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PECOS, Oct. 30 -- The last time the University Interscholastic League
expanded the Class 4A playoffs, the Pecos Eagles took advantage to earn
their first-ever post-season berth.
Fourteen years later, the UIL has again expanded the playoffs, and
again, the Eagles have taken advantage of the extra berth to end a (much
shorter) post-season drought.
Now, Eagles' coach Nora Geron would like to see her team have the same
post-season results as her 1982 squad had, when Pecos travels to Van
Horn on Thursday for an 8 p.m. bi-district match against the El Paso
"We came in as the second place team and made it to the regional
finals," Geron said of her 1982 squad, "Maybe history will repeat
The `82 team handed Monahans its only loss of the season before falling
to the Loboes in the Region I-4A finals. Monahans went on to win the
Class 4A state title, while the Eagles began a string of nine playoff
appearances over the next 10 years, topped by 1987's 34-0 state
But the Eagles have missed the playoffs the past three seasons, and
Geron said that could hurt Pecos against Burges, which had been making
the Class 5A playoffs in El Paso before dropping down to 4A this year.
"None of our kids have any experience about what's going on. The last
time we had a playoff match none of our players were in high school,"
Geron said, while in contrast, Burges, "has got a lot of tradition. I
talked to some of the coaches in El Paso, and they feel that is their
"They're about the same size as we are, maybe a little bit shorter, and
their main hitter is a senior, so that should help them," she said.
The Mustangs come in with an 11-2 record in District 3-4A, and 18-7
overall. They finished second in their district to El Paso Bowie,
splitting their matches with the Bears and with fourth place finisher El
One thing the Eagles do have going for them is they're not playing in
Pecos. Unlike past playoff squads, which seldom lost at home, this
year's team was 5-10 in their own building, 2-3 in District 4-4A play,
while going 8-6 on the road, with four of those losses coming in
"We play well on the road," Geron said. "There really haven't been any
flukes on the road like we've had here."
Also favoring whoever wins Thursday's match is the pairings for this
year's tournament. The Pecos-Burges winner will take on District 2-4A
champion Lamesa, while Pecos' district rival Andrews, which faces El
Paso Riverside in their bi-district match, will have to meet Hereford if
they advance to the second round.
San Angelo Lake View won the 4-4A title and drew a first round bye, but
will probably face Dumas in their area round matchup. The Demons lost a
District 1-4A first place playoff to Hereford and face Levelland in
bi-district. One of those teams will then take on either Pecos, Burges
or Lamesa in the Region I-4A semifinals.
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Wetteland and Pettitte, who helped pitch the New York Yankees to the
World Series championship, were part of The Associated Press major
league all-star team announced Tuesday.
Wetteland, the World Series MVP, was chosen as the reliever for the
combined team and Pettitte, the AL win leader with 21, was picked as the
Los Angeles catcher Mike Piazza, selected for the fourth straight
season, and Cleveland outfielder Albert Belle were the only players to
repeat from 1995.
Alex Rodriguez, who led the majors in hitting at .358 in his first full
season, won selection by the widest margin. In voting by a nationwide
panel of 175 sports writers and broadcasters, 151 chose the 21-year
``This whole year has been a learning experience,'' Rodriguez said this
week. ``There are still a lot of areas in which I think I can improve.''
The closest vote was at second base, where Chuck Knoblauch of Minnesota
beat out Roberto Alomar of Baltimore, 76-75. In another close race, Juan
Gonzalez of Texas finished ahead of Ellis Burks of Colorado 75-73 for
the third outfield spot.
The American League dominated the voting, which was completed before the
playoffs began. Piazza, San Diego third baseman Ken Caminiti and
right-handed starter John Smoltz of Atlanta were the only NL players
Paul Molitor was chosen for the fourth time in 10 seasons as the
The AP manager of the year will be announced Wednesday. The AP player of
the year will be named on Thursday.
In a record-breaking season for offense, power dominated the all-star
Mark McGwire made it with 52 home runs, the 13th player in major league
history to reach the 50-homer mark. The Oakland first baseman got 80
votes to 33 for Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox.
Ken Griffey Jr. hit 49 homers for Seattle, Belle had 48 and Gonzalez 47.
They came in ahead of Burks, who hit .344 with 40 homers, 128 RBIs and
scored a major league-high 142 runs.
Among the outfielders who finished farther back were San Francisco's
Barry Bonds, only the second player ever to hit 40 homers and steal 40
bases in the same season, 50-homer man Brady Anderson of Baltimore and
seven-time NL batting champion Tony Gwynn of San Diego.
Rodriguez, who hit 36 homers and had 123 RBIs and a major league-leading
54 doubles, was an overwhelming winner at shortstop. Baltimore's Cal
Ripken, a role model for Rodriguez when he was growing up, was second
with six votes.
Knoblauch hit .341 and scored 140 runs for Minnesota. Alomar batted
.328, scored 132 runs and won the AL Gold Glove at second base for the
Caminiti hit .326 with 40 home runs and 130 RBIs for San Diego. He got
139 votes to 15 for Cleveland's Jim Thome.
Piazza hit .336 with 36 homers and 105 RBIs, earning him 113 votes. Todd
Hundley, who set a major league record for catcher with 41 homers for
the New York Mets, was second with 34 votes.
Molitor, whose led the majors with 225 hits and got the 3,000th hit of
his career, got 108 votes. Edgar Martinez of Seattle was the runnerup at
DH with 21.
Smoltz led the majors with 24 wins and 276 strikeouts for the NL
champion Braves. He got 149 votes to 20 for Florida's Kevin Brown, who
led the majors with a 1.89 ERA.
Pettitte, tops in the AL with 21 wins, got 132 votes as the lefty
starter. Atlanta's Tom Glavine and Denny Neagle each received seven.
Wetteland, who had 43 saves for the Yankees and became the World Series
MVP, got 48 votes as the reliever. Todd Worrell, who had 44 saves for
Los Angeles, was runnerup with 42. Wetteland's setup man, Mariano
Rivera, was third with 34.
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times
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