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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, July 8, 2005

Pecos looks to get second LL team to sectionals

The Pecos 11-year-old Little League All-Stars will be heading to Fort Stockton next week, while Pecos’ 12-year-old All-Stars were trying to get out of Fort Stockton on Thursday by earning a trip to Lubbock as District 37 champions.

The 11-year-olds captured the first-ever District 37 title in the first-ever tournament for 11-year-old all-star teams on Tuesday in Pecos, as they shut out Monahans by a 3-0 final score. Meanwhile, Pecos’ 12-year-olds were looking to clinch the title in their division and advance to sectional play with a win on Thursday evening against the host Fort Stockton squad.

The teams were scheduled to play at 6 p.m., with Pecos needing only one victory to claim the District 37 championship. If Fort Stockton wins, the teams would play a deciding game in the double-elimination tourney, starting about 8:15 p.m.

Jesus Salgado, who allowed only a two-run home run last Friday in Pecos 3-2 win over Monahans, fared even better in the rematch, surrendering just a leadoff infield single in the fifth inning while striking out 10 batters. Meanwhile, Pecos took advantage of some errors by Monahans in the first two innings to score all of their runs off pitcher Ricky Robledo, who gave up seven hits while striking out two batters.

“Once we challenged them defensively, they kind of collapsed,” said manager Vaughn Garnto. “Our defense was good. We only gave up two runs in the tournament.”

Mark Quintana doubled to open the bottom of the first inning off Robledo, and went to third when Andrew Whisnaud bobbled Brandon Garnto’s grounder to shortstop. Quintana then scored on a ground out by Annalee Rodriguez, and Garnto came home when Joel Marquez misplayed Israel Espudo’s two-out grounder to second base.

In the second inning, C.J. Gomez reached base on a bunt single to open things up, then scored from first when third baseman Daniel Barnes threw away Josh Hernandez’s sacrifice bunt attempt. Hernandez tried to circle the bases after the throw home on Gomez got past catcher Brandon Jones, but he was able to recover in time to get the ball back to Robledo, who tagged Hernandez out.

Pecos would collect two more singles in the inning with two out, then loaded the bases with two away in the third inning, but both times were unable to add onto their lead over Monahans.

Meanwhile, Salgado handled Monahans’ hitters with few problems. He didn’t allow a runner past second base in the game, fanning Robledo with two outs in the first after a walk and passed ball put Whisnaud on second base, and retiring 11 batters in a row until Jones beat out an infield single to shortstop in the fifth inning.

Jones never got past first, as Salgado struck out two of the next three batters, then retired the side in order in the sixth inning to clinch the victory and the district title.

For many of the 11-year-olds, this was their second district title in as many years. Playing on the 9-10 year-old All-Star team last season, they took the District 4 title, though they were beaten in two games in sectional play at Carlsbad, northeast of San Angelo. Pecos was the “host:” team for the sectionals a year ago, even though all their tournament games were played in the San Angelo area.

This time, after taking the District 37 crown, Pecos again will be the host team for the sectionals, and will play the winner out of their former district on Monday night, in the sectional tournament’s opening round at the Fort Stockton Little League field.

“I’m just happy to be going down there, and we’ll just see what happens next week,” Vaughn Garnto said.

The winner of the 12-year-old Little League title will face either the host team from the Lubbock area or the representative from District 1 (Amarillo) in their sectional tournament on July 14. District 37 drew a first round bye for the tournament, which starts next Wednesday at the Lubbock Western Little League complex.

Pecos was trying to get their second win of the tournament over Fort Stockton on Thursday night to earn the Little League its second title in a row. Pecos’ 11-12 year old team claimed last year’s District 4 championship and a trip to the sectionals.

Coach Pablo Briones said either Joel Chavez or Arthur Navarette would probably start Thursday’s game against Fort Stockton. Pecos defeated Fort Stockton last Saturday by an 11-5 score, around shutout victories over Martin County and Coahoma last Friday and this past Monday.

Manager Rene Rayos said Fort Stockton advanced to the tournament finals on Wednesday evening with a 6-2 victory over Coahoma.

Tuesday losses end season for 9-10, 13-14 All-Stars

Seasons came to an end for two Pecos youth baseball teams on Tuesday, as the 9-10 year old Little League All-Stars and the Junior League All-Stars were eliminated from District 37 play in Monahans and Fort Stockton.

The 9-10 year-olds fell by a 6-1 score to Greenwood in their game at Monahans, while the 13-14 year olds were beaten by Monahans in Fort Stockton, by a 14-3 final score. Pecos had opened the 9-10 year old tournament on June 30 with a 5-0 win over Greenwood, but were unable to score a second win, following an 8-7 victory over Martin County last Friday and an 11-2 loss to Coahoma on Monday, which dropped them into the elimination bracket.

“We just couldn’t hit. That’s what happened in the last game (against Coahoma) too,” said manager Pete Garcia. “We had them on base, but we just couldn’t get the hit when we needed to.”

Geronimo Ornelas, who shut out Greenwood in the tournament opener, went the distance again on Tuesday and took the loss. “We made a couple of errors out in the outfield, and we just didn’t hit the ball,” Garcia said. “You know how it is in baseball - if you don’t hit the ball, you don’t win.”

The Junior Leaguers had lost their first round game in Fort Stockton to the host team by a 5-1 score, and then defeated Coahoma 20-1 before winning by forfeit over Trans-Pecos (Iraan-McCamey). On Tuesday, coach Tony Reyes said they got ahead of Monahans at the outset, but stopped hitting after that.

“We were up 1-0 but then after a while we just started leaving guys on base, and then they took over,” he said. Monahans would jump ahead by a 5-1 score, and while Pecos did cut that down to 5-3 by the fifth inning, Monahans blew the game open after that. Pecos used three pitchers in the game, with starter Osber Saenz taking the loss for the Junior Leaguers.

Pecos’ Senior League All-Stars saw their season end on Monday with a loss to Fort Stockton at the Pecos High School baseball field. Pecos earlier had defeated Trans-Pecos and then fell to Monahans, which won the District 37 title on Tuesday night with a 12-4 win over Fort Stockton. The victory advanced Monahans to sectional play, scheduled next week in Midland.

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