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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, March 3, 2006

Eagles reschedule Crane game, JV hosting first tourney

The Pecos Eagles’ varsity softball team had their scheduled game on Tuesday in Crane against the Golden Cranes moved to Thursday evening at the Pecos High School softball field, following the first day of play in the inaugural Pecos JV Softball Tournament.

Pecos is 11-3 on the season, including two shutout wins over Crane. Thursday’s game is the final one for Pecos before their District 3-3A opener, at home on Tuesday against Lamesa.

Meanwhile, Pecos’ junior varsity team began hosting their inaugural softball tournament on Thursday at the Pecos High School softball field. The JV opened up with a 9 a.m. game against Fort Stockton, and was scheduled to face Monahans at 2 p.m., then was to take on Van Horn at 9:30 a.m. on Friday in the last game of pool play. Bracket seedings will be based on pool results.

Eagles hosting eight schools for West of the Pecos Relays

The Pecos Eagles track teams will be hoping for a few better results with a few extra competitors on Friday, when they host eight other area schools for the annual West of the Pecos Relays.

Field events and the finals of the 3200 meter run will get underway at 2 p.m. at Eagle Stadium, while the timed finals will start with the 400 meter relay at 6 p.m. Along with the two varsity divisions, the meet will also have a JV boys division.

It’s the first of two home meets for Pecos in 2006, with the other coming on April 14, when the Eagles host the District 3-3A Track and Field Championships. Five of the Eagles’ six district rivals will be at Friday’s meet, in Monahans, Fort Stockton, Greenwood, Seminole and Presidio, with Kermit, Midland Christian and El Paso El Dorado the other teams entered.

Pecos’ girls scored 51 1/2 points last week at the season-opening Comanche Relays, while the boys finished with 29 points. Both squads were missing competitors from the area powerlifting meet, while coach Donna Gent also had several of her girls in softball, while Robbie Ortega was minus several people in baseball and swimming.

The girls will still be without powerlifters who qualified for regionals this week, while the boys will be short some baseball team members who are playing on Friday in Sweetwater, but both should have a few more runners and field event competitors to work with.

The girls picked up first place finishes from Jennifer Martinez in the 1600 meter run and Chantell Mazone in the discus at Fort Stockton, while the boys’ best finish was a second by Justin Hannsz in the 300 meter hurdles.

While the varsity teams compete at home after going to Fort Stockton, Pecos’ junior high teams headed down to Fort Stockton on Thursday for the Fort Stockton Junior Relays after opening their season at home last week.

Mistakes send Eagles to first loss of season

The Pecos Eagles baseball team showed they’re ready to take a step back into the playoffs later this season, based on their effort in Tuesday night’s road game against the state-ranked Snyder Tigers. But if the Eagles expect to do anything once they get there, they’ll need to improve on a few little things that ended up sending Pecos to their first loss of the season.

Eddie Vela allowed just three hits in 5-plus innings, but an error in the first inning led to an RBI triple by Brent Bollinger, and then in the fifth, after Vela had gotten the first two outs of the inning, two walks around a passed ball third strike loaded the bases for Bollinger, who responded with a two-run single to wipe out a 2-1 lead the Eagles had gotten off him in the top of the inning.

Two more runs would then score when Isaiah Rayos couldn’t come up with Riley Davis’ grounder to shortstop, while Snyder would make plays in each of the final two innings to kill Eagle comeback attempts and give the Tigers a 5-3 win.

“The difference was the fifth inning. We had two outs and walked two people and had a swinging third strike get by the catcher,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan. “Snyder’s the type of team that’s going to take advantage of your mistakes, because they know how to win.”

Aside from the key mistakes, Payan said Pecos needs to do a better job making contact, especially at the bottom of the order, if they’re to return to post-season play after missing the playoffs last year for the first time since 1998.

“We’re leaving men on base. The bottom of the lineup is not getting it done,” he said, adding that the lack of hitting changed his strategy in the sixth inning, when the Eagles got their first two runners on base off Bollinger, who would get the hook from his dad, after walking Kenny Rayos and giving up a single to Valencia.

Bollinger moved to short and immediately turned a double play on a hard grounder by Vela off reliever Dustin Williams, who then got Chris Garnto to pop up to end the inning.

“I thought about bunting, but I’m not going to take the stick away from Eddie, when you’ve got 7-8-9 coming up and they haven’t done anything,” Payan said.

The bottom of the order did score the Eagles’ only two runs off Bollinger, as Pecos took advantage of Snyder’s lone fielding mistake of the night in the fifth inning. After the lead-off error by shortstop Lane Day on John Paul Salcido’s grounder, Bollinger walked No. 9 hitter Robert Nunez on a 3-2 count, and Jose Chavez took his next pitch into the gap in left-centerfield. Pinch runner Lee Roy Rodriguez came in easily, and Nunez slid home just ahead of Martinez’s tag for the go-ahead run.

The Eagles had wasted a one-out double by Jonathan Garcia and a walk to Isiah Rayos in the first inning off Bollinger, as he got Kenny Rayos to fly to center and Edward Valencia on a pop up to the mound. Then in the bottom of the inning, after Valencia was able to throw out Chris Smith on a slow roller missed by Vela, he couldn’t come up with Eric Martinez’s grounder to third, and Bollinger followed with a hard shot just to the right of second base that rolled all the way to the fence for a triple.

Both teams missed scoring chances after lead-off walks in the second. Vela would settle down to retire 11 straight Snyder batters until running into trouble in the fifth inning, while Bollinger retired nine of 10 batters, only allowing a fourth inning walk to Valencia, before Salcido reached in the fifth.

In the fifth, Vela struck out Ryan Mitchell and Day, then went to a 3-2 count before walking Jesse Conner. He then fanned Smith on a curve ball, but the pitch bounced past Garnto, and Smith reached first safely. A walk to Martinez followed, and Bollinger then singled to left field to put Snyder ahead.

