writer
PECOS, July 15 -- It's better to receive than give in
baseball, and the Pecos Senior League All-Stars were happy
to take whatever Sonora was offering Tuesday night, in their
District 4 Tournament semifinal game.

Pecos tightened up their own defense after a series of
errors in Sunday's win over San Angelo Western. The Senior
Leaguers committed just two errors on the evening, while
taking advantage of 12 Sonora errors, including eight in the
first two innings alone, to score a 17-7 victory and advance
into Saturday's tournament finals.

Sonora pitcher Manuel Hernandez had a lot more success
throwing towards home plate than he did tossing the ball to
any of the bases. Hernandez was responsible for three of the
eight errors, tossing away an infield grounder by Richard
Rodriguez in the second inning, in-between a pair of bad
throws to third base in the first and third innings.

"We'll take those," said Senior League coach Stephen
Rodriguez of Hernandez' mistakes and those by shortstop
Jarrod Solis. He booted Richard Rodriguez' first inning
grounder, leading to two unearned runs with two out, and had
two more errors that led to the Senior Leaguers' final run
in their five-run second inning.

Those plays helped Pecos jump out to a 7-0 lead, but Pecos
would need a two-run homer by Angel Villalobos in the third
to regain their momentum, after Sonora struck for five runs
off starter Benny Juarez in the second.

Juarez ran into control problems in the second, walking two
batters around an RBI single by Rocky Robles. He was almost
bailed out by Richard Rodriguez, who threw out Hernandez on
a slow infield bouncer, but after Rodriguez bobbled John
Ray's grounder in the hole with two outs, John Bullard and
Sean Fields followed with an RBI single and double to narrow
the gap to 7-5.

Manager Frank Rodriguez then replaced Juarez with Pifi
Montoya, who won last week's tournament opener against San
Angelo Northern. Montoya wasn't as sharp as in the opener,
when he tossed a six inning no-hitter, but got the final
out, then helped his own cause, doubling in the third prior
to Villalobos' homer.

Catcher Mason Abila had the best day at the plate, going
4-for-5 with a double and six RBI. He also scored three runs
and allowed Pecos to end the game an inning early under the
10-run rule, making a diving catch on Field's pop up behind
home plate with Homer Hernandez on third base.

"It's just a leadership thing out there between a lot of
guys," Stephen Rodriguez said. "Mason at catcher controls
things, Richard at shortstop and Paul (Juarez) in the
outfield. He's in charge out there."

Juarez ran down Jason Brock's fly ball in the sixth, after
contributing a single in Pecos' seven-run fifth. Three more
Sonora errors contributed to the inning, while in the sixth
the Senior Leaguers got their final runs off reliever Kenny
Covarrabiaz off singles by Villalobos, Abila and Alex Garcia
and a double by Rodriguez.

Saturday's finals will probably start sometime in the
afternoon, in order to have time to play a second game, if
needed before dark. Little League officials in San Angelo
decertified the lights at both Pecos' Little League and
Senior League fields this season, forcing the teams to play
in the late afternoon heat, though Tuesday's brief showers
before sunset cooled things off at the Maxey Park Field.

Sonora will now face the winner of tonight's San Angelo
Western-Lake View game, for the right to advance to
Saturday's final. Meanwhile, Pecos' Little League All-Stars
will play at 6 p.m. tonight at San Angelo Northern, for the
right to advance to their tournament title game on Saturday.

Pecos downed Crane on Sunday in the quarterfinals, 15-0,
while Northern outscored Tri-County, 13-9. Tonight's loser
will face either Crane or San Angelo Lake View Thursday

Pecos' Junior League All-Stars will play their semifinal
game at home on Friday against San Angelo Western. The
winner there moves onto the title game, set for Sunday

Wichita welcomes Cowboys to town

WICHITA FALLS, July 15 (AP) -- Thousands of Dallas Cowboys
fans turned out despite 100-degree heat to welcome the team
to its new training camp site with an old-style pep rally at
a city park.

The National Football League team will open summer training
camp Thursday afternoon on the campus of Midwestern State
University, ending their long stay at Austin.

Wichita Falls police estimated Tuesday's crowd at about

``This is a great welcome we're putting on here,'' said
Nelda Bond, 53, who identified herself as the Cowboys' No. 1
fan in Wichita Falls. ``We don't want El Paso or any other
town to get 'em to leave here next year.''

Most of the fans were decked out in Cowboys' attire and came
to Jaycee Park prepared to beat the heat. They brought lawn
chairs, portable fans and enough cold beverages to last
through the party ending fireworks show.

It was 100 degrees as the party began with loud country
music and dancing by the Cowboys' Cheerleaders. ``They could
have lost every game last year and it don't matter,'' said
Karen Pervine, a Pizza Hut waitress who also identified
herself as the Cowboys' No. 1 fan in Wichita Falls.

``The Cowboys are the Cowboys. That's all I can say. I love
'em, and I always will,'' Ms. Pervine said.

They have forgotten last year's 6-10 record and the
off-field problems the team has suffered through during the
past few years.

Fans in this North Texas city of 103,000 are grateful that
the team left Austin to open summer camp on the 176-acre MSU

``I'm a Cowboys fan now, and I'll still be one even if this
thing goes to hell in a handbasket,'' said MSU police Sgt.
Tom Sloan.

Sloan and other officers will be responsible for security at
the team's dormitory and at the practice field.

