Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
March 17, 1998
Mistakes hurt, then help Eagles
By JON FULBRIGHT
Monday was a night for the reserves for both the Pecos
Eagles and Crane Golden Cranes to get their chance at some
playing time, and the results were both expected and - at
least on the final play of the game - stunningly unexpected.
With both the Eagles and Cranes swapping reserves and
starters most of the night, the game figured to be, and was,
a sloppy one. But no one could have figured that Crane
second baseman Dustin Stofan would make the mistake he did
on Joseph Contreras' ground ball that gave the Eagles a 10-9
Stofan, who came in to replace Thomas King at second base
in the bottom of the seventh inning, went from almost being
the game's hero to its goat in a five-minute span. He just
missed making a diving grab of Richard Gutierrez' one-out
line drive, with runners on second and third and Pecos
trailing, 9-8. Stofan was still able to knock the ball down
and throw Gutierrez out, but Cisco Rodriguez was able to
score from third on the play, tying the game.
Crane pitcher Clay McGuire then loaded the bases by walking
Louis Valencia and just brushing Luis Salgado with a pitch,
bringing up Contreras, who grounded a 1-1 pitch to Stofan.
But the Crane second baseman lost track of the outs, and
instead of making the inning-ending throw to first, tried to
force out pinch-runner Moses Martinez at home, but was one
step too late.
The mental error made a winner of Valencia, the third and
most effective of Pecos' pitchers on the night. He allowed
just one unearned run in four innings of work, on a night
when the Eagles' fielding and baserunning were plagued by
"Our subs have got to be able to play, but at least the
kids didn't give up. Louis came in and did a good job, and
the kids came back at the end," Eagles' coach Bubba Williams
Pecos started four of their nine regulars, including
pitcher Jason Abila, who no-hit Crane two weeks ago at the
Monahans Sandhills Tournament. However, this time the law of
averages came into play, as the Cranes found just the right
spots to drop in four hits, leading to four runs in the
first two innings of the game.
Abila hurt himself by hitting leadoff batter Chris
Rodriguez, and moved him to second on a bad pickoff throw.
McGuire then hit a low line drive that not only got by
second baseman Aaron Roman, it got past right fielder Lucio
Florez for a triple. Ben Schenkman then blooped a single
between shortstop Eric Muniz and center fielder Eric Aguilar
for a 2-0 lead.
Crane scored twice more in the second, when King reached on
a passed ball strikeout, Craig Pettit got on off an infield
hit to short, and J.C. Carrasco bounced a grounder off the
first base bag and away from John Gutierrez, for a two-run
Even with that, Pecos still held a 7-4 lead after two
innings, thanks to Pettit's control problems and a pair of
home runs by Gutierrez and Abila.
Pettit walked Kevin Bates, Aguilar and Rodriguez in the
first, before Gutierrez lined his fourth homer of the season
over the fence in center, for Pecos' second grand slam of
the year. In the second, he walked Aguilar again after Muniz
reached on Bubba Jeffrey's error, then saw Abila collect his
second homer of the year, and the Eagles' 17th in 11 games.
Williams replaced Abila with Muniz in the third. He had
thrown under 70 pitches in shutting out Lubbock Christian on
Saturday, but this time, Muniz lasted just over an inning,
giving up one run in the third and allowing the first four
runners to reach base in the fourth, before being replaced
He came on ahead by a run, but Crane tied the game off a
double-steal of third and home, and Valencia balked in the
go-ahead run moments later. Pecos re-tied the score in their
half of the fourth, when Abila singled and scored from first
on Rodriguez' base hit off new pitcher Schenkman, who then
shut Pecos down for the next two innings.
Crane ran another double-steal on Pecos - their sixth and
seventh stolen bases of the night - to score an unearned run
in the sixth for a 9-8 lead. "They ran on us with ease,"
Williams said. "Cisco does a good job catching, but we've
just got to work with him on popping up and throwing the
ball, because they're going to run on us until we throw them
Schenkman retired Pecos in order in the bottom of the
inning, but was replaced on the mound by McGuire in the
seventh. He was done in by his defense, as along with
Stofan's mistake, Chris Rodriguez lost Cisco Rodriguez'
leadoff fly ball, then had it kick off his heel and past
right fielder Donnie Bishop for a three-base error, setting
up the two-run rally.
