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Van Horn Advocate
But under the circumstances, coach Becky Granado was happy to see her
team pull things together at the finish and rally for a 10-15, 15-8,
15-12 victory over the Prowlers, which widened the Eagles' lead to 1½
games in the race for the final District 4-4A playoff berth.
Pecos won a 15-9, 10-15, 15-5 match on the Prowlers' home court three
weeks ago, but played their final home match of the season minus two of
their regulars, seniors Shirhonda Bell and Marisol Arenivas, after they
arrived late for Tuesday's match. Bell sat out the entire game, while
Arenivas played only once, due to a lineup error. She and Sherrie Mosby
switched numbers last week when the Eagles received their new uniforms,
but the change wasn't put on the sheet given to the referee.
"They said they fell asleep and didn't wake up in time," Granado said.
"I understand that, but they have to learn to be there when they're
The Eagles' revised lineup had its problems in Game 1, especially on
defense, and struggled at times in the second and third games as well,
but Granado said, "Overall, we hung in there, and I'm real happy we were
able to adjust to the lineup."
Pecos had problems at the start handling Elisa Espino's serves, falling
behind by a 5-1 score. But they would rally to tie off kills by Ivy
Thorp and Lori Marquez, and at one point led 7-5 before Fort Stockton
regrouped. The Prowlers would go up 10-8, then after Pecos re-tied the
game, won it with five straight points, as Melissa Hughes found openings
behind the Eagles' blockers twice, and Ahslea Creech finished things off
with a kill.
Hughes would help the Eagles in Game 2, when her spike into the net
allowed Pecos to regain its composure, after their 10-1 lead had been
cut to 12-8. An ace by Annette Marquez began the streak, and Lori
Marquez would get two blocks on Espino during the opening run, while
Gail Taylor and Melissa Levario added kills.
Pecos' problems handling Fort Stockton's serves helped the Prowlers'
comeback, but after Hughes' miss the Eagles finished things off with
three quick kills by Lori Marquez.
The Prowlers led most of the way in Game 3, jumping up 4-0 off an
Espino block on Marquez and a trio of Pecos errors. They would widen the
margin to 7-2 before Pecos rallied after a time-out, using a series of
Fort Stockton mistakes off Thorp serves to grab an 8-7 lead. But the
lead was short-lived, as another Espino block of Marquez tied the game
and began a five-point run by Fort Stockton that gave them a 12-8 lead.
Philonicus Fobbs got the Eagles' final 7-0 run going, as she scored off
a serve, and Thorp then spiked a Fort Stockton overset to cut the lead
to 12-10. Errors by Hughes and Lena Alcala allowed Pecos to tie it, and
they went up 13-12 on an Eunice Levya spike into the net. After a
time-out, the Prowlers would break serve twice on the Eagles, before
Pecos finally finished things off, on a Marquez spike and a low serve by
Thorp that Espino tried to block, but wound up tipping onto the floor.
"Defensively, we had a tough time reacting to the ball. We'd see the
touch (off tipped shots), but wouldn't read it, and that hurts," Granado
said. "But we did much better at the end, and I think they now know they
can play with anybody we put out on the court."
The win lifted Pecos to 5-3 in district, and 16-10 on the season, while
Fort Stockton fell to 3-4 and 14-10. The Eagles can all but clinch a
playoff berth on Saturday, with a win at Big Spring. The Steers improved
to 3-4 with a victory over Sweetwater on Tuesday. Pecos closes their
season out on Oct. 25 at second place San Angelo Lake View, while Fort
Stockton still has trips to both San Angelo and Andrews left, along with
a home match against Sweetwater.
Pecos' freshman and junior varsity teams also won on Tuesday. No score
was available for the ninth graders' contest, but the JV got their first district win, 15-10, 11-15, 15-7, over the Prowlers.
``I hope nobody cheapens this,'' he said Tuesday night, ``because we
beat the Atlanta Braves eight times during the regular season and we
beat them fair and square this time.''
This much is sure: No one will say anything is cheap about the Marlins.
Boosted by a spending spree of nearly $100 million in the offseason, the
5-year-old Marlins became the youngest expansion team to reach the World
Series, defeating the Braves 7-4 to win the NL Championship Series 4-2.
Not even in existence when Atlanta began its record run of six straight
postseason appearances in 1991, the wild-card Marlins won the clincher
behind Kevin Brown's complete game and Bobby Bonilla's three RBIs.
``They talk about the money we spent, that we bought a championship,''
said Brown, who threw 140 pitches in his first appearance since missing
a start with a viral infection. ``The money is not what won this series.
The heart, the determination, the pursuit of the right goal got us
Brown, backed by a four-run first inning against Tom Glavine, won for
the second time in the series. He retired 14 straight batters in the
late innings and, after the Braves scored once in the ninth, got Chipper
Jones on a grounder with two on to end it.
Now, it's back to Pro Player Stadium in Miami for the World Series, with
Game 1 on Saturday night against either Cleveland or Baltimore. The
baseball season, which traditionally starts in the warm climate of
Florida in the spring, will see its first Fall Classic.
For the Braves, it was yet another disappointing end. The two-time NL
champions had been to four of the last five World Series, but their win
in 1995 remains their only championship.
``We've had a great year,'' Braves manager Bobby Cox said. ``These
things are crapshoots. You hope you get hot.''
For Leyland, it will mark his first trip to the World Series in a pro
career spanning 34 seasons. His first year as manager of the Marlins has
been been a rousing success, and his left him in line to be this
October's version of Joe Torre.
Leyland's teams in Pittsburgh lost Game 7 of the NLCS to the Braves in
1991 and 1992, but there was no need to worry this time because of
Bonilla's hitting and Brown's second win of the series.
``I felt all along we were going to win this series,'' Leyland said.
``This isn't about me. I'm just glad I got the opportunity to come
The Marlins' win came five years ago to the day that the Braves rallied
with three runs in the ninth inning to stun Leyland and his Pirates on
Francisco Cabrera's single in Game 7.
Florida became the first wild-card team to make the World Series and
surpassed the eight years the expansion New York Mets needed to get
there in 1969.
Livan Hernandez became the first rookie to win the MVP award in any
league championship series. He struck out an NLCS record 15 in Florida's
2-1 win in Game 5, and also won Game 3 in relief.
The Marlins overcame Alex Fernandez's torn rotator cuff and Brown's
illness to take the pennant. Florida proved its 8-4 record against
Atlanta this season was no fluke, winning despite hitting just .199 in
The Marlins, coming off a first-round sweep of San Francisco, is 7-2 in
the postseason. Florida has improved its record in each of its five
years, but never finished over .500 until owner Wayne Huizenga went on a
``This is for you, South Florida,'' said Huizenga, who announced earlier
in the season the team was for sale. ``This is for all of Florida. Enjoy
Atlanta led the majors with 101 victories and won the NL East by nine
games over Florida. But again, it came up short.
``The best team did not win and I'll never change my mind on that,''
Braves center fielder Kenny Lofton said.
Bonilla, signed to a $23.3 million, four-year contract last November,
hit a two-run single that keyed the first-inning burst. He had an RBI
single in a three-run sixth that made it 7-3.
``We just did a lot of things right. There's a great deal of emotion
now,'' Bonilla said. ``It took a long time for me to get to the World
Series - 12 years in the majors. I'm glad it's with Jim Leyland.''
Brown, scratched from starts Saturday and Sunday, gave up three runs in
the first two innings and little after that. The only player on the
field wearing short sleeves on a chilly night, the former Georgia Tech
star allowed 11 hits and added another win to his Game 1 victory.
It appeared he would be done after six innings, but Brown and Leyland
got into an animated discussion. The pitcher prevailed and Brown retired
the side in order the next two innings.
``I said, `Let me go one hitter at a time,''' Brown said.
With two outs in the ninth, Keith Lockhart's fourth single of the game
made it 7-4 and brought Chipper Jones to the plate as the potential
tying run. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild visited the mound and Brown
remained in, retiring Jones on a force play.
Glavine, strong in Game 2, looked nothing like the pitcher who blanked
St. Louis in Game 7 of the NLCS last year, completing Atlanta's comeback
from a 3-1 deficit. He walked a season-high seven, gave up 10 hits and
left after 5 2-3 innings trailing 7-3.
Plate umpire Frank Pulli was generous with his strike zone, though not
nearly as much as Eric Gregg in Game 5. Pulli left the game before the
fifth inning because of an eye irritation, and there was a nine-minute
Mac McKinnon, 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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