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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Eagles end long break with Presidio trip

Pecos Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls is happy that her team will finally get back into action on Tuesday, when the Eagles travel south to Presidio to take on the Blue Devils.

“I hated this break,” said Walls, who has been working her team out since their last game, a 6-1 loss on March 18 against Monahans. “We practiced Thursday, but I gave them Friday off.”

Pecos was supposed to have two games last week, but their March 22 non-district game against Marfa was cancelled, and their game scheduled for this past Thursday at Greenwood was changed to April 9, to avoid a conflict with Greenwood’s one-act play performance.

Greenwood took over sole possession of first place in the District 3-3A standings, with a 2-1 win last Tuesday over Monahans. Meanwhile, Pecos is 2-2 in district and in fourth place in the district standings, with their hopes for a sixth post-season trip in the past seven years probably hinging on their games on April 8 at Fort Stockton and the following day against Greenwood.

Tuesday’s game originally was to have been the final game of the first half of district play for Pecos. It is the halfway point for Presidio, which comes in with an 0-5 mark, after going winless in district play for each of the past two seasons.

“Hopefully they won’t surprise us and we’ll be ready to hit,” Walls said. The Eagles were no-hit in their loss to Monahans, but have beaten Presidio under the 10-run rule in all four of their district games over the past two seasons.

Following Tuesday’s game the Eagles host Lamesa on Friday, then play their next four district games on the road, beginning with an April 5 trip to Seminole.

Eagles’ bats remain silent in 2nd straight shutout loss

Staff Writer

The bats woke up late for the Pecos Eagles during the first week of District 3-3A baseball, but still in time to produce a pair of home wins. But during the second week of district play, the Eagles’ hitting never woke up, and the result on Thursday was their second shutout loss in three days.

The Greenwood Rangers, who had allowed over 30 runs in their first two district games, used the two-hit pitching of Dallas Golden to shut down Pecos, while the Rangers took advantage of a mental mistake in the first inning by the Eagles to score what turned out to be the only runs of the game, as Greenwood picked up their first district win by a 2-0 final score.

“We’re just not very good right now,” said a dejected coach Elias Payan, whose team now has to travel south to face first-place Presidio on Tuesday night, in a 7 p.m. start. The Blue Devils edged out Pecos for the district title last season and have lost only one game, on a tiebreaker, to Crane so far in 2005. Thursday’s loss by Pecos equaled their district loss total for all of last season.

The Eagles had been one-hit last Tuesday by Seminole’s Trey Curiel in a five-inning, 10-0 loss to the Indians. On Thursday, Golden allowed only a bloop single by Isaiah Rayos with two outs in the first inning, and a single to left with two outs in the seventh by Jose Chavez, the only Pecos hitter not to strike out on the night, aside from pinch-hitter Javier Mendoza, who walked just prior to Chavez’ hit. But he then came back to fan Eddie Vela, for the last of his 14 strikeouts on the night, to seal the victory.

“They had just an average pitcher, and he struck 14 of us out. We’ve got a long ways to go,” Payan said. “We’ve got zero confidence at the plate right now. We had opportunities, but we can’t take advantage.”

Unlike their previous two district home games, when the Eagles won despite leaving the bases loaded in the early innings, this time, their missed chance in the second inning against Golden would be their only serious scoring opportunity of the night. He walked Robert Nunez and Chris Garnto, then hit Miguel Estrada with a pitch to load the bases with none out. But he then came back to strike out Kenny Rayos and Luis Licon, then got Chavez to ground to shortstop Logan Bowcom to end the inning.

The Eagles did get a lead runner on one more time, when Bowcom couldn’t handle Kerry Rayos’ high pop up to start the fifth inning. But he again came back to fan Licon, and got Chavez on a grounder, then ended the inning when Vela grounded to shortstop.

Greenwood missed their share of scoring chances as well, but were able to capitalize in the first inning against Nunez, who started after pitching the final two innings at Seminole last Tuesday.

David Hill greeted him in the first inning by doubling on a 0-2 pitch, and then with one away Todd Bunch reached on a passed ball third strike by Garnto, as the Eagles’ catcher elected to try and throw Hill out at third base. He beat the throw and after Nunez got A.J. McCullough to bounce to third base, Bryce Williams found a hole between third base and shortstop for a single, scoring Hill and courtesy runner Tino Flores.

Nunez then walked the bases loaded, but got Golden to ground into a force play to end the inning. He gave up a single to Hill in the second, but got Bowcom to ground into a double play to end the inning, and in the third survived a walk and an error to get out of trouble.

Vela, who started and took the loss on Tuesday, replaced Nunez on the mound in fourth and had his own share of escapes. Chad Caver doubled and went to third with one out when Jonathan Garcia missed the ball in right-center field, and Hill then reached when Estrada and Isaiah Rayos couldn’t field his bouncer to the left of the mound. But he came back to get Bowcom and McCullough to keep the game at 2-0, and in the top of the seventh after the first two Greenwood runners reached base, Vela turned a double play on a soft line drive by Williams back to the mound, and Nunez, now in left field, threw out Flores trying to score from second on Colton Wilbur’s single.

