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August 21, 1996

Eagles served split of openers

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 21 - Serves were an asset at the start of play Tuesday for
the Pecos Eagles, and a liability by the time things were finished
between the Eagles, Alpine Bucks and Odessa High Bronchos.
Alpine spent the first game of their match against Pecos hitting the
ball either into the net or over the backline, helping the Eagles to an
easy 15-3 victory. But once the Bucks got their range down, Pecos had to
fight its way to a three-game victory.
Things didn't go as well for the Eagles against Odessa High. After
taking an 8-3 lead in the opener, Pecos was never able to sustain much
momentum after that, and had serving problems of their own in a pair of
15-11 losses to the Bronchos.
"We lost concentration on missed serves," Eagles coach Nora Geron said.
"Every time we'd get something going, we'd miss a serve, and there it
The Eagles had their chances to sweep Alpine. After falling behind in
Game 2 by a 6-2 score they went on an 8-1 run for a 10-7 lead, only to
see the Bucks score seven of the next eight points for a 14-11
advantage. Pecos then rallied to tie the game, and fought off game point
again at 15-14 to grab a 17-16 lead, but couldn't put Alpine away and
ended up losing by an 18-16 margin.
The third game was in doubt as well until the end, when junior hitter
Lori Marquez took over. She had a pair of kills down the stretch and a
block of the Bucks' Aimee Ramirez for match point, while Gail Taylor
added a pair of ace serves as the Eagles turned a 10-9 deficit into a
15-11 victory.
"Alpine doesn't have that much this year, but they have tradition, and
they have a lot of hustle," said Geron, whose team enjoyed a rare height
advantage over an opponent in their opening matchup. "They go after
those balls and have that winning tradition."
Against Odessa High, the Eagles held a 10-6 lead in the opener when
Bronchos sophomore Shelby Fitzgerald blocked two spikes in a row by
Marquez for points. Fitzgerald would later score off a block of Veronica
Carrasco, while the Eagles gave the Bronchos several points off net
While Pecos had problems with their own serves, they also struggled in
Game 2 with those of Linda Garcia and Adriana Benavides. Lee Ann Bowen
also scored a trio of points off spikes and dinks for OHS. The Eagles
got some kills in both games out of Taylor, Carrasco, Sherrie Mosby and
Ivy Thorp, but Pecos' offense came alive consistantly only when Marquez
was on the front line.
"With Lori, we score. But then we miss a serve and that's it," Geron
said. "She gets on the back line, and we don't score."
The Eagles will get in two days of practice, and then will get another
shot at Odessa High on Friday, in pool round play at the Ector County
ISD Tournament. The Eagles and Bronchos meet again at 4 p.m., after
Pecos faces El Paso Jefferson in their opening match, and District 4-4A
rival San Angelo Lake View at 1 p.m.
The freshman and junior varsity results were the same on Tuesday for
Pecos. The Eagles' JV lost to OHS in three games, 17-15, 15-17, 15-7,
then beat Alpine, 15-1, 15-4, while the ninth graders downed the Bucks,
13-15, 15-9, 15-12, before falling to the Bronchos' sophomore squad,
15-8, 15-1.
Odessa High completed their sweep with a 15-4, 15-7 JV win over Alpine
and a 15-2, 15-1 victory by their 10th grade squad over the Bucks.

Eagles enter scrimmage with more players

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 21 - The Pecos Eagles' varsity roster looks like it won't
have as many players as new head coach Mike Belew had been hoping to
start the 1996 season with. But the Eagles do have more players out then
at any time in the last decade.

Three days into the new school year and starting their third week of
pre-season drills, there are a total of 38 players are working out with
the varsity. While that's about average for District 4-4A teams in
recent years, it's the most for Pecos since 1985, when they had 37 on
the varsity, and finished with a 7-3 record.
A 7-3 mark this season would represent a major step up for the Eagles,
after 2-8 and 3-7 marks the past two years. A lack of depth has been one
problem for Pecos during that span, and while Belew had hoped for about
45 players on the varsity this time around, the Eagles do have more
players to work with at each position.
"The main thing right now is we need to get people healthy," Belew said
Wednesday about some workout injuries Pecos had suffered the past few
days. The most serious is the fracture of a small foot bone suffered by
lineman Jake Fowler, though Belew said the bone isn't a major one that
would keep the junior out for an extended period. "He should be out a
couple of weeks," the Eagles' coach added.
Also banged up going into Friday's opening scrimmage are linemen
Anthony Lopez and Eric Barreno and running back Arnulfo Granado.
The Eagles will face Crane, starting between 5 and 5:30 p.m. on Friday
at Eagle Stadium with both the freshman and junior varsity matchups.
"We'll have them both going at the same time," Belew said. "We'll have
one going in from the 50 yard line in one direction and the other going
from the 50 the other way." The varsity matchup will get underway after
the JV and ninth graders finish, about 6:45 p.m.
After two weeks of practice, Belew said he and the rest of the staff
"are getting closer to honing in on our starters," but added nothing
will be final until after the scrimmage against Crane and next week's
scrimmage against Midland Greenwood.
"In the coaching profession it never ceases to amaze me that kids you
don't expect to come through are the ones that do, and some of the ones
you do expect to do well don't," the Eagles' coach said.

