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Van Horn Advocate
But coach Becky Granado said the finger-pointing among her seniors began
before the Eagles stepped on the court, and she said that was a major
factor in their 15-2, 15-2 loss to the Andrews Mustangs.
"We have the ability to win. The only thing we don't have is the ability
to get along," Granado said, after the Mustangs took only 30 minutes to
drop the Eagles into fourth place in the District 4-4A standings. "When
you have kids getting upset about little things they can't put aside,
it's hard to win."
"Andrews was prepared to play. They were ready, and we were not ready
mentally. They had other things on their minds," she said. "We didn't
play offense. We didn't play defense. We just let the ball drop. They
tried to put everything aside, but it did not work."
The Mustangs rallied at the finish for a three-game victory in Pecos
last month, but this time, Andrews was in control throughout the match,
as they remained tied with San Angelo Lake View for first in the 4-4A
The Eagles now return home for a Saturday match against Sweetwater,
which remained winless in district after a loss Tuesday to Lake View.
"Our girls are just going to have to decide whether they want to argue
with each other or play," said Granado, whose team now is 3-3 in
district, and 14-10 overall. Andrews improved to 5-1 and 14-7 on the
The Mustangs also won Tuesday's junior varsity match, 15-6, 15-7, while
splitting on the freshman level. The gold team defeated Andrews, 9-15, 15-6, 15-12, while the purple team lost, 15-1, 9-15, 15-12.
Pecos slipped to 0-4 in fall tennis play and 2-7 on the season this
past Saturday, after a 15-3 homecourt loss to the Sweetwater Mustangs.
The Eagles got a pair of wins on the boys side in singles, from Tye
Graham and Jeff Lam, who also had Pecos' other victory of the afternoon,
beating Brett Haas and Mark May in doubles, 6-2, 6-4. However, Pecos was
hurt by having only five boys available on Saturday, forcing them to
forfeit one singles and one doubles match.
"Sweetwater's a good, solid team, and they're very young," said Eagles'
coach Bernadette Ornelas. "They have a bunch of freshman and sophomores
on their team."
She added that Jonathan Fuentes' 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 loss to Daniel Howard
"was a tremendous match. It went on for about an hour-and-a-half, and
there were hard shots going back and forth."
On the girls' side, the closest match was at No. 6 singles, where
Vanessa Miranda lost to Heather Brock, 6-3, 6-2.
Like Pecos, Fort Stockton also will be seeking their first district
victory on Saturday in their final fall match. The Eagles won a
tiebreaker at home over the Panthers last month.
Sweetwater (15) at Pecos (3)
Jonathan Fuentes lost to Daniel Howard, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Mark Marquez lost
to Brandon Hix, 6-1, 6-1; Tye Graham defeated Brett Haas, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3;
Jeff Lam defeated Andy Montoya, 6-1, 6-1; Alan Fleming lost to Mark May,
Randa Taylor lost to Sarah Pennington, 6-0, 6-0; Teresa Minjarez lost to
Renee Smala, 6-2, 6-1; Nichi Dannelley lost to Holly McVay, 6-1, 6-0;
Erin Dominguez lost to Amber Gage, 6-0, 6-0; Rachel Pharoah lost to
Amanda Bowen, 6-3, 6-1; Vanessa Miranda lost to Heather Brock, 6-3, 6-2.
(Tiffany Jarrett lost to M. Davis, 6-0; Sarah Melter lost to M. Chavez,
Fuentes and Marquez lost to Howard and Hix, 6-0, 6-3; Graham and Lam
defeated Haas and May, 6-2, 6-4.
Taylor and Dannelley lost to Pennington and Smala, 6-0, 6-2; Minjarez
and Miranda lost to Bowen and Gage, 6-2, 6-1; Pharoah and Domniguez lost to Brock and T. Jimenez, 6-1, 6-1.
Just like the Braves.
On a night when Greg Maddux and Kevin Brown both struggled, the Marlins
made the plays and the Braves did not, giving Florida a 5-3 win Tuesday
in the opener of the NL championship series.
``That's basically the difference tonight. It was defense,'' Florida
first baseman Jeff Conine said. ``We played a little better defensively
than they did. That's all there is to it.''
