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Monday, July 9, 2001

LLers stay alive; Juniors win tourney openers

Early leads held up three times in a row in the 11-12 year old division of the District 4 Little League Tournament, which meant the Pecos Little League All-Stars were able to stay alive in the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Meanwhile, an early lead failed to hold up in one of the Pecos' Junior League All-Stars games, which was fine with Pecos, as they rallied from a 6-0 deficit on Sunday to defeat North Concho by a 17-7 final score, following a 4-1 victory on Saturday over San Angelo Lake View in their tournament opener.

The Little Leaguers fell behind early in their opening game on Saturday and lost to the host San Angelo Western All-Stars by an 11-2 final score, forcing them to place twice on Sunday to remain in the tournament. They jumped on Wall in their first game, scoring six times in the first inning on the way to a four-inning, 11-0 victory, then jumped out ahead of San Angelo Southern a few hours later with six runs in the first three innings, on the way to an 8-2 win.

Chris Garnto went the distance in the first game on Sunday, surviving a minor jam in the first inning to get the shutout while striking out 10 batters along the way. Josh Payan had a two-run homer in the game, and Pecos also took advantage of control problems by the Wall pitchers to score several times off bases-loaded walks.

Payan then struck out 12 in the Sunday night against San Angelo Southern, while Vincent Palomino's two-run double with the bases loaded in the second inning was the big hit for Pecos in the game. The win moved Pecos into another elimination round match-up this Saturday, probably against San Angelo Lake View, at Ballinger.

Josh Anchondo shut down Lake View for the Junior Leaguers on Saturday, in their win at Grape Creek, and then Edward Valencia came on in relief of Eddie Vela and shut down North Concho, as Pecos rallied over the final three innings and ended up winning in the sixth under the 10-run rule.

"In the bottom of the fourth we scored three runs, in the fifth we scored eight runs and in the sixth we scored six runs," said manager Rene Rayos.

"Josh did a good job pitching and what helped us (against Lake View) was our defense, and in the second game it was our offense," he said. "Josh and Edward Valencia both had big games at bat, and everybody hit the ball pretty good."

The wins move the Junior Leaguers into a 2 p.m. Saturday semifinal game against San Angelo Northern, at San Angelo Western. If they win, they'll advance to the 5 p.m. title game on Sunday, while a loss would put them into the elimination bracket later Saturday evening.

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Pecos Enterprise
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