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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Eagles looking towards state after taking district golf titles

Advancing two teams to regional competition has become pretty much old hat for the Pecos Eagles golf teams at the District 2-4A Tournament.

They accomplished that goal for the fourth times in four years on Tuesday, after the final round of 2-4A play at Santa Teresa, N.M. But this season, both coaches Tina Hendrick and Kim Anderson are hoping district wins by the `A' teams are followed up by the same sort of success at regionals, in two weeks at San Angelo.

Pecos' `B' teams slumped a little bit on Tuesday after strong opening rounds on Monday at the Santa Teresa Country Club, both still easily joined `A' squads in earning Region I-4A tournament berths for the fourth time in as many years.

On the boys' side, Pecos' `B' team shot a 347 and finished with a 683 total, after leading the Eagles' `A' team by four strokes going into the final round. The 347 was still 41 strokes ahead of third place Clint, and their 36-hole total was 131 shots ahead of the third place Lions, who shot an 814.

Pecos' `A' squad knocked 18 strokes off their opening round 340 score, shooting 322 to win the tournament with a 662 total.

"Santa Teresa is a tough track, so that 322 the second day by the varsity was a good score," said Anderson, who mixed his top players between the `A' and `B' teams at Santa Teresa, but plans to put his Top 5 on the `A' team for the regional tournament at Quicksand Golf Course in San Angelo.

"The people I have going to regionals have a chance if they play well, but the Quicksand course is tough, and they're going to have to have total concentration both days," Anderson said, while adding, "This is the first time going down there we have a legitimate shot if we play well. The last three times we would have had to have played out of our gourds to stay in there."

Pecos' girls already know they can play close to last year's Region I-4A state qualifiers, having faced Andrews and Snyder several times and beating both teams once this year. The Mustangs will still be favored at regionals, while the Eagles figure to fight the Tigers and Southlake Carroll for the other state berth at San Angelo's Riverside Golf Course.

"I was real proud of the varsity. They came back the second day after some of them had a bad first round," Hendrick said of the two-day district tournament. The Eagles' `A' team knocked five strokes off their opening round score on Tuesday, shooting a 342 to finish with a 689 score, while the `B' team saw their score rise from 371 to 404 and finished with a 775 total.

The 404 was still 71 strokes better than Fabens, which followed up its opening round 463 with a 475 score on Tuesday to finish with an 841 score.

"There was a lot of sand, and water on the course we played yesterday. It was more of a hilly course up and down (than Andrews), so you really had to have good golf course management or you'd be in trouble all the time," Hendrick said.

Pecos' girls claimed the first 11 spots in the final individual standings, led by medallist Lauren Martinez, who followed up her opening round of 80 with a 77 on Tuesday to finish with a 157 score. "Lauren kept focused both rounds. I was real proud of her," Hendrick said.

Sarah McKinney was next for Pecos with an 84-88-172, and was followed on the `A' team by Candace Hilliard with a 90-90-180, Cassie Foster with a 93-88-181 and Brandi North with an 85-89-184. The `B' team was led by Bianca Mendoza, who shot a 93-99-192, and was followed by Jennie Canon with a 97-98-195, Dena Dutchover with an 89-107-196, Kristian Aguilar with a 93-104-197, and Kattie Davis, with a 96-103-199.

For the boys, Pete Vasquez of the Eagles' `B' team followed up his opening round of 79 with a 76 to win medallist honors with a 155 score, and was followed by a pair of Pecos `A' players _ Casey Breiten, who shot the best individual round of the tournament, a 74, to finish with a 162 score, and David Bradley, who shot 82s both days for a 164 total.

Michael Nichols, playing for the `B' team was fourth with an 84-83-167, one shot ahead of `A' teamer Jake McKinney, who had an 81-85-168. Jack Stickels was sixth, with an 89-81-170 while playing for the `A' team, and `B' team member Sal Nichols was seventh, with an 81-92-173.

"Pete Vasquez and Casey Breiten are playing good golf right now, and David Bradley and Mikey Nichols played good rounds of golf," Anderson said. "Those four for sure will be on the varsity at San Angelo."

