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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Wednesday, July 7, 1999

Pecos teams stay alive with road victories

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 7, 1999 -- The "Anyplace-but-Pecos Tour" continued its successful run for Pecos' All-Star baseball teams on Tuesday, as both the 9-10 and 11-12 year old teams kept their seasons alive with a pair of out-of-town victories.

Playing in the loser's bracket of the double-elimination District 4 Tournament, the two teams both scored wins over San Angelo Western on Tuesday. The 9-10 year olds rallied from a 7-3 deficit with a 10-run fifth inning in Crane to beat Western by a 13-9 score, while the 11-12 year olds stayed alive with a 6-2 victory over Western in Big Lake, and will face Crane in Crane at 6 p.m. today.

Also playing tonight will be Pecos' Junior Leaguers, who won their tournament opener in Crane against San Angelo Lake View last Saturday, 20-5. They'll face Tri-County in Christoval at 6 p.m., while Pecos' Senior League team will face Tri-County on Thursday in Crane, also at 6 p.m.

Tuesday's games and five other games over the past five days were neutral site contests because District 4 decided that all games between Pecos and San Angelo teams would be held either in Crane or Big Lake this season. So far that's worked out fine for Pecos Ï they're 7-0 in those two towns, while suffering their only tournament losses in their only two home games, against Sonora and Crane.

The 9-10 year olds dropped an 18-8 decision to Crane on Monday, and for a while had the same problems in their game against Western. A lack of hard hits combined with walks and defensive lapses left them five outs from elimination when Western's defense suddenly fell apart, committing eight errors in the inning.

After Cody Hernandez grounded out to shortstop Blake McCarthy, Adrian Solis reached on an error by the shortstop and scored when third baseman Zachary McCormick threw away Markey Sotelo's grounder. A walk by pitcher Preston Mendoza to Chris Garnto followed and then Isiah Rayos singled home Sotelo, with Garnto scoring as center fielder Ethan Reed misplayed the ball.

Pecos then tied the game when McCormick threw away John Paul Salcido's grounder and took the lead when Reed dropped Gerald Saenz' fly ball. Boni Garcia then blooped a single to center, and Saenz scored when McCormick couldn't field Robert Nunez' hard grounder. Hernandez then grounded to McCarthy for the second time in the inning, but he dropped the ball while trying to tag out Nunez, as Garcia scored.

Solis followed with an RBI single that chased Mendoza from the mound, but when McCormick came on an got Sotelo to ground to shortstop, Western forgot how many outs there were, as both Hernandez and Solis came around to score the ninth and 10th runs of the inning.

Meanwhile, Nunez went the distance, surviving some control problems and some mental errors on the infield to get the win.

He struck out the side in the first inning, but allowed three runs in the second and four in the third. Two walks and a Jonathan McClellan triple cost Nunez in the second inning, as it scored two runs, while McClellan doubled home two more in the fourth, after three walks, an error and a late throw home by Nunez on a McCarthy squeeze bunt gave Western a 5-3 lead.

Nunez would walk in a run in the fifth before getting out of a jam, and wild pitched one home in the sixth before striking out Chad Meeks and Andrew Terry to end the game.

"We can still play a lot better than we did today," said manager Jesse Rayos. "(Hitting is) what we need right now. We're just in one of those slumps right now."

The 9-10 year olds will now wait to see who their opponent on Thursday will be. Pecos will either play at home against Ballinger or back in Crane against San Angelo Northern, starting at 6 p.m.

Pecos' Little Leaguers will be playing their third game in as many nights when they face Crane this evening, while the Junior League's game tonight will be only their second of the tournament.

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Pecos Enterprise
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