The victory gave Pecos an 8-3 season record, going into a
one-week break before their District 4-4A opener, next
Tuesday night in Sweetwater. Williams' main concern was the
status of leadoff hitter Oscar Luna, who is scheduled to
have root canal work done that same day.
"I'd like to go into district with a full lineup of
players," said Williams, whose team has made it through 4-4A
play without losing any players to grades or injuries just
once in the past decade.
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Ch.Rdgz cf 3 3 2 1 Bates lf 2 1 0 0
Marquez rf 1 0 0 0 Contreras lf 2 0 0 1
Bishop rf 1 0 1 0 E.Aguilar cf 1 2 0 0
McGure 1b-p 4 1 1 1 Luna cf 1 0 0 0
Shnkmn lf-p 3 1 2 1 Abila p-ss 4 2 2 3
M.Rdgz 1b 1 0 0 0 Ci.Rdgz c 3 1 2 1
Cavasas 3b 2 0 1 0 R.Gutrez cr 0 1 0 0
E.Crrsco 3b 0 0 0 0 Luna cr 0 0 0 0
Jrffrey ss 2 0 0 0 J.Gutrez 1b 2 1 1 4
King 2b 3 1 0 0 Mrtnez pr 0 1 0 0
Stefan 2b 1 0 0 0 Florez rf 3 0 1 0
Pettit p-lf 3 1 2 0 Herrera 3b 2 0 1 0
Mgana cr-ph 1 1 0 0 R.Gutrez 3b 2 0 0 1
J.Crrsco c 3 0 2 2 Muniz ss-p 2 1 0 0
Garcia cr 0 0 0 0 Valencia p 1 0 0 0
Stefan cr 0 1 0 0 Roman 2b 2 0 0 0
Salgado 2b 1 0 0 0
Totals 29 9 12 5 Totals 28 10 9 10
Crane 2 2 1 3 0 1 0 -- 9
Pecos 4 3 0 1 0 0 2 --10
Two out when winning run scored
E -- Abila, Jeffrey, Herrera, Ci. Rodriguez, Schenkman, R.
Gutierrez, Ch. Rodriguez. DP -- Crane 1, Pecos 1. LOB --
Crane 5, Pecos 7. 2B -- Florez. 3B -- McGuire. HR -- J.
Gutierrez (4), Abila (2). S -- Marquez. CS -- Schenkman 3,
Muniz, E. Aguilar, R. Gutierrez, Ch. Rodriguez 2, Stefan,
Luna, Bishop, Martinez. CS -- Cavasas, Bishop.
IP H R ER BB KO
Pettit 3 4 7 4 5 1
Schenkman 3 3 1 1 1 3
McGuire L 2-3 0 2 0 2 0
Abila 2 4 4 2 0 3
Muniz 1 4 4 2 2 0
Valencia W, 3-0 4 4 1 0 1 3
Muniz pitched to four batters in the fourth.
Balk -- Pettit, Valencia.
HBP -- Ch. Rodriguez by Abila, Salgado by McGuire.
WP -- Muniz.
PB -- Ci. Rodriguez 2.
T -- 2:34
Pecos goes to Stockton for district opener
Four weeks after playing their first-ever girls softball
game, the Pecos Eagles will play their first-ever District
4-4A softball game today, in Fort Stockton against the
The Eagles will face the Prowlers in varsity and junior
varsity games at 5 and 7 p.m., with Pecos looking to improve
on the results of their non-district game 11 days ago
against Fort Stockton.
In that game, the Prowlers scored in every inning and held
Pecos to just one run and one hit in a five-inning, 22-1
victory. It was the first of two straight games going into
district in which the Eagles have had problems hitting the
ball, the latest a 10-0 loss a week ago at Kermit, which
left them with a 1-6 season record.
Lopsided losses by first-year softball teams aren't unusual
-- San Angelo Lake View gave up 18 runs to Andrews in the
first inning of a district game last year --and the Eagles
are the new team on the block this season.
Meanwhile, Fort Stockton is picked to finish third in
district this season, their third in 4-4A play. Andrews and
Big Spring, which have been playing UIL softball for four
seasons and had two years of club softball prior to that,
are again favored to finish 1-2 in district this spring.
Pecos' home softball opener will be Friday, when Sweetwater
comes to town.
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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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise