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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, March 5, 2002

Eagles able to bounce back to score victory

Staff Writer

The results were as changeable as the weather for the Pecos Eagles at this weekend's Monahans Sandhills Tournament.

After playing their best game of the season on Thursday, in an 11-1 win over Lamesa, the Eagles played what coach Bubba Williams said was, "The worst game I've even been in," on Friday, in a 23-5 loss to Alpine, under 80 degree conditions.

Then on Saturday with temperatures 50 degrees colder than the day before, the Eagles managed to be both good and bad in the same game, falling behind the Greenwood Rangers, 8-3 in an error-filled performance in the early innings, then rallying for a 9-8 victory over the Rangers in a fifth place game of the tournament.

"The kids fought back real well. They got down 8-3 going into the fifth inning and hit the ball and never gave up, even though some of our starters weren't there," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams, who was minus two regulars, Freddie Torres and Oscar Parada, who were at a religious event in Saragosa, while seeing a third, Richard Rodriguez, walk off the team in the middle of Friday's game.

Jose Reyes, one of three new faces in the starting line-up on Saturday, singled home Matthew Levario with one out in the top of the seventh to complete Pecos' rally against Adam Banda, while Levario survived allowing two seventh inning singles to pick up his second win of the season.

"Matthew did an outstanding job pitching. We made some errors behind him at the start, but we made the plays we had to at the end," Williams said.

Mason Abila threw out Dawson Wilber trying to steal after he singled to lead off the seventh inning, and Levario got Justin Crockett to ground out to Reyes at shortstop to end the game, after a two-out single by Justin Belcher.

Wilber hit for the cycle for Greenwood, and his two-run homer in the fourth inning gave the Rangers their 8-3 lead. Pecos rallied for two runs in the top of the fifth, when Joey Ortega singled home Ruvel Carrasco and David Elkins with two outs, and the Eagles would tie it in the sixth, when Zoe Serrano walked and Carrasco singled with one out, Elkins followed with an RBI ground out and the Rigo Ramirez tripled and Abila doubled with two away off Banda.

Both teams scored single runs in the first inning, and the Eagles would grab a 3-1 lead in the second thanks to some wildness on the part of Banda and some defensive problems by catcher Toby Bunch. Levario walked and Reyes reached first on a passed ball strikeout, and they would come around and score on stolen bases, another passed ball by Bunch and a wild pitch by Banda.

But the Eagles' problems on defense were far worse in the bottom of the inning. Errors by Barney Rodriguez at first base and Carrasco at third led to a game-tying single by Bunch, and after Travis Lanthram reached on an error by Reyes Wilber cleared the bases with a triple, which came following a dropped foul pop-up by Carrasco.

Lathram would later single home Bunch in the fourth before Wilbur's home, and on the other side Banda was having an easy time in the middle innings, getting six straight Pecos outs on plays to shortstop Shayne Moody. He retired seven straight Eagle batters at one point, until hitting Carrasco to begin Pecos' fifth inning rally.

The Eagles had their defensive problems at times in Friday's game as well. But mostly it was Alpine's hitters who hammered Pecos' three pitchers, as the Bucks took a 10-0 lead in the first half-inning of play.

"In 30 years of playing baseball this is the worst I've ever got beat," said Williams, while adding, "It was just one of those days."

Starting pitcher Richard Rodriguez lasted only 10 batters into the game on the mound, and only one inning of the game overall, leaving the dugout after the bottom of the first inning. His problems started when he hit Tino Estrada with one out, after Abila and Parada let his foul pop up drop untouched. Brent Mata then walked and Joseph Monclova hit the first of what turned out to be four Alpine home runs on the day, a shot to left for a 3-0 lead.

John Navarette then reached first on a passed ball third strike by Abila, D.T. Dominguez reached on an error by Serrano at second, and Jerry Lujan followed with an RBI double. Mario Estrada grounded out while scoring Dominguez, by Fred Cordova followed with an RBI single down the line and after Ian LeBlanc walked, Ramirez replaced Rodriguez on the mound.

