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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Tuesday, February 24, 1998

Eagles blow lead, lose opener

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 24 -- Take your pick on which old baseball saying fit the Pecos Eagles' season opener the best:

"It ain't over `till it's over," or "Nice guys finish last."

Both lines, by Yogi Berra and Leo Durocher, applied to the Eagles' game against the Monahans Loboes.

Pecos built a 7-2 lead after 5½ innings, at which time manager Bubba Williams decided to be a nice guy and give his reserves a chance to play. Four of the Eagles' five available subs came to bat in the sixth, and one of them, Joel Martinez, even hit a solo home run off Joel Najar to give Pecos an 8-2 lead.

But when the Loboes started to connect on pitcher Moses Martinez in the bottom of the seventh, Williams was left without his planned relief pitcher and with limited lineup options. When he finally put Jason Abila on the mound in place of Martinez, his No. 1 pitcher had control problems, wild pitching the Loboes' seventh run home, giving up the tying run on a single, and then wild pitching in the winning run with two outs in the eight, as Monahans came back to beat Pecos by a 9-8 final score.

"It was my fault," Williams said. "I felt like with an 8-2 lead we'd have a chance to win the game, and that's bad coaching on my part.

"Those guys who hit couldn't go in. I would have gotten Moses out and gotten Louis (Valencia) in, but Louis had already hit," he explained.

Martinez allowed just three earned runs, but in a change from the normal situation between pitchers and batters, the senior left-hander had more problems with Monahans' lefty hitters than he did with the right handers. That included and RBI double by T.J. Bustos in the seventh, and an RBI single by Roy Porras, the last batter he faced before Abila came on to pitch with two out in the seventh.

The inning started when Juan Moreno reached on Eric Muniz' error at second. He moved up on a passed ball and a bloop single by Roy Salazar, just off the glove of a diving Abila in short left field. A wild pitch scored Moreno, and then after a walk and fielder's choice ground out, Anthony Aguilar singled home the second run of the inning.

Bustos' RBI double followed, but Aguilar was thrown out at home by Abila, off a relay from Cisco Rodriguez in center. However, Najar walked, and Porras' single made it 8-6 and brought on Abila.

His first pitch sailed to the backstop, scoring Najar, and after falling behind in the count 3-1 gave up the tying single to Benny Rodriguez before striking out Moreno to retire the side.

The Eagles had a chance to win it in their half of the seventh, after Richard Gutierrez' high pop fell just behind Salazar at third for a bloop double. But Najar then got Abila, Rodriguez and John Gutierrez in order to retire the side.

In the eighth Abila struck out the first two hitters, before Jose Prieto blooped a hit down the line in right. Pinch hitter Nathan Swarb and Bustos then walked, and Prieto came in on another wild pitch -- the fourth of the night for Pecos, to go along with four passed balls -- before Najar fanned to retire the side.

Najar came on to pitch in the fifth, after the Eagles had gotten to Porras for seven runs. Monahans' errors helped Pecos in the first, after one out hits by Eric Aguilar and Richard Gutierrez. The Loboes' Aguilar threw the ball past home plate trying for Eric Aguilar, after Gutierrez broke up a double-play attempt on Abila's grounder to shortstop. Abila went to second on the play and scored on Prieto's low throw to first on Rodriguez' grounder to short. John Gutierrez followed with a double to the gap in left-center field for a 3-0 lead.

Najar got one run back on the first swing of the second inning, homering to right-center. One out later Rodriguez doubled, and he went to third and scored on passed balls by catcher Oscar Luna.

The Eagles got four more runs in the fourth. Aguilar led off with a walk and scored when Richard Gutierrez followed by homering to center field. Abila then reached third when Jared Young misplayed his fly to right into an error and scored on Rodriguez bounce out to short. Another Prieto error allowed John Gutierrez to reach, and after he was forced at second by Muniz, Jason Aguilar's grounder to left rolled all the way to the fence for a triple, scoring Muniz.

