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February 26, 2001

Eagles, Loboes split error-plagued openers

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 26, 2001 - After splitting a pair of well-played low-scoring games to open the 2000 season last February, the Pecos Eagles and Monahans Loboes went out with much younger teams this past weekend and played a pair of not-so-well-played high scoring games to kick off the 2001 baseball season.
The Eagles squandered several late-inning chances and ran into problems on defense at home on Friday, as Monahans rallied from a 6-3 deficit to score a nine-inning, 12-7 win in the teams' season opener. Then on Saturday in Monahans the Eagles missed on some early inning scoring changes, but it was a pair of double plays the Loboes couldn't turn in the fifth inning that opened the gates for Pecos, as they turned a 3-2 deficit into a six-inning, 15-5 victory.
Capi Magana went the distance on the mound Saturday to get the win, and could have shut the Loboes out were in not for several errors by his teammates and problems by the umpires interpreting the infield fly rule in the windy conditions at Monahans. The junior allowed just three hits and struck out six in scoring the victory, and was able to end the game in the sixth under the 10-run rule by fanning Shorty Porras, after three Eagle errors cut a 15-3 lead to 15-5.
"Capi looked very good and we hit the ball," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams. "Mason Abila stroking the ball right now and David (Elkins) and Rigo (Ramirez) hit the ball real well."
Abila was 5-for-5 on Saturday with a double and triple, while Elkins had the big hit in the Eagles' five-run fifth inning, a two-out double to left-center field that scored two runs, and was followed by Ramirez' RBI single to center.
That came after Pecos had take a 4-3 lead thanks to an error by new third baseman Lucas Ramos to open the inning and then two wide throws to first, one by Ramos and the second by Josh Aguilar, that cost Monahans chances at double plays.
The Loboes already had turned two double plays in the first three innings, both on Matthew Levario, who then had to leave the game with a hand injury. "He tore his nail off in the (between inning) warm-up," Williams said.
At the time, it seemed like the latest problem in a frustrating weekend for Pecos. Levario's first double play grounder came after Angel Villalobos miss-read a sign and bunted with the bases loaded and no one out in the first inning. Pitcher Keith Balderez easily threw out Richard Rodriguez at home, and the double play ended the threat.
Ramirez doubled home Magana with a run in the second, but Aguilar came back with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning, after the umpired first ruled a force out at third base on a dropped infield pop up by Rodriguez, then sent Ramos to third and Ryan Martinez to second while calling batter Josh Robison out.
Pecos tied the game in the third on a trio of Monahans errors around the double play, which occurred when Abila was thrown out at home trying to score on Levario's ground out. Then in the fourth Monahans regained the lead on another Robison infield pop-up, this one not ruled an infield fly and fell in for a fielder's choice out (with tag) at second base, and then a two out pop by Aguilar that Abila dropped in the wind, allowing Ramos to score.
Pecos tied the game off new pitcher Josh Melius in the fifth when Sebero Jaquez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and when ahead when Magana was save on the missed double play by the Loboes. Ramos replaced Melius after Ramirez' single and got out of the inning, but was then hammered by seven runs in the sixth by the Eagles, which included a suicide squeeze bunt by Jaquez to score Garcia, a straight steal of home by Magana and Abila's triple off the 344-foot sign in left-center field.
The inning was helped by another two-run error by Monahans, which continued the pattern from Friday, when both teams had their problems both on defense and on the bases. However, this time it was the Loboes who used a five-run ninth inning off Ramirez to get the victory.
He came on to replace Villalobos in the ninth and walked Noah Miles, then gave up singles to Balderez and Scott Moore before Robison doubled to right-center field scoring what turned out to be the winning runs.
Pecos had to rally twice in the game, from a 3-1 deficit after four innings and after falling behind 7-6 in the top of the eighth inning. The Eagles took a 2-0 lead off Miles in their first two at-bats of the season, as Levario doubled and scored on a single by Garcia. Monahans, which collected 11 hits in eight innings off Villalobos, went up 2-1 in the second with a pair of unearned runs. Miles walked, Balderez singled and Ramirez dropped Moore's fly to left field to tie the game with one out, and Aguilar singled Moore home after Balderez was thrown out at home on Robison's single to left.
They got another run on a Balderez RBI single in the third, before Pecos came back to score five times and chase Miles from the mound in the fifth.
The Eagles loaded the bases when Miles gave up an infield hit by Elkins, a walk to Roger Gutierrez and hit Levario. Garcia singled one run in and Abila followed with an RBI single that also scored Levario, when the throw bounced past Miles and into the Loboes' dugout. Aguilar came on to pitch after that and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jaquez, while the last run scored when Rordriugez reached on an error.
But the Eagles gave two of those runs right back in the sixth when Elkins misjudged Balderez' fly ball to right into a three-base error, and Magana threw away Aguilar's grounder to shortstop after a wild pitch scored Balderez and Robison doubled off Villalobos. Monahans then tied the game in the seventh on a Porras single and two bunts, by Wilson and Melius, the first for a hit and the second thrown away by Abila.
The Loboes loaded the bases with one out, but Pecos survived when Balderez hit into an inning-ending double play. In the seventh, though, Levario couldn't handle Melius' hard shot to his left with two outs, allowing Robison to score and give Monahans a one-run lead. The Eagles were able to tie the game when Ramirez led off the bottom of the eighth with a double, went to third on a wild pitch and, after a walk to Levario, scored when Garcia hit into a double play.
That was just bad luck for the Eagles, but they were hurt in the sixth and seventh innings by bad execution, as Levario missed a bunt sign in the sixth with none out and two on, and Elkins was thrown out at third base, and in the seventh Rodriguez was caught off third with one out and two on, on a fake double-steal.
"Too many errors and bad baserunning, but we will get better," Williams said. "Angel did a good job pitching, we just didn't make the plays behind him."
The Eagles will now take their 1-1 record into a 7 p.m. home game Tuesday night against the Fort Stockton Panthers, followed by a return trip to Monahans this coming weekend for the Sandhills Baseball Tournament. Monahans did sweep Pecos' junior varsity on Friday and Saturday, winning the season opener by an 11-3 score, and then taking Saturday's game, 13-12.

Coaches happy with Pecos' Sandhills results

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 26, 2001 - For Pecos Eagles track coaches Lily Talamantez and Jerry Parent, this weekend's Sandhills Relays at Monahans were the first step towards improving on disappointing 2000 seasons for the boys and girls' programs, even if the overall point totals didn't show it.
Pecos' girls picked up 29 points and finished seventh out of 11 teams in Division III, won by Midland Greenwood with 158 points. The boys were also seventh, with 28 points in Division I, which Monahans won with 148 points. The totals included one first place finish on the day, by Daniel Terrazas in the 400 meter dash, and a couple of third place finishes in the relays, from the boys' 400 meter team and the girls' 800 meter squad.
"I was really pleased with the way things ended," said Talamantez, who also got a trio of fourth place finishes in running events, from Michelle Saenz in the 800 meters, Bre'Ann Windham in the 400 meters and Tiana Terry in the 100 meters.
Talamantez said she had to juggle her lineup last week, after losing a third of her team to grades for the next couple of weeks, and said some other girls didn't run in the windy conditions on Saturday due to injuries. "The freshmen really stepped it up as susbstitutes for some of my upperclassemen. They had some injuries and I didn't want them getting hurt."
Windham was one of the freshmen runners, and finished with a 67.50 time in the 400 meters. Terry, a sophomore, and Saenz, a junior also were part of the 800 meter relay team with Jessica Rodriguez and Danielle Avila, which ran a 1:58.75 time to win third. Just before that, Terry ran a 13.70 in the 100 meters and Saenz had a 2:47 time in the 800 meters.
"Our times in everything were better than at the first meet last year, so we're looking a lot stronger," Talamantez said.
The 800 meter relay team was the only one to earn a regional berth for the girls last season. Rodriguez, who also was a member of that team, said, "I think this track season is going to be better, and we're going to have more than one qualifier for regionals."
The girls also picked up a couple of points from a fifth place finish by senior Nicole Payne in the 1600 meter run (6:29.70), while in the field events, the Eagles got a fifth place from Christina Arenivas in the long jump, with a 15-foot-7 effort, and a sixth by Stephanie Herrera in the shot put, with a 31-3¼ throw.
Terrazas was the Eagles' lone district champion last April, and began 2001 by winning the 400 meters in a wind-hampered time of 54.1. Earlier, he was part of the 400 meter relay team, along with Jason Gonzales, Peter Juarez and Eddie Mata, that held off Fort Stockton for third in the 400 meter relay, with a 46.18 time.
"I was happy we scored more points here than we did last year," Parent said. "Overall it was a learning experience for most of our kids. Now we know where we can put people."
Pecos' other six points at the meet came from fifth place finishes by Gonzales in the 300 meter hurdles (45.8), Matthew Levario in the long jump (18-11) and from the 1600 meter relay team of Terrazas, Gonzales, Juarez and John Parent, which finished sixth with a 3:51.1 time.
"It's not a great time, but I had three guys not experienced in running it," the Eagles' coach said.
Parent also said the Eagles got a trio of seventh place finishes on Saturday, from Peter Juarez in the triple jump, Joe Navarette in the discus and Isaiah Juarez in the 3200 meter run.
The Sandhills meet was the first of five meets for Pecos before the District 2-4A Track and Field Championships in April at Canutillo. The sixth scheduled meet, the West of the Pecos Relays, had to be canceled because of a lack of teams, Parent said. The Eagles' next meet is this Friday and Saturday at the Comanche Relays in Fort Stockton.

