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"Two of three. If we win two of three, we'll be playing for third at the
worst. If we win all three, we're in," Williams told his players, along
"Jason (Abila) can't be our savior. He can't do it all for us."
Meanwhile, Andrews' Cody Klein did more than enough for his team,
cracking a three-run homer off Moses Martinez in the first inning, and a
solo shot off Abila in the second, while tossing his second two-hitter
in three weeks against the Eagles, as Andrews clinched their third
straight post-season berth with a five-inning, 10-0 victory.
"Andrews is a better ballclub than us right now, that's all there is to
it," Williams said. "They've got a good pitcher on the mound in Klein.
He throws hard, and you're not going to come back if you let them get
seven runs up," which is the lead Andrews had before the Eagles ever
came to bat.
Things started going downhill even before the game for Pecos, when
Williams learned he had lost leading hitter Richard Gutierrez for the
rest of the season due to grades. And they got worse, after Martinez
opened the game by striking out Shaud Williams on three pitches.
He fell behind Lance Martin, then gave up an infield base hit, before
Gabe Falcon and Klein hammered back-to-back pitches -- Falcon to
left-center for a double and Klein over the fence in right for his 12th
home run of the year -- for a 3-0 lead.
A pair of singles by Elton Emiliano and Mike Hudgens around a walk to
Noel Olivas followed, and Williams then replaced Martinez with Abila,
the only Pecos pitcher to win a District 4-4A game in two years, and the
only Eagles' pitcher to defeat Andrews in the last five years.
But even with a 5-2 season mark, the junior has struggled early in six
of his seven starts this season, including last Saturday's 6-2 win over
Sweetwater, and that was the case again on Tuesday in relief. He wild
pitched one run home, then after getting a walk and strikeout, saw
Williams double to left-center, scoring Hudgens and August Lewis for a
Klein second home run of the night went to almost the exact same spot
with one out in the second, and made it 8-0. The Mustangs then got two
more unearned runs to close out the inning. A throwing error by John
Paul Vasquez at shortstop, and a bad pickoff throw to first by Abila was
followed by RBI singles by Hudgens and Hector Garcia, giving Andrews a
"Jason tried to come on and pitch, but he can't do it all. We've got to
have somebody else do the job on the mound," said Williams, who plans to
use the junior on Saturday at San Angelo Lake View.
He got a little bit of hope in the final three innings Tuesday from
sophomore Louis Valencia and junior Jason Aguilar. Valencia didn't give
up an earned run in his third straight relief appearance, though he was
helped by Mark Abila, who picked Lance Martin off third base, after he
led off the third with a double, and moved up a base when center fielder
Oscar Luna fell down.
Aguilar started last year's home game against Andrews, but hadn't
pitched since mid-March due to control problems. On Tuesday, Aguilar
threw strikes in his inning of work, except for walking Klein on a two
out, 3-2 pitch -- not a bad idea considering what had already happened.
Klein, meanwhile, retired the first five hitters he faced, before
walking Luna in the second. But he was throw out trying to steal by
Emiliano, and then Olivas caught Strain napping in the third, throwing
him out after he rounded second too far on Nestor Mendoza's sacrifice
Strain reached on a passed ball third strike by Emliano. The Eagles'
first hit came in the fourth, when Gutierrez doubled to right-center in
his final regular season at-bat. He reached third when Falcon booted
Jason Abila's grounder, but Andrews' defense then came through, throwing
out Gutierrez at home plate on an attempted double-steal.
Pecos had one last chance to keep things going in the fifth, when Luna
singled with one out. But Klein then struck out Aguilar and Williams
hauled in Strain's line drive to center, ending the game.
While the win clinched a playoff berth for Andrews, 7-0 and 22-2 on the
year, the loss left Pecos in a three-way tie for the third bi-district
playoff berth with Big Spring, an 8-2 winner over Sweetwater, and Fort
Stockton, a 15-2 loser to Lake View. Pecos is 3-4 in district, 12-8
The Chiefs are alone in second with a 4-3 mark, and they could all but
clinch their first-ever post-season berth with a win over Pecos on
Saturday, in a 1 p.m. start. The Eagles and Abila survived a shaky
opening on April 1 to beat Lake View at home, 11-1.
............. ANDREWS.............. PECOS
......... ...ab...r...h...bi... ...ab...r...h...bi
Williams cf...4...1...1...2...R.Gutrrz 3b...2...0...1...0
Martin 2b....4...1...2...0...Rodrguz lf...2...0...0...0
Falcon ss....4...1...1...0...JAbl ss-p-ss...2...0...0...0
Klein p......3...2...2...4...E.Abila rf...2...0...0...0
Emilano c....4...0...1...0...M.Abila c...2...0...0...0
Hamltn cr....0...1...0...0...Luna cf...1...0...1...0
Olivas 1b....2...2...0...0...Martinez p...0...0...0...0
Fletchr 1b....0...0...0...0...Vasquez ss...0...0...0...0
P.Lewis rf...0...0...0...0...Valencia p...0...0...0...0
Hudges dh....3...2...3...2...J.Aguilar p...1...0...0...0
A.Lewis 3b...1...1...0...0...Florez dh...1...0...0...0
Garcia lf....2...0...1...1...Strain 1b...2...0...0...0
... ... ............ ... ...Mendoza 2b...0...0...0...0
Andrews...... 7 3 0...0 0... --10
Pecos........ 0 0 0...0 0... --|0
Game ended in fifth under 10-run rule
E -- Vasquez, J. Abila, Luna, Falcon. DP -- Andrews 1. LOB -- Andrews 7,
Pecos 2. 2B -- Falcon, Williams, Martin, R. Gutierrez. HR -- Klein 2
(13). S --Mendoza. CS -- Luna (by Emiliano), R. Gutierrez.