The Loboes wound up out-hitting Pecos 10-9 in earning the victory. The Eagles will now go to Monahans on Thursday, for an 11 a.m. first round game against Kermit in the Sandhills Tournament. They're in the same bracket as the Loboes, who host Alpine in their first round game.

"We're going to win the Monahans Tournament. you can print that," said Williams, who also made another promise. "From now on we're going out there just to win. If I have to use just nine or 10 players, that's all who are going to be out there."

ab r h bi ab r h bi
Prieto ss 5 2 1 0 Luna c 3 0 0 0
A.Agulr 2b 4 0 1 1 J.Mrtnz ph 1 1 1 1
Swarb 2b 0 0 0 0 E.Aglr rf-cf 2 2 1 0
Bustos c 4 1 1 1 R.Gtz 3b-ss 4 1 4 2
Najar 3b-p 4 2 2 1 Abila ss-p 4 2 0 0
Porras p-1b 4 0 2 1 C.Rdz cf-3b 4 1 0 1
Swarb cr 0 0 0 0 J.Gutrez 1b 4 0 1 1
Rivera cr 0 1 0 0 Muniz 2b 4 1 0 0
B.Rdrgz lf 4 1 2 1 J.Aguilar lf 3 1 0 1
Moreno cf 4 1 0 0 Herrera ph 1 0 1 0
Salzr 1b-3b 3 0 1 0 M.Mtnz p-rf 2 0 0 0
Stephens cr 0 1 0 0 Salgado ph 1 0 0 0
Young rf 3 0 0 0 Harrison rf 1 0 0 0

Totals 35 9 10 5 Totals 35 8 9 6

Monahans 0 2 0 0 0 0 6 1 --|9
Pecos 3 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 --|8
E -- A. Aguilar, Prieto 2, Young, Muniz. LOB -- Monahans 7, Pecos 4. 2B -- J. Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Porras, Najar, Bustos, R. Gutierrez. 3B -- J. Aguilar. HR -- Najar (1), R. Gutierrez (1), J. Martinez (1). SB -- C. Rodriguez, Muniz, R. Gutierrez. CS -- Herrera (by Bustos).

Porras 4 6 7 2 1 4
Najar W, 1-0 4 3 1 1 0 3
M.Martinez 6 2-3 8 8 3 2 5
Abila L, 0-1 1 1-3 2 1 1 2 4
WP -- M. Martinez, Abila 3.
PB -- Luna 4.
T -- 2:35.

Pecos boys win divisions, girls get consolation

PECOS, Feb. 24 -- The Pecos Eagles' tennis team earned two division titles on the boys' side and two consolation trophies in the girls division this past Friday, at the Colorado City Invitational Tournament.

"It was supposed to be a two-day tournament, but because of the weather they moved it up and played everything Friday," said Eagles' coach Bernadette Ornelas.

Doubled players Jeff Lam and Mark Marquez won their division, getting a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Carrasco and Rodriguez of Colorado City, a 6-1, 6-2 win over Winn and Overton of Coahoma, and a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Rodriquez and Silva of Colorado City in the finals.

In singles, Jonathan Fuentes won the title, with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 win over A. Wood of Colorado City. He earlier downed S. Martinez of Post, and P. Bell of Colorado City.

Pecos' other boys' singles player, Alan Fleming, lost in the consolation semifinals, as did the other doubles teams of David Lam and Sonny Cylia.

On the girls' side, Tiffany Jarrett won consolation over teammate Vanessa Miranda, 8-2, after both had dropped opening round matches. the other girls' singles player, Sarah Metler, won her first round match over A. Peterson of Post, 6-1, 6-0, before falling to J. Wilking of Colorado City in the quarterfinals.

In doubles, Erin Dominguez and Rachel Pharoah won consolation, 8-1 over Galindo and Fox of Colorado City. Teresa Minjarez and Priscilla Levario won their first round match, 6-0, 6-2 over Perrin and Morrison of Crane, then lost to Colorado City's Strain and Rankin in the quarterfinals.

