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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, March 13, 2002, PECOS ENTERPRISE

Eagles jump ahead early,

down Midland Christian


Staff Writer

It wasn't their best game of the season, Pecos Eagles' coach Bubba Williams said, but Tuesday's 8-4 win by the Eagles over the Midland Christian Mustangs was certainly a good way to warm up before entering the Alpine Tournament on Thursday morning.

The Eagles scored five times in the first inning off starter Shane Wright and won their fourth straight game while handing Midland Christian only their second loss in 14 games this season, by an 8-4 final score. Richard Rodriguez, who had been hit hard by Alpine and Odessa Permian in his last two outings, went the distance, allowing only six hits while striking out eight in earning his first victory of the season.

"We played better than that in our first game against Monahans, but we did a real good job tonight," Williams said. "When we're clicking we're good, and Richard did a good job on the mound, didn't get upset when things went wrong and kept his cool tonight."

Rodriguez gave up a few late inning extra-base hits to the Mustangs, but those came after Pecos had built a 7-0 lead against Wright and reliever Josh Wilson, who began the game at first base and got Pecos' rally started, when he misplayed David Elkins' leadoff grounder in the bottom of the first inning.

Rodriguez then reached second base when Coy Riley threw his grounder to third over Wilson's head for another error. Mason Abila then doubled past Riley down the line in left to score both runners, and after Wright came back to retire Freddy Torres and Barney Rodriguez, Capi Magana scored Pecos' third run by beating out an infield hit behind second base.

Magana would score all the way from first on Rigo Ramirez' double to left-center field, and Ramirez would score the Eagles' fifth run a few moments later, after a single to left by Oscar Parada.

Wilson would replace Wright on the mound after he walked Matthew Levario to open the second inning, but Elkins singled to right-center on his first pitch and Richard Rodriguez then scored Levario with a sacrifice fly. In the third the Eagles got an unearned run when Ramirez and Parada singled with two away, Levario walked and then Elkins reached base when shortstop Matt Daugherty booted his grounder.

Daugherty recovered to catch Parada straying off third base for the final out, but the Mustangs would be victimized at third base twice in their next at-bat, after getting their first run off Rodriguez in the top of the fourth.

Back-to-back doubled by Riley and Travis Horton made it 7-1, but Horton was then caught in a rundown and tagged out by Parada on a grounder to third by Wilson. Walks to Blake Morphew and Price Thompson then loaded the bases, but Rodriguez came back to strike out Roy Geer and Abila threw down to third to pick off pinch-runner Shane Helling, to end the inning.

"That strike out, throw-`em out was a big momentum changer. It stopped them," Williams said. The Mustangs would get single runs in each of their final four innings, but only really threatened in the sixth, when Wilson walked and Morphew doubled him home to lead off the inning before Rodriguez came back to strike out three of the next four batters to kill the threat.

Midland Christian had cut Pecos lead to 7-2 in the fifth on the Eagles' only error of the night, when Torres misplayed Riley's single to left, allowing Jamie Beeghley to score from first base, but the Eagles got that run back in their half of the inning, on a triple by Levario and an RBI single by Elkins.

In the seventh, Beeghley scored the Mustangs' final run on a walk, a single by Horton and Wilson's one-out sacrifice fly. Rodriguez then got Morphew to fly out to Elkins in right field to end the game.

"When Richard throws like that and we play defense behind him like that, we'll be tough to beat," said Williams, whose team improved to 8-4 on the season going into Thursday's tournament opener in Alpine against the Wimberly Texans, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Barney Rodriguez, 3-1, will pitch the opening game for the Eagles.

A win on Thursday would put the Eagles into a 12:30 p.m. game on Friday against either McCamey or Presidio, while a loss would put them into a consolation round game at 5 p.m. Friday against the loser of Thursday's Fabens-Sonora game.

The Fabens-Sonora winner will

Forgetful Lions blanked by Pecos in 2-4A opener

Stephanie Herrera apparently didn't make much of an impression on the Clint Lions last year, but Pecos Eagles' softball coach Tammy Walls said, "She will now."

As a freshman, Herrera came on in relief of Alexa Marquez in the teams' District 2-4A opener last season and shut Clint down, as Pecos rallied from a five-run deficit to down the Lions. But Walls said by the time the two teams met Tuesday afternoon in Clint to open this year's district schedule, Herrera's effort _ and her later 9-7 win over the Lions _ apparently had been forgotten.

"Their coach said `you lost Alexa, didn't you?' and thought we would be hurting for pitching, so they were surprised when they saw Stephanie," Walls said. "We had her warming up behind the bus."

Herrera did give up a leadoff single to Yvette Maldonado in the first inning, but then shut the door on Clint the rest of the way, while the Eagles scored three runs in the third inning off Jenny Parada, then broke the game open in the top of the seventh by scoring five times, as the Eagles came away with an 8-0 victory.

"I thought we played very well as a team. Stephanie did a good job controlling her pitches and keeping the ball outside. She gave them pitches they couldn't pull on," Walls said.

That meant a busy afternoon for second baseman Danielle Garcia, who had five put-outs, while Herrera recorded eight strikeouts in getting her fifth win in six decisions.

Meanwhile, Parada had only the two bad innings, giving up three runs in the third on a Becca Wein double and then five in the seventh, on six Pecos hits.

Jessica Rodriguez doubled with one out in the seventh, went to third on a passed ball and later scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Wein. After a walk to Katie Lee, Bre'Ann Windham singled home two runs, and Kelsey Flores would single in the final two runs following another hit, by Neftali Salgado.

"The Clint pitcher actually was pretty good. She's a lot better than what I've seen out here in the past," said Walls, while on the other side, she said the lack of pitching in the El Paso area probably hurt the Lions on Tuesday. "They haven't seen a pitcher as fast as Stephanie," she said.

The loss dropped Clint to 4-9 on the season while Pecos improved to 5-3 going into their district home opener at 4 p.m. on Friday against Fabens. The Wildcats defeated Canutillo in their 2-4A opener on Tuesday, 6-3, while San Elizario beat El Paso Mountain View, 11-6, in the other district opening game.

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