El Paso Mountain View's Chris Cordero shot a 97-89-185, Clint's Brian Sosa shot a 97-89-186 and Mountain View's Jorge Silva shot a 94-95-189 to earn the other three medallist spots.

Mountain View shot a 425-390-815 to place fourth, while Canutillo was fifth with a 416-417-833 and Fabens `A' and `B' teams were next with 415-426-841 and 499-493-992 scores.

The other girls' scores were; Clint, with a 493-486-979, and Canutillo, with a 463-517-980 total.

Flock of Eagles get into 10-4 win

It was a game that was an official scorer's nightmare, but it served its purpose for Pecos Eagles' coach Tammy Walls.

The Eagles improved their District 2-4A record to 8-0 Tuesday afternoon at Martinez Field with a 10-4 victory over the Canutillo Golden Eagles in a game where the Eagles jumped out to an early lead, then substituted freely in the later innings, as did the Golden Eagles, who pushed three of their four runs across the plate with two outs in the seventh inning.

Pecos was within a few feet of ending the game in the bottom of the fifth inning under the 10-run rule, when Rebecca Wein was thrown out trying to score after tripling down the line in left field, to give Pecos a 10-1 lead. By then Walls had gotten most of her reserves into the game, though all nine starters were back in the game when Canutillo got their three runs _ all unearned _ off Stephanie Herrera in the top of the seventh inning.

"I felt like our defense was sloppy because of who we were playing and how the game went. There was no sence of urgency," said Walls, adding, "It wasn't important to run-rule them. The important thing was to get everybody in.

"I tried to get everyone some playing time, and I saw some good things from people who haven't had a chance to play much, like Erica Franco, who had two base hits," said Walls. "I'm looking at people in other positions so I can get some more depth on the team."

Reserve players ended up with most of the hits for both teams on Tuesday, after the Eagles scored six times in the first two innings while collecting just one hit off starter Maria Hurtado and reliever Cassandra Cisneros.

Hurtado got herself in trouble in the first, throwing away Danielle Garcia's grounder back to the mound after walking leadoff batter Jessica Rodriguez. After a sacrifice bunt by Herrera she walked Wein, then saw two more runs score on wild pitches and her own throw past catcher Jasmine Bueno. Hurtado left the mound after another walk, to Neftali Salgado, who then stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch.

Cisneros came on to pitch and Hurtado went to shortstop. She would collect Canutillo's first hit in the top of the second, and later scored on a two-out error, but her problems in the field continued in the bottom of the inning. She booted Herrera's two out grounder in the second inning, allowing Rodriguez to score following a one-out walk, and Herrera later made it 6-1 when she moved around the bases on a single by Wein and two wild pitches.

Cisneros got through the third inning without problems, but in the fourth singles by new centerfielder Bre'Ann Windham and Herrera set up Wein's sacrifice fly for Pecos' seventh run. Franco then singled home Herrera to make it 8-1.

In the fifth, Rodriguez singled with one away and after Garcia walked, she scored on a fielder's choice ground out by Herrera, as she was caught in a rundown between second and third. Herrera ended up safe at second when Hurtado couldn't handle a low throw to the bag, and scored the Eagles' final run on Wein's triple down the line.

Like Hurtado, Pecos shortstop Brittany Lobstein didn't have a great day on Tuesday. She bobbled Karla Quintana's grounder in the second to allow Hurtado to score, then threw wide to first on her grounder with one out in the seventh to start Canutillo's rally. Hurtado was safe at second when Herrera's throw on a bunt attempt by Cisneros was dropped, and with two outs Angie Barron singled home a run, Cisneros then scored on a Herrera wild pitch and Naomi Portram singled home a fourth run, before Herrera ended the game on a grounder to the mound.

"It's hard to play a team that is struggling, because you tend to play at their level and become kind of lethargic," said Walls. "Fortunately, we didn't have to rally or stay at a high intensity to be successful in the game.

The win was Pecos' ninth in a row and improved their record to 12-3 on the season, while Herrera is now 11-1 overall this season. Canutillo's loss dropped them into a tie with Fabens for the final district playoff berth, both with 4-4 records.