Vela left the mound after walking Dustin Murdock to open the sixth and was replaced by Nunez. He also struggled a little with his control, but Garnto threw out Murdock trying to steal second and Nunez then survived a two-out walk to Day.

The Eagles would get the tying run up to the plate in the sixth, after a one-out walk to Nunez and a two-out single by Garcia, but Williams would get Isaiah Rayos to ground out to Bollinger at short to end the game.

Vela ended up with five walks and five strikeouts, and fell to 1-1 on the season. Bollinger struck out seven and walked five, while improving to 1-1. Pecos is 3-1 on the season while Snyder evened its record at 2-2.

“Eddie pitched well enough to win. We’ve just got to take advantage of our opportunities,” said Payan, who hopes Vela will be ready to pitch on Saturday, and the Eagles will be able to get far enough to have a fourth game at the Wooden Bat Tournament in Sweetwater this weekend.

The Eagles face Lamesa at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, then take on Sweetwater in an 8 p.m. game in pool round play. If Pecos wins both their games, they’ll play at 4 p.m. Saturday against one of the three other undefeated teams. The winner of that game will advance to Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. title game. If Pecos splits their games on Friday, they’ll play one game on Saturday, at 12 noon, while losses to both the Mustangs and Tornadoes would leave them in a 10 a.m. consolation game.

“I’ll probably throw Josh (Anchondo) against Sweetwater,” Payan said. Anchondo is one of three Eagles who’ll be eligible to play as of Friday, due to the start of Spring Break for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools.

Netters in Levelland for I-3A team regionals

The Pecos Eagles tennis team was headed for Levelland on Thursday, to compete in the Region I-3A Team Tennis Tournament at South Plains College.

Coach Mike Ortiz said the Eagles would play on Friday and Saturday, though they wouldn’t know their first round pairing until after the coaches meeting Thursday evening. “Pretty much everybody in our district is going to be there,” said Ortiz , whose team competed in singles and doubles tournament play last weekend in Fort Stockton.

The Eagles’ best finish was by No. 2 singles player Amber Pando. She defeated Big Lake’s Lauren Moore, 6-2, 6-4; and Kayla Guhiller of Fort Stockton, 6-4, 7-5, before falling to Midland Christian’s Meagan Fitzgibbons, 6-0, 6-0. Pecos’ No. 7 singles player Hope Mora, who placed third. She defeated teammate Sada Orona, 6-4, 0-6, 11-9; then lost to Fort Stockton’s C.J. Guerra, 6-0, 6-0, before beating Lacy LeBleu of Sweetwater, 6-1, 6-1. Orona’s other match was an 8-0 loss in the consolation bracket.

At No. 1 seed in singles, Imari Ornelas placed fourth, beating Sidney Bilbow of Sonora then losing to Ozona’s Jessica Mora and Fort Stockton’s Jessica Fierro. No. 3 seed Crystal Ikeler lost to Dorcy Ripley of Fort Stockton; defeated Ashley Anderson on Ozona and lost to Becca Myers of Sweetwater; No. 4 seed Victoria Montoya lost to Park Preddy of Ozona and Megan Mowry of Fort Stockton; No. 5 seed Janette Perea lost to Shelly Durham of Midland Christian and Diane Hernandez of Ozona; and No. 6 seed Delicia Ramirez lost to Mallory Ashford of Sweetwater and Morgan Capps of Ozona.

The boys’ only match win in singles was by No. 1 seed Francisco Ornelas, who downed Rudy Barrera of Big Lake, 6-3, 6-0; before losing to Ivan Ramirez of Sweetwater, 6-0, 6-1; and Devon Diehl of Ozona, 7-6, 4-6, (10-4). For the other seeds, Jerris Rayos at No. 2 seed lost to Sweetwater’s Jeff Ludlum and Midland Christian’s Kevin Carter; Jesse Hanks at No. 3 seed lost to Garrett Bradshaw of Midland Christian and Stephen Barthelemy of Sonora; No. 4 seed Paul Zubledia lost to J.J. Perez of Big Lake and Natalie Salomonci of Fort Stockton; No. 5 see Cody Zamarippa lost to Freddy Velez of Ozona and Noel Contreras of Big Lake; and Derrick Barron lost to Colton Moore of Sonora and David Crawford of Sweetwater.

In doubles for the boys, Ornelas and Rayos lost to Tambunga and Maldonado of Ozona and Munn and Barthelemy of Sonora at No. 1 seed; Zamarippa and Zubledia lost to Gillett and Bullard of Ozona, defeated Dunson and Camdler of Big Lake and lost to Ludlum and Gill of Sweetwater at No. 2 seed, and Barron and Michael Buentello lost to Hendrick and Gerald of Sweetwater and Martinez and Rodriguez of Fort Stockton at no. 3 seed.

In girls’ doubles, Ornelas and Pando won their opening match at No. 1 seed over Arispe and Chadwick of Sonora, then lost to Cook and Fitzgibbons of Midland Christian and Fierro and Gabaldon of Fort Stockton. At No. 2 seed, Montoya and Perea lost to Anderson and Preddy of Ozona and LeBleu and Smith of Sweetwater; and at No. 3 seed Orona and Mora lost to Roberts and Eastman of Midland Christian, defeated Capps and Martinez of Ozona and then lost to Subia and Young of Sonora.

Powerlifters get 14 spots at Abilene, Brownfield regionals

Five girls will be heading to Abilene this weekend to compete in the Region I powerlifting competition for the Pecos Eagles, while nine boys off the Eagles’ powerlifting team will be going to Brownfield next week for their regional competition.

The nine qualified following the final regular season meet for area competitors, held last