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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, Apil 24, 2002

Eagles no-hit Lobos to `re-win' district title

Staff Writer
How do you motivate yourself after winning the District 2-4A title on Friday night?

Go out and win it again.

That's what the Pecos Eagles' baseball team did Tuesday night against the El Paso Mountain View Lobos at Eagle Field. Pecos, which seemingly had clinched the district title four days earlier with a 13-1 win over Canutillo and Fabens' 6-5 win over San Elizario, found out that they had to forfeit a 12-4 win two weeks ago against Clint for using an ineligible player.

That left Pecos with a two game lead over Fabens in the district standings with two games to play, and the Eagles made sure the Wildcats couldn't catch them by blanking Mountain View in a five-inning game, 10-0, as Matthew Levario threw the Pecos' second no-hitter of the season.

Levario, who pitched last Friday's win over Canutillo, allowing one run on six hits in five innings, was given the start again on Tuesday by coach Bubba Williams. "He didn't throw that many pitches Friday and has three days rest," said Williams, who added he and the other Eagle coaches are hoping to get the junior some extra work on his off-speed pitches before the playoffs begin on May 10.

"We're tying to work on his split-finger (fastball), and we're trying to get a (practice) game next week to give him some more work on it," Williams said.

Levario faced only one batter over the minimum in five innings, hitting Manny Cervantes with two outs in the first inning. David Elkins then ran down Jorge Silva's line drive down the right field foul line for the final out of the inning, while Richard Rodriguez took away Mountain View's best chance at a hit, going behind second base in the top of the fourth to field a hard grounder by Cervantes, then throwing him out after knocking the ball down to preserve the no-hitter.

Mountain View pitcher Cesar Sanchez lost his no hitter early, when Danny Martinez couldn't get back fast enough on Rodriguez' deep fly to left, and had it bounce off his glove near the fence for a double. Two wild pitches by Sanchez with two outs would score Rodriguez for a 1-0 lead.

Sanchez was able to fool the Pecos batters at times with his split finger pitch, but fooled his catcher Jose Solaranzo just as much. In the second, Oscar Parada walked to lead off, stole second and went to third on a passed ball by Solarzanzo before scoring on Ruvel Carrasco's infield hit. Carrasco then stole second and scored on Rodriguez single to center, while Mason Abila followed with an RBI triple to right-center field for a 4-0 Pecos lead.

The Eagles made it 5-0 before the inning was over, when Javier Arriette misplayed Freddy Torres' grounder to shortstop for an error, and Pecos then chased Sanchez from the mound in the third inning by scoring four more times.

Levario appeared ready to chase Sanchez by himself to open the third, after he was hit in the head by the Lobos pitcher. Sanchez would also hit Elkins and Rodriguez before being relieved by Silva, and in-between saw Parada reach on a fielder's choice bouncer in front of home plate, when pinch runner Jose Reyes beat Solarzanzo's throw to third, then gave up a two-run single to Joey Ortega.

Ortega would score on another passed ball by Solarzanzo after Silva came on to pitch, and Abila followed with an RBI single for a 9-0 lead. Silva then settled down to retire the next six batters in a row, but the Eagles were able to win the game under the 10-run rule with two outs in the bottom of the fifth on an unearned run, as David Elkins singled and scored on Torres' single, after Cervantes misplayed Abila's grounder to third base.

Along with clinching the district title again, the Eagles also won their 20th game of the season for the second time on Tuesday, thanks to the forfeit. Williams said the Eagles were forced to forfeit their April 9 home game to Clint because a player used in that game had played the previous day in a sub-varsity game against Fort Davis, in violation on University Interscholastic League rules.

"That Monday they went to Fort Davis and we sent some of our kids down there to scrimmage, and one of those kids courtesy ran the next night against Clint," Williams said. The forfeit was the first in four years for Pecos and far less damaging than the last one, when the Eagles had to give up a district win over Sweetwater that ended up costing them a chance at claiming the final playoff spot out of the old District 4-4A.

The Eagles are officially 9-1 in district and 20-5 on the season going into their final regular season game, at 5 p.m. on Friday against San Elizario. Mountain View was eliminated from the playoff race, and fell to 2-6-1 in district and 6-14-1 on the season.

Williams said the Eagles are looking to play either one or two practice games next week, probably against District 3-3A champion Seminole and either Monahans or Kermit, who'll play for the District 4-3A title on Friday.

Pecos girls end up 4th, boys 13th in I-4 golf

The standings among the leaders didn't change on Tuesday, in the final round of the Region I-4A Girls Golf Tournament in San Angelo, as the Andrews Mustangs and Snyder Tigers won the two state playoff berths again this year, while the Pecos Eagles placed fourth overall in the 16-team field.

The standings did shift a little on the boys' side, as Southlake Carroll and Granbury passed Wichita Falls Rider to grab the two state tournament berths, while Pecos' boys slipped from 12th to 13th in the final standings.

Pecos' girls saw their score go up by three strokes from the opening round of the tournament at Riverside Golf Course, but their 326 on Tuesday was still the third best round of the day, one shot better than Southlake Carroll. However, both Andrews and Snyder knocked a few strokes off their totals, with the Mustangs winning with a course-record 299-296-595, while the Tigers placed second, with a 303-301-604.

Pecos' 323-326-649 was 10 strokes behind Southlake Carroll, which shot an opening round 312 and finished at 639 overall. Granbury was fifth, with a 330-328-658, while the Eagles' `B' team did move up one spot on the final day of play, shooting a 358 after an opening 376 to finish 11th overall with a 734 total, eight shots up on Wichita Falls Rider.

