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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, March 10, 2003

Eagle runners pick up golds at WT Relays

Staff Writer

Fans who have been following the Pecos Eagles track team over  the years know that gold medals haven't been all that common for the  Eagles at the big meets, like this past weekend's West Texas Relays.

So it was a bit of a change on Saturday at Ratliff Stadium, when the Eagles took first in three of the first four running finals and came close to sweeping all four, before ending up overall with four gold medals on the afternoon.

Overall, the Eagles ended up third in the Division I boys' team standings with 91 points, to Monahans 127 and Abilene Wylie's 100 points. "The field events got us," said Eagles' coach Jerry Parent, as the Loboes picked up 51 points in those events to just 19 for the Eagles.

Monahans also won the 400 meter relay, but just barely, as the Eagles were able to recover from a bad start to finish second with a 44.61 time to the Loboes' 44.43.

"Jason (Sanchez) had a bad first leg," Parent said, as Pecos was in seventh place after the first 100 meters and were in fifth going into the final 100, before Rashad Terry made up ground on the anchor leg to finish just behind the Loboes' Richard Covington.

Terry would reverse that result a little while later, winning a photo finish over Covington in the finals of the 100-meter dash by .02 second, with a 10.86 time. That came after Isaiah Juarez had taken the 800-meter run and Jack Bradley had won the 110-meter high hurdles. Juarez, who first ran the race a week earlier at Fort Stockton, had a 2:05.99 time, while Bradley ran a 15.31 in the hurdles, after placing third in Friday's preliminaries.

Terry also took first place later in the 200 meter dash, with a 22.23 time, while the Eagles picked up their other points on Saturday from fifth place finishes in both the 800 and 1600 meter relays, a fifth place finish by Jeremiah Mora in the 800 meter run, a fourth place finish by Genaro Mendoza in the 1600 meters and sixth place finishes by Will Armstrong in the 200 meters and Alex Orosco in the 400 meters.

On Friday Mendoza was fifth and Juarez sixth in the 3200 meter run, while the Eagles picked up a second place finish from Justin Lara in the pole vault, with Armstrong finishing fourth in the first competition of the season for the vaulters. Terry earned the Eagles' other four points with a fourth place finish in the high jump.

With spring break this week, the Eagles will be off until March 21-22, when they go to the San Angelo Relays. Most of the same teams will be in San Angelo, along with several other Region I-3A schools from the Fort Worth area.

Eagles overcome defense, Loboes, Bulldogs' JV

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles are getting very good at comebacks,  though coach Elias Payan would prefer they not get behind some of the  teams they've been trailing lately in the first place.

The Eagles, who rallied from five runs down in the opening game of the West Texas March Classic against Seminole to tie the game, only to lose in the final inning, came back from three runs down on Friday afternoon to defeat Monahans by a 4-3 final score. Then on Saturday in the consolation finals, the Eagles rallied from a three-run deficit in the seventh inning to tie the score on Oscar Parada's two-out, two-run double, and won it in the ninth inning on Jose Reyes' RBI single after David Elkins' leadoff double.

The only problem was, the Eagles had to rally from behind against Midland High's junior varsity team, so the 8-7 win over the Bulldogs in the tournament's consolation finals didn't make the Eagles' coach as happy as he might have been under other circumstances.

"We're battling back when we're down, which is a good thing, but the defense has got to get better, because there's no way they should have stayed on the field with us," Payan said, after Midland scored three times each in the third and fourth innings off Pecos errors to grab the lead, after the Eagles went ahead early in the game, 3-0.

"We've got to get better on defense against the good teams, but I'm happy with the character of the kids because when they get behind, they don't quit," he added.

Elkins and Reyes opened the game with doubles off pitcher David Hart, and the Eagles collected three more hits in the second, including an RBI single by Elkins. Parada would score Levario with a sacrifice fly in the third, but for the next three innings the Eagles would struggle against the Bulldog pitcher's curveball.

Midland tied the game in the third on three errors and a mix-up in the outfield between Elkins on Freddy Torres on a Hart fly ball that fell in for a double, and scored three more in their next at bat, following a leadoff error by Levario, a passed ball by Ruvel Carrasco and a wild pitch by Reyes, who went all nine innings and got his first win in three decisions this season.

A triple by Matt Cargile and a wild pitch by Reyes made it 7-4 in the top of the seventh, but Carrasco reached on an error by shortstop Rocky Gutierrerez to open the bottom of the inning. Pinch-runner Javier Ramirez stole second and scored on Elkins' single, and after Reyes flew out to center, Levario doubled down the line in right to put the tying runs at second and third. Gutierrez replaced Hart on the mound and struck out Torres, but Parada lined an 0-1 pitch down the line in left to tie the game.

