Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, March 27, 2000
Eagles' bats awaken in victory over Lobos
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Mar. 27, 2000 -- Two of the Pecos Eagles' leading hitters from
a year ago, who had been struggling at the plate through the first month
of the 2000 baseball season, broke out in a big way Friday night, as Pecos
came away with an easy win over the El Paso Mountain View Lobos at Eagles
field, by a 16-0 final score.
Catcher Mason Abila, who ended last season hitting .400 but was batting
just over .200 before Friday, was moved down to the No. 9 spot in the batting
order and responded with an RBI single and two run double in his only at-bats
of the night.
Josh Casillas' batting average wasn't bad, at .313, but that was still
.150 points under his average last season, while the senior had gone homerless
after hitting 11 a year ago. That also changed Friday, when he cracked
a two-run shot to center field and just missed two other home runs in his
other two at-bats.
"Josh and Mason hit the ball. If those two come around we're going to
be all right," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams. "If we can get where
we're hitting one through nine in the order, we're going to be tough to
The Eagles' hitting attack overshadowed the pitching of Pifi Montoya
and Capi Magana. Montoya improved his record to 4-1 by two-hitting Mountain
View over four innings of work, while Magana came on to pitch the fifth
inning and struck out the side, ending the game under the 10-run rule.
Williams said Montoya was working on his cut fastball Friday; a pitch
Abila said was tough to handle. "It's all over the place. You can't tell
where it's going to go," the sophomore said. "I didn't know when I set
up whether it was going to go high or drop."
Mountain View pitcher Damian Limas didn't fare as well. He survived
the first inning, allowing only a two-out double to Alex Garcia, but Casillas
opened the second by doubling off the top of the fence in right field.
He went to third on a passed ball and scored on Joey Garcia's bloop single
Garcia was thrown out trying for second base, but Orlando Lara then
singled and scored on Abila's two-out single, and in the third inning the
Eagles would pile up 12 runs off Limas and reliever Rafael Carrasco.
Limas shouldn't have allowed any runs, but after fanning Luis Salgado,
first baseman Israel Chavez dropped Alex Garcia's foul pop up, and Garcia
then walked. Montoya then popped one up to center field that nobody caught,
but second baseman Edgar Jurado was able to force out Garcia at second.
Casillas then just missed a homer again, with a long fly over Jefferson
Street that went just foul, before drawing a walk. A passed ball and wild
pitch would allow pinch runner Joey Trujillo, and Casillas would come in
when Carlos Gonzales misplayed Joey Garcia's single to left field.
Limas then walked Lara and Ricky Herrera before Abila connected for
a two run double. He scored on Kevin Bates' double down the line in right
that was misplayed by Carlos Villalobos into an extra base. Salgado and
Alex Garcia followed with singles to make it 9-1 and chase Limas, who was
replaced on the mound by Carrasco.
Montoya sent his first pitch back up the middle for an RBI single, and
after a passed ball scored Salgado, Casillas knocked Carrasco's fifth pitch
over the fence in center, just to the right of the 352-foot sign to make
it 13-0. Carrasco then dropped a throw while covering first on a Joey Garcia
grounder, and new first baseman Julio Riazote did the same on Lara's grounder
before the Eagles made it 14-0 when Herrera blooped in a single to center
Mountain View finally got out of the inning when Lara was thrown out
trying to go from first to third base, but the Eagles would push across
two more runs in the fourth, when Alex Garcia's grounder went through the
legs of Limas, now playing shortstop, to score Ivan Guebara, and a Magana
sacrifice fly brought home Salgado, who singled after Guebara walked.
The win lifted Pecos to 10-3 on the season and 2-0 in District 2-4A
play going into Tuesday's 5 p.m. game at Clint, which is also 2-0 in district
after winning their second 1-run rule in four days, 18-5 over Fabens.
"They're going to be up for us and we'll be up for them," Williams said.
"If they hit our pitcher and we put the ball in play, it will just be whoever
plays the best will win."
Pecos gets few hits, lots of runs in win
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Mar. 27, 2000 -- Hitting the ball on their home field continues
to be a problem for the Pecos Eagles, though you wouldn't know by the run
totals in their past two games.
The host Eagles were held hitless by San Elizario pitcher Valerie Soto
for 3 2/3 innings Friday afternoon at Martinez Field, but that did the
visiting Eagles little good on the scoreboard. Pecos already held a 6-0
lead by the time Valerie Gonzales broke up the no hitter with a two-out
triple to left-center field, and the Eagles would collect three more hits
after that and score seven times in the fourth, on the way to a 14-2 win.
"We dodged a bullet," said coach Tammy Walls, despite the lopsided score.
Walls had to play the game without senior shortstop Katrina Quiroz for
disciplinary reasons, which caused defensive problems on the infield in
the early innings.
"I had to play without Katrina and then I lost Ashley (Salcido) when
she hurt her ankle in the first inning, and then Nicole (Payne) had to
go to cheerleading, so I had to make two changes there and two at shortstop.
"We hung in there, and you could never know what will happen," Walls
said. "We looked a little flat, but a good team always finds a way to win."
The Eagles couldn't do much with Soto in the early innings _ when they
hit the ball fair, it usually was a grounder back to the mound. But Soto
couldn't do much with the Eagles if they got on the bases, as a series
of Pecos batters went around the bases on walks, errors, wild pitches and
Pecos botched a rundown in the first inning, allowing San Elizario's
Vanessa Tapia to score after a one-out single, and took a 2-0 lead in the
second when Kathy Maldonado booted Talia Reyes' grounder and she came around
on April Valencia's single and Elidia Valles' ground out.
But then Soto walked six Pecos batters in the bottom of the second.
Combined with two passed balls, a couple of wild pitches and a rare softball
balk by Soto, they allowed five of the six Eagles to circle the bases,
giving Pecos a three-run lead.
Salcido made it into the third inning despite her bad ankle, but then
got a bad elbow to go with it when she was hit with a Soto pitch. Payne
then replaced her and scored with two out, when Joan Valadez dropped Soto's
throw to first on an Evelyn Galindo grounder.
All of the Eagles' runs in the fourth came with two away. Jessica Rodriguez
and Becka Wein scored on Gonzales' triple, and she then came in off another
Soto wild pitch. After Payne walked and Reyes booted a Mireya Medrano grounder
to second Galindo followed with an RBI single to center.
A walk to pitcher Annette Marquez loaded the bases, and Rodriguez followed
with an RBI single. Galindo appeared to be out at home plate trying to
score on the play, but interference was called on third baseman Lily Jamar,
who ran into Galindo as she rounded the bag. That made it 12-2 and Maldonado
then got the Eagles' fourth hit of the day, a two run single to close out
Marquez then retired the side in order to collect both her and the Eagles'
sixth victory without a loss in district play. San Elizario's second loss
in seven days to Pecos loss dropped them to 2-4 in district.
The Eagles will now head to El Paso on Tuesday for their final district
road game, against the Mountain View Lobos. Pecos managed just four hits
earlier this month at home against Mountain View, but came away with an
Pair of eights deal way into NCAA Final Four
By HAL BOCK
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y., Mar. 27, 2000 -- Maybe now, bubble teams will get more
Usually a precarious place occupied by pretenders instead of contenders,
this year's NCAA tournament bubble delivered two teams to the Final Four.
North Carolina and Wisconsin, who were both holding their breath on
Selection Sunday, are on their way to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, a couple
of No. 8 seeds who turned out to be much better than that.
Both teams lost 13 games this season, but they've won four straight
in the last two weekends, which means a ticket to the wrapup of March Madness.
Once again, they will be underdogs for the national semifinals, Wisconsin
going against Michigan State, the last remaining No. 1 seed in the field,
and North Carolina facing No. 5 Florida.
At No. 8, Wisconsin and North Carolina are the lowest seeds to reach
the Final Four since No. 11 LSU made it in 1986. The last No. 8 to get
this far was Villanova, which won the national championship from that spot
Wisconsin (22-13) vs. Michigan State (30-7)
This is a Big Ten rematch, the fourth time this season the Badgers and
Spartans have played. Michigan State won the first three, and Spartans
coach Tom Izzo thinks that could be a problem.
"I don't think it's ever easy to beat a team twice or beat a team three
times," Izzo said. "We know it's going to be tough to beat a team four
times. They are on a roll and making shots now."
Wisconsin plays hard-nosed, grind-it-out basketball, but that doesn't
include a lot of points, especially against the Spartans.
"We haven't figured out a way to score against them yet," coach Dick
Bennett said. "Michigan State is one of the premier defensive teams in
the country. They're hard to score against."
This is Wisconsin's first Final Four date since 1941. Bennett thinks
it won't shake his team. "This is a very level-headed group."
Wisconsin finished sixth in the Big Ten, but has lost just three games
since Feb. 2, all of them to conference champion Michigan State, winners
of nine straight.
Michigan State depends on the senior leadership of Mateen Cleaves, Charlie
Bell and Morris Peterson, and Wisconsin is riding the 3-point shooting
of Division II transfer Jon Bryant.
North Carolina (22-13) vs. Florida (28-7)
Florida's young Gators followed their KO of No. 1 Duke to join the Final
Four. They are matched up with a North Carolina team back for the 15th
time and third in the last four years.
The Tar Heels were on the ropes before the tournament began, struggling
with a 7-8 record down the stretch that left them on the edge.
"I think this team is in a class by itself," senior point guard Ed Cota.
"It took a while to get used to each other and find a way to win. The teams
that I was on in the past, guys knew what it took to win. This team got
it done late in the season, but there couldn't be a better time for it."
Seven-foot Brendan Haywood gives North Carolina a presence inside, and
Joseph Forte is the first freshman in school history to lead the Tar Heels
in scoring. And, yes, that includes a fellow named Michael Jordan.
Under fourth-year coach Billy Donovan, Florida turns games into track
meets with a go-go style and a freshman-sophomore dominated.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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