The wild-card Marlins, playing in their first postseason, improved to
4-0 in the playoffs. Moises Alou drove in four runs, three with a
first-inning double set up by shaky fielding, as Florida showed its 8-4
record against the Braves in the regular season was no fluke.
Chipper Jones and Ryan Klesko homered for Atlanta, which is appearing in
the postseason for the sixth straight time - a streak that started two
years before the Marlins even began their first season.
But Jones, Klesko, Fred McGriff and Kenny Lofton also had misplays that
made all five runs off Maddux unearned.
``Weird, isn't it?'' Maddux said. ``Weird game. It happens. This team
plays good defense, it does.
``Errors are going to happen. Obviously, the timing wasn't very good.''
The Braves, who won the opener in their past seven postseason series,
were scheduled to start Tom Glavine today against Alex Fernandez.
The Marlins were making no apologies for what happened in Game 1.
``Earned, unearned, who cares,'' third baseman Bobby Bonilla said.
``It's wins and losses that count. And tonight, we're winners.''
Braves manager Bobby Cox knew it could've been different.
``If we don't make errors, they don't get any runs,'' he said. ``We
didn't catch the ball. We gave them too many outs.
``We picked a bad night to kick the ball around,'' he said. ``The first
inning was a nightmare, actually.''
A recurring one for Maddux, in fact.
In 33 starts in the regular season, he allowed just one unearned run. In
157 regular-season starts since joining the Braves, he's permitted only
27 unearned runs.
But in 14 postseason games for Atlanta, he's been hurt by 15 unearned
runs from his usually reliable fielders. Shoddy defense is a factor as
to why the four-time Cy Young winner is 8-6 lifetime in the postseason.
``You give a team four or five outs an inning, it's tough,'' Maddux
A crowd of 49,244, clearly the loudest of the year at Turner Field, saw
Maddux match season highs for runs (5) and walks (3) with just 2 2-3
innings elapsed. And rather than seeing the Atlanta ace paint the
corners of the plate, the home fans watched Marlins batters paint the
corners of the ballpark with hits.
The Braves did their best to rally, employing a rare pinch-hitter in the
first inning. They fell short, however, managing just five hits against
Maddux, who started Atlanta's sweep of Houston in the division series,
lasted six innings. Brown, who began the Marlins' sweep of San Francisco
last week, also struggled for six innings - he'll need to get better
because manager Jim Leyland plans to start him two more times in the
series, if necessary.
``I would've much preferred to have a stronger game, but it boils down
to we won,'' Brown said.
Relievers Dennis Cook, Jay Powell and Robb Nen combined for three
hitless innings. Nen pitched the ninth for a save, giving him nine
scoreless innings against Atlanta this year.
Maddux's troubles began when Edgar Renteria singled with one out in the
first inning and stole second. Gary Sheffield walked and, after Bonilla
struck out, Conine sliced a grounder toward first base that handcuffed
McGriff for an error that loaded the bases.
Alou then hit a high, two-hopper down the third-base line. But Jones,
still slowed after fouling a ball off his foot in a Sunday workout, took
a tentative first step and did not field the chopper.
The ball rolled near the stands in left field, and Klesko appeared to
box it around as all three runners scored.
``If I knock it down, we're still playing,'' said Jones, who did not
blame his injury. ``If I make the play, we win.''
In the third, Sheffield's long fly to center deflected off Lofton's
glove for a three-base error. Bonilla walked, Alou had an RBI grounder
and, with two outs, Maddux got sloppy on a two-strike pitch that Charles
Johnson lined for a double for a 5-1 lead.
Keith Lockhart doubled and McGriff singled for a run in the Atlanta
first. With the bases loaded and two outs, Javy Lopez pinch-hit for
Eddie Perez, Maddux's personal catcher.
``I was surprised to see him,'' Brown said.
Lopez, who hit .295 with 23 homers to Perez's .215 and six homers,
grounded out on the first pitch.
Jones homered in the third and Klesko connected off Brown in the sixth,
closing Atlanta within two.
Notes: Denny Neagle, the NL's only 20-game winner, pitched three
scoreless innings for Atlanta in his first postseason appearance this
year. ... Renteria was spiked by Michael Tucker in the sixth. In the
seventh, Renteria was thrown out at the plate by Tucker on a fly ball to
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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