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Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Eagles leap on Jackets’ errors, 17-7

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 1, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles used the year’s extra day to play an extra long five-inning game against the Kermit Yellowjackets on Tuesday.

Eagles’ coach Bubba Williams got to use all his players, and saw the bottom of his lineup deliver most of the big hits, as the Eagles used those and a series of Kermit errors to defeat the Jackets on Leap Day, 17-7, in a five-inning 2½-hour game.

“What we’re trying to tell the kids is put the ball in play,” Williams said. “You don’t have to play any defense for a strikeout. If you put the ball in play, you make them make the plays.”

Norman Castillo was the victim of his teammates’ sloppy defense. The Kermit pitcher allowed 14 runs in 3 2/3 innings, but only four of those were earned thanks to 11 errors by the Jackets. Meanwhile, the bottom four hitters in the Eagles’ lineup - Ricky Herrera, Orlando Lara, Kevin Bates, Alex Garcia and his replacement, Jerry Trujillo, accounted for 11 of the runs and eight of Pecos’ 12 hits, with Garcia and Trujillo a combined 4-for-4 on the night.

“Kevin’s had just two days out (from swimming) and hit some ropes, and Alex Garcia hit some ropes,” said Williams. Garcia had three hits, while Bates had two, including a two-out single in the fifth that scored Lara from third base and ended the game under the 10-run rule.

Meanwhile, the middle of the Eagles’ batting order again struggled, going just 1-for-10 against Castillo and reliever Kurt Hill. “Mason (Abila) and Josh (Casillas) really not hitting right now,” said Williams. “But when they come around, we might not have the power (as last year), but we’ll be able to hit the ball 1 through 9.”

Capi Magana picked up his first varsity win, going three innings before being relieved by Luis Salgado, who allowed two unearned runs over the final two innings. Magana retired the side in order in the first, and allowed a two-out run in the second, but was touched up for four runs on four hits in the third inning, including an RBI double by shortstop Ivor Ramirez.

Salcido scored the game’s first run after leading off with a walk. Magana followed with a single, and Casillas scored him on a one-out infield hit. Magana also came in when Ramirez threw the ball past first base, and Casillas scored on Alex Garcia’s RBI single.

A walk, single and another Ramirez error led to three more Eagle runs in the second, while in the bottom of the third, Pecos scored four times after Kermit had cut the lead to 6-5. Ramirez’ third error, on a Joey Garcia grounder, started things off, and after Alex Garcia singled, Kermit then dropped fly balls by Herrera and Lara to bring home three runs. A passed ball by catcher Adrian Gonzales scored Lara to make it 10-5.

Pecos got four runs with two outs in the fourth, errors by third baseman Juan Muniz and right fielder Mario Garcia. Kermit then used a couple of Pecos errors and some control problems by Salgado to get two of those runs back in the top of the fifth, before the Eagles ended things with their three runs off Hill in the bottom of the inning.

“I was proud of the way the kids played tonight,” said Williams, whose team improved to 2-1 on the season going into Thursday’s opening game of the Monahans Sandhills Baseball Tournament. The Eagles will face Alpine in a 3 p.m. start. The Bucks defeated the Eagles, 6-5, in the first round of last year’s tournament.

Kermit faces Fort Stockton in the other game in Pecos’ half of the tournament bracket. Greenwood faces Presidio and Monahans hosts Denver City in the tournament’s other Thursday openers.

Pecos struggles in loss to Kermit

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 1, 2000 -- Pre-district play is pretty brief for girls softball teams, which is why Pecos Eagles' coach Tammy Walls was concerned about her team's effort in Tuesday's 11-1 loss to the Kermit Yellowjackets.

With only a week to go before District 2-4A play gets underway, Pecos lost for the third time in four games, as Kermit scored seven times in the sixth inning to break open a 4-1 game, after the Eagles managed just two hits in the first four innings off starter Amanda Soltero.

"There are no excuses. We didn't hit the ball, and we didn't play defense very well," said Walls. "I don't know if we're putting forth the effort it takes to win.

"I don't know what's up with our batting. I feel like we've regressed since Monahans," Walls said.

Pecos won their first-ever game over the Loboes a week ago, 10-7, then dropped two of three games in the Tall City Tournament before being beaten on Tuesday.

Kermit took a 1-0 lead in the first off pitcher Alexa Marquez, as Dena Hardaway hit a shot past third baseman Valerie Gonzales to lead things off, went to third on a steal and throwing error, and scored on a ground out by Soltero. They added three more runs in the second when Tiffany Lalonde doubled over Mireya Medrano's head and scored on Rachel Warnick's single.

One out later Amanda Fierro reached on an error by Katrina Quiroz that scored Warnick, and came in on a wild pitch and a throwing error back to home plate by catcher Rebecca Wein.

Wein would get that back in the bottom of the inning, with the only solid shot by the Eagles off Soltero in the early-going, a triple to center field.

She came home on Gonzales' ground out, but that turned out to be the only run of the day for Pecos.

The Eagles wasted a pair of lead-off walks in the third by Soltero, and then in the fourth the Kermit pitcher got some help from her defense, as Warnick snared a one-out line drive by Ashley Salcido, after Gonzales had tripled down the left field line.

Meanwhile, the Eagles were dodging bullets.

Medrano was able to run down a two out fly ball by Hardaway in the third to keep the score at 4-1, and Nicole Payne snared a sinking two-out line drive to right by Christina Lopez in the fourth, after the Jackets had put runners on second and third.

But Pecos' defense fell apart in the fifth.

With one out Katie Mobley blooped a single to left and after Shelby Widner walked, Hardaway singled to center, with the ball going through Kathy Maldonado's legs for a three-base error and a 7-1 lead.

Two more errors followed with two outs, and led to an inside-the-park home run by Lopez, which finished off the scoring.

Lopez, who pitched the final two innings for Kermit, then was able to end the game under the 10-run rule, though Pecos was able to load the bases on two errors and a bloop single by Evelyn Galindo.

The loss dropped the Eagles to 3-3 on the season going into this weekend's Alpine Tournament.

"One of the tough things about coaching is being able to put on the brakes and turn it around," Walls said. "I'm just glad this happened before district started."

District play opens for Pecos next Tuesday, at home against El Paso Mountain View.

They'll begin tournament play in Alpine on Friday, with a 2:15 p.m. game against El Paso Riverside.

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