He fared no better, walking Tino Estrada, and then giving up RBI singles to Mata and Monclova before finally getting the third out. Estrada then gave up two runs on three hits in the second inning, and was replaced on the mound by Reyes after Mata reached on an error by Levario, Monclova singled and Navarette was hit by a pitch. Reyes surrendered RBI hits by Dominguez and Lujan, followed later in the inning by a LeBlanc three-run homer and a two run shot by Mata.

Alpine's success didn't carry over in the tournament. They were beaten a hour later in the tournament semifinals by Kermit, 10-5, then lost the third place game to Presidio on Saturday, 7-4. Kermit, meanwhile, ran into the same pitching problems the Eagles did in the title game, losing to the host Loboes, 20-6.

The Eagles are now 4-2 on the season going into a 4 p.m. game on Tuesday against Odessa Permian on the Panthers' home field. That will be followed by a 1 p.m. CST game on Thursday against El Paso Burges in the opening round of the Cotton Valley Tournament in Fabens.

Shorthanded Eagles beaten up by Prowlers

The Pecos Eagle girls' softball team got caught between two conflicting events on Friday afternoon in Fort Stockton, and got themselves beaten by the Fort Stockton Prowlers, by a 13-1 final score.

"We were a little bit shorthanded," said coach Tammy Walls. "We moved the game up from 5 p.m. to 4 p.m. because some of the kids were going to a church function, and they had to be in Saragosa by 6:30 p.m."

But moving the game up meant three of the Eagles' starters, pitcher Stephanie Herrera, catcher Becca Wein and first baseman Jessica Rodriguez, were still across the parking lot at Panther Stadium competing in the Comanche Relays when the game began.

"When I handed in my lineup at the coaches' meeting they were there, but they weren't there to be checked by the officials, so we played with what we had," Walls said. That meant a mostly freshman and sophomore lineup, including pitcher Danielle Garcia, who took the loss.

"We only had nine players available at the start of the game, so that's who played," Walls said. "I put Jessica Minjarez at second base, and she's only been out for two days," following the end of Pecos' swimming season.

"Fort Stockton's got a pretty good team, but I saw some good things out there. We actually got more hits this year off their No. 1 pitcher than we did last year," Walls said.

Katie Lee had a pair of hits, while Bre'Ann Windham, Kathy Flores and Christy Contreras had Pecos' other hits.

Walls said she expected to have all of her players available on Tuesday, when the Eagles close out their pre-district schedule with a 5 p.m. game at home against Lamesa. Pecos defeated the Golden Tornadoes on the road last week, 13-11 in eight innings.

Pecos girls place fourth at Midland

The Pecos Eagle girls golf team got in just one round of the Tall City Invitational in Midland over the weekend due to cold weather, but were able to come away with a fourth place finish in the tournament, and finished ahead of one of their two likely regional rivals.

The Eagles finished behind Andrews for the second week in a row, as the Mustangs shot a 320 on Friday to beat El Paso Coronado by 10 strokes. Pecos shot a 343, five shots in back of third place San Angelo Central, but two strokes ahead of Snyder, which along with Andrews was the other Class 4A team out of Region I to advance to the state tournament a year ago.

Individually for the Eagles, Lauren Martinez tied for third in the medallist race with a round of 77, which put her four shots behind winner Vanessa Fuganti of Andrews and three in back of runner-up medalist Amy Young of San Angelo Central.

After Martinez, Cassie Foster was next for the Eagles with an 87 score, while Candace Hilliard shot an 88, Brandi North had a 91 and Dena Dutchover shot a 92. Pecos also had one individual golfer entered in Midland, Sarah McKinney, who shot a 91.

Aside from Andrews, Snyder, Lamesa and Pecos, the remaining teams in the Purple Division at the Tall City Invitational were all Class 5A schools. Monahans won the Maroon Division of the tournament with a 358 team score.

Today, both the girls and boys junior varsity teams are in action in Alpine. The boys, who were idle this past weekend, will compete in tournament play at San Angelo this coming weekend, while the girls will go to Andrews for a two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday.

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Pecos Enterprise
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