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Thursday, September 3, 1998

Bears start `road trip' against Coyotes

PECOS, Sept. 3 -- The Balmorhea Bears' road show gets
underway Friday night in Tatum, N.M., where the Bears will
be hoping to have as successful a start to their 1998
football season as they had a year ago.

The Bears face the Coyotes, starting at 7 p.m. in Tatum, the
first of four straight road games for the Bears to open the
season. Coupled with an open date next week and another on
Oct. 9, Balmorhea's Oct. 16 game against Dell City will be
homecoming not only for Bears' alumni, but for the team as
well .

Last season was a disappointing one for the Bears, after two
home losses and a loss in a postseason three-way coin flip
with Sanderson and Sierra Blanca put the Eagles in the
playoffs and kept the Bears out for the first time since

Balmorhea also lost two of their key starters to graduation,
in Debiasie Mendoza and Zane Rhyne. However, Mendoza missed
last year's game with Tatum while recovering from off-season
knee surgery, and every Bear who scored in their 61-14 win
over Tatum is back for Friday's game.

Arturo Miranda scored the first four of his 27 touchdowns
last year against the Coyotes, who stayed with the Bears in
the early going, taking 8-0 and 14-8 leads. His first two
scores late in the opening period put Balmorhea ahead to
stay, while Roger Lopez also had two rushing TDs, Travis
Woodruff returned an interception 79 yards for a score and
Billy Lozano returned punts 55 and 79 yards for touchdowns
in his first varsity game.

An early injury to their top player hurt Tatum that night,
but the Coyotes fared well in their season opener last week,
as they pounded Corona, N.M. by a 59-14 final score, ending
things early under the 45-point rule.

Both teams have enough young players this season so that a
junior varsity game is scheduled for 5 p.m., prior to the
Bears-Coyotes varsity contest. It's one of three JV games
the Bears have scheduled, along with Sept. 24 at Buena Vista
and Oct. 8 at home against Sanderson.

Marquez set to begin play with UTPB

PECOS, Sept. 3 -- Former Pecos Eagle Lorie Marquez will
begin her college volleyball career this weekend, as a
member of the University of Texas-Permian Basin Falcons.

Marquez, who earned all-state honors as a junior and senior
hitter for Pecos in 1996-97, is one of four freshmen on the
UTPB squad, which will be in Irvine, Calif., this weekend
for their season-opening matches. She led Pecos in kills and
blocks as a middle hitter the past three seasons, but will
start her college career with the Falcons as an outside

Marquez chose to stay in the area and attend UTPB after
receiving a scholarship offer from St. Mary's University in
Omaha, Neb. The Falcons' first game in Odessa is scheduled
for Sept. 15, when they host the College of the Southwest.

Johnson beats Braves, Maddux, 4-2

AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA, Sept. 3 -- There's a big difference between Randy
Johnson and Greg Maddux, and we're not talking about the Big
Unit's 10-inch height advantage.

Even when Johnson struggles to locate his pitches, a 97 mph
fastball -- seemingly delivered from just beyond the
batter's box -- has a way of maintaining his domineering

``Scary,'' is how Chipper Jones described it.

But when Maddux finds his pinpoint control wavering just a
bit, he doesn't have any of Johnson's imposing physical
skills to fall back on.

That's what happened Wednesday night, when Johnson and the
Houston Astros matched up against the Atlanta Braves and
their four-time Cy Young winner in what looked to be one of
the best pitching duels in this Year of the Homer.

Johnson did his part, striking out 10 and allowing only four
hits after struggling in the first three innings. But
Maddux, his mid-80s pitches floating across the middle of
the plate all night, gave up 10 hits in seven innings and
tied his career high by allowing three homers.

The Astros defeated the Braves 4-2 in the deciding game of
three-game series that could be the precursor of another
meeting in the postseason.

``One of the things I have going for me is I can challenge
hitters differently than Greg can,'' Johnson (6-1) said.
``He's not intimidating in the same way I am, but he's
intimidating in the sense that he can pitch a fantastic

Not on this night.

Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Sean Berry each homered
against Maddux (17-7), who has now allowed three homers
twice in his last three starts after avoiding that fate in
the first 396 games of his career. Biggio's was a two-run

``They've got some good hitters,'' Maddux said of the

And a pretty good pitcher, too. Johnson dominated Atlanta
until he came out prior to the ninth inning because of a
cramp in his left leg. The injury wasn't serious.

Jones, who came in hitting .319 with 32 homers and 100 RBIs,
was no match for Johnson's frightening arsenal.

The Atlanta third baseman struck out on a slider that dipped
toward his feet in the first, took a called third strike
right down the middle in the third, and went down swinging
again in the eighth.

``I'm glad they pitched him tonight,'' Jones said. ``It let
us know what he's all about. I wouldn't like to have this
experience in Game 1 of the playoffs.''

Johnson had double-figure strikeouts for the 99th time,
second in baseball history to Nolan Ryan's 215.

The Astros ace retired 14 of the last 15 hitters he faced
before Billy Wagner worked the ninth for his 27th save
despite giving up a homer to Andruw Jones.

Johnson faced a weakened Braves lineup. Andres Galarraga
began a three-game suspension for charging the mound in an
Aug. 22 game against Los Angeles, while Walt Weiss continued
to rest an ailing quadriceps.

``A lot of things will change the next time we face them,''
Johnson said, looking ahead to a possible postseason
matchup. ``But I'm pleased with the end result.''

Maddux never found his rhythm. He allowed a hit in every
inning but the sixth, and five times allowed the leadoff
hitter to reach base. The Atlanta pitcher gave up
double-figure hits for only the third time this season while
his ERA climbed to 2.07.

Johnson has four complete games and an ERA of 1.17 since
joining the Astros in a July 31 trade with Seattle.

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