Nunez took the loss and is 0-2 on the season, while the Eagles fell to 7-10 and 2-2 in district. Greenwood improved to 1-2 in district play. Tuesday’s game is the only district contest for Pecos this week. They’ll play a non-district game against Kermit on Friday.

Greenwood 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 2 6 1 Pecos 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 0 2 3 Golden and Bunch. Nunez, Vela (4) and Garnto. W - Golden. L - Nunez. E - Greenwood, Bowcom. Pecos, Estrada 2, Garcia. DP - Pecos 2. LOB - Greenwood 10, Pecos 8. 2B - Greenwood, Hill, Caver. SB - Greenwood, Flores. Pecos, Nunez. HBP - Estrada by Golden. PB - Greenwood, Bunch. Pecos, Garnto.

Pecos finds gold medals in dark at McCamey

There were some dark times for the Pecos Eagles’ track team on Thursday night in McCamey - but the same thing was true for all the other teams competing at the Badger Relays.

“We ran in the dark basically because the lights didn’t come on,” said Eagles’ coach John Fellows about the running finals of the meet. “They want out to turn the lights on, and it popped.”

Fellows said McCamey officials at first talked about canceling the second half of the running finals, but eventually continued with the meet, which was won by Iraan’s boys and McCamey’s girls. Iraan finished with 147 points, with the Eagles and Badgers tying for second with 92 points, while McCamey’s girls scored 127 points, with Pecos finishing fifth with 62 points. Overall, the Eagles finished with seven gold medals at the meet, which was held Thursday due to the Good Friday holiday.

The Eagle boys ended up with six of the gold medals, which included three firsts in the running events and three more in the field events. Rashad Terry had three of the first place finishes, in the high jump and later in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, while also placing first along with Pete Juarez, Larry Johnson and Ricardo Morales in the 800 meter relay.

“We got Pete back Thursday. He was able to run that night and his mother brought him down,” Fellows said, as Juarez regained his eligibility that afternoon, after the field events began but before the running finals. Pecos ran a 1:32.44, which was their best of the year, though Fellows said the Eagles’ 1600 meter team didn’t run as well this week, placing fourth with a time about seven seconds slower than their best so far in 2005.

“I think the 4-by-200 will be good for us. We had a couple of rough handoffs, and if we can get that down, I think we can do 1:30,” he said.

Terry ran the 100-meter dash for the first time this season and had a 10.83 time, while running a 22.53 to win the 200. “He looked a lot smoother running,” Fellows said. “I think he’ll be there by the time district comes.”

Terry also took the high jump with a 6-foot effort, while Chad Evans won the discus and shot put for the second week in a row. He took the discus with a 140-11 3/4 throw, which was behind his best effort of the season the previous week at Monahans, but improved on his winning toss there in the shot put, taking first with a 50-foot-4 throw.

Morales cleared 5-foot-10 in the high jump to win third place, and went 41-7 1.4 to take second in the triple jump, while Fellows said Ruben Salgado placed fifth in the shot put for the Eagles’ other field event points.

Coach Veronica Valenzuela was unavailable on Monday, but Pecos’ girls got a pair of medals apiece from junior Jessica Florez and sophomore Chantel Mazone in the shot put and discus. Mazone won the shot put with a 35-foot-2 1/4 throw, while Florez was second, throwing 33-feet-6 3/4. She also placed second in the discus with a 102-1 3/4 throw, while Mazone was third with a throw of 99-9 1/2.

In the running events, Jummy Akinyode placed second in both the 200 and 400-meter dash. She had a 27.48 in the 200 meters and went 1:02.99 in the 400 meters. Kathryn Lamka had Pecos’ other two medals, placing third in the 3200 meter run with a 13:59.69 time, and third in the 1600, with a time of 6:10.58. The girls’ other points came from Ashley Ornelas, who was third in the 100-meter hurdles with a 19.59 time.

Balmorhea also competed on Thursday in McCamey, with the boys finishing with 24 points, while the girls finished with four points.

Alexis Lozano placed behind Evans in the shot put, getting second with a 43-foot-8 throw. Michael Hernandez also took home a silver medal, with a second place finish in the 3200-meter run with an 11:04.37 time. He later went 4:59.90 to take third in the 1600 meter run, and the boys’ other points came from Michael Rodriguez, fifth in the 100 meter dash with a 11.68 time. The girls’ points came from Lorissa Rodriguez, who was fourth in the shot put with a 31-foot-7 throw.

After competing at the same meets each weekend for the first month of the 2005 season, the Eagle track teams will be going their separate ways this coming weekend. The boys will travel to San Angelo on Friday and Saturday, where they’ll see many of the other Region I-3A squads at the San Angelo Relays, while Pecos’ girls will head north to Seminole on Saturday for the Indian Relays.

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