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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, March 24, 2003

Eagles run out of comebacks in loss to Jackets

Staff Writer

Six run comebacks don't happen every day. In fact, for some baseball teams, they might happen only once every couple of years.

So the odds were against the Pecos Eagles coming back for the second time in five days from a 7-1 deficit, this time against the Kermit Yellowjackets on Saturday evening in Kermit. And while the Eagles came close, they came up short, as the Jackets held off Pecos' late rally to win by a 7-6 final score in the District 4-3A opener for both teams, in a game postponed from Friday due to rain.

"We spotted them four runs in the first inning and tried to crawl back," said coach Elias Payan, whose team rallied from a 7-1 deficit to defeat Big Spring, 9-7, last Tuesday. "The kids did a good job under the situation, but we just didn't get the hits when we needed them."

Freddy Torres sent Kermit right fielder Erbey Saucedo to the fence near the 320-foot sign with two out and two on in the sixth, after Pecos had scored five times to cut the 7-1 deficit to 7-6. Saucedo caught the ball after a brief stumble to end the inning, and then shortstop Chris Bennett doubled Oscar Parada off second base on a Ruvel Carrasco pop-up with one out in the seventh, after the Eagles had put the tying and go-ahead runs on base with none out.

"It was a hit-and-run," Payan said of the game-ending play, which allowed Lupe Munoz too pick up a save in relief of Bear Hering, who had shut down the Eagles through the first five innings before running into trouble in the sixth.

Errors were again a problem for the Eagles on defense, but only accounted for two of the Jackets' seven runs. Their other five came on a pair of home runs, a three-run shot by Chris Bennett in the first inning, and a two-run homer by Saucedo in the fifth that ended up providing the Jackets' with their margin of victory.

Bennett's shot to left came in the first after leadoff singles by Munoz and Hunter Hardaway off Barney Rodriguez, who has struggled in the first inning all season long. The Jackets' other run in the first came when Jaime Gallardo singled and moved to second when Torres bobbled the ball in left field, and then scored when Matthew Levario couldn't handle Saucedo's grounder to short. The damage could have been worse, but Levario was able to throw out Melo Valenzuela on a grounder that caromed off Parada's glove at third base.

Parada did get charged with an error in the second on a Munoz grounder, and after two passed balls by Carrasco he scored on a single by Hardaway. Pecos then dodged a bullet in the fourth, when Kermit loaded the bases with one out, as Carrasco picked off Jay Bennett at third base and Rodriguez got Chris Bennett to pop to first.

Hering, meanwhile, was holding Pecos to only two hits in the first four innings, on a single by Zo Serrano in the third inning and a double by Torres in the fourth. Pecos finally got on the board in the fifth on a single by Victor Reyes and a sacrifice fly by Serrano, and then chased Hering with their five-run fifth.

Levario walked to open the inning and after Torres' second double of the day, Parada walked to load the bases. Hering got Rodriguez to pop to short, but Reyes then singled to center to score two runs, and after Carrasco walked Munoz came on and was greeted by Javier Ramirez' RBI infield single to make it 7-4. A ground out by Serrano and another infield hit, by David Elkins, brought home two more runs, but after Levario walked on a 3-2 pitch Torres' deep fly to right was hauled in by Saucedo to end the threat.

Serrano was batting Saturday and Ramirez and Reyes started in the outfield because of the absence of starters Rigo Ramirez and Jose Reyes, who were both at a church event. But Payan said their absences didn't cause the Eagles' loss.

"The kids who played did well. We didn't make errors in the outfield, we made them in the infield, and they put the ball in play when they had to," he said. "I'll take responsibility for this loss. We just didn't play."

The Eagles fell to 12-6 on the season while Kermit is 9-6 overall. Pecos will now go to Monahans for their second District 4-3A game, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Monahans won their district opener at Presidio, 8-4, while Greenwood beat Fort Stockton, 15-1, in the other 3-4A game.

Pecos boys 5th at San Angelo, girls get 6th

The Pecos Eagle boys placed fifth at the San Angelo Relays over the weekend, while Pecos' girls ended up sixth competing at the Mustang Relays in Andrews on Saturday.

Sophomore Rashad Terry tied the Division III meet record for the 100 meter dash in the preliminaries on Friday, and won first in both that race and in the 200 meters on Saturday in San Angelo., The Eagles had three other third place finishes and collected 64 points at the meet, which was won by Abilene Wylie with 1341/2 points.

Pecos' girls got a first place finish from Stephanie Herrera in the discus, a second from Jummy Akinyode in the 200 meter dash and a third from their 1600 meter relay team while finishing with 41 points. Big Spring won the meet with 163 points, while El Paso Americus was second with 143 points.

