Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, May 8, 2003
Eagles looking to get past area round against Cooper
By JON FULBRIGHT
Sometimes going through a district schedule undefeated means a team is very
good. Sometimes it means the district is very easy.
The Pecos Eagles went through their District 2-4A baseball schedule in
1999 with a perfect 10-0 record, and then went on to the Region I-4A semifinals
before being eliminated by Weatherford.
The Eagles also went through their 2-4A schedule last year undefeated,
but were then routed in a pair of 10-run rule games by Frenship in the area
round of the Class 4A playoffs.
This year, the Eagles are back in the area round of the playoffs, and
back playing a Lubbock team in Midland in the area round. But this time,
Pecos is in the Region I-3A playoffs, and the shoe is on the other foot,
as the Eagles, who went only 5-5 in District 4-3A this year, will take on
the Lubbock Cooper Pirates, who breezed through their District 2-3A schedule
with a perfect 10-0 mark.
The series will be at the Scharbauer Sports Complex in Midland. Game
1 will be at 7 p.m. on Friday and Game 2 at 1 p.m. on Saturday. A third
game, if needed, would start about 3:30 p.m.
Pecos struggled through a 1-4 start to district, before rallying in the
second half to earn the third place playoff berth out of 3-3A. The Eagles
then went on to sweep the Seminole Indians in the bi-district round of the
playoffs last week, winning the opener in Seminole, 1-0, behind Barney Rodriguez'
one-hitter and solo home run in the top of the seventh, then routing the
Indians in Game 2 by an 11-1 score, as David Elkins hit two home runs and
Josh Anchondo survived early control problems to toss a two-hitter.
The Eagles and Pirates haven't faced each other since 1999, the last
year the Eagles got past the area round of the playoffs. Cooper, meanwhile,
was at .500 going into district play, but has won 10 straight to put their
record at 20-10 on the year.
"I spoke to the coaches from Post and they said they're very good," said
Eagles' coach Elias Payan. "They've got two solid pitchers (Brian Cloud
and Rhyne Fuller), and all around are pretty good.
"Then I spoke to the Snyder coach (Charles Bollinger). They played them
three times this year. Cooper won two and Snyder beat them in the other.
He said it would be a good series and we're pretty evenly matched," Payan
Cloud is 9-1 on the season. He comes in off a five-inning no-hitter over
Muleshoe and figures to start the first game of the series for the Pirates.
Fuller is 6-1 and should be the Game 2 starter.
At bat, Cooper is led by a sophomore Howell Finch, who went 4-for-4 in
one of the Pirates' wins over Snyder, while Fuller had a home run against
Muleshoe, in their final regular season home game. The Pirates have four
sophomores starting on this year's team, and have won five straight district
titles dating back to 1999, while the Eagles return most of their players
off last year's team that was swept in the playoffs by Frenship.
"We've got to play our style of ball," Payan said. "If we do that, our
chances are good."
Rodriguez allowed a lead-off hit to Austin McBee in last Friday's game,
then no-hit Seminole the rest of the way, allowing one runner past second
base with two outs in the first inning. He then homered off McBee in the
top of the seventh to get the win and improved to 7-6 on the season.
"Barney will start the first game, and hopefully he'll have the same
success he had last week," said Payan.
Friday's game will be the first for Pecos at the First American Bank
Ballpark at the Scharbauer Complex. The new field for the Oakland A's Class
AA Midland affiliate opened last year, but Pecos' playoff series against
Frenship was played at the Rockhounds' old ballpark, Christensen Stadium.
"I told the kids that major leaguers have played on this field, so it's
a chance to play on one of the best fields in the nation," Payan said. The
winner of the series will advance to the regional quarterfinals next weekend,
against the winner of the Monahans-Borger series.
McMurry coach to be speaker at sports banquet
McMurry University head football coach and athletic director Steve Keenum
will be the guest speaker for the annual Pecos High School All-Sports Banquet,
which will be held on Friday, May 16 beginning at 7 p.m. at the new Pecos
High School gym.
All-district athletes for the Eagles from the 2001-2002 school year will
be recognized at the banquet, and the Doc Lunday, Craig Woods, Joe Shoemaker,
Norma Matta and Joe Bob Kelton awards will also be announced during the
banquet. A new award will also be given out in the name of former Pecos
Eagle Johnny V. Mata, who was killed in March while serving with the 507th
Maintenance Company in the war in Iraq.
Keenum is beginning his ninth season at the coaching helm of the Indians
and has also been the school's athletic director since 2001.
After graduating from McMurry in 1980, Keenum served as the offensive
line coach at Ballinger High School from 1981-85, then spent two seasons
at Brownwood High School before becoming the offensive coordinator at Tarleton
State University from 1988-90. Keenum spent the 1990-91 season as the offensive
coordinator at Abilene Cooper High School and was head football coach at
Sul Ross State University from 1991-93. After his stint at Sul Ross, he
joined the Hardin-Simmons University staff as the offensive line coach.
Tickets for the banquet at $8 apiece and can be purchased at the Pecos
High School office, or at Pecos High School, Gibson True-Value and Dan's
Music and Video in Pecos.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise