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Wednesday, October 13, 1999

Eagles survive in three games again

PECOS, Oct. 13, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles almost got through with a home match in two games Tuesday night, but the did at least end the first-game jinx in their match with the El Paso Mountain View Lobos.

Pecos rallied to beat Mountain View in the opening game by a 13-12 score, and held a 14-10 lead in Game 2 when they let the Lobos score six straight points to earn a 16-14 win. That forced a deciding game for the fourth time in as many District 2-4A home contests this season, but unlike the first three, the Game 2 loser was finally able to come back and win, as the Eagles held off Mountain View by a 15-10 score to win for the fifth time in district matches.

Pecos was able to come back from a 12-6 deficit in the opener and win, as the Eagles were able to take advantage of Mountain View's errors and were able to score points with their leading hitter, Philonicus Fobbs, off the front line. But that wasn't the case in the final two games _ the Eagles' offense died when Fobbs went to the back line at the end of Game 2, and they managed to get the victory in Game 3 just before the junior would have rotated to the back line.

After Dee Dee Molinar scored on a spike of Mountain View's Diana Gonzales to give Pecos a 9-7 lead, Fobbs would have a kill of an overset and a block on Gonzales to widen the margin to 13-7. But the Eagles then struggled, allowing the Lobos to cut the lead to 13-10 before Pecos broke serve and were able to win on a pair of bad relays by Rosalie Loera and Laura Torres.

"Other than Philly we didn't have much," Eagles' coach Becky Granado said. "Ashley (Salcido) was doing a good job, but I cannot get my setters to go back to the girl that's hot. They keep moving the set around and around instead of getting it to her."

"I have to give them credit. They hustled for everything. They had some saves I didn't think they'd get over. But we've got to play better. We had three missed serves at the end (of Game 2), and gave them every opportunity to come back."

The Eagles did benefit several times from ace serves, including two by Salcido to open the match, before Mountain View came back behind kills by Marlene Garcia to grab an 8-3 lead. The Eagles cut that to 8-6 off a block of Garcia by Fobbs and a spike by Salcido, before bad hits by Alexa Marquez and Fobbs, a bad relay by Kalyn Lara and a line violation by Fobbs put the Lobos up by six points.

Salcido had two more aces in Game 2, and Leslie Brown also added an ace serve for the Eagles. Mountain View got one from April Martinez, but overall, serving problems hurt the Lobos on the night.

Tuesday's win improves Pecos' record to 16-9 on the season, and sets up a battle for first place on Saturday against Clint. The Lions won in Pecos last month, and are unbeaten in District 2-4A play, but the Eagles have yet to lose on the road in the El Paso area in the past two seasons, suffering their only other 2-4A defeat at home last year against Fabens.

"I feel like my girls can go over there and beat them." Said Granado. "Either it's going to be a long match, or it will be a short match if we go over there and play like we did tonight."

Pecos also won Tuesday's junior varsity match in three games, 15-4, 13-15, 15-11, while the freshmen swept the Lobos, 15-2, 15-13.

Maddux, Braves stop Mets in opener

ATLANTA, Oct. 13, 1999  (AP) After all the sniping between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, Greg Maddux gave both teams something to agree on that pitching wins in the postseason.

Maddux put an end to the offensive madness that ruled recent playoff games, and the Braves kept on beating New York with a 4-2 victory Tuesday night in the opener of the NL Championship Series.

"What happened last year, the last 10 years, who cares?" Maddux said. "What matters is now."

Of course, pitching has always been the ticket in October. And after Boston and Cleveland combined for 50 runs in two AL playoff games this week, Maddux restored order from the mound.

"We need three more games. We're on the right track so far," Maddux said.

Maddux worked seven innings, allowing only one run against a Mets lineup that once again had Mike Piazza. A day earlier, Maddux admitted he did not know what was being said in the clubs' trash talking he said he was too busy watching "Franklin," a cartoon show about a turtle, with his kids.

"He's Greg Maddux. He doesn't have all those trophies because he's lucky," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "He did a great job."

Maddux, Mike Remlinger and John Rocker combined on a six-hitter as the Braves beat New York for the 10th time in 13 meetings this year. Atlanta, which sent the Mets into a late tailspin that almost cost them the wild-card spot, has defeated them in 14 of the last 15 matchups at Turner Field.

"Better pitching," Mets third baseman Robin Ventura, explaining the disparity.

Piazza came back after missing the final two games of the first-round win over Arizona because of a swollen left thumb. He drove in the Mets' only run against Maddux with a groundout, and finished 0-for-4.

Piazza did not hit the ball out of the infield. The Braves also stole three bases against the All-Star catcher he made a poor throw on one attempt and didn't even make a throw on another.

"It doesn't get any easier for us," Piazza said. "They know it's not going to be an easy series."

A crowd of 44,172 6,000 short of capacity, perhaps held down by an all-day rain that caused a four-minute delay at the start saw Atlanta win the opening game of the NLCS at home.

Every year since 1991, the team that won Game 1 went on to win the NLCS. Atlanta has been in every one of those best-of-7 series.

"It's better to win the first game," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "You like to win the first one."

Game 2 was to be this afternoon, with Kevin Millwood, who pitched a one-hitter against Houston in the opening round, starting for the Braves against Kenny Rogers.

Maddux, a four-time Cy Young winner and a nine-time Gold Glover, gave an all-around performance in improving to 10-9 lifetime in the postseason. He beat the team that got eight straight hits off him Sept. 29 at Shea Stadium, put down a perfect sacrifice bunt and made several nice fielding plays.

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Pecos Enterprise
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