Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, May 15, 2000
Harvesters plow under pitching-short Eagles
By JON FULBRIGHT
LUBBOCK, May 15, 2000 -- There are few top pitching staffs in high
school baseball that are made up of two freshmen, two sophomores and a
senior throwing on 18-hours rest.
But that's what the Pecos Eagles were down to on Saturday, after senior
Josh Casillas had beaten the Pampa Harvesters 8-6 in the opening game of
their area round playoff series Friday night at Lubbock Christian University.
Pampa used a lot of walks and a few hits to score 12 times in the first
two innings of Game 2 on Saturday against pitchers Richard Rodriguez, Barney
Rodriguez and Matthew Levario on the way to a 16-1 win over Pecos, and
the Harvesters then hit Casillas hard in Game 3, as he tried to come back
and beat the Harvesters for the second time in as many days.
Pampa scored eight times with two out against Casillas and Capi Magana
in the second inning, which was more than enough for senior Casey Owens,
who was able to come back after one hour's rest to beat the Eagles for
the second time, 16-2, and send the Harvesters into the Region I-4A quarterfinals
against El Paso Riverside.
"Josh came back and did what he could do, but he couldn't get his pitches
over and they're a good fastball hitting team," said Eagles' coach Bubba
Williams. Casillas had allowed just five hits and one earned run while
striking out 10 in Friday's win, but was touched for two runs on three
hits in the first inning Saturday and then was chased in the second, after
Pecos missed a chance at an inning-ending double play.
He walked five batters, allowed five hits and hit other batter in 1
2/3 innings on work, leaving with a 5-0 deficit. Magana was then greeted
by a bases-clearing triple by Russell Robbon, the first of four triples
in the game for Pampa. That made it 8-0 and pretty much settled things,
as the Eagles could manage only three hits and two runs off Owens, 8-2,
after getting just one hit and no runs off the righthander in four innings
in Game 2.
"We didn't hit the ball as well today (Saturday) as we did last night,"
said Williams. "That Owens kid was bringing it up there about 80-85 miles
per hour in this game (Game 3). He didn't do that in the second game, but
we just didn't hit the ball."
Pampa didn't have to hit the ball that much either in Game 2 _ the Harvesters
had twice as many runs as they did hits, thanks to 11 walks in the first
two innings, including nine of the first 11 batters up to the plate in
their eight-run second inning. Pecos' pitchers wound up walking 23 batters
in just eight innings of work on Saturday, while the Harvesters collected
20 hits, 12 in the final game.
The Harvesters had already jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning
of Game 2 off Rodriguez, who fell to 1-2 on the season. He allowed leadoff
singles to Kaleb Snelgrooes and Jesse Francis, and then walked Owens before
third baseman Ricky Herrera booted a Greg Lindsey grounder, allowing Snelgrooes
to score. Herrera then made a running catch on a Justin Barnes foul pop
that catcher Mason Abila lost sight of near home plate, but Shepard then
singled and after a walk to Travis Lancaster, Robbon doubled to put Pampa
Barney Rodriguez replaced Richard Rodriguez after he walked the first
three batters of the second inning, then dropped the ball on the mound
to balk home a run, but the freshman had just as much trouble getting any
strike calls, as he walked three of the four batters he faced. Williams
then brought on Levario, who like Barney Rodriguez was making his varsity
pitching debut. He would walk three of the first four hitters he faced,
but did turn a home-to-first double play on Snelgrooes, and then shut out
Pampa in the third, while allowing four unearned runs in the fourth inning.
Aside from losing the game, Pecos also lost Herrera for Game 3 when
he was spiked by Lindsey in a collision near third base in the fifth inning.
Herrera was headed to third on a single by Ivan Guebara when he was hit
by Lindsey and suffered a 2 ½-inch gash in his knee. He was awarded
home plate on interference, but then had to be taken to the hospital for
Things went a lot better for Pecos in Game 1 on Friday, when Casillas'
biggest problem was with the Harvesters' No. 9 hitter, Randy Tice. He got
on base three times before Casllias finally ended the game by catching
him looking with a 3-2 curveball in the seventh.
"Josh did a danged good job pitching and we did a danged good job hitting,"
said Williams. Casillas went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, but
as was the case in the opening playoff round, the Eagles got contributions
from their entire batting order.
Herrera, the Eagles' No. 9 hitter, went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Luis
Salgado, who had been DHed for by Barney Rodriguez the first three times
through the order, was sent up in the seventh and took Lindsey's first
pitch down the line in left with two outs to score Kevin Bates, giving
the Eagles and insurance run after Pampa had cut a 6-2 lead down to 7-6.
"Luis Salgado steps up there after he hadn't hit all game and gets big
base hit, Ricky Herrera worked the hit-and-run and Joey Garcia hit the
ball, so it was a good team effort," said Williams.
