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


March 9, 1998

Big night on offense for Loboes

Staff Writer

Combine a curve ball that won't move where you want it to
with a catcher who can't move the way he wants to, and you
have the recipe for a big night on offense for the Monahans

Jason Abila couldn't get his curve ball over with any
consistency Friday night, and the Loboes teed off on his
fastball, scoring eight times in the second inning against
the Pecos Eagles on the way to an 11-9 victory in Monahans.

"If he could have gotten his circle change (up) over, he
would have been all right. But he couldn't, and they were
just laying on his fastball," said Eagles' coach Bubba
Williams. "Our kids came back, but give Monahans credit,
they hit the ball good."

The Loboes' second victory over Abila and the Eagles in 11
days needed a two-run fifth inning to provide the winning
margin, along with an insurance run in the sixth, as Pecos
cut an 8-2 deficit to 9-8, thanks to a fifth inning grand
slam home run by Joseph Contreras.

Abila struck out nine, but his curveball problems hurt
Pecos, as did some dizziness suffered by catcher Oscar Luna
in the late innings.

Luna had to be looked at twice before leaving the game in
the bottom of the sixth inning. "I don't know what it is, a
virus or whatever," said Williams of his catcher's problems.

In the two innings before he left, Monahans used three wild
pitches and two passed balls to score what turned out to be
the decisive runs.

However, in the second it was mostly line drives to left-
and center field that got Monahans eight runs, after Pecos
scored twice in the first inning off Joel Najar.

Despite his dizziness problems, Luna had two hits on the
night, including a leadoff single in the first. Abila then
reached on an infield single, and two runs would score on
John Gutierrez' single and a ground out by Contreras.

But after retiring the side in order in the first Abila got
in trouble right away in the second, though as things turned
out, only one of the eight runs was earned.

Najar singled, and was doubled home by Roy Porras, who was
safe at third when Richard Gutierrez dropped a low throw
from Luna. Abila then wild pitched Porras home before
Brandon Stephens reached on an infield hit, was sacrificed
to second by Juan Moreno and went to third on Nathan Swarb's
fly out to deep right.

Rocky Rivera then delivered a two-out triple to deep center
field to put Monahans ahead, 3-2, and he scored on Jose
Prito's RBI single. A walk to Anthony Aguilar followed and
then T.J. Bustos single for a 5-2 lead, Najar walked, Porras
singled to drive home two more runs, and the eighth run
scored when Richard Gutierrez bobbled Stephens' grounder.

Stephens would make a diving catch on Gutierrez' fly ball in
the third to cut short a potential big inning by Pecos. The
Eagles still managed two runs, as Luna was hit by a pitch
and Abila walked with none out, and the runs came in on John
Gutierrez' single and throwing error by Rivera in center

Abila struck out the side in the third, but Monahans got one
run back in the fourth, when a wild pitch helped move Prieto
to third after a leadoff single, from where he scored on
Bustos' sacrifice fly to center.

Down 9-4, the Eagles got to Najar quickly in the fifth, as
Abila and John Gutierrez walked around a double by Richard
Gutierrez. All three then came home when Contreras sent a
2-1 pitch over the scoreboard in left field, cutting the
lead to one. But Najar was not only able to recover from
that shot, he also retired the next three batters on just
four pitches to get out of the jam.

Pecos' wild pitches and passed balls, combined with a Porras
double and infield hit by Benny Rodriguez, made it 11-8
after five innings. Abila's third straight walk and
Gutierrez' second straight double cut the lead back to two
in the sixth, but Najar was able to survive in the seventh,
thanks to a running catch by Rivera on a Luis Salgado fly
ball to center.

The loss leaves Pecos with a 4-2 record going into a brief
Spring Break, which will end about 5 a.m. Thursday morning,
when the Eagles travel to Snyder for a 9 a.m. game against
Dumas at the Snyder Tournament. All of the Eagles District
4-4A rivals except for San Angelo Lake View will be entered,
along with the host Tigers, last year's tournament champs
and the team that will take Pecos' place in the district
next season.

