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April 13, 2001

Pecos flies ahead early in road win

PECOS, April 13, 2001 - There was no falling behind on Thursday, and the comeback attempted by the Clint Lions was cut short by the Pecos Eagles before it really got going, as the Eagles remained atop the District 2-4A standings with an 11-5 road victory.

The Eagles went undefeated through the first half of district play, but either blew leads or were forced to come from behind in each of those five games. This time, the Eagles jumped ahead 8-0 after 4½ innings, while pitcher Angel Villalobos retired the first 11 Clint batters he faced, then survived a rough fifth inning to improve his record to 4-1 on the season.

Clint finally broke through in the fifth, scoring three unearned runs, but the Eagles got two of those back in their next at bat, and were able to finish off the Lions in the seventh, after Clint scored their final two runs.

Pecos could have broken the game open early, against starter Bobby Morales, as the Eagles left eight runners on base in the first four innings. They did take a 1-0 lead in the first on a Richard Rodriguez double and an RBI single by Alex Garcia, and two unearned runs in the second after a David Elkins single. Errors by Patrick Estrada at third base and Morales on balls hit by Matthew Levario and Rodriguez loaded the bases, and Garcia scored Elkins with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Levario then came home when Kit Bramblett dropped Villalobos' two out pop up to second base.

In the third the Eagles made it 4-0 thanks to singles by Capi Magana and Levario, around a passed ball by catcher Mike Fierro and a hit batter and in the fifth Elkins walked and scored again after a Levario single and Rodriguez ground out, and Abila then made it 8-0 with a line drive homer over the fence in left, his third of the season.

Villalobos had a perfect game going until he hit Morales with a pitch with two outs in the fourth, and lost his no-hitter when Royce Hickman singled to open the fifth. An error by Magana followed and then Rey Martinez spoiled the shutout with a two run single to right field, after a bad pickoff throw by Villalobos put runners on second and third. Martinez went to second and scored on a Fierro single, before Villalobos was able to retire the side.

Up by five, the Eagles got two runs back in the sixth after Morales walked Pifi Montoya, making his first varsity appearance of the season, and he scored when center fielder Frank Salais let Magana's single get past him for a two-base error. Levario then scored Magana with his third straight single, and the Eagles would add another run in the seventh to briefly regain their eight-run lead.

The win was the Eagles 12th straight and put them at 6-0 in district and 15-5 on the season, while Clint fell to 2-4 in district and 3-15-1 overall. Pecos has four district games remaining, but Tuesday's match-up against Fabens will be the Eagles' final home game of the season. They'll close out 2-4A play with trips to Canutillo, El Paso Mountain View and San Elizario, and can clinch a playoff spot before then win a victory Tuesday against the Wildcats.

Bears get 10 regional tennis, track berths

PECOS, April 13, 2001 - The Balmorhea Bears will be sending six players to regional competition in tennis and four others to regionals in track, following district and area competition this week for those teams.

Balmorhea' tennis team earned half of the Region I-A berths from their district on Tuesday and Wednesday at Fort Stockton, while the boys' track and field squad will be sending four people to Levelland in two weeks, after area competition at Wink High School on Thursday.

Coach Ennis Erickson said Chris Barragan and Ivan Rodriguez won the district boys doubles title and Michelle Barrandey and Arisela Arredondo took the district girls doubles title, while singles players Arturo Rodriguez and Celina Rodriguez earned runner-up berths at regionals.

"On the boys' side Arturo and Usbaldo (Baeza) had to play off for the singles spot," Erickson said, with Rodriguez winning second by a 6-3, 6-2 score.

Barrandey and Arredondo won their title match by a 6-1, 6-3 score over Sanderson's Valerie Mott and Elizabeth Florez, while Celina Rodriguez was beaten in the girls singles finals by Sanderson's Jessica Bejarno, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3. The Bears' other singles play, Abby Garza, took fourth. In the boys' doubles championship match, Barragan and Ivan Rodriguez won in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 over Sanderson's Carlos Cruz and Anthony Rodriguez.

Both Balmorhea teams ended up winning their district titles, Erickson said. Aside from Sanderson, the other teams in the tournament were Dell City, Fort Davis, Valentine and Grandfalls.

