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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, March 17, 1999

Eagles turn Panthers' errors into win

PECOS, Mar. 17 -- There were some gifts for everyone Tuesday
afternoon in Fort Stockton, but in the end the Pecos Eagles
used theirs better than the Fort Stockton Panthers did, and
came away with a 7-2 victory, their seventh win in 11 games
this season.

The Eagles gave Fort Stockton six extra baserunners due to
errors, but the Panthers could manage just two runs off
pitcher Oscar Rodriguez, who allowed seven hits but struck
out 10 to improve to 2-1 on the season.

"Oscar got the strikeouts when he needed to, and we didn't
fold," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams.

Meanwhile, the Panthers and starter Nathan Reeves didn't
give Pecos much to work with over the first four innings of
play, but when Fort Stockton's mistakes came they came in
bunches. Three errors and mental mistake allowed the Eagles
to score four times without a hit in the fifth inning, while
mistakes hurt the Panthers again in the fifth, though this
time Pecos aided their own cause by chipping in four
straight hits off reliever Hector Natividad.

Pecos managed just two hits over the first four innings
against Reeves, but in the fifth Mason Abila opened by
reaching on an error by David Nanez. After Oscar Luna
walked, Reeves threw high to first on Kevin Bates' sacrifice
bunt, loading the bases. A wild pitch then allowed Abila to
score and tie the game, and Reeves then made his second
mistake, throwing home to get Luna on a Mark Abila grounder.
But with no force play on Luna simply went back to third
base, leaving the bases loaded.

Joshua Casillas put Pecos ahead with a sacrifice fly,
before catcher Derral Robledo tried to pick Bates off third
base and threw the ball into left field, allowing both Bates
and Mark Abila to come home.

Fort Stockton cut the lead to 4-2 in their half of the
fifth on a double and ground out, but the Eagles got that
back with two outs in the sixth off Natividad. He replaced
Reeves with one out in the inning and got the second out,
but then Luna tripled and scored when the ball went past new
third baseman Aranda.

The run became earned when Bates followed with a single to
left field. Abila then tripled Bates in and scored on a wild
pitch, while Casillas followed with Pecos' fourth straight
hit, a single to center field, before being picked off first
to retire the side.

The Eagles ended up with nine hits overall against the
Panthers and have now scored at least seven runs in nine of
their 11 games this season. "The kids hit the ball real
well," Williams said. "They hit some shots that were caught,
but overall we hit the ball well.

"We still made several mistakes, and we need to cut down on
those," he added.

Pecos wound up the day by committing seven errors, the same
as they allowed on Saturday, in a 23-7 loss to Lubbock
Cooper. But unlike that game, Rodriguez didn't allow the
Panthers to take advantage of the Eagles' mistakes, allowing
just one extra base hit and walking just one batter over
seven innings.

The win improved Pecos' season record to 7-3-1, while Fort
Stockton fell to 4-7 as both teams prepare for the Midland
Greenwood Tournament starting on Thursday. The Panthers open
against Colorado City while the Eagles begin play at 5:30
p.m. against Abilene Wylie, which won the round-robin
Bluebonnet Tournament in Brownwood last weekend, with a 7-0
victory over the host Lions.

Monahans' six-run seventh does in Pecos

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 17 -- Just in case three straight lopsided wins
to open District 2-4A play may have softened up the Pecos
Eagles softball team a little, the Monahans Loboes gave the
Eagles a better workout Tuesday afternoon before Pecos'
first-place battle with Clint this weekend.

Monahans worked on their bunting in the early innings, but
it was a series of line drive hits in the top of the seventh
that won the game for the Loboes, as they broke a 5-5 tie
and gave them an 11-6 victory over Pecos at Martinez Field.

"That was a good practice game for us. Everybody got a
chance to play," said coach Tammy Walls, whose team won its
first three district games by a combined 44-1 score after
losing at Monahans two weeks ago, 8-1.

This time, things were closer until the Loboes got to
Eagles' pitcher Alexa Marquez for six runs on eight straight
hits in the seventh inning. Kristi Almanza drove in the
go-ahead run with a single to right field, after Pecos had
rallied in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 5-5,
and Julia Graves followed with a double that ended up giving
the Loboes their game-winning run.

"Alexa looked kind of tired out there," said Walls. "We're
going to have a light practice tomorrow (today), and that
should help her."

Marquez, who has pitched the Eagles' last five games, got in
a lot of running off the mound in the early going, as six of
the Loboes' first seven batters attempted bunts, and several
other Monahans players would bunt during the game.

Vicki Lopez reached on a bunt single in the first and scored
when Crystal Sueps hit what appeared to be a foul ball
outside the third base bag, but was ruled fair and wound up
as a double. However, the Eagles got out of trouble when
Marquez, Jessica Rodriguez and Rebecca Wein turned and
Almanza bunt into an inning ending double play at home

"I don't know who much bunting we're going to see in
district, but there's always a good chance we're going to
see it in the playoffs," Walls said.