The biggest job will be keeping ``the undesirables'' out of
the dormitory, Sloan said. Keeping the Cowboys in the
dormitory after their 11 p.m. curfew is another matter. ``We
were told that if any player wants out, let him out,'' he
said. ``Then, we pick up the phone and call the head coach
to let him know they're out.''

Signs have been erected all over town to show tourists and
anyone who needs to know where the training camp is located.

A huge ``Welcome Cowboys'' billboard looms over downtown
next to the city's main freeway.

Most stores in the city have ``Welcome Cowboys'' banners on

A Cowboys' souvenir store opened near the campus by J.C.
Penney is doing a good business selling T-shirts, caps and
other items with the team's logo.

``Business is great,'' said Tracy Carron, a Penney's
employee. ``Some people in Dallas would bail (out) on the
Cowboys because of the bad year they had. It's great to see
people here standing by them.''

Course for British Open for 1998

SOUTHPORT, England, July 15 (AP) -- When Royal Birkdale last
played host to the British Open, Ian Baker-Finch was at the
top of his game and par was a high score on a calm weekend
that featured the course at its most benign.

Leap ahead seven years and a lot has changed on the rolling
hills and sand dunes hugging the coast of the Irish Sea. And
not all of it involves Baker-Finch, whose game went into
such a funk after he won here in 1991 that he will spend
this British Open in a broadcasting booth.

The greens are new, the rough a little deeper and the
fairways a bit narrower. But it is the wind that has howled
here all week that has players shaking their heads in
disbelief and talking about U.S. Open-type scores in the
third major of the year.

``If it stays like this, 290 (10-over-par) would be real
good,'' U.S. Open runner-up Payne Stewart said. ``When you
come over here you expect this kind of weather, but for the
last few years we have had very nice weather.''

Not so far this year, as the weather has been so bad in
practice rounds that players were running out of balls after
the wind carried shot after shot into the knee-deep meadow
rye grass that sways in the breeze between fairways.

Tom Lehman lost six balls on the ninth hole alone, and U.S.
Open champion Lee Janzen didn't even begin to look for some
of his wayward shots.

``I cannot think of a time I've lost more golf balls without
hitting the water than I have in the last two days,'' Janzen

Just when the world's best players were getting over
conditions at the Olympic Club, where Janzen shot even par
to win, Royal Birkdale served notice that it won't be the
pushover it was in 1991 when Baker-Finch shot 64-66 the last
two days to win his only major.

Baker-Finch's 8-under 272, which included a 29 on the front
nine of the final round, was the best score shot in the
seven Opens at Royal Birkdale, a par-70 that plays plenty
long at 7,018 yards.

The wind didn't blow that year, however, as it has during
the blustery practice rounds as players have struggled to
remain steady over the ball while being peppered at times by

``I cannot see anybody shoot under par for four days if it
stays like this,'' Janzen said.

Conditions were so bad at times that Lehman hit
driver-driver and couldn't reach the 421-yard second hole.
Some players couldn't hit the ball far enough into the wind
to reach the fairway on the 480-yard, par-4 sixth.

When the wind was at its worst Monday, Tiger Woods could hit
a 3-iron only 152 yards on the par-3 seventh hole.

Of course, Woods then nearly reached the green with his tee
shot on the downwind 457-yard 8th hole after being urged by
playing partner Mark O'Meara to hit it over the dogleg to
within a few yards of the green.

``They said they wanted me to try a driver so I hit it up in
the wind, hit it 440 or something,'' Woods said. ``It was
something out there for fun to see how far I can hit it and
see what happens.''

British oddsmakers have made Woods and Lee Westwood
co-favorites to win the Claret Jug when the 127th Open
championship begins Thursday.

It is the first time Woods has not been a sole favorite in
any tournament he entered since winning the Masters last
year. Westwood is now the hotter golfer after winning for
the seventh time on four continents in the last seven months
last week at the Loch Lomond in Scotland.

``If I were a betting man, I would put a good bet on him,''
Lehman said. ``He has his confidence going and he has every
right to have it. He should be a strong factor here.''

Westwood, the 25-year-old who has inherited the mantle of
Britain's best player from Nick Faldo, hits the ball low and
straight, an advantage in any windy conditions. He also has
a deft touch around the greens.

And if he is around the lead come Sunday, Westwood says it
won't be because of nerves if he is denied his first major

``I'm not afraid to win so, you know, if I do get the
opportunity I hope to take it,'' Westwood said.

Last year's winner, Justin Leonard, is among the usual list
of contenders, as is Nick Price, Ernie Els and Lehman.
Adding a little flavor to the field are a pair of hot
amateurs in U.S. Amateur champion Matt Kuchar and
18-year-old Spanish standout Sergio Garcia.

Gary Player, appearing in his 43rd consecutive Open, is in
the field of 156, but the biggest news is the absence of
Jack Nicklaus, who at the age of 58 is ending his incredible
streak of 146 consecutive majors.

Also missing is Baker-Finch, who won only the Australian PGA
after his 1991 win, and whose game went so bad that he shot
92 in the opening round last year at Royal Troon and
withdrew from the tournament.

Baker-Finch will be in the ABC booth helping broadcast the
tournament, and says he has no plans to compete
professionally in the near future.

``To see what Ian had to struggle through was difficult for
anyone, but he's probably doing the right thing right now,''
said Masters champion O'Meara, who practiced regularly with
Baker-Finch. ``It can be very humbling and golf is a very
humbling game.''

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