The Eagles are off this weekend, but are scheduled to play a dual meet agaibst Fort Stockton early next week.

Central's return to 4-5A short-lived

AUSTIN, Feb. 24 (AP) -- The Assignment Appeals Committee of the University Interscholastic League has handed down the final rulings involving appeals to the league's biennial realignment process.

On Monday, the appeals committee unanimously voted to grant an appeal made by the Amarillo and Lubbock school districts to place San Angelo Central back in District 3-5A for football.

Central originally was assigned to District 3-5A, but was moved last week at Central's request by the UIL's State District Assignment Review Board to District 4-5A with Abilene, Abilene Cooper, Midland, Midland Lee, Odessa and Odessa Permian.

District 3-5A now consists of Amarillo, Amarillo Tascosa, Lubbock, Lubbock Coronado, Lubbock Monterey and San Angelo Central.

In a case involving District 16-3A, the appeals committee overturned the decision of the review board to move: Quitman from District 15-3A to 13-3A; Bullard from 16-3A to 15-3A; and Linden-Kildare from 13-3A to 16-3A.

District 13-3A now includes Clarksville, Daingerfield, Linden-Kildare, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg and Winnsboro.

District 15-3A now consists of Brownsboro, Emory Rains, Lindale, Mineola, Quitman and Van.

District 16-3A consists of Bullard, Gilmer, Gladewater, Gladewater Sabine, Jefferson, Longview Spring Hill, Tatum and White Oak.

The committee also granted an appeal made by District 48-1A to place Kennard back in District 46-1A for basketball.

Kennard originally was assigned to District 46-1A but requested to be placed in District 48-1A with Elkhart Slocum, Latexo, Neches, Normangee and Oakwood.

District 46-1A now includes Broaddus, Goodrich, Kennard, Livingston Big Sandy and Zavalla.

Stubblefield inks contract with Redskins

AP Sports Writer
ASHBURN, Va., Feb. 24 -- Sitting last week in the office of the general manager of the Washington Redskins, Dana Stubblefield was told just how valuable he is.

``Dana, this isn't real complicated,'' GM Charley Casserly told the free-agent defensive tackle. ``If you're with us the last two years, we win the division and win a couple of playoff games.'

The Redskins then backed up their confidence by offering Stubblefield a six-year, $36 million contract. The 1997 NFL Defensive Player of the Year at San Francisco signed the deal Monday, then vowed to use his experience to help Washington make the postseason for the first time since 1992.

``They can key off some of the things I have to offer for this team,'' said Stubblefield, who spent his first five seasons with the 49ers, making the Pro Bowl three times. ``Being in the NFC championship game three years out of five. Winning the Super Bowl. Being there. Things like that.''

The Redskins hope Stubblefield does more than just motivate his teammates. One of the reasons they just missed the playoffs the last two years is because they were ranked 30th against the run in 1996 and 28th last year.

``I get a lot of input when I go to the mall or a (NBA Washington) Wizards game,'' coach Norv Turner said. ``And basically everybody told me the same thing: Get a defensive lineman. ... Dana is being very modest. He WILL be in the center of attention, and he will help the guys around him play better. He will help the rest of the football team play better.''

That said, Stubblefield was careful to downplay expectations that he would be an instant savior.

``I don't want these guys coming in thinking I'm going to be the turnaround man,'' Stubblefield said. ``I don't score points. I stop the run.

``I have linebackers who will help me out. I got defensive backs who will help me out. Sometimes I'll come up and make a big play, but I expect everyone to keep playing as hard as they have been.''

Stubblefield's deal includes a voidable, overloaded last year that makes the realistic value of the contract $28.5 million over five years, including an $8 million signing bonus.

That's considerably less than the $32.5 million, five-year deal -- including a $10 million bonus -- signed last week by John Randle with the Minnesota Vikings. Stubblefield probably could have matched Randle's dollars if he had shopped around more, but he was won over by the Redskins during a tour last week and visited only one other team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

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