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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, March 3, 2003

Friday problems leave Pecos 3rd overall

Opening round problems were costly for the Pecos Eagle girls' golf team over the weekend in Midland, as they ended up finishing third in the Midland Girls Golf Invitational Tournament behind longtime rivals Andrews and Snyder.

The Mustangs, who placed second to the Eagles the previous weekend in Fort Stockton, had the low score both days in Midland, winning with a 344-323-667 score. Pecos had the second-lowest score in Saturday's final round, a 327, but a 362 on Friday allowed Snyder to take home second place overall, shooting a 350-332-682 to the Eagles' 689 final score.

"It was a rough course the first day," said Eagles' coach Tina Hendrick. "The weather was beautiful, but it was just a hard course, and our girls had some bad shots and some bad putts.

"The second day was better. The girls came back and played good rounds, though we still have some adjustments to do," she said. "Shelly (Martinez) had a wonderful round. She stayed focused on her putts. Now, if I can get some of the other girls to work on their consistency, we'll be OK."

The freshman cut 13 strokes off her opening round score, shooting a 75 after an opening 88 to tie for third overall in the final individual standings with a 163 score over 36 holes. Her sister Lauren, who won medallist honors last week at Fort Stockton, had the second best score for Pecos, shooting an 86-80-166. She was followed by Brandi North, with an 89-87-176; Sarah McKinney with a 99-85-185, and Dena Dutchover with a 102-89-191.

The Eagles have chased Andrews and Snyder the past several seasons, trying to advance past the regional level in Class 4A. This year, both Pecos and Snyder will be competing in the Class 3A regionals, while Andrews remains at the 4A level. At the same time, the Eagles' main District 4-3A rivals, Monahans and Fort Stockton, also were entered in the Midland tournament, with the Loboes placing fourth with a 371-346-717 score, while the Prowlers were sixth, with a 383-382-765 score.

The Eagles will see all those teams again this coming weekend, when they compete in the Andrews Invitational.

"This week will be a tough tournament. All the teams will be in one division, so El Paso Coronado will be there, and Midland High and Midland Lee also," Hendrick said. Coronado won the Division I title at Midland with a 664 score, while Lee was third at 704 and Midland High ended up in sixth place in the Class 5A division.

Hendrick also said that Tuesday's scheduled junior varsity tournament in Pecos has been cancelled. Pecos' boys, meanwhile, were off this past weekend and will play their next tournament in San Angelo this Friday and Saturday.

Eagles go 2-1 against 3-4A rivals at Sandhills

Staff Writer

The final two days of the Sandhills Tournament turned  into something of a pre-district tournament for the Pecos  Eagles' baseball team, as they scored six-run wins over District 4-3A  rivals Presidio and Kermit around a 5-3 loss Friday night to the  Monahans Loboes.

Pecos rallied from an early deficit against Presidio to defeated the Blue Devils, 10-4, then turned around an hour later and lost to Monahans in the tournament's semifinal game. On Saturday, the Eagles again fell behind early, then rallied for a 9-3 win over Kermit, to put the Eagles at 5-3 on the season.

"The kids did a good job of hitting the baseball most of the weekend," said Eagles' coach Elias Payan. "We're starting to get at a level I like to see them at, and I think this type of game will only make us better.

"I was really happy with our pitching this weekend. Rigo looks like he's going to be solid as a starter, and I think we've got three or four pitchers who'll do a good job for us."

The Eagles got decent pitching in all three games, after opening with an easy 29-0 win over Monahans' junior varsity. Rigo Ramirez survived some problems with the top batters in Presidio's lineup the first two times through the batting order to improve to 2-0 on the season, and Barney Rodriguez won his second game in a week, defending Kermit on Saturday after beating Monahans in Pecos on Tuesday.

But in Friday night's loss to the Loboes, pitcher Dimas Porras out-pitched Pecos' Jose Reyes, tossing a one-hitter while striking out 14 Eagle batters.

"With this district, it's going to come down to whoever played better defensively," he said. "Their pitcher was just on last night (Friday), but we hit the ball good a couple of times, we just hit it right at people."

Reyes allowed eight hits in four innings, before freshman Jose Anchondo pitched two scoreless innings in relief. Reyes was touched for a solo run in the second inning on a two-out double by Porras, and then was hurt by defensive lapses by the Eagles in the fourth and fifth innings.

In Friday's first game, singles by Carlos Ortiz and Armando Dominguez scored two runs for Presidio in the bottom of the first inning, following a pair of walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball by the Eagles. But Pecos was able to take advantage of a couple of errors by the Blue Devils in the third inning to score four times and chase starter Alex Calderon from the mound.

David Elkins had a run-scoring triple down the line in right, Ruvel Carrasco and Reyes had RBI singles, and Rodriguez drew a bases-loaded walk from new pitcher Hector Renteria. Presidio got a run back in the bottom of the inning off three singles, but Pecos then added five runs in the top of the fourth inning to grab an 8-3 lead. Reyes again had an RBI single, as did Matthew Levario and Oscar Parada, while Freddy Torres had a two run single.

Dominguez would drive in another run on a ground out in the fifth inning, as this time Presidio scored without benefit of a hit, while singles by Levario and Torres in the seventh got Pecos its final run.

