Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, April 21, 1999
Eagles' win ends playoff drought
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Apr. 21 -- The Pecos Eagles ended their eight-year
playoff drought in baseball Tuesday night a little less
impressively than coach Bubba Williams would have liked, and
he knows they'll need a much better effort on Saturday if
they're to clinch their first district title in 11 years.
Pecos came away with a six-inning, 14-4 victory over El
Paso Mountain View at Eagle Field, and combined with losses
by Fabens and Canutillo, it clinched a playoff spot for the
Eagles for the first time since 1991. However, to do so,
Pecos had to rally from a 4-1 deficit after two innings
against the 2-18 Lobos, who had lost at home to the Eagles
last month by a 20-2 final score.
"It was a lackadaisical game," Williams said. "I know it's
hard to get up for Mountain View, but you've got to take
every game with a little intensity. You can't go out there
like that against any good club and expect to win."
Playing against the struggling Lobos, Williams gave Louis
Valencia a chance to pitch for the first time since March
13, when he lost to Lubbock Cooper by a 25-7 final score.
Valencia would struggle in the early going, giving up a
two-run homer to Junior Castillo in the first inning and two
unearned runs in the second, before settling down to no-hit
Mountain View over the final four innings.
Valencia ended up with 10 strikeouts while earning his
first win in three decisions this season. However, looking
ahead to the playoffs, Williams said, "Louis has got to come
on stronger. The last couple of innings he pitched good, but
he needs to pitch like that from the start."
Pecos' hitters also came on after the first couple of
innings against Damian Limas. The Lobos' pitcher did fairly
well in the early going, when he struck out three of the
first six batters he faced. But once the Eagles started
putting the ball in play, Mountain View's defense fell
apart, committing seven errors for the second game in a row.
A grounder by Josh Casillas that went through second
baseman Alex Garza's legs allowed Pecos to score its first
run, after Jeff Martinez reached on an infield hit.
But the Eagles also made their own early-inning mistakes. A
bad throw by Martinez on a two out Richard Vasquez bunt in
the second gave that run back, and Castillo followed with an
RBI single to make it 4-1.
That came after Eagles saw Casillas thrown out at home
plate trying to score on a passed ball in the first inning,
and the same thing happened to Kevin Bates in the second. In
the third, Luis Salgado was caught off second base on an
Orlando Lara grounder, after doubling past third baseman
Ricky Acosta to open the inning.
But Oscar Luna then sent a shot between Acosta's knee and
glove for a run-scoring error, and left fielder Roger Garcia
then kicked it around in the corner, allowing Luna to circle
the bases. Mason Abila then doubled off the left field fence
and after Martinez walked Casillas hit his eighth home run
of the year over the fence in left for a 6-4 Pecos lead.
Lara would walk and second again in the fourth on an Abila
sacrifice fly, and after singles by Martinez and Casillas
Gutierrez slammed his fifth homer of the year over the fence
in center, to make it a 10-4 game.
Jose Cuellar replaced Limas on the mound in the fifth, and
got out of that inning unscored on, but was touched for the
game's final four runs in the sixth.
Williams gave his reserves a chance to hit after Abila's
second double of the night. Ricky Herrera followed with an
RBI double and was singled home by Alex Garcia, and he
scored on Lucio Florez' RBI double. Cuellar did get Hector
Garcia on a pop up to third, but when Limas, now at
shortstop, booted Ramiro Nunez' ground ball, it allowed
Florez to slide home and end the game under the 10-run rule.
"One think about it, it's a win," said Williams, whose team
is now 7-0 in District 2-4A play going into Saturday's game
against 6-1 Clint, which stayed a game behind Pecos on
Tuesday by beating Fabens, 7-1. The Eagles defeated Clint in
their first meeting on March 30 by a 5-1 score.
EP MTN. VIEW PECOS
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Vsqz ss-2b 2 1 0 0 Luna cf 4 1 0 0
Castillo c 3 1 2 3 Ma.Abila lf 3 2 2 1
Limas p-ss 3 0 0 0 Mrtnez 3b 2 3 2 0
Vilalbos rf 0 0 0 0 Herrera ph 1 1 1 1
Gonzales dh 3 0 0 0 Casillas 1b 3 2 2 3
Herndez 1b 2 0 1 0 A.Garcia ph 1 1 1 1
L.Garcia pr 0 0 0 0 Valencia p 0 0 0 0
Jurado cf 2 1 1 0 Gutrrez dh 2 1 1 3
Acosta 3b 1 1 0 0 Florez dh 1 1 1 1
R.Garcia lf 1 0 0 0 Mk.Abila c 2 0 0 0
Garza 2b 1 0 0 0 H.Garcia ph 1 0 0 0
Cuellar p 1 0 0 0 Bates rf 3 0 2 0
Nunez ph 1 0 0 0
3 0 1 0
Lara 2b 2 2 0 0
Totals 19 4 4 3 Totals 29 14 13 10
EP Mtn. View 2 2 0 0 0 0 -- 4
Pecos 1 0 5 4 0 4 --14
One out when game ended under 10-run rule
E -- Garza 2, Martinez, Castillo, Acosta, R. Garcia,
Cuellar, Mk. Abila, Limas. DP -- Pecos 1. LOB -- Mountain
View 3, Pecos 5. 2B -- Salgado, Ma. Abila 2, A. Garcia,
Florez. HR -- Castillo, Casillas, Gutierrez. S -- R. Garcia.