The Eagles are off on Friday due to the District 2-4A track meet, and will return to action next Tuesday with their final home game, against El Paso Mountain View. A win would clinch Pecos' fourth straight 2-4A title prior to their final regular season game, on April 19 at second place San Elizario.

Defense is difference for Pecos in win over Clint

Staff Writer
The Pecos Eagles played defense behind pitcher Richard Rodriguez when he needed the help in the early innings, while the hitters did enough off pitcher Jonathan Baeza so that when the defense did let down in the late innings, Pecos already had a big enough lead to score an easy win over the Clint Lions.

The Eagles won their 14th straight game and improved to 6-0 in district, as Rodriguez survived a rough start to record his third straight win, by a 12-4 final score. The senior pitcher allowed the first two runners to reach base in the first inning, and was touched for a couple of hits and other hard shots by Clint's batters but survived unharmed, as Mason Abila threw out Royce Hickman trying to steal third base and David Medeles was then caught in a rundown between second and third while trying to advance two bases on Baeza's single to centerfield.

"We got some good execution by the kids," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams. "You've just got to remember the kids are going to hit him (Rodriguez), and we just need to make the plays behind him, and that's what we did."

Clint, on the other hand, did not make the plays behind Baeza when they needed them, while the Eagles were able to put the ball in play enough to offset some problems they had making solid contact in the early innings.

Leadoff hitter David Elkins fought off several two strike pitches before blooping a single to left field in the bottom of the first, and moved to second when David Fierro booted Rodriguez' grounder. Abila then grounded into a fielder's choice at second base, but Elkins scored on the next play, when Hickman couldn't complete a double play on a Freddy Torres grounder and threw the ball by Fernie Lopez at first base.

In the second Capi Magana was able to throw out Fierro on a tough one-out infield chop, after Frank Salas' bad-hop single bounced over his head. But in the bottom of the inning Medeles dropped Elkins' fly ball to right field, allowing two runs to score after Baeza walked Barney Rodriguez and Matthew Levario with two outs.

Clint finally got a run in the third inning, when Rodriguez hit Hickman with a pitch and Kit Bramblett doubled off the glove of Oscar Parada at third base. But in the bottom of the inning Fierro couldn't handle Magana's hard grounder to third and scored when Salas dropped Parada's fly ball to center, following a bunt single by Rigo Ramirez. Both Parada and Ramirez then scored on Levario's bloop hit to centerfield.

Two innings later, Hickman misplayed grounders to shortstop by both Parada and Levario, which led to another two run single, this time by Elkins, which upped Pecos' lead to 9-1 before the Eagles had their defensive problems.

Rodriguez opened the inning by throwing 11 straight balls, walking Medeles and Bramblett. He came back from a 3-0 count to get Baeza to pop to second, but then Magana booted a grounder by Lopez and then threw the ball past Levario at second base to allow Medeles to score, and Bramblett scored when Levario's throw to third went by Parada. Lopez ended up at third, and he came home when Abila's pickoff attempt at third moments later got past Parada and into left field.

That cut the lead to 9-4, but Rodriguez came back to get the final two outs of the sixth, and Pecos then got those runs back in the bottom of the inning off new pitcher Richie Ortega.

Abila and Torres opened the inning with hits. Abila was out trying for third on a passed ball, but Fierro then booted and threw away Magana's grounder to score Torres, and Magana scored after Ramirez' single, when Medeles threw the ball past catcher Sam Duran. Ramirez would score on a grounder to first by Parada, but even that ended up with an error, as Baeza _ now at first base _ mishandled the ball and Ortega failed to cover the bag.

Defensively, the Eagles recovered from their sixth inning problems in the seventh, when Parada threw out Hickman on a one-out sacrifice bunt, and Barney Rodriguez then was able to get Freddy Rivera trying to go from first to third base, after he had reached on an infield hit.

Rodriguez ended up allowing five hits while improving his record to 3-2, while the victory lifts Pecos to 18-4 on the season. Clint falls to 2-4 in district and 9-13-1 on the season. The Eagles are now off for the next week due to this weekend's District 2-4A track meet, and will try to clinch their fourth straight trip to the playoffs next Tuesday, when they go to Fabens to face the Wildcats in a 5 p.m. game.

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Pecos Enterprise
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