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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Thursday, March 11, 1999

Eagles use four HRs to get by Bronchos

PECOS, Mar. 11 -- There's a pattern developing to the Pecos
Eagles' 1999 baseball season -- if Oscar Luna hits a home
run, they win. And it helps if Joshua Casillas homers as

Luna got two homers this morning against Odessa High and so
did Casillas, and they helped rally Pecos from a 3-0 deficit
and gave Casillas his third win of the season.

The Eagles beat the Broncos by a 9-6 final score in the
opening game of the Snyder Tournament. Pecos will now play
at 7 p.m. tonight against either Dumas, a team they faced
twice in the tournament a year ago, or El Paso Ysleta, a
team they could face in the bi-district round of the

Pecos is 4-2 on the season and 4-0 in games in which Luna
has homered, but things didn't start well for the Eagles.
OHS got three runs in the first on an infield hit, a pair of
walks by starter Oscar Rodriguez, a bad pickoff throw to
third by catcher Mark Abila and a two run double by Odessa's
Kelley Marrs.

Luna opened the first with a double off Marrs but then
after Marrs got Abila to ground back to the mound he struck
out the next five batters he faced before walking Kevin
Bates to lead off the third. Rodriguez helped his own cause
with a hit-and-run single to left-center field that scored
Bates from first base, and Luna then tied the game with his
fifth home run of the season, a shot that just stayed fair
down the left field line.

The Eagles took the lead after that, but missed a chance to
add even more runs.

Abila then blooped a single between a quartet of Broncho
players, but he was thrown out at third trying to take an
extra base on a bad throw to second from catcher Manuel
Munoz. Martinez followed with a single and Casillas then hit
his second two-run homer in as many games, over the
right-center field fence for a 5-3 lead.

Singles by John Gutierrez and Louis Valencia followed, but
Gutierrez was thrown out at home after a steal of third,
when Munoz' throw bounced into short left field. Young then
got Ricky Herrera to ground to first base, retiring the side.

However, Rodriguez didn't make it through the fourth,
walking four of the first five batters he faced in the
fourth before being replaced by Casillas after throwing a
ball to Taylor Casey.

Casillas came back with two strikeouts to keep the Eagles a
run ahead, and the Eagles got that run back in their next
at-bat, off a two-out double by Luna and an RBI single by
Abila, but another walk and a two-run homer by Chris Baggett
tied the game.

OHS then brought Phillip Beke into pitch and his first
delivery was sent over the fence by Casillas for his second
homer of the morning and a 7-6 lead, and Luna followed the
next inning with home run No. 6 on the year, a shot to left
after Rodriguez was hit with a pitch giving the Eagles their
final two runs just before the game ended under the two-hour
time limit.

Doctors think Torre's cancer caught early

FORT MYERS, Fla., Mar. 11 (AP) -- The last five months
prepared the New York Yankees for the jolting news that Joe
Torre has prostate cancer.

Torre delivered that report Wednesday before leaving the
Yankees, a team that has been shadowed by death and disease
since he took over as manager three years ago.

``We're Yankees. We can deal with this better than anyone
else,'' Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said. ``We have
with Joe DiMaggio's passing, Darryl Strawberry's cancer and
we will now. Joe Torre will come out of this as a

The team believes doctors caught the disease in its early
stages, and Steinbrenner said Wednesday's test results are
encouraging. He said Torre could be back in three weeks --
in time for the season opener April 5.

Word of Torre's condition came two days after DiMaggio died
of complications from lung-cancer surgery and on the same
day Strawberry returned to the lineup for the first time
since undergoing colon cancer surgery in October.

``After what Darryl went through last year, we just have to
be ready for something like this,'' Tino Martinez said.

Just last week, former Yankees star Catfish Hunter appeared
at the team's camp too weak to shake hands because of Lou
Gehrig's Disease. In 1996, when Torre became the Yankees'
manager, his brother Rocco died, and his brother Frank had a
heart transplant during the World Series.

It was not immediately clear what Torre's course of
treatment will be or where he will be treated.

``I feel fine, and I am looking forward to taking care of
this problem and getting back to work,'' said the
58-year-old manager, who spent the day at his spring home in

The Yankees will rotate managers while Torre is out. Hitting
coach Chris Chambliss managed the split squad game Wednesday
in Fort Myers against the Red Sox, and Stump Merrill, who
managed the Yankees in 1990-91 and is now a special
assistant to general manager Brian Cashman, handled the
team's game in Bradenton against the Pirates.

Third-base coach Willie Randolph and pitching coach Mel
Stottlemyre also will share the managing duties.

``He is upbeat,'' Stottlemyre said after visiting Torre.
``Naturally I'm very concerned. He's our leader. He's a
manager as well as a very good friend. Any time a friend has
a problem, you're really concerned. I've got my fingers
crossed and everything else crossed that everything will be

Strawberry, who convinced Torre to let him return Wednesday
-- a week earlier than expected -- said the team was
``devastated'' by the news, which dampened his return to the
Yankees lineup.

``I really couldn't get as motivated as I would have been,''
Strawberry said after going 1-for-4 against the Red Sox.
``No one wants to see someone else face this particular
battle. It is a difficult battle for anybody. We all have to
realize that until there is a cure for cancer there are no

Torre met with his coaches and then individually with
veterans Joe Girardi, Paul O'Neill and David Cone on
Wednesday morning.

Girardi informed the Yankees who went to Fort Myers in a
brief closed-door meeting two hours before the game. O'Neill
told the group of players in Bradenton, while Cone told
those who stayed in Tampa.

``The hardest thing to understand is why,'' Girardi said.
``The first thing that went through my mind is what's next.
You see Darryl coming back and then you hear Joe has

Prostate cancer is second only to lung cancer among cancer
killers of American men, taking about 40,000 lives annually.

Most prostate cancer happens sporadically; patients have no
particular family history of the disease. However, about one
in 10 cases seems to be clearly inherited, because many men
in the same family have it.

Torre is the third prominent person in baseball to be
diagnosed with cancer this spring.

Atlanta first baseman Andres Galarraga was diagnosed with a
cancerous tumor in his lower back and is undergoing
chemotherapy. He will miss the entire season.

Florida Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell, a former Yankees
prospect, was diagnosed last month with testicular cancer.

``As players, we're not immune to what everyone else has to
face,'' said Scott Brosius, whose father was diagnosed with
colon cancer last year. ``A lot of people go through this.
It definitely gets you when it hits this close to home. Our
thoughts and prayers are with him.''

Marv Levy, the former coach of the Buffalo Bills, underwent
surgery for prostate cancer during the 1995 NFL season and,
at 70, was back coaching within a month.

``Joe is taking the correct steps,'' Levy said. ``It is a
disease that, when diagnosed early and treated aggressively,
is highly curable.''

Torre has a 302-184 record and has won two World Series
championships in his first three years as Yankees manager.
Last year, Torre led the Yankees to an AL-record 114 wins
and swept San Diego in the Series.

Torre, who signed a two-year contract extension last month,
joined Casey Stengel and Ralph Houk as the only managers to
lead the Yankees to the postseason in their first three

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