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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, April 22, 2002

Eagles edge San Eli for 10-0 district mark

The game was a little sloppier than their first meeting, and the Pecos Eagles never trailed this time around against the San Elizario Eagles, but the results ended up the same _ a two run victory for Pecos over San Elizario in the final regular season game for both teams.

Pecos, which had to rally in the sixth inning at home to beat San Elizario by a 3-1 score on March 28, put four runs across on San Eli pitcher Valerie Soto in the first inning, which was enough to allow the visiting Eagles to withstand a three-run inning by the host Eagles in the bottom of the third. Mari Mendoza would then circle the bases on an infield hit and three-base throwing error in the top of the fourth, and pitcher Stephanie Herrera would shut the door on San Eli the rest of the way, as Pecos completed their second straight 10-0 district season with a 5-3 victory.

"We had five errors in that one inning," coach Tammy Walls said of San Eli's three-run third, in which they left the bases loaded with two outs when Herrera struck out Jessica Rivera. "We got a little sloppy, but I thought we showed good character in being able to overcome it. We got out of the inning after that and settled down and finished out the game."

Soto, who survived a couple of jams back on March 28 before Pecos scored three times in the sixth inning to win, was hurt by one error in the first inning on Friday. She walked Jessica Rodriguez to open the game, then allowed consecutive singles to Herrera, Becca Wein and Neftali Salgado. The single by Salgado scored Rodriguez, and Herrera came home on a bad throw by leftfielder Isila Quczada. One out later, Kelsey Florez singled to left-center to score both Wein and Salgado for a 4-0 lead.

San Eli's third inning rally started with consecutive errors by Katie Lee at shortstop and Rodriguez at first base on balls hit by Carla Garcia and Vicki Treviso. Garcia scored on a wild pitch, but after Reba Madrid singled, Herrera got Soto on a pop up and Florez threw out Treviso trying to score on Debbie Ayala's grounder to third. But Lee then misplayed April Valencia's grounder for a run-scoring error and Valerie Valencia singled home Ayala to make it 4-3.

Quczada would then reach to load the bases, before Herrera fanned Rivera for the final out. San Eli would get only three more baserunners the rest of the way, on a pair of walks by Herrera and an error by Erica Franco in the seventh inning. However, Franco would then end the game by snaring April Valencia's line drive.

"I put Erica in at second base (in the fourth inning) and she really settled things down for us. She made a couple of outs in the fifth inning," said Walls, who was without her regular shortstop, Brittany Lobstein, and her regular second baseman, Danielle Garcia, due to grades and injury.

"I hope Danielle will be back for the playoff game. She should be, because she's up around walking. It hurts having to replace two infielders," said Walls. Garcia sprained her ankle last Tuesday sliding into second base in the Eagles' win over Canutillo.

Mendoza, who moved into the starting lineup in right field when Florez was moved from there to third base and Lee from third to shortstop, got Pecos' final run on a two out tap in front of home plate in the fourth. "It was like a bunt. She was running in the baseline, but the catcher (Madrid) hit her in the shoulder and she was able to score on it," Walls said, as the ball rolled down into the right field foul territory.

Soto gave up a single to Bre'Ann Windham after that, then got Rodriguez on a pop up to retire the side, and allowed only one more hit after that, a single by Mendoza off the first base bag in the sixth. This time, she stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Madrid, but was throw out by Soto trying to score when the throw from Garcia in centerfield got past Ayala at third base.

The win was the Eagles' 11th straight and gave them a 14-3 record, while San Eli ended up with a 7-3 district mark and a 14-10 season record. They'll host El Paso Burges in the area round of the playoffs this week. The other bi-district playoff match-up has El Paso Riverside hosting Fabens, after the 5-5 Wildcats won a tiebreaker over Canutillo for the final 2-4A playoff berth.

Pecos' playoff game won't be until either May 2 or May 3, since winning the district title gave the Eagles a first round playoff bye. But they will be playing their first-ever night game at Martinez Field on Tuesday, a 7 p.m. game against District 4-3A champion Monahans.

Eagles avoid errors to rout Canutillo, clinch district title

Staff Writer
The Canutillo Golden Eagles got their hits, but they didn't get any help from errors by the Pecos Eagles Friday night. Meanwhile, the Eagles got both a lot of hits off Canutillo pitcher Julian Lopez and a lot of errors on the part of his teammates, and that translated into a five-inning 13-1 victory for Pecos, which helped clinch their third District 2-4A title in the past four seasons.

Lopez took Matthew Levario's second pitch of the game over the fence in left field for a 1-0 lead, and Canutillo would end up with six hits in five innings against Levario, but the Eagles played errorless ball in the game, and ended it by throwing Carlos Torres out at second base trying to stretch a two-out single in the fifth inning into a double.

Meanwhile, Pecos got at least one hit from all nine positions in their batting order, while Canutillo committed two errors in the bottom of the first inning, and four more in the Eagles' eight-run fourth inning that saw Pecos' first 10 batters reach base off Lopez, who wound up allowing seven hits in the inning and 14 in the game.

"We hit the ball real good and played defense real good. We fielded the ball and hit the cutoff man, so it was a good team effort," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams.

The Eagles didn't play defense behind Levario in the seventh inning last month in Canutillo, when he carried a shutout for 6 2/3 innings, only to see three errors and four hits allow the Golden Eagles to tie the score in a game Pecos would eventually go on to win, 5-4.

When the game started Canutillo looked like they would pick up where they left off against Levario, when Lopez took his second pitch just over the glove of left fielder Freddy Torres and over the fence for a solo homer. Levario would allow a one out single to Alex Vela but then retired Luis Porras and Andy Acosta to get out of trouble.

Lopez, in contrast, got leadoff hitter David Elkins on a grounder and got two strikes on Richard Rodriguez before his troubles began. Rodriguez singled back up the middle, went to second when Jose Carreon dropped Lopez's pickoff throw to first, and scored on a double down the line in left by Mason Abila. One out later Abila scored on Rigo Ramirez' base hit, with Ramirez going to second base on the throw home, from where he scored on a single to right-center field by Torres.

The Eagles added a pair of solo runs in the second and third innings before breaking things open on Lopez in the fourth. Ruvel Carrasco singled and scored on Rodriguez' single in the second, and Torres then hit his fourth home run of the season in the third inning, a shot to centerfield that made it 5-1.

Levario singled to open the fourth inning, and Carrasco then reached when Andy Barraza misplayed Carrasco grounder. Elkins followed with an RBI single, and Rodriguez then picked up his third single of the game, with Carrasco scoring when Edgar Munoz threw his slow infield roller past third base.

After Abila was intentionally walked Joey Ortega blooped an RBI single to center. Lopez then wild pitched Rodriguez home and Ramirez followed with an infield hit to shortstop to score another run, while Torres and Sammy Dominguez then collected RBI singles to left for the final two runs of the game.

Levario picked up his first win since March 16 and improved to 4-1 on the season. "Matthew's just got to move his fastball around a little bit more and develop a curveball," Williams said. "He's also got to learn to throw the ball in the dirt with two strikes, instead of trying to gut it."

The win also improved Pecos to 20-4 on the season and 8-0 in district. Pecos clinched the 2-4A title with their win and San Elizario's 6-5 loss to Fabens. Canutillo fell to 1-7 in district and 6-14 on the season.

The Eagles' final two regular season games will both be at home this week, a 7 p.m. game against El Paso Mountain View on Tuesday and a 5 p.m. match-up with San Elizario on Friday.

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Pecos Enterprise
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