Shorthanded Eagles 2nd, 8th at Crane

The first day of Spring Break meant about half of the Pecos
Eagles track team was missing from Saturday's Golden Crane
Relays. But the same cold weather that made it to last
year's meet was back in force.

High winds blew through Crane all day, and the cold air and
clouds arrived just after the start of the running finals at
3:30 p.m. The wind and cold hampered the times, but Pecos'
boys were able to take the final race of the day, the 1600
meter relay, to beat out Fort Stockton by one point for
second place in the final standings.

Crane won the boys' division with 90 points, while the
Eagles finished with 77 to the Panthers' 76. "I really think
if we had all our team here, we would have won this meet,"
said coach Mike Farrell, whose team still managed four gold
medals on the day.

Billy Rodriguez and Roy Marta each claimed one medal and
shared a second. Rodriguez took first in the 800 meter run
with a 2:07.01 time, while Marta won the pole vault on a
tie-breaker, with an 11-foot leap. Both then teamed with
Lucio Florez and Orlando Matta to win the 1600 relay in

"I think we did real good, considering the weather," said
Florez, who earlier placed second in the 300 meter hurdles
and fourth in the 110 hurdles, while Matta also had an
individual medal, placing third in the 400 meter dash.

He said the 50-mile-per-hour winds "were just something you
had to overcome," though it gave Marta some added problems
in the pole vault. "Every time I tried to run a gust of wind
would come and blow the pole the other way and mess up the
vault," he said.

In contrast, Jeff Brownlee was able to throw with the wind
in the discus, and had a season's best 165-6 effort. It
wasn't enough for first, as Denver City's Broughn Curtis
took top honors with a 171-1 toss, but Brownlee did win the
shot put, throwing 53-0¼.

The senior had problems the week before in Monahans stepping
out of the ring on his discus throws, but said Saturday, "I
felt a lot more comfortable. Coach (Darrell) Erickson and I
worked on it all week, and didn't even touch a shot put so I
could come over here and do well in the discus."

Robert Cravey placed sixth in the shot put for the Eagles'
other point on the afternoon.

On the girls' side, the Eagles wound up in eighth place with
34 points, as Kermit took top honors by a 115-112 margin
over Greenwood.

All of the girls' points came before the cold front arrived,
but with the wind still a factor. Penny Armstrong won the
discus for the third week in a row, this time with a
110-foot-7 throw, while Lorie Marquez place fourth.

Armstrong did miss out on her third straight gold in the
high jump, but still managed a second place finish, while
Marisol Arenivas took the 3200 meter run, with a 12:43.52
time. However, the senior came down with a back pain and did
not compete in the 1600 meter relay later that day, while
several other runners were bothered by pulled muscles.

"We're not warming up properly," said Eagles' coach Lily
Talamantez. "The next time, we're going to have a group
warm-up like we do before practices, because that's our
biggest problem, not preparing ourselves for events."

Arenivas' sister, Maricela, took sixth place in the long
jump, and the Eagles' 400 meter relay team also placed sixth.

Both Pecos teams will take off the final weekend of Spring
Break. The boys' next meet is March 20-21 at the West Texas
Relays in Odessa, while the girls go to the Mustang Relays
in Sweetwater on March 21.

Little League registration continues

The Pecos Little League has begun signing up boys and girls
ages 8-12 to compete in the 1998 season, which will begin in

League president Tony Aguilar said Little League
registration forms are available at the local elementary
schools, as well as at Gibson's True Value Hardware on West
Walthall Street, Big A Auto Parts on South Cedar Street, and
at the Reeves County Sheriff's Office. Completed forms can
be returned to Gibson's, Big A or to the sheriff's office.

Tryouts for the 1998 Little League are scheduled for the
weekend on March 28, Aguilar said.

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