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Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Eagles struggle past San Elizario

Staff Writer
PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles' match against the San Elizario Eagles on Tuesday was both harder and easier than last year's homecourt win at the Pecos High School gym. But there was no doubt that until the very end, it wasn't a very impressive performance.

Pecos dropped their opening match to San Elizario by a 15-13 score, and then almost blew a 14-10 lead in the second game before escaping with an 18-16 victory. Things went a lot better in Game 3, as Pecos jumped ahead by a 6-1 score and after seeing that margin cut to two, pulled away at the finish for a 15-7 victory.

"We finally got excited, but it took 2½ games to get excited," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado, who team continued to play poorer at home in District 2-4A than on the road. The Eagles lost their district home opener for the second year in a row last Tuesday, and last season had to struggle to win in three games over San Elizario, after blowing out the visiting Eagles in Game 1 that night.

This time, San Elizario simply kept hitting the ball back to Pecos and waiting for the Eagles to make mistakes to get the bulk of their points. The visiting Eagles earned only four of their 15 points in the opening game, but three of those came at the end after the host Eagles took a 13-11 lead. An ace by Kathy Flores and a spike by Rosario Flores tied it, while a spike by Ana Morales ended things after Dee Dee Molinar was called for an illegal set.

Rosario Flores and Valerie Soto then had kills in the second games, as San Elizario jumped out to a 4-0 lead. A series of spikes by Philly Fobbs helped Pecos get back into the game, eventually tying the score at 7-all. An ace by Ashley Salcido and a Alexa Marquez spike would eventually help Pecos grab 12-8 and 14-10 leads, before the wheels fell off the Eagles' attack.

The Eagles missed five game points, allowing San Elizario to finally tie the score on a Fran Martinez hit. Pecos would then go up 15-14 and 16-15 but again, couldn't come up with a clinching point until a kill by Salcido put the Eagles up 17-16 and Fobbs finished it off by spiking a San Elizario overset.

Dinks as much as spikes helped Pecos finally finish things off in Game 3, as the Eagles started finding openings with some soft shots, after failing to connect on harder shots many times in the opening games.

"They were playing their defense back, and we didn't adjust to it. We kept hitting the ball out or right to them," Granado said. "I kept telling them to adjust to it, but they still wouldn't do it until the end.

Fobbs had a couple of dinks for points in Game 3, as the Eagles jumped ahead early, and Pecos also benefited from San Elizario's errors, as the visitors began to tire and couldn't take advantage of their quickness. Fobbs, Molinar and Amy Chabarria all scored off serves, while the Eagles did get a couple of kills for points as well, from Molinar and Fobbs.

"I think all our players had their moments, and it's good to see that, but I would just like to see them all have moments at the same time," Granado said.

The win lifts Pecos to 14-9 on the season and 3-1 in district, while San Elizario falls to 2-3 and 15-14 overall. Pecos also won Tuesday's junior varsity match, 15-9, 15-13, while San Elizario defeated the Eagles' freshmen, 15-10, 15-7.

Tuesday's game was the first of three straight at home for the Eagles. They'll host Fabens at 3 p.m. Friday, in a game moved up a day due to SAT testing on Saturday.

Netters improve in lost to Monahans

PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles' tennis team took a break from District 2-4A play on Tuesday and picked up a couple of wins on the boys side -- something they hadn't been able to do in their last few matches -- though overall they still came up short against the Monahans Loboes.

The Eagles lost at home to Monahans by an 11-7 final score, in an abbreviated contest that involved mostly pro-set matches. The Loboes won six of 11 matches played on the girls side, and took five of the seven boys singles and doubles matches, but that was two more than on Saturday, in their district-opening loss to Clint.

"I think our team is gaining the experience we need on the boys' side," said Eagles' coach Bernadette Ornelas. "We should have a competitive match this Saturday against Fabens."

Jay Dannelley won a shortened 6-0 decision over Quaid Ledingham in singles play, while Jerry Orona and Ben Hernandez defeated Matt Laws and Scott Pitchard, 8-5 in doubles play.

On the girls' side, Vanessa Miranda, Tiffany Jarrett and Rachel Pharoah won both their singles and doubles matches. Miranda and Pharoah were teamed for a 6-3, 7-5 win over Audrey Sanders and Grace Hawkins, while Jarrett and Teresa Minjarez defeated Tarrah Oliver and Lynsey Stout, 6-4, 6-1.

Saturday's 1 p.m. match against Fabens will be the only home district contest of the season for Pecos. They'll play at El Paso Mountain View on Oct. 16, and then go to San Elizario for the District 2-4A tournament on Oct. 22-23.

Monahans (11) at Pecos (7)

Boys Singles

Jay Dannelley defeated Quaid Ledingham, 6-0; Jerry Orona lost to Aaron Saunders, 7-5; Michael Tremble lost to Jared Atchison, 6-3; Ben Herenandez lost to Matt Laws, 6-4.

Girls Singles

Teresa Minjarez lost to Tarrah Oliver, 8-6; Vanessa Miranda defeated Lynsey Stout, 8-4; Rachel Pharoah defeated Audrey Sanders, 8-4; Tiffany Jarrett defeated Grace Hawkins, 8-5; Kristina Dominguez lost to Ashley Nance, 8-2; Sara Metler lost to Nance, 8-2; Carolina Esquivel lost to Oliver, 6-0; Amanda Fleming lost to Sanders, 6-0; Beatrice Villarreal lost to Hawkins, 6-3.

Boys Doubles

Dannelley and Tremble lost to Ledingham and Turner, 7-6, 4-6 ,7-5; Orona and Hernandez lost to Sanders and Atkinson, 6-4, 6-3; Orona and Hernandez defeated Laws and Pritchard, 8-5.

Girls Doubles

Minjarez and Jarrett defeated Oliver and Stout, 6-4, 6-1; Miranda and Pharoah defeated Sanders and Hawkins, 6-3, 7-5.

Hernandez Yanks blank Rangers, 6-0


AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 1999 Maybe the New York Yankees are as good as they were last year after all.

And maybe the Texas Rangers won't ever beat them in the playoffs or even score another run against them.

The way Orlando Hernandez pitched and Bernie Williams hit in the opener, it sure looks like the Yankees will finish off the Rangers pretty quickly.


"What happened tonight was the exception rather than the rule," Williams said Tuesday night after his six RBIs helped New York to an 8-0 win in the opener of the best-of-5 series.

Actually, Bernie, when the Yankees play the Rangers, it is the rule.

Texas is scoreless in its last 22 innings in the playoffs and has one run in its last 42 postseason innings in the playoffs, all against the Yankees. The Rangers have lost seven straight postseason games since beating the Yankees in the their first one, in 1996.

"I don't care Yankee Stadium, Yellowstone Park, it doesn't matter. We can score more runs than this by accident," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said.

Hernandez allowed two hits in eight innings, improving to 3-0 with an 0.41 ERA in postseason play.

"I always pitch well with pressure," he said. "I like to have pressure when I pitch."

Texas mounted its best threat in the first inning, loading the bases on a one-out double by Ivan Rodriguez and walks to Rusty Greer and Rafael Palmeiro.

After that, Hernandez allowed only a single by Rodriguez in the third.

It was reminiscent of his first playoff start, when the Yankees were trailing Cleveland 2 games to 1 in last year's championship series. "El Duque" got into a two-out jam in the first, retired Jim Thome on a flyout to the right-field warning track, then blanked the Indians through seven innings.

"He was in control," catcher Jorge Posada said. "Everything was low in the zone. The fastball was jumping out of his hand. Today he was very intense, very aggressive. He was awesome."

Astros beat Braves, Maddux in opener

ATLANTA, Oct. 6, 1999 (AP) Everything worked out just fine for the Houston Astros.

After a frantic end to the regular season and beyond the Astros appeared to be a thoroughly relaxed team in Game 1 of the NL division series against the rested Atlanta Braves.

Daryle Ward hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth off Greg Maddux, and Braves-killer Ken Caminiti clinched it with a three-run shot in the ninth as the Astros defeated Atlanta 6-1 Tuesday, claiming home-field advantage in the best-of-5 series.

"We got here late, went to sleep, got up and came back out here again," Houston manager Larry Dierker said. "This way, there wasn't much time to think about anything."

The Astros were a clear underdog against the powerful Braves, who won six of seven meetings during the regular season. Houston lost nine of its last 15 games, going to the final day before clinching its third straight Central title.

Even then, the Astros did not know where they would be playing until Monday night. They left for the airport with the possibility of either Atlanta or Arizona; when the Mets beat Cincinnati 5-0 in a wild-card playoff, Houston's chartered plane headed east.

"That is kind of mind-boggling," Ward said. "I think I fell asleep, so I just forgot about all of it."

Atlanta clinched its division with a week to go, winning 11 of its last 13 games to finish with a major league-high 103 wins. But the Braves have been this route before: eight straight playoff appearances have produced only one World Series title.

Now, they've got to win three of the next four games against Houston just to advance to the next round. Game 2 is today at Turner Field.

"The noose tightens a little quicker in the short series," Chipper Jones said. "It's important for us all to bring our `A' games to the ballpark."

The Astros sealed the victory in the ninth with four runs against reliever Mike Remlinger. Carl Everett had a sacrifice fly before Caminiti haunted the Braves again.

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