Herrera threw 118-foot-6, about seven feet below her best of the season, but still won by five feet over Andrews' Callie Christian, while Akinyode edged Snyder's October Wells by .05 second for second place with a 26.89 time. Big Spring's Ka'rissa Magers won with a 26.43 time.

"Jummy did good. She cut her times and ran 26s all day," Eagles' coach Roxie Chavez said. "She did it in the preliminaries and in the 800 meter relay Becky (Granado) got her split in 26."

The 800-meter relay team of Akinyode, Mindi Harrison, Mari Mendoza and Jessica Martinez placed fifth, while the 1600 relay team of Harrison, Mendoza, Akinyode and Alice Carrasco took third. They were 14 seconds in back of second place Big Spring, which was edged by Americus for the gold medal, but Chavez said their 4:23.68 time was 22 seconds faster than their best time so far this season.

"Right now we're fifth in the (Class 3A) region, and if we cut another six or seven seconds off we'll be able to compete," Chavez said.

The Eagles placed sixth in the 400 meter dash earlier in the meet, while Martinez got fourth place in the 3200 meter run for the Eagles' other points.

At San Angelo, Terry ran a 10.47 on Friday to tie the division record, then won on Saturday with a 10.80 time. He later took the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.46 seconds. Terry also took fourth place on Friday in the high jump, and was part of the Eagles' 400-meter relay team that placed third , with a 44.14 time.

"That's the fastest we've gone, and we're getting near breaking 44 seconds," coach Jerry Parent said. "But the biggest was Rashad tying the record in the 100 with (John) Lampert of Wylie," who set the mark last year.

Peter Juarez, Will Armstrong and Jack Bradley made up the rest of the team, and Bradley picked up an individual third place award in the 110-meter high hurdles, with a 15.5 time. Pecos' other third place finish came from John Parent in the discus, with a 131-foot throw. Bradley also picked up a sixth place in the 300-meter hurdles, while Isaiah Juarez was fifth in the 3200 meter run and sixth in the 800 meters. Genaro Mendoza was sixth in the 3200 meters, Alex Orosco was sixth in the 400 meters and Jason Sanchez took fifth in the long jump. Pecos' other points came from a fourth place finish by the 800-meter relay team.

"Isaiah and Genaro both broke 11 (minutes) in the 3200 - a 10:37 for Isaiah and a 10:44 for Genaro - but it burned a little bit out of them because their mile and half-mile times were not as good," the Eagles' coach said.

Pecos has two more scheduled meets before District 4-3A competition, this coming Saturday at the Sandhills Relays, and the following week at the Permian Basin Relays in Kermit, which will also be the site of the district meet.

Eagles stopped short by Rangerettes, weather

The thunderstorms and the umpires didn't help the Pecos Eagles' softball team in Midland on Friday, but Greenwood's Savannah Neely did the most damage, hitting a three-run home run in the second inning to give the Rangerettes a weather-shortened 4-0 victory over the Eagles.

The freshman also had a double and scored in the first inning against the Eagles, who suffered their third shutout of the season, but did chase pitcher Megan Chase from the mound in the third inning. Sara Heidleberg came on after that, and stopped a Pecos rally, then got out of trouble over the next two innings before the weather intervened.

"We were never out of the game, and we still had a chance to come back, but because of the lightning the officials called off the softball game," said coach Tammy Walls, who was unhappy with the decision. "On the very next field they were playing a baseball game (Greenwood and Fort Stockton), but they let them finish, and I felt like we should have had an opportunity to finish the game.

"We hit the ball pretty good, and we've always been later starters. It takes us a couple of innings to get started, but we never got the opportunity," she added.

Stephanie Herrera took the loss for Pecos, going four innings before the game was called. "Stephanie showed a lot of character after they got their runs. She overcame that and didn't allow any runs the last couple of innings and struck their girls out," Walls said.

The loss left Pecos with a 2-2 record in district play and an 8-9 record for the season, while Greenwood improved to 3-1 in district and 6-7 overall. The Eagles will return home on Tuesday to close out the first half of their district schedule against the Fort Stockton Prowlers, who had their game in Monahans on Friday against the Loboes rained out.

Those two teams will make up their game this afternoon. The Prowlers are 2-1 in district while the Loboes lead the 4-3A race with a 3-0 record. Tuesday's game will be the third meeting of the season for Pecos and Fort Stockton, with the Prowlers winning the first game by a 3-0 score, while the Eagles took the second meeting, 7-2.

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