In the loss to Monahans, the Eagles fell behind 4-0 in the third inning, when they botched an attempt to throw out Joe Juarez at second base after letting Scotty Najar's pop-up drop on purpose. "What we were trying to do was get their faster runner (Juarez) off base and leave a slower one (Najera) on first," Payan said. "But Zoe (Serrano) threw the ball a little low and Matthew didn't get down to field it."

Levario missed Serrano's throw to second, and after Reyes walked Houston Stockman, Juarez scored on a wild pitch, Najar came in on Jesus Pedroza's infield hit and Stockman scored on Porras' second double, this one down the left field line.

Pecos' only hit of the game got their first run in the fourth, as Ramirez singled home Levario, who led off the inning with a walk. He then stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Rodriguez' sacrifice fly.

Pecos gave back a run in their next at bat, when Rodriguez threw over Anchondo's head at third base trying to get Juarez, who rounded the bag too far on a Pedroza ground out to Reyes. The Eagles then got their final run in the sixth, when Torres distracted Joey Aguilar on a two-out grounder to short and caused him to miss Ramirez' grounder. Torres had walked and stolen second with two outs.

Against Kermit, Torres was forced to leave the game after being hit in the face with a pitch by starter Chris Bennett to open the third inning. "He got hit on the bridge of his nose and it cut him," Payan said.

Pecos had taken a 3-1 lead in the second thanks to a pair of two-out errors by shortstop Jay Bennett, while Kermit got their run in the first inning on two-out errors by Levario and short and Elkins at first base.

Ramirez would run for Torres and scored on a single by Rodriguez to make it a 4-1 game. The Jackets' Lupe Munoz cut that to 4-2 in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run to left field, but Elkins then homered to left for Pecos in the fourth, and Reyes would hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning to close out Pecos' scoring.

Rodriguez allowed six hits in six innings before Levario pitched the seventh for his first mound appearance of the season. "Barney didn't prepare well," Payan said. "At the start of the game he was talking about his arm hurting him, and I was thinking about bringing Matthew in earlier, but then he said it started feeling better, and the key to that is preparing well."

Monahans ended up winning the tournament with an 11-9 win over Lubbock Christian on Saturday evening. The Eagles and Loboes could meet again this coming Friday in the semifinals of the West Texas March Classic in Midland. Pecos opens with a 12:30 p.m. game against Seminole, and the winner will face either Monahans, Brownfield or Greenwood Friday night at Christensen Stadium.

Netters get seventh place in I-3A tournament

The Pecos Eagles' tennis team didn't do as well as Coach Mike Ortiz expected this past weekend, at the Region I-3A Tournament in Levelland. But Ortiz is hopeful some results from the two-day tournament will mean better things when district and regional individual play comes around next month.

After opening with a 10-4 victory over Lamesa, the Eagles were beaten by Fort Stockton, 10-3, in their quarterfinal match, then fell to Monahans by an 11-8 score before downing Greenwood 17-2 in the tournament's seventh place match.

Canyon ended up winning the tournament with a 10-5 victory over Snyder, while Fort Stockton defeated Sweetwater for third place and the final berth at the Class 3A state tournament. Monahans ended up fifth with a victory over Brownfield, Ortiz said.

In the win over Lamesa, the girls won all six of the matches completed before Pecos clinched the victory. The boys split their six matches, while the Eagles got their 10th win in mixed doubles.

Against Fort Stockton, all three wins by the Eagles came on the girls' side, with Natalia Ornelas winning in both singles and doubles play with Whitney Lamb.

"Natalia beat Fort Stockton's No. 1 player (Casee McKenzie, 6-0, 6-7, 6-2), and that's her first loss this year, which helps her for seeding at the individual tournament," Ortiz said. "But she turned around and lost to Monahans' No. 1 (Christy Gatski, 6-4, 6-3), which doesn't help her. But she's beaten her before, so at district it will come down to those three for the two regional spots."

Fort Stockton's boys swept Pecos, but Ortiz said, "Trent (Graham) split sets with Bjorn (Subia), and he went on to beat the No. 1s from Canyon and Snyder in straight sets, so that hopefully gives Trent a good shot at state at regionals."

Subia downed Graham, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, while the girls' doubles teams of Elizabeth Carreon and Jennifer Rayos, and Amanda Fleming and Beatrice Villarreal also fell in spilt sets.

The Eagles lost to the Panthers on Friday afternoon, and fell to Monahans Saturday morning after beating the Loboes on their home court in District 4-3A play. "Against Monahans the kids were all tired from the day before playing Stockton and after losing it was hard for them to get up for another match," Ortiz said. "By the time they realized it, it was too late."

Monahans won four of the six doubles matches as well as the mixed doubles match, while the teams split their 12 singles matches. Carreon, Rayos, Lamb and Villarreal won on the girls' side, while Graham and No. 2 seed Jay Dannelley took their singles matches on the boys' side, all in straight sets.

Graham and Dannelley also won in straight sets over Monahans Quaid Ledingham and Nolan Pritchard in doubles, while Ornelas and Lamb had the girls' doubles victory for Pecos.

In the win over Greenwood, the girls took all nine of their matches in pro-set format, while the boys went 7-of-9 in singles and doubles play.

The Eagles have no matches scheduled for this coming weekend because of the state competition, and will return to action on March 21-22 with tournament play in Monahans. The District 4-3A Tournament will also be in Monahans, on April 4-5.

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