Eagle golfers fly better in wind, but girls'

tournament grounded

PECOS, February 26, 2001 - The Pecos Eagle boys' golf team may be hoping for gale force winds when regional tournament play rolls around in April, based on the results of this weekend's Tall City Invitational at Midland.
The Eagles ended up 13th overall in Division II of the tournament, which featured mostly Class 4A teams, but playing in 40 mph winds on Saturday, the Eagles cut 12 strokes off their score and were far closer to the leaders than they were under better conditions on the opening day of the 36-hole tournament.
Down in Fort Stockton, Pecos' girls didn't get to see how they would do under high wind conditions, as t he final round of the Blue Ribbon Invitational was canceled, leaving the Eagles in third place out of 16 teams with a 362 score.
The boys shot a 381 on Friday and were 68 strokes behind eventual division winner Snyder following the opening round. On Saturday, the Eagles didn't beat the Tigers, but their 369 was only 30 shots behind Snyder, and within 10- to 20 stroke of most of the other first round leaders.
"They played well in the wind," said coach Kim Anderson. "I'm proud of them for just finishing. They gutted it out on a day I wouldn't have been out there."
Pecos ended with a 36-hole score of 750, while Snyder won with a 652 score Andrews was second, at 672, and El Paso Cathedral finished third, with a 681 total.
Chase Laurence shot 92s both days for a 184 score, while Casey Breiten shot 93s for both rounds to finish with a 186 score. Cutting their totals after the opening round were David Bradley, who shot a 98-90-188, Sal Nichols, who shot a 98-95-193, and Jake McKinney, who cut his opening round 113 to a 94 despite the high winds.
"All the kids after they marked their ball would have to move it like at a scramble because the wind would blow it," Anderson said. "It was tough. I thought they were going to cancel it after nine holes, but they didn't."
They did cancel the tournament in Fort Stockton on Saturday before the girls even got a chance to start.
"Friday was windy and played tricks on the ball all day long. It was pretty bad all day, but then we got there Saturday and the wind was really bad, so the tournament chairman canceled it," coach Tina Hendrick said.
Pecos shot a 362 to place third, 30 strokes in back of Andrews and 20 behind the host Prowlers. Odessa Permian was fourth with a 374 score, while the Eagles' junior varsity team placed 10th in the 16-team field, shooting a 423.
Salem Mitchell finished in the Top 10 in the medallist race for the Eagles' varsity, finishing with an 88 on Friday. Lauren Martinez and Brandi North shot 90s, Cassie Foster had a 94 and Candace Hilliard shot a 96.
The JV was led by Sarah McKinney, who shot a 100. Dena Dutchover was a stroke behind at 101, Kristan Aguilar and Bianca Mendoza both shot 111s and Kattie Davis had a 112. The Eagles other golfer, Jenna Cranfill, played as a medallist and shot a 115.
Pecos' varsity girls will be playing in Midland this weekend, while the boys will have the week off. Meanwhile, the JV girls will host their own tournament on Tuesday at the Reeves County Golf Course, beginning at 9 a.m. Hendrick said Andrews, Fort Stockton, Monahans, Odessa High, Midland Christian and Marfa would be entered in the tournament.

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