In Friday's win over Monahans, the Eagles rallied in their last three at-bats against Dimas Porras, who had one-hit them a week earlier in the Sandhills Tournament. Joey Ortega had the game-tying hit in the top of the sixth and Victor Reyes' sacrifice won it for Pecos in the top of the seventh, as Levario picked up his first win of the season by two-hitting the Loboes.

"We played better against Monahans, but we still had five or six errors," Payan said. "The thing was our kids always get up for Monahans and they had only two hits off Matthew, so they couldn't take advantage.

"Matthew did a good job pitching, even though his elbow started hurting him a little bit when he tried to throw a curve, so he threw a split-finger fastball," he added.

Pecos was without pitcher Rigo Ramirez this weekend, so before the win over Monahans, Payan used freshmen Eddie Vela and Edward Valencia in Friday morning's game against Brownfield, and they were able to combine for an 11-3 victory over the Cubs.

"Those two kids are the future for us, and they came in and did as well as I expected," Payan said. "I'm not taking anything away from Brownfield, but I thought they could come in and compete and do a good job."

Vela went four innings to get the win, while Valencia finished off the game for the Eagles, who are 8-4 going into Tuesday's home game against San Angelo Lake View, 11-1 winners over Portales, N.M. on Saturday at the Big Spring Tournament.

Gamble fails for Eagles in loss to Loboes

Staff Writer

Pecos Eagles' coach Tammy Walls took a gamble and lost  Friday afternoon, in the Eagles' home opener against the Monahans Loboes.

Walls opted to start sophomore pitcher Danielle Garcia against Monahans, instead of Stephanie Herrera, who had started all but one of the Eagles' last 16 games in district play.

"Danielle's pitches almost work like a knuckleball, and Fort Stockton had a hard time hitting her," Walls said prior to Friday's game. "I think they'll hit Stephanie, but maybe Danielle can keep them off-balance for a while, and if she gets in trouble I can put Stephanie in."

Unfortunately, Garcia was unable to get her pitches across the plate in the first inning, walking two batters and allowing a single on a 3-2 pitch, while two of the runners scored on passed balls. Walls put in Herrera after that, and she got out of that jam and retired the side in order in the second, but Monahans got to the junior for eight runs on nine hits in the third inning, and went on to score a 12-5 victory at Martinez Field.

"The strategy worked against Fort Stockton (a 7-2 win at the Midland Christian softball tournament), because Danielle throws her knuckleball, but the strategy depends on throwing it for strikes," Walls said.

Loboes' pitcher Nicole Dickson survived a first inning jam that put Pecos runners on second and third with none out, and didn't allow a hit until the third inning, when Kelsey Flores' RBI single got the Eagles on the scoreboard. Herrera also scored on the play, sneaking home when the Loboes were caught napping, but Dickson wouldn't allow another run until the seventh, when Neftali Salgado singled with two on and circled the bases when outfielder Ariceli Fuentes missed the ball.

Meanwhile, Dickson was caught stealing in the first and Nikki Sanchez was thrown out trying to score on an error to end the inning, but in the third the Eagles would commit four errors to go along with Monahans' nine hits.

The first five batters of the inning singled to make it 5-0 before Raquel Hawkins reached on a dropped fly ball by Erica Franco. Flores then got the first out of the inning, catching a pop up behind second base, but her throw to catcher Brittany Lobstein was wide, allowing a run to score. Herrera struck out Stacie Fuentes, but the next four Monahans batters then got hits, including an RBI double by Monique Sanchez.

Flores' single to center in the bottom of the inning came after Dickson hit Kristy Contreras with one out and walked Herrera with two away. Monahans got a run back in the fifth on a walk, two stolen bases and another Pecos error, and would pick up another unearned run in the top of the seventh on a single and a two-out throwing error.

The Eagles had one other chance to score, in the fifth, when Lobstein reached on an infield hit and Salgado walked, but Dickson came back to strike out Herrera and Flores to end the threat. In the seventh, Lobstein singled with one out, stole second and went to third on a passed ball before Contreras beat the throw to first base on a fielder's choice grounder, as Lobstein held at third base. Salgado followed with her single and scored on the error by Ariceli Fuentes.

"We had a couple of errors and a couple of mental lapses out there, but the good thing about this game was early on in the season, when we'd have something like that happen it would be a train wreck and we'd just fall apart," Walls said. "Now, we're able to recover, and that shows a little maturity. We had the one bad inning, but that was it."

The loss leaves Pecos with a 1-1 record in District 4-3A and a 7-8 record overall. Monahans is 2-0 in district, tied for first with Greenwood, 29-0 winners over Presidio on Friday.

The Eagles are off this week due to Spring Break, and will return to play on March 18 with a home game against the Kermit Yellowjackets.

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