High School football fans who want a little more scrimmage action after
Friday night, but don't want to wait for next week, can go out to Eagle
Stadium on Saturday, when the Midland Lee Rebels will be taking on the
El Paso Riverside Rangers.
The Rangers, who the Eagles faced often during the 1970s and 1980s, are
favored to win the District 3-4A title this season, after dropping down
from Class 5A. Lee, meanwhile, is the only Class 5A team in the area
holding two fall scrimmages, since they opted against spring practice.
Belew said the Rebels and Rangers are scheduled to begin about 7 p.m. at
Eagle Stadium.

Rangers' streak booted by Tribe

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AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND, Aug. 21 - For the Cleveland Indians, three, four and five
added up to 10 runs.

The heart of the Indians' order came through Tuesday night, accounting
for all of Cleveland's runs in a 10-4 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Jim Thome, the No. 3 hitter, hit his 28th home run. Albert Belle,
batting cleanup, hit his 41st and had a two-run triple. And Manny
Ramirez joined some elite company with his third grand slam this season.

Ramirez drove in five runs for the fourth time in his career, and Belle
drove in three runs to give him a major league leading 118 RBIs.

``It's amazing, isn't it?'' manager Mike Hargrove said. ``They did their
jobs tonight, they really did.''

Ramirez became the fourth Indians player to hit three grand slams in a
season, joining Tris Speaker, Al Rosen and Andre Thornton. Rosen had
four in a season.

``I guess I'm just lucky,'' said Ramirez, who has four grand slams in
his career. ``I've never tried to hit a grand slam.''

Lost in all the offense was the Rangers' errorless streak, which ended
at 15 games, an AL record. The Rangers failed to tie the major league
record of 16, set by the 1992 St. Louis Cardinals.

Texas went 575 chances without an error. The streak ended when Kevin
Elster dropped a throw on force play at second in the fourth inning. It
was Elster's first error in 45 games.

``I think Kevin kind of looked down for the bag, maybe,'' said Mark
McLemore, who made the throw. ``There wasn't much to say. Any other time
somebody makes an error, you don't say anything.''

Thome hit his fourth home run in five days, a two-run shot that put
Cleveland ahead 5-4 in the fifth. Thome, who hit a homer on Saturday and
two on Sunday against Detroit, has eight hits in his last 16 at-bats.

``When you're swinging the bat well, any ball that's in the zone looks
good,'' said Thome, whose 28 homers and 87 RBIs are both career highs.

With Cleveland leading 5-4 in the sixth, Belle was intentionally walked
to load the bases. Jeff Russell came on to face Ramirez, who hit his
26th homer and fourth career grand slam to make it 9-4.

``Russell hung a breaking ball,'' Hargrove said, ``and Manny didn't
leave it there long.''

For the second straight night, one of these explosive teams scored in
double digits. The Rangers won the first game of the series 10-3.

``It's two good ballclubs,'' Oates said, alluding to a possible
postseason showdown. ``Hopefully after the regular season, there might
be more games.''

Juan Gonzalez hit his 36th home run for Texas, a two-run shot in the
fifth that gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead. Gonzalez extended his hitting
streak to 12 games and drove in three runs, giving him 114 RBIs.

Rusty Greer went 4-for-5, including an RBI single in the Rangers'
two-run first. Gonzalez added an RBI groundout in the inning for a 2-0

After a rain delay of 1 hour, 23 minutes, Cleveland took a 3-2 lead in
the bottom of the first. Belle drove in two with his third triple of the
season and Ramirez knocked in Belle with a single.

Albie Lopez (3-4) got the victory despite allowing nine hits in five
innings. Eric Plunk pitched three scoreless innings, and Paul
Assenmacher got three outs in the ninth.

Bobby Witt (12-9) lost for the first time in eight starts, giving up
five runs on six hits and six walks in 4 1-3 innings. Witt won his
previous four starts.

(Copyright 1996 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times

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