In track, the Bears ended up finishing sixth in the boys' division at Wink, and earned all of their regional berths in the field events. "There were 21 teams, so I was pleasantly surprised when we came in sixth," said coach Gary Gallego.

Under the new Class A system, Thursday's meet matched the small school and large school teams, with the top four finishers advancing to regionals. Billy Lozano qualified twice, placing third in the shot put with a 44-foot-4 throw and second in the discus, going 128-feet-9. Jourmain Matta also qualified in the discus, throwing 121-6 to finish fourth, while Logan Humphries wound up third in the high jump, clearing 5-foot-8.

Gallego said Sammy Dominguez just missed regional berths, placing fifth in both the 1600 and 3200 meter runs with 5:16.9 and 11:10.36 times, and the Bears' 400 meter relay team was seventh, with a 46.9 time.

Iraan won the meet with 180 points, 100 more than runner-up Garden City. Wink had 75 ½ points, Sanderson had 45 and Rankin finished with 30, one point ahead of the Bears.

On the girls' side, Celina Rodriguez just missed out on a second regional berth, finishing fifth in the discus with an 86-foot-9 throw. She was the only competitor for the Bears in the division, which also was won by Iraan.

Regional tennis competition will by April 23-24 at South Plains College in Levelland, and the Region I-4A track meet will be held April 27-28 at the college.

Eagles escape Canutillo with third straight title

PECOS, April 13, 2001 - It never fully turned into a nail-biter, but Thursday's game for the Pecos Eagles in Canutillo showed that errors can kill you, no matter how lopsided the score may seem.

The Eagles were one out away from a six-inning 12-0 shutout win over the Canutillo Golden Eagles Thursday afternoon when a bases-loaded error opened the door for Canutillo to score eight unearned runs before pitcher Stephanie Herrera could get the final out. Pecos then scored one more run in the top of the seventh and then in the bottom of the inning the Golden Eagles couldn't duplicate their seventh inning rally, as Herrera struck out Crystal Portillo after allowing two runners to reach base with two outs, and Pecos won by a 13-8 score to clinch their third straight District 2-4A title.

Canutillo had gotten only one baserunner past second base in the first five innings against Herrera, while the Eagles had doubled their lead in the top of the sixth, scoring six times after scratching out a series of runs in the first five innings off pitcher Jadine Edwards.

Jessica Rodriguez walked and scored on Ashley Salcido's single in the first inning, while in the third the Eagles scored four times, on a Rodriguez single and walk to Leslie Rodriguez, a run-scoring error by Janice Marquez on a sacrifice bunt by Herrera, a two-run triple by Rebecca Wein and an RBI double by Salcido.

Pecos made it 6-0 in the fourth without a hit, as Edwards walked Bre'Ann Windham and Christy Contreras, and Windham scored on a Leslie Rodriguez ground out. Then in the sixth they appeared to put the game away thanks to a one-out, two run error by Luz Ochoa on another Rodriguez grounder. An RBI single by Herrera, a run-scoring double by Wein, followed that and after Salcido grounded out, Alexa Marquez scored Wein with a hit, and then came home on another error by Ochoa on Mari Mendoza's grounder.

But the errors work both ways, as the Eagles found out in the bottom of the inning. In this case, it was a booted grounder by Marquez on a Daida Narcia ball that followed a pair of hits and a walk by Herrera. The Eagles were still up by 10 and could have ended the game by getting the third out, but Jackie Franco singled home Janice Marquez, and after Portillo walked Cassandra Cisneros cleared the bases with a three-run triple to right-center field. Gracie Borjas would single her home and circle the bases on another Pecos error, and suddenly the lead was down to four runs.

Edwards would reach base before Herrera got Ochoa for the final out, and in the seventh her two-out single scored Rodriguez to widen the lead back to five runs.

The win improved Pecos' record to 8-0 in district and their season mark to 11-9, while Canutillo falls to 1-7 in district and 5-16 on the season. The victory also assured the Eagles of a bye into the area round of the Class 4A playoffs, where they'll face either the runner-up from District 3-4A or the third place team from District 4-4A in two weeks. Their next game is on Tuesday at El Paso Mountain View, and they close out the regular season a week from today at home versus San Elizario.

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Pecos Enterprise
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