..................IP H R ER BB KO
Klein W, 8-0 ......5 2 0 0 1 |5
Martinez L, 4-4 ..1-3 5 5 5 1 |1
J. Abila .......1 2-3 4 5 3 2 |2
Valencia ....... 2 0 0 1 |1
J.Aguilar......... 1 0 0 0 1 |1
WP -- J. Abila. PB -- Emiliano
T -- 1:32.
Baseball moved dramatically to preserve the memory of Jackie Robinson on
the 50th anniversary of his major league debut by permanently retiring
the number of the modern game's first black player.
In ceremonies at Shea Stadium attended by President Clinton, acting
commissioner Bud Selig announced the unprecedented step. ``Number 42
belongs to Jackie Robinson for the ages,'' he said.
Scores of red, white and blue balloons were released from behind the
right field fence and, on the left field wall, Robinson's No. 42
appeared next to three previously retired New York Mets numbers: Casey
Stengel's No. 37, Gil Hodges' No. 14 and Tom Seaver's No. 41.
The only players allowed to wear the number will be the 12 around the
majors like Butch Huskey of the New York Mets and Mo Vaughn of the
Boston Red Sox already using it as a tribute to Robinson.
Huskey was clearly touched by the gesture.
``I have a lot of pride,'' he said. ``I can walk anyplace and they'll
say, `He's one of the guys who can wear number 42.' I'll walk alone.''
Leaning on two canes because of his recent knee injury, Clinton walked
to home plate with Selig and Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow.
As a crowd of 54,047 -- 34,596 paid -- stood, the president paid tribute
``I can't help thinking that if Jackie Robinson were here with us
tonight, he would say we have done a lot of good in the last 50 years,
but we can do better,'' Clinton said. ``We have achieved equality on the
playing field, but we need to establish equality in the boardrooms of
baseball and throughout corporate America.
``... We ought to have a grand slam society, a good society where all of
us have a chance to work together for a better tomorrow for our
children. Let that be the true legacy of Jackie Robinson's wonderful,
remarkable career and life.''
Mrs. Robinson thanked the president for joining the celebration.
``This anniversary has given us an opportunity as a nation to celebrate
together the triumph of the past and the social progress that has
occurred,'' she said. ``It has also given us an opportunity to reassess
the challenges of the present. It's my passionate hope that we can take
this reawakened feeling of unity and use it as a driving force so that
each of us can recommit to equality of opportuntiy for all Americans.
``I believe that the greatest tribute that we can pay to Jackie Robinson
is to gain new support for a more equitable society and in this heady
environment of unity,'' she said. ``It is my hope that we can carry his
living legacy beyond this glorious moment. This is a great moment for
all of us.''
In the hours before the game, Clinton visited both the Mets and Los
Angeles Dodgers clubhouses.
``He met everybody and took a picture with all of them,'' Mets manager
Bobby Valentine said. ``He's unable to scoot around, but he took the
time to meet everybody. As much as guys try to be cool, it was an honor.
The guys were lounging around and when they heard, `He's here,' the guys
snapped to. It was neat. It was an exciting, wonderful day.''
Mets reliever Toby Borland, who saved the 5-0 victory, said meeting the
president was special. ``I said, `Uh, uh, uh, I'm Toby Borland.' Now I
can go back home to Louisiana and tell people in that little town I met
Robinson's grandson, Jesse Simms, threw out the first ball. Simms, who
will play football at UCLA this fall, following in the footsteps of his
grandfather, shook hands with home plate umpire Eric Gregg, a black, as
he went out for the pitch and again as he left the field.
Shea was a sea of security, with metal detectors all over the stadium
for the first visit by a sitting president. There was a brief pregame
ceremony with both teams lined up on the foul lines and a half-dozen of
Robinson's old teammates, including Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax
introduced to the fans.
Among those on hand was Larry Doby, who followed Robinson to the majors,
joining the Cleveland Indians 11 weeks later as the first black player
in the American League. ``Jackie was first, and I think ... what's
happening tonight should be his,'' Doby said in an interview on ESPN,
which televised the game nationally.
The video board in left field showed highlights of Robinson's career
On the main scoreboard, normally an advertisement for Budweiser, was a
photograph of Robinson in his classic white Brooklyn uniform coming down
the third base line, daring a pitcher to do something about it. Next to
that was a message: ``He was the handsome, heroic giant of our youth who
taught us determination, taught us perseverance and finally, he taught
(Copyright 1997 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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