Mistakes helped both teams out, and the Astroturf at Hayes Field helped
out the Eagles as well in the first inning. Bates bounced a high chop single
off the carpet with one out, and then scored when Casillas doubled to right-center
field with two away off starter Brent Coffee, who came into the game with
an 8-1 record. In the second, Pecos got a break went a warm-up throw went
past the dugout and behind home plate, just before Richard Rodriguez flied
out to center field. The play was nullified when the first base umpire
called time, and Rodriguez would end up walking and score on a passed ball
Abila also had his problems behind home plate Friday, mainly throwing
to third base. Tice got the Harvester's first hit to open the third, and
after Snelgrooes singled, both runners advanced on a passed ball, with
Tice coming home when Abila's throw to third went into left field. Francis
then scored Snelgrooes with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
The Eagles scored in every inning of Game 1, and regained the lead for
good in the bottom of the third, when Casillas doubled with one away and
courtesy runner Daniel Terrazas scored when Francis booted Orlando Lara's
two-out grounder. In the fourth, Pecos chased Coffee from the mound, as
Richard Rodriguez and Joey Garcia singled, and Herrera then bunted one
past Coffee on the mound for a base hit to load the bases.
Lindsey came on to pitch after Coffee walked Alex Garcia to force home
a run and almost got out of the jam, when Bates couldn't lay down a suicide
squeeze bunt, allowing Garcia to be tagged out, and then was fanned by
Lindsey. Abila then came up and hit a grounder to Snelgrooes three feet
to the right of second base. But he bobbled it, then dropped it and all
runners were safe, allowing Casillas to come up and collect his third hit,
a two-run single to right-center field.
Down by four, Pampa got two back in the fourth when Francis doubled
and Owens singled to lead off. A passed ball got one run home, and then
Owens would score with two out when Lara could hold onto Shepard's pop
up behind first base. Pecos got one run back in the fifth as Richard Rodriguez
walked, went to third on Joey Garcia's single down the line in right, and
scored on Herrera's fielder's choice grounder, when Francis got the ball
and threw to second too late to get Garcia, who was running with the pitch.
Pampa cut the margin to one with their only earned run of the night
in the sixth. Walks to Tice and Francis around a Snelgrooes single set
up Owens sacrifice fly. Then, after Casillas got Francis to bounce into
a force play to Herrera at third, Francis went to third on a passed ball
by Abila and scored as the throw again went into left field. The Harvesters
would get the tying and go-head runs into scoring position before Casillas
got Shepard to bounce out to Herrera to end the inning, then retired the
side in order in the seventh to get his sixth win in eight decisions this
The series win will send Pampa into the regional semifinals against
El Paso Riverside, which defeated Frenship in three games at Hobbs over
the weekend. The Eagles faced the Rangers in the regional semifinals a
year ago, beating Riverside in three game at Alpine.
Pecos, meanwhile, will lose five starters off this year's team, and
will go into next season with no set No. 1 starter on the mound, depending
on the status of junior Pifi Montoya, who was suspended midway through
"When you pitch two freshmen and two sophomores in a playoff game, it's
tough, especially when you come up against as good a hitting team as Pampa,"
The other District 2-4A team still alive in the playoffs going into
the area round, Clint, saw their season ended on Friday in Monahans. The
district-champion Lions dropped a pair of games to Canyon Randall, losing
by 2-0 and 9-7 scores.
Knicks Ward off Heat to even series
NEW YORK, May 15, 2000 (AP) - Charlie Ward's son must think Daddy is some
kind of scorer.
Ward brought his 11-week-old son, Caleb, to a game for the first time
and turned in the best all-around playoff performance of his six-year career,
leading the New York Knicks past the Miami Heat 91-83 Sunday to even their
Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.
"I think he was asleep the whole game," Ward said, "but I'm just happy
he was able to come and be a part of something special, not just for me
but for my team."
Ward was actually part of something extra special, receiving a tribute
from the crowd that few Knicks ever receive as the Madison Square Garden
faithful chanted his name following a 3-pointer that clinched it with 36.1
Ward's career playoff-high 20 points included New York's final nine,
and he added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. It was just
the third time all season he led the team in scoring.
Allan Houston added 17 points and Latrell Sprewell 16 for the Knicks,
who led for most of the game and the entire fourth quarter.
Alonzo Mourning led Miami with 27 but missed four foul shots in the
final 5 1/2 minutes. The Heat were also hurt by 19 turnovers.
Miami's frustration was evident when Jamal Mashburn, upset when no foul
was called on Sprewell on the final play of the first half, kicked the
press table on his way to the locker room at halftime. The table hit the
arm of New York Times reporter Selena Roberts, whose shoulder popped out
of its socket.
After being examined by Knicks team doctor Norman Scott, Roberts returned
for the second half. Mashburn apologized to Roberts after the game.
"We've got home-court (advantage) back, but that's the only good thing
we come out of here with," Mourning said. "Somewhere along the line, we
have to establish a level of consistency or else we're going to let this
thing slip away.
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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