"The girls played their hearts out. They played a good round of golf, but it was just tough competition," said Eagles' coach Tina Hendrick.

The finish for the top four teams was almost the exact same way they finished back in February, at the season-opening San Angelo Invitational, though all the teams cut their scores from that tournament by between 55 to 65 strokes.

"Everybody improved so much. Our girls cut their scores, but so did Snyder and Andrews," said Hendrick. "But we still had a wonderful season, and all our girls did really well."

Individually, Lauren Martinez finished tied for seventh in the medallist race, shooting a 75 on Tuesday to finish at 151. She was followed by Sarah McKinney, who shot an 81 to finish at 163, while Candace Hilliard and Cassie Foster both finished with 168s after final rounds of 84 and 87, and Brandi North shot an 86 to finish with a 170 total.

For the `B' team, Jennie Canon and Dena Dutchover both broke 90 on Tuesday, with Dutchover shooting an 85 to finish at 175 and Canon an 84 to finish with a 177. Kristain Aguilar shot a 97 to finish with a 191 for 36 holes, Kattie Davis shot a 92 to finish with a 198 and Bianca Mendoza shot a 102 to finish at 201 for the tournament.

Andrews' Vanessa Fuganti shot a 144 to win the medallist race, one stroke up on Granbury's Christa Spedding.

On the boys' side, the Eagles saw their second round score jump from 342 to 354, giving them a 696 final total. That dropped them one spot in the standings, as El Paso Burges went from 350 to 325 to finish with a 675 score.

"Just about everything they shot went into the sand traps. They didn't get any breaks," said coach Kim Anderson. "I saw (Jack) Stickels two holes in a row hit sprinkler heads with his shot and go into the rough."

Pete Vasquez was the only player on the `A' team for Pecos to lower his score on Tuesday. He shot an 84 after an opening round 88 and finished at 172 overall, while Casey Breiten had the best 36-hole total for Pecos, shooting an 81-84-165. David Bradley shot an 82-93-175, Michael Nichols shot a 91-93-194 and Jake McKinney shot a 92-94-165 for the other `A' team scores.

"Casey and Pete played really well, and Sal (Nichols) had a good second round," said Anderson. Nichols ended up with the best second round score for Pecos, and led the `B' team golfers with a 92-81-173.

Overall, the `B' team wound up 16th, with a 398-384-782 score. After Nichols' total, Stickels was next for the `B' team with an 88-92-180, and was followed by Jacob Gonzales with a 101-104-205; Andre Varela with a 117-107-224; and Dustin Gulihur with a 120-118-238.

Andrews' Paul Slaughter won a trip to state as medallist, even though Andrews as a team failed to qualify for regionals. He shot a 141 to finish six strokes up on Rider's Jonathan Borders and Owen Mahaffey, with Borders winning a playoff for the other individual state berth.

Southlake Carroll won the tournament with a 303-299-602, while Granbury shot a 301-304-605 to edge out Rider, which shot a 308 after an opening 298 to finish with a 606 score. Snyder was fourth, with a 304-308-612.

Carroll will be moving up to Class 5A next year, while Pecos and Snyder will be dropping down to Class 3A, where regionals will be played in Midland and Odessa.

"That's good for our kids, because it's easier for their parents to get them over there to play practice rounds," said Anderson. Perryton and Abilene Wylie advanced to state from Region I-3A on Tuesday on the boys' side, while Bridgeport and Monahans were the state qualifiers in the girls' regional tournament.

Monahans uses pitching, Pecos errors for 8-0 win

Just in case the Pecos Eagles didn't know that the playoffs _ and the 2003 district softball season _ will be a lot tougher than the 2002 district season was, they got a taste of that Tuesday night at the hands of the Monahans Loboes.

Monahans' freshman Raquel Hawkins shut out Pecos on three hits, while the Eagles' defense fell apart behind pitcher Stephanie Herrera, as the District 3-4A champion Loboes beat Pecos by an 8-0 score in the Eagles' first-ever night game at Martinez Field.

Pecos won their fourth straight District 2-4A title this season, and came into the game winners of 11 in a row and awaiting the winner of this weekend's bi-district game between Borger and San Angelo Lake View. But the Eagles will be moving into District 4-3A next season, which includes not only the Loboes, but also Midland Greenwood, which is favored to make its second straight trip to the Class 3A state softball tournament this year.

Given all that, coach Tammy Walls said, "I was disappointed in the way we played. They had three earned runs and we made six or seven errors. I felt like we were intimidated.

"They had strong pitching, and we just didn't get our bats going," said Walls, as Herrera, Becca Wein and Erica Franco were the only ones to get hits off Monahans' pitching.

"I made some changes to the infield, and we had some problems there," Walls said. "In district we really didn't have anybody running on us, but Monahans ran on us and we had problems covering second base. We made a lot of mistakes in our new positions, which is the sign of a young team."

The Eagles have seven freshmen and sophomores starting this year, including Herrera, who Walls said "pitched a great game, but we just didn't back her up."

She said the Loboes took a 1-0 lead in their first at bat, and then added two run in the third inning, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth and seventh innings

"I think they had about four hits, and we had a ton of errors," said Walls, as Herrera saw her record fall to 13-2 on the season, while the Eagles are now 14-4 overall going into next week's area round playoff game.

"It was a learning experience, since it was just a practice game, and we got to know what we need to prepare for before the playoff game," said Walls, who plans to go to Lubbock on Friday to scout the Lake View-Borger game.

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