The Eagles then took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first
off Lee Ann Walker. Rodriguez doubled to left to open the
inning, and Mireya Medrano then blooped a single behind
Sueps at first base to score Rodriguez. she came home on a
passed ball and throwing error by catcher Shayla Terry, and
after a walk to Katrina Quiroz and a double by Wein, Quiroz
came on off a ground out by Ashley Salcido.

Errors by Rodriguez at first and Salcido at second base
allowed the Loboes to cut the lead to 3-2 in the third and
Monahans took a 5-3 lead in the fourth when Wein dropped a
throw home trying to tag out Almanza, after she and Graves
opened the inning with singles. A fielder's choice by Mandy
Fuentes scored Graves and put Monahans ahead, before Amanda
Krone singled to score Abby Romo with the fifth run.

The score stayed 5-3 until the sixth, when Mireya Gomez
walked and after two passed balls by Lopez, scored on Julie
Lujan's ground out. They with two out the Eagles tied the
score, off a single by Quiroz and a pair of errors, first by
Lopez, who threw Wein's tap in front of the plate by first
base, and then by Roberta Chaney, who threw it past third
base trying to get Quiroz, who then scored.

The runs came off Sueps, who ended up getting the victory
thanks to Monahans' seventh inning outburst. Chaney picked
up the save while allowing Pecos' final run in the seventh,
as Salcido walked and scored on a Nicole Payne ground out.

The loss dropped Pecos to 6-5 on the season, but Walls said
she was happy to get in the game, which was a late addition
in the Eagles' schedule.

"I thought Katrina did a really good job at shortstop, and
we had a couple of double plays," she said. "I'm seeing
improvement every ballgame, and that's all I can ask for."

All of the Eagles' remaining regular season games will be
District 2-4A contests, starting this weekend against Clint.
The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday, but
Walls said there's a chance it will be moved up to 4 p.m. on

Elbow surgery ends year for Cubs' Wood

By The Associated Press
MESA, Ariz. -- Something always goes wrong for the Chicago
Cubs, and this year disaster didn't even wait for opening

NL Rookie of the Year Kerry Wood, whose fastball dazzled
fans during his rookie season, will undergo ligament
replacement surgery on his right elbow within two weeks.
Rehabilitation is expected to take about one year.

``Obviously it's a huge loss for us -- the NL Rookie of the
Year and a huge part of our rotation,'' Cubs general manager
Ed Lynch said Wednesday after an MRI in Chicago revealed the

The 21-year-old right-hander has had a tender elbow since
the Cubs drafted him out of high school in June 1995, and he
missed all of last September.

Wood returned to throw five innings in the Cubs' final
playoff game against Atlanta, then was hospitalized twice at
the start of spring training because of an upper respiratory
and gastrointestinal illness. The latest injury occurred
Saturday, on the first warmup pitch of the second inning of
his 1999 debut against Anaheim. He wound up throwing 26
pitches in two innings, the only action he'll see in 1999.

Wood intends to get a second opinion and allow swelling to
subside before going ahead with surgery. Dr. Lewis Yocum,
the Anaheim Angels' team physician, or Dr. James Andrews
most likely will perform a ligament replacement, a procedure
considered radical when Dr. Frank Jobe used it to save Tommy
John's career in 1974, but now commonplace.

``It's too bad for him, too bad for baseball,'' Atlanta
manager Bobby Cox said. ``I don't like to face the guy, but
he's a special, special pitcher. We need those to come along
in the game like that, who really pack them in.''

Meanwhile, Gary Sheffield returned to the Los Angeles
Dodgers camp at Vero Beach, Fla, after taking two days off
to attend to personal matters. He didn't play against the
Florida Marlins due to a sore right shoulder, but threw
lightly and took batting practice before the game.

``We've got to have him healthy,'' manager Davey Johnson
said. ``He's important to this ballclub, not only
physically, but mentally, personally, the whole nine

In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Baltimore Orioles pitcher Juan
Guzman said he won't go to Havana for his team's March 28
exhibition game, the first by a major league team in Cuba in
40 years.

``I have to pitch the day before. I'm not going to go for
one day,'' said Guzman, who lives in Miami, a city with a
heavy Cuban population. He said that wasn't a factor, only
the rotation.

In Tempe, Ariz., Anaheim Angels ace Chuck Finley pitched one
shutout inning in his first appearance of the spring, a 4-3
loss to a Chicago White Sox split squad.

Finley had not pitched previously due to stiffness in his
upper back. He struck out his first two batters before
giving up a single to Jeff Abbott, who stole second before
Paul Konerko grounded out .

``I feel good. I could go out Thursday or Friday. I guess I
just have to get in the flow with everyone else,'' Finley
said. ``I have three weeks to get ready. I have to get my
pitch count up.''

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