Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, July 27, 1998
Rallies earn Pecos trip to Abilene
By JON FULBRIGHT
BIG SPRING, July 27, 1998 -- Coming back to win the
subsectional tournament title after being no-hit in their
opener was quite an achievement for the Pecos Junior League
All-Stars in Big Spring over the weekend. But in order to
get to the state tournament, they'll have to do it again
starting tonight in Abilene.
Pecos, no-hit in five innings by Lubbock Southwest on
Friday, 10-0, came back that night to beat Big Spring, 7-4,
then rallied from a 7-6 deficit in the sixth inning on
Saturday to beat Southwest, 8-7. Sunday night, the Junior
Leaguers came from behind again, scoring twice in the sixth
inning and once in the eighth for a 7-6 victory in the
finals of the double-elimination tourney.
The win moved the Junior Leaguers into tonight's 7:30 p.m.
sectional final against Abilene at Rosebud Park in Abilene.
However, because subsectional losses carry over, Pecos must
win both tonight and on Tuesday to advance to the state
semifinals, while Abilene -- undefeated in their
subsectional -- needs just one victory.
"You have to have a lot of heart to come back, and these
kids do," said coach Timmy Garcia. "We lost the first game
and got (10) run ruled, then came back yesterday and beat
them and tonight we came back twice."
After two errors allowed Lubbock to take a 6-4 lead in the
fifth inning, they gave them right back with three errors of
their own in the top of the sixth, while the winning run
scored when catcher Adam Mole couldn't hold a throw home in
the eighth inning. Pecos' defense, meanwhile, improved in
the final innings of both weekend games, though Southwest
was able to get some unearned runs in all three games.
They scored nine unearned runs with two outs in the second
inning on Friday off Barney Rodriguez, while Jamin Speer
kept Pecos off-balance on the way to his no-hitter. He
struck out just three, but got help from his defense,
especially shortstop Darby Brown, who was also 3-for-3 with
3 RBI in the win.
Brown would again be at the center of the games on Friday
and Saturday, but not the way he or his Lubbock teammates
would have liked.
After Pecos rallied to take a 7-6 lead on Freddie Torres'
two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth,
Southwest put runners on first and third with none out
against reliever Patrick Fuentes. Tucker Brown then sent a
grounder to Matthew Levario at shortstop, and he was able to
throw home to Ontiveros, who tagged Speer for the first out.
That brought up Darby Brown, and for the third time in a
row, he sent a shot to center field. Unfortunately for
Lubbock, for the third time in a row it was right at Pecos'
center fielder -- Fuentes the first two times, and this time
to Rodriguez, who then threw a strike to Tony Aguilar as
Tyler Mattson tried to move up to third base. Mattson was
able get his foot on the base before Aguilar's tag, but he
didn't slide, came off third base, and was re-tagged by
Aguilar for the final out, ending the game.
Sunday's game ended in equally close fashion. Levario
relieved Rodriguez after Pecos tied the score in the sixth,
and blew through the first six batters he faced, striking
out three. But after Ontiveros' one out hit scored Ruvel
Carrasco in the top of the eighth, Levario walked Aaron
Parrott and wild pitched him to second with none out.
He fanned Chris Williams and got Mattson to foul out after
that, which brought up Tucker Brown. He bounced one past
Levario and towards center field, but Rodriguez, now at
shortstop, was able to cut it off and throw to first, just
beating Brown for the final out.
"Barney bounced back. In the first game, they got ahold of
his fastball, but in the second game, he changed things up a
little bit and threw his knuckleball. They still hit the
ball a little, but he did better and Matthew came in and
shut them down," Garcia said.
Levario, with seventh inning relief help from Ontiveros,
also had pitched on Friday, when Pecos eliminated Big Spring
with a 7-4 win. The Junior Leaguers had problems handling
Dustin Beauchamp's curveball, but he threw enough fastballs
for Pecos to grab a 6-1 lead over the first four innings,
before Big Spring tried to rally in their final at-bats.
Levario had a trip and Joey Ortega a single in Pecos'
two-run first, while Javier Ramirez and Ontiveros would
later add RBI singles, as Pecos took advantage of seven Big
Spring errors in the early going.
While Pecos used Rodriguez, Ontiveros and Levario in two
games apiece, Lubbock chose not to bring Jamin Speer back on
Sunday, despite his Friday no-hitter. Chance Speer started
and lasted until the fourth, when Pecos rallied from a 3-0
John Hodgins, who gave up Torres' game-winning hit on
Saturday, came on after a base-loaded walk to Fuentes made
it 3-1. He proceeded to walk Aguilar to make it 3-2, and
then, after Matthew Vasquez failed on a squeeze bunt
attempt, he blooped one over the drawn-in infield, to tie
the score. A one out bloop single by Ramirez followed, and
gave Pecos a 4-3 lead.