SF -- Ma. Abila. SB -- Vasquez, Bates 2, Jurado. CS --
Jurado (by Mk. Abila).
IP H R ER BB KO
EP Mtn. View
Limas L, 1-8 4 8 10 5 2 4
Cuellar 1 1-3 5 4 3 0 0
Valencia W, 1-2 6 4 4 2 5 10
HBP -- Jurado, R. Garcia by Valenica, Mk. Abila by Limas.
WP -- Limas, Cuellar.
PB -- Castillo 2.
T -- 1:59.
Pecos to face Pampa in playoffs
PECOS, Apr 21 -- The Pecos Eagles earned a bye by winning
their first-ever district softball title last week. But
since varsity softball play has been slower to come to the
Panhandle, the Eagles already know their area round playoff
opponent next week.
Pecos will face the Pampa Harvesters on Thursday, April 29,
at 5 p.m. at Lubbock Western Field, in their first-ever
softball playoff game. Pampa was beaten by Dumas for the
District 3-4A title on Monday, but coach Tammy Walls said,
"That other district (Lubbock area District 4-4A) doesn't
have any teams, so they automatically advance (past
Walls scouted Monday's game in Dumas, and said "They looked
pretty good. This is the first year they've had a team, but
they've had years and years of intramural softball."
Walls said the Lubbock Western field is located on
University Avenue and the Clovis Highway (U.S. 84), about a
half mile northeast of the Texas Tech campus.
Duncan helps Spurs stick it to Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Apr. 21 (AP) -- In the jubilant San Antonio
Spurs locker room, moments after he almost single-handedly
blew away the Utah Jazz, Tim Duncan sneezed loudly.
``Bless you, big star. Bless you,'' teammate Jaren Jackson
said with a grin.
``You feeling all right, man?'' guard Antonio Daniels
laughed. ``You got to take care of yourself.''
Duncan was definitely the Spurs' most valuable player on
Tuesday night -- and he might just be the NBA's MVP with a
few more performances like that. His 36 points, 10 rebounds
and seven blocked shots were the keys to San Antonio's 83-69
win over Utah.
The 22-year-old ran roughshod over Utah's vaunted defense,
scoring at will from inside or outside and shooting 15-of-24
from the field. He also helped hold Karl Malone, up until
this game the top candidate for the MVP award, to six points
in the fourth quarter.
It's no wonder the Spurs want to keep their main man in good
health. Afterward, even the Jazz were in awe of Duncan's
``His game was ON tonight. He was phenomenal. He was
awesome,'' Greg Ostertag said. ``Everything we did, he just
countered (and) either scored or got an assist.''
``I've always said he's the toughest guy to guard in the
NBA,'' Greg Foster said. ``We played soft, and he took
advantage of it.''
The loss snapped Utah's 11-game winning streak and pulled
the Spurs within three games of the Jazz's league-best
record. San Antonio also clinched a playoff spot in the
``I felt great out there, as you could see,'' Duncan said.
``This was a big game for us, and we responded like a very
good team has to do.''
With his dominating performance, Duncan more than covered
for a foul-plagued game from his Twin Towers partner, David
Robinson. Duncan had 14 points in the third quarter as the
Spurs built a sizable lead over the out-of-sync Jazz, who
shot just 35.4 percent in the game.
``If somebody could tell us why teams have games like that,
they'd be rich people,'' Malone said. ``We could stop it
before we go out there and fix it right away. But that don't
In the fourth quarter, Malone hit a jumper to cut the Spurs'
lead to 67-61 with 7:28 to play, but Duncan responded with
five points on San Antonio's next three possessions and a
critical block on Malone. The Spurs made an 11-2 run over
the next six minutes to put the game away.
The Spurs have won four straight games, with their last
three coming against Portland, Houston and Utah. San Antonio
also snapped a three-game road losing streak.
Malone finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds, but he got
little help from his supporting cast. Bryon Russell, John
Stockton and Shandon Anderson were a combined 9-for-30 from
the field, and the Jazz committed 16 turnovers.
Utah lost for the first time in April and for just the
second time at home this season. Afterward, the Jazz seemed
shocked by their decidedly un-Jazzlike performance.
``If it were anybody else, we wouldn't have to worry about
it,'' said Jeff Hornacek, who had 11 points. ``But it's the
team that's right behind us in the standings ... and they
Duncan dominated the game early, getting 13 points, five
rebounds and five blocks in the first half as the Spurs led
by double digits. Only three personal fouls prevented him
from doing more damage, as the Jazz threw several
ill-equipped defenders at Duncan with no success.
Malik Rose had a huge game off the bench for San Antonio,
grabbing 11 rebounds, blocking three shots and playing solid
defense on Malone. Robinson had 12 points on 3-of-12
shooting, while Sean Elliott added 11.
San Antonio was up 38-28 with 8:19 left in the half before
going scoreless in the next 4:57. But the Jazz, who shot
33.3 percent in the first half, couldn't gain much ground
and trailed 43-38 at halftime.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise