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Monday, March 13, 2000

Eagles survive mistakes, Wolves, 7-6

Staff Writer
PECOS, March 13, 2000 - Focus and attitude were two things Pecos Eagles' coach Bubba Williams was talking to his team about following their final game Saturday at the West Texas March Classic.

But on the positive side, he was talking to them after a win over the Colorado City Wolves, instead of after the drubbing they took at the hands of Colorado City a year ago.

The Eagles, 12-0 losers to Colorado City last season, fell behind 5-0 after 2 ½ innings of Saturday's third place game, before rallying for a five inning, 7-6 win over the Wolves in a game called on a two-hour time limit.

Alex Garcia's two-out carom shot off the gloves of pitcher David Torres and second baseman Aaron Waldrip scored Joey Garcia from third base to make a winner out of pitcher Luis Salgado, who came in on after starter Richard Rodriguez struggled with his control and lasted only five batters in his varsity pitching debut.

"Luis Salgado did an outstanding job. We had never worked with him as a pitcher, but he said `coach, I can pitch,' and went out there and did the job," Williams said. Salgado, who did get in two innings of work on Feb. 29 in a 17-7 win over Kermit, struck out eight batters while allowing six hits and one earned run in five innings of work.

Overall, though, Saturday's game, coming after a 12-2 win Friday afternoon over Merkel, was not the type of performance Williams was hoping for, especially with defending state champion Andrews coming to town on Tuesday. The game was marked by nine passed balls (five by the Eagles), seven balks (four by Pecos) and numerous other mental mistakes by both teams.

But it was a win, and Williams said, "It was a good comeback. We had to make a lot of substitutions, but the kids came back and won the ballgame. Orlando Lara came up there and hit the ball twice, and he may have a fractured wrist, but he gave it all he had."

Lara, who Williams said would get his wrist X-rayed this week, drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, after Mason Abila doubled off losing pitcher C.J. Hurst, who then hit Kevin Bates and saw him beat a throw to second on Joey Garcia's fielder's choice bouncer to third to load the bases.

Lara sacrificly fly came off Torres, who then intentionally walked Ricky Herrera. The move almost worked, as Salgado bounced into a fielder's choice at home plate, but Alex Garcia then hit a hard shot that Torres deflected with his glove towards second base. Waldrip had time to field the ball and step on second to force Salgado and end the inning, but the ball spun off his glove for an error, giving Pecos the victory.

Lara hadn't started in the tournament due to his wrist problem, but came in when Williams pulled Capi Magana for throwing his bat after a strikeout. He later yanked first baseman Pifi Montoya for arguing with an umpire, replacing him with Sebero Jacquez.

"We're going to play as a team. We're not going to play as individuals," he said of the changes, which were made during the early innings.

Rodriguez walked three of the first four batters he faced, around a single by Tino Silva, and left after a third strike pitch to Kevin Wright bounced past Abila to the fence. It was the first of three passed ball strikeouts on the day for Abila, though the last two worked out all right for Pecos, as he threw out runners at third base on both plays.

Pecos had problems of their own on the bases.  Montoya was thrown out trying to steal in the first inning when Josh Casillas missed a hit-and-run sign, and Abila was thrown out at home on a double-steal attempt in the second. Meanwhile, Anderson and Wright worked a double-steal in the third to score Colorado City's fifth run, after Wright reached first again on a strikeout, while Abila was throwing out Chase Pharris at third base.

Pecos got on the scoreboard in the third, when Herrera walked and was singled home by Alex Garcia. He then stole second, and scored on a passed ball by Anderson and a wild pitch by Pharris.

They added three more runs in the fourth, but not before Colorado City took a 6-2 lead off a walk to Hurst, a Torres single and an error by Lara on Andrew Spear's grounder. Bates tripled to start things off, and was singled home by Joey Garcia. He moved up on Lara's grounder to first, and then scored on a passed ball and throwing error by Anderson.

Hurst replaced Pharris after Herrera singled to left field, but immediately balked the runner to second. Herrera went to third on another passed ball and scored on Salgado's single.

Things were a lot easier for the Eagles on Friday against Merkel, after their 4-2 loss earlier in the day to eventual tournament champion Abilene Wylie. Pecos never trailed in the game, and built up an 11-0 lead after 4 ½ innings before winning in the sixth under the 10-run rule.

Alex Garcia collected an inside-the-park home run in the first inning and had an RBI single in the third, then scored on Montoya's RBI double. Rodriguez, taking Lara's spot at second base, had two hits and three RBI in his first varsity game of the season, and Joey Trujillo added a two-run single in the Eagles' five-run fifth inning.

Magana picked up his third win of the season in his best outing so far, allowing just two runs in the fifth inning, while surrendering only five hits and walking none.

Wylie would end up beating Seminole 10-9, in the title game Saturday night at Christensen Stadium, while Greenwood defeated Monahans to win consolation, 7-6.

Track squads 7th at El Paso, Odessa meets

PECOS, March 13, 2000 - The Pecos Eagle track teams picked up a few more points on Saturday than in their first two track meets of the 2000 season, as both the boys and girls teams placed seventh in meets in Odessa and El Paso.

The boys had their best meet of the year so far, finishing with 36 points and picking up three medals at the West Texas Relays at Ratliff Stadium. Senior Len Carson earned two of the three medals, picking up seconds in both the 800-meter run and the 300-meter hurdle, while junior Daniel Terrazas earned second place in the 200-meter dash.

Carson ran a 2:08.19 in the 800 to place second for the second time in three weeks in that event, losing out to Ruidoso's Alfonso Rankin by just .03 second.

His silver medal in the 300-meter hurdles came in his first time out in that race this season, with a time of 44.60.

Terrazas's second in the 200 meters was in a time of 22.88 seconds, after he placed fourth in the 400 meters with a 52.32 time.

He and Carson were also members of the 1600-meter relay team, along with Jason Payne and Dulces Guerrero, which finished fourth, with a 3:39.61 time.

The 36 points was 16 more than the Eagles picked up the previous weekend at the Comanche Relays in Fort Stockton. Plainview won the 4A boys title in Odessa with 118 points to 99 for Canyon Randall.

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