Lubbock would tie in on a double-steal and error in their
next at-bat, then took the lead when Rodriguez threw away
Parrott's grounder in the fifth, trying to force Hudgens at
Pecos scored five times in their first at bat off Mattson
on Saturday, with Torres again contributing a two-run
single. Levario would have an RBI single an inning later,
but two double plays in the first two innings allowed
Lubbock to stay close, and they would get unearned runs in
the second and third innings on the way to rallying for a
The subsectional win for Pecos is their first since the
playoffs went to the current format in 1997. Wins tonight
and Tuesday would sent Pecos to the state tournament for the
first time since Pecos' Senior League team advanced in 1995.
Lubbock, Midland oust Little Leaguers
The Pecos Little League All-Stars saw their bats silenced
over the weekend, at the subsectional tournament in Midland,
while Lubbock Midwest's bats made just enough noise on
Friday to get them into the tournament finals.
Rigo Ramirez had pretty much shut down San Angelo Northern
in 11 innings of work against them the previous week,
getting hurt only by a pair of home runs by Britt
Eggenberger. On Friday, it was another home run, this one by
Midwest's Jody Ferguson and Lubbock's only hit of the game,
that saddled Pecos with a 1-0 loss.
It was one of a pair of one-run losses by Pecos to Lubbock
teams on Friday. Up in Lubbock the Little League `B'
All-Stars saw their season ended when Lubbock Western pulled
out an 11-10 victory in the elimination bracket of the
Meanwhile, the 11-12 year old's Friday loss knocked them
into the loser's bracket, and on Saturday they managed just
one run against Midland Northern's Ryan Dupriest, and the
tournament's host team took advantage of Pecos mistakes in
the third and fourth innings to turn a 1-0 deficit into a
6-1 lead, on the way to a 10-1 victory.
Coach Lee Serrano said Friday's loss was the key, and it
came when Ferguson homered to lead off the second. Pitcher
Brandon Turner made the run stand up, allowing Pecos just
"I couldn't ask anything better from Rigo. He pitched a
one-hit game and the only hit was the home run that hurt
us," Serrano said. "Plus we got two runners thrown out at
home and we had first and second and get a pop up and run
into a double play. We just made mental mistakes, and it
carried over to today."
"After that heartbreaker yesterday, it was tough to bounce
back, because they all knew they should have won last
night," Serrano said.
Pecos took a 1-0 lead in the third, loading the bases off
singles by Jacob Marquez and Saldana around a walk to Greg
Barrera. Victor Reyes then came close to putting one out on
Dupriest, but his fly out to deep right was enough to score
Marquez and give Pecos a 1-0 lead.
But the defense faltered after Mike Stressler's one out
double. Marquez dropped pitcher Elario Bustamantes' throw on
Tim Smith's sacrifice bunt, putting runners on the corners,
and Barrera then threw through on a double steal, with
Stressler scoring to tie the game. Matt Stovall followed
with a single, and Midland executed the double steal again
to take the lead, with Stovall later scoring off a passed
Saldana replaced Bustamantes on the mound in the fourth. He
had won Thursday's subsectional opener, but the one-day rest
was not enough, as Midland scored three times in the fourth
and four more times in the fifth.
His own mental mistakes hurt in the fourth, when with two on
and two out he took Stressler's comebacker to the mound and
they home, instead of going for the inning-ending out at
first. A passed ball and Smith's double to left then made it
6-1, while all the runs in the fifth were unearned, off a
double error on Drew Winston's grounder and an error one out
later on a grounder by Dupriest.
Midland had lost to Lubbock 10-0 in their opener. Sunday's
title game was closer, but Midwest would advance to the
sectional finals with a 6-5 victory.
Up in Lubbock, Western's 9-10 year olds would rout Midland
Northern, 13-4 and 13-6 after losing a 6-5 decision to
Midland on Thursday. They had routed Pecos in their opener
last Wednesday, 12-0, but in the rematch they had to rally
from a 9-0 deficit to get the win.
"We jumped on them in the first inning and scored one our
two runs and were hitting the ball hard," said coach John
Salcido. "But they just started chipping away a couple of
runs at a time.
"Lubbock had the best team in the tournament. I feel like
they could have beaten a couple of our (District 4) all-star
teams among the bigger kids," he added. "They have good
coaches and better facilities. They tore up our fastball,
and I'm not going to teach our kids the curveball at that
early an age and ruin them."
Salcido said Eddie Vela went the distance. "We played pretty
good defense, although a couple of passed balls hurt us,"
Salcido said. "But we turned five double plays in the
tournament, and at that age, that's pretty good."
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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