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Sports

Thursday, August 26, 1999

Eagles get final scrimmage test

PECOS, Aug. 26, 1999 -- After getting a wake-up call last Friday against the Monahans Loboes, the Pecos Eagles football team will try to improve on their performance tonight in Midland, when they play their final preseason scrimmage, against the Greenwood Rangers.

Pecos and Greenwood will scrimmage at about 8 p.m., following the freshmen and junior varsity scrimmages at 6 and 7 p.m. Coach Gary Grubbs said both the varsity and JV teams will go two 10-play series apiece and then play a quarter under game conditions, while the freshmen teams will have two series of 15 plays each.

The Eagles were beaten 5-0 in their first scrimmage by Monahans, but Grubbs said that hasn't made Pecos put any extra emphasis on tonight's contest.

"We're getting ready for Denver City right now," he said, referring to next Thursday's season opener. "We haven't done anything until today (Wednesday) getting prepared for Greenwood."

Pecos was out-gained by 250 yards in last week's scrimmage, and allowed two scores due to blown pass coverage.

"We had people in new positions, and were went against the fourth-ranked team in the (Class 3A) coaches' poll and the fifth ranked team in the AP poll, so they're pretty good," said Grubbs, who added, "But our kids didn't do what the coaches coached them to do."

The Eagles did make a couple of position changes following last week's contest. "We did some moving at linebacker. We moved Omar Luna inside and moved Jaime Natividad outside," Grubbs said. "Jacob (Esparza) is also probably going to get some reps, and I'm not sure about Len (Carson) he had some wisdom teeth taken out yesterday (Tuesday)."

The Eagles limited their run offense last week with Esparza out with a broken bone in his hand, throwing on 12 of their first 13 plays against the Loboes. Esparza's currently in a cast, but Grubbs said last week he'll definitely play in the Eagles' Sept. 2 season opener.

Greenwood is supposed to battle Kermit for the third playoff spot from District 4-3A, behind Monahans and Crane this season.

"They're still running the 4-3 defense, but their coach (Bob Purser) said they've changed their offense and are running a lot of offset `I'," Grubbs said. "I do know they've got 29 seniors, so they're going to be a veteran ballclub."
 

Cantaloupe tourney assured of new champ

PECOS, Aug. 26, 1999 -- There will definitely be a new champion at this year's Cantaloupe Classic Volleyball Tournament, though there's a pretty good chance one of the tournament's past champions will be taking home the title come Saturday night.

Play opens at 9 a.m. Friday in the varsity division of the tournament, with the Pecos Eagles taking on the El Paso Parkland Matadors in one of the two games at the new Pecos High School gym. Pecos will face Midland Greenwood at 1 p.m. and take on the Wink Wildcats at 4 p.m. in their other pool round matches.

Coach Becky Granado said late cancellations have cut the tournament field from 16 to 14 teams, with the Eagles in Pool II, Monahans, Fabens and Marfa making up Pool I, Grandfalls, Alpine and Van Horn in Pool III and Fort Stockton, Crane, Presidio and Seminole in Pool IV.

El Paso Bowie defeated Wink for last year's title, with the Eagles ending up in fifth place. Going into Friday's play, Seminole appears to be the favorite, having come off a win over Alpine last Saturday. The Bucks swept Pecos and Odessa High in their season openers, and split their matches on Tuesday, beating Wink while losing to Odessa Permian.

Pecos is 3-4 on the season after being swept by Snyder and Midland Lee on Tuesday, and come off a third place finish at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament last weekend.

Wink and Greenwood, the Eagles pool round opponents, faced each other on Tuesday, with the Rangerettes coming away with a 16-14, 15-13 win following a three game loss to Permian. Greenwood lost to Lubbock Monterey and Canyon last Saturday at the Lubbock Tournament, while Wink finished fifth in their own tournament, losing to Midland Christian while beating Grandfalls and Fort Hancock.

Pecos' opening round opponent, Parkland, faced three of the Eagles' District 2-4A rivals in the El Paso Ysleta Tournament, defeating Canutillo while losing to Mountain View and San Elizario as part of a 1-3 weekend.

Pecos' freshmen open their division of the tournament today, with pool play against Alpine, Fort Stockton and Greenwood at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The JV starts at 9 a.m. Friday in the old gym with a pool round match against Monahans, then face Fort Stockton at 5 p.m. and Odessa Permian at 6 p.m., in the new gym.
 

Rangers salvage last game of series

ARLINGTON, Texas, Aug. 26, 1999 (AP) Texas Rangers manager Johnny Oates has always insisted that beating the New York Yankees isn't more important than beating anyone else.

But after the Rangers lost eight of 11 games against the Yankees this season, even Oates admitted that he was savoring Wednesday night's 7-3 victory a little more than usual.

"It had gotten frustrating," Oates said. "We knew we could beat these guys, but it just wasn't happening. Hopefully, this will erase some of that."

Texas has lost six of seven playoff games to the Yankees the last three years, and the two division leaders could play again this postseason.

And even though the end of the season is still over a month away, the playoff-like atmosphere was evident throughout the three-game series.

"There's no doubt it was a big win for them because you don't want to get swept at home," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "They are a team that is going to keep coming after you."

Esteban Loaiza overcame a shaky start to pitch seven strong innings for the Rangers, winning his seventh straight decision.

Loaiza (7-1), who hasn't lost since being inserted into the starting rotation after the All-Star break, gave up three runs in his first three innings, but gradually regained his command and needed just 24 pitches to get through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

Loaiza allowed three runs and eight hits, struck out five and walked two.

"I feel a lot of confidence in myself," Loaiza said. "I'm starting to throw the ball where I'm supposed to."

Rafael Palmeiro continued his torrid pace for the Rangers, hitting his ninth homer in as many games in the sixth inning. Palmeiro was 11-for-24 during Texas' six-game homestand, with six homers and 13 RBIs.

"Playing the Yankees is fun," Palmeiro said. "You get up to play these kinds of games. Fortunately, we were able to win one of them."

Hideki Irabu (10-5), who had his career-high eight-game winning streak snapped two starts ago, gave up six runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings.

Trailing by three runs, Texas took a 4-3 lead in the third when Mark McLemore, Ivan Rodriguez and Rusty Greer hit consecutive one-out RBI singles and Juan Gonzalez added a sacrifice fly.

Irabu was chased in the sixth by Palmeiro's 39th homer and consecutive singles by Todd Zeile and Lee Stevens, who drove in Zeile. McLemore added an RBI single off Jeff Nelson in the eighth.

"I threw a lot of balls up," Irabu said through an interpreter. "My pitching balance was off, which happens sometimes during games."

Jeff Zimmerman and John Wetteland each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the victory.
 
 



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Pecos Enterprise
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