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Monday, May 10, 1999

Eagles rout Bucks, set playoff site

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 10 -- It was "underclassmen night" on the pitching mound Friday night, as the Pecos Eagles and the Alpine Bucks tuned up for playoff competition with the first of two practice games.

That was better news for the Eagles than it was for the Bucks, who were hammered by Pecos, 11-3 at Eagle Field. But Alpine coach Mike Pallanez can be expected to pitch senior Adam Llanez tonight, when the teams meet at Kokernot Field starting at 7 p.m.

Llanez led the Bucks to a 20-2 regular season record and a No. 7 ranking in Class 3A. He pitched two innings of scoreless relief against Pecos back on March 4, in the Bucks' 6-5 win over the Eagles, and should work at least a couple of innings tonight.

Eagles' coach Bubba Williams plans to used senior Louis Valencia, the only pitcher not to see action on Friday, most of the way tonight, after going with a trio of pitchers on Friday who allowed Alpine just three hits.

Junior Oscar Rodriguez started and allowed one run in two innings of work, while Pifi Montoya surrendered two runs on a Patrick O'Toole homer in his first inning of work, then shut down the Bucks over the next two innings. Junior Josh Casillas closed out the game with two more scoreless innings.

O'Toole's homer gave Alpine a 3-1 lead at the time, but Montoya would pick up the victory when Pecos scored six times in their half of the third inning off new pitcher Omar Monclova. Pecos then added a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings off Aguiles Gonzales and Brian Portillo.

"The kids right now are playing a good caliber of ball," said Williams of Pecos' 12th straight victory. "We've got three kids pitching good out there, and we're hitting the ball."

Montoya actually pitched better than he did in the Eagles' 11-0 win over San Elizario to close out regular season play, despite allowing O'Toole's homer. The sophomore threw a one-hitter but walked eight in five innings that day Ï this time, a two-out walk to Llanez did hurt when O'Toole hit his homer, but he came back to strike out Portillo, then recovered to retire the side after allowing the leadoff runner in the fourth and fifth innings.

"Pifi had his knuckle-curve working good tonight. He did a good job out there," Williams said.

Rodriguez also had his curveball working well in his two innings on the mound, but just as in his last start, a 4-1 win over Canutillo, he had a little too much drop in the ball a couple of times. Rodriguez had five strikeouts in two innings, but bounced two curves past Mark Abila to allow Portillo to score after a leadoff single in the second inning.

That tied the game at 1-1 after Pecos scored in the first inning off starter Buster Winn. Oscar Luna led off with a double down the line in left and scored on John Gutierrez' two-out single off the fence in right-center field.

Winn, who earned the victory over Pecos back on March 4, retired the Eagles in order in the second, but Pecos got to Monclova as soon as he arrived on the mound, and were helped out by a couple of Alpine errors.

Ricky Herrera greeted the sidearmer with a single to left, and after Luna's foul pop-up to first base was dropped by Portillo he tripled to the gap in right-center to make it 3-2. Mason Abila's ground out to second tied the score and after Casillas singled and Gutierrez struck out, Kevin Bates reached when Julian Molinar booted his shot to third.

Luis Salgado put the Eagles ahead 4-3 with a single to left field, and Bates then scored on a wild pitch by Monclova. Mark Abila's infield hit scored Salgado for a 6-3 lead, and after Abila stole second Orlando Lara brought him home with a single down the line in left.

Lara ended up being thrown out at home plate to end the inning, and being thrown out of the game for colliding with catcher David Evans. That brought Valencia -- the Eagles' regular second baseman -- into the game, and he would be thrown out at home trying to circle the bases in the fifth, after Conrad Arriola misplayed his single to right field.

The play did score Bates and Salgado, who opened the fifth with singles off Gonzales, and in the sixth the Eagles added two more runs off Portillo, on singles by Casillas and Alex Garcia, a passed ball by Josh Lujan and a ground out by Bates.

Pecos' 12th straight wins is their best since 1988, when they won 11 straight games before losing to Hereford in the bi-district round of the playoffs. The Eagles have only been back to post-season twice since then, and Friday's area round opener against Plainview will be their first post-season game since 1991.

"The kids on the bench are stepping up and doing their jobs and not complaining. There's no jealousy on the team," Williams said. "The kids know it's a team effort, that's why they're 10-0 in district."

Williams said today that the best-of-three series with Plainview would begin Friday at Howard College's Jack Butler Field in Big Spring. The first game will start at 5 p.m., with Game 2 set for 1 p.m. Saturday and Game 3, if neccessary, at about 3:30 p.m.

Plainview, the District 4-4A third place team, swept District 3-4A runner-up Dumas in their bi-district series over the weekend, winning 4-0 on Friday and 11-5 on Saturday. The Bulldogs, 17-11, scored three times in the fifth inning on Friday to back the two hit pitching of newly-eligible Tony Armendariz, then scored eight times with two outs in the fifth inning on Saturday, rallying from a 5-0 deficit with 11 unanswered runs.

Meanwhile, the bi-district games involving the Eagles' 2-4A rivals went about as expected. Second place Clint swept El Paso Burges by 10-5 and 4-3 scores, while third place finisher Fabens were routed by El Paso Riverside, 13-2 and 16-1. Clint will now face District 3-4A champion Pampa in the area round of the playoffs.



ab r h bi ab r h bi
Yrbrgh cf 3 0 0 0 Luna cf 4 2 3 1
Roman cf 0 0 0 0 Ma.Abila lf 2 0 0 1
Llanez 2b 2 1 0 0 Florez lf 1 0 0 0
N.Gnzlz 2b 0 0 0 0 O.Rdguz p 0 0 0 0
O.Toole ss 2 1 1 2 Montoya p 0 0 0 0
Vlnzula ss 1 0 0 0 Cslls dh-p 3 0 2 0
Prtllo 1b-p 2 1 1 0 H.Grcia pr 0 2 0 0
A.Gnzlz p 1 0 0 0 Mrtnz ph 1 0 0 0
McBrde lf 1 0 0 0 Gutrrz 1b 3 0 1 1
L.Gnzlz lf 1 0 0 0 A.Grcia 1b 1 1 1 0
Molnr 3b-c 1 0 1 0 Bates rf 4 2 1 1
Lujan c 1 0 0 0 Salgado ss 4 2 2 1
Mata rf 2 0 0 0 H.Grcia ss 0 0 0 0
Arriola rf 1 0 0 0 Mk.Abila c 3 1 1 1
Winn p 0 0 0 0 Lara 2b 2 0 1 1
Monclova p 0 0 0 0 Valencia 2b 1 0 1 1
DRgz dh-1b 2 0 0 0 Herrera 3b 3 1 2 1
Holguin ph 1 0 0 0
Evans c-3b 1 0 0 0

Totals 22 3 3 2 Totals 32 11 15 8

Alpine 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 -- 3
Pecos 1 0 6 0 2 2 x --11
E -- Portillo, Molinar, McBride, O'Toole, Arriola, Valencia.
DP -- Alpine 1. LOB -- Alpine 2, Pecos 4. 2B -- Luna. 3B -- Luna.
HR -- O.Toole. S -- Molinar.
SB -- Llanez, Mk. Abila, Evans, Herrera. CS -- Lara, J. Lujan.

Winn 2 2 1 1 0 4
Monclova L 2 7 6 1 0 1
A.Gonzales 1 4 2 2 0 0
Portillo 1 2 2 1 0 0

O.Rodriguez 2 2 1 1 0 5
Montoya W, 3-1 3 1 2 2 2 4
Casillas 2 0 0 0 0 3
HBP -- McBride by Montoya, Mk. Abila by Monclova.
WP -- O. Rodriguez 2, Monclova.
PB -- J. Lujan.
T -- 1:54.

Lakers block Rockets; Flordia teams flop By CHRIS SHERIDAN
AP Basketball Writer
INGLEWOOD, Calif., May 10 -- Credit the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets for coming up with the only nugget in the opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.

And credit the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers for going down to Florida and crushing the favored home teams.

As for everyone else, at least they have a chance to redeem themselves in the next couple of days. Perhaps they'll even come up with a few compelling finishes after playing eight games over the first 48 hours in which the average margin of victory was 16.3 points.

``Terrible, with a capital T,'' Miami center Alonzo Mourning said Sunday after two hours of watching film of Miami's 95-75 loss to the New York Knicks in the opener of their first-round series. ``We just didn't look like a professional basketball team.''

Nor, at times, did the Suns, Kings, Pistons, Magic, Timberwolves and Bucks.

Saturday was a day of double-digit victories. Portland beat Phoenix 95-85, Utah crushed Sacramento 117-87 and Atlanta topped Detroit 90-70. On Sunday, Philadelphia defeated Orlando 104-90, San Antonio downed Minnesota 99-86, the Lakers nipped the Rockets 101-100 and Indiana crushed Milwaukee 110-88.

Only the Rockets will go through their off day agonizing over a close loss.

Two clutch defensive plays -- a block by Shaquille O'Neal and a pounce by Derek Fisher -- lifted the Lakers to victory.

O'Neal blocked rookie Cuttino Mobley's layup attempt from behind at the final buzzer, and Fisher had 20 points, six assists, three steals and one crucial recovery of a loose ball that set up the winning points.

``When it comes down to it in the playoffs, you get the wins at the defensive end,'' said Lakers forward Glen Rice, who scored a game-high 29 points.

Charles Barkley scored 12 of his 25 points in the final period and also had 10 rebounds for Houston. Hakeem Olajuwon, hampered by foul problems, had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Scottie Pippen had 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

76ers 104, Magic 90

At Orlando, Allen Iverson scored 30 points in the first NBA playoff game of his career, and center Matt Geiger scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and led an 11-0 run that Philadelphia used to pull away for good.

Spurs 99, Timberwolves 86

At San Antonio, Tim Duncan dominated for the Spurs once again, scoring 26 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and leading San Antonio past Minnesota in Game 1.

The Timberwolves kept the contest close until the fourth quarter, when San Antonio opened a comfortable double-digit lead with the Alamodome crowd shouting ``M-V-P, M-V-P'' for Tim Duncan, who had 26 points and 12 rebounds.

Pacers 110, Bucks 88

At Indianapolis, reserve Jalen Rose scored a playoff career-high 24 points, including 17 in the second quarter.

Indiana held off a third quarter surge by Milwaukee, which reduced a 14-point halftime deficit to six late in the quarter. The Pacers responded by taking a 20-point lead several times in the fourth quarter.


Knicks 95, Heat 75

At Miami, Allan Houston sparked a fast start by the Knicks, who built a 17-point halftime lead and routed Miami.

Trail Blazers 95, Suns 85

At Portland, Isaiah Rider scored 25 points and the Blazers pulled away in the latter part of the fourth quarter.

Jazz 117, Kings 87

At Salt Lake City, Karl Malone scored 21 points and Jeff Hornacek added 18 as the Jazz jumped to a 23-point first-half lead and trounced the Kings.

Hawks 90, Pistons 70

At Atlanta, Steve Smith led the Hawks with 19 points, while Dikembe Mutombo had a dominating game with 17 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks.

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Pecos Enterprise
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