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Wednesday, October 20, 1999

Eagles down Canutillo, clinch playoff spot

Staff Writer
PECOS, Oct. 20, 1999 -- It took the entire District 2-4A schedule to do it, but the Pecos Eagles finally came up with an easy home victory Tuesday night.

Pecos closed out the home portion of their district schedule with a 15-3, 15-9 win over the Canutillo Golden Eagles, a win that clinched a playoff berth for the host Eagle squad.

The Eagles, who had gone three games in all their other home district matches, scored 11 of the final 12 points in Game 1, and outscored Canutillo to close out Game 2 by a 13-1 margin, after falling behind by an 8-3 score.

"It was an easy win. We didn't have to work too hard, but we almost let them get back in it in the second game," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "We finally started settling down and working hard."

Canutillo is to District 2-4A what Big Spring was to the Eagles' old District 4-4A _ the biggest school in the district, but one where basketball plays a bigger role that volleyball. The Golden Eagles were the only team out of the playoff race prior to Tuesday's matches, and their leading hitter _ last year's district MVP in basketball Ale Pineda _ had a rough time dealing with Pecos' Philly Fobbs.

Pineda had just two kills on the night and was blocked once by Fobbs, while hitting several other shots out. Fobbs had two kills for points in the opening game, and two more blocks in Game 2, along with a couple of dinks after a slow start.

"She was just hitting the ball out of bounds. I told her if they're going to score, make them earn the points," Granado said.

Canutillo went up by five off a Pineda serve and spike by Patricia Guzman before the Eagles rallied. A spike by Alexa Marquez off Guzman began an 8-0 run, and the visitors also had problems handling serves by Ashley Salcido. Pecos tied the game on a Marquez kill and got a block and dink from Fobbs to take the lead.

Canutillo would score their final point on a Cynthia Silvas hit, before Pecos closed things out off two dinks by Salcido, a spike by Fobbs and her block of a dink attempt by Stella Alvarez.

The win improved Pecos to 6-2 in district and 17-10 on the season, while Canutillo fell to . Coupled with Clint's win over San Elizario, it assured the Eagles of no worse than a third place finish. However, the Eagles will still have to win their match on Saturday at San Elizario to sew up second place in the 2-4A standings, and then will have to see about the outcome of Mountain View's match with Clint to see if they'll have to make up their canceled Sept. 25 contest with the Lobos in El Paso.

Mountain View eliminated Fabens from the playoff race with a 15-9, 15-5 win on Tuesday, and are a game up on San Elizario for third place in District 2-4A. Wins by both the Eagles and Lobos on Saturday would be the only way to avoid a Monday make-up game, as they would assure Pecos of second place and clinch third for Mountain View.

Pecos' junior varsity and freshmen teams both went three game s with Canutillo on Tuesday. The ninth graders lost by 15-13, 12-15, 15-8 scores, while the JV downed the Golden Eagles, 15-9, 2-15, 15-6.

Mets' miracles end as Braves reach Series

AP Baseball Writer
ATLANTA, Oct. 20, 1999 So much suspense, so much back-and-forth drama and still the whole incredible series the entire season, really came down to a full-count pitch.

"Oh, no!" Mets manager Bobby Valentine shouted, slamming the dugout railing when Kenny Rogers' fastball sailed high and outside.

It was all over. Andruw Jones walked to first base, Gerald Williams trotted home with one out in the 11th inning and the Atlanta Braves beat New York 10-9 Tuesday night to win the NL Championship Series 4-2.

The Atlanta Braves, having derailed the Mets' grand plan for a Subway Series, were headed to the World Series for the fifth time this decade.

Game 1 against the New York Yankees will be Saturday night at Turner Field. It's a rematch of 1996, when the Yankees won in six games.

Five straight one-run games, with an amazing finale. The Braves blowing a 5-0 lead, then the Mets losing one-run leads in the eighth and 10th innings. A sellout crowd of 52,335, including thousands of Mets fans, roaring for 4 1/2 hours.

"It was an extremely stressful week," said Braves reliever John Rocker, who pitched in every game despite being involved in a car crash Monday. "Games hinging on one pitch, night after night after night."

After the Mets' 4-3, 15-inning win Sunday at Shea Stadium, the teams came back to play one of the most thrilling postseason games ever.

"We had chances to die and we didn't," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "There's more than one way to win a ballgame."

The Mets nearly became the first team in postseason history to win three games in a row after losing the first three.

The Mets overcame a 5-0 deficit in the first inning, getting a big home run by Mike Piazza to make it 7-all in the seventh. But they could not hold on in the later innings.

"I told them they played like champions," Valentine said. "We don't have a trophy, but they did everything they had to."

The Mets took a 9-8 lead on Todd Pratt's sacrifice fly in the 10th off Rocker at exactly the stroke of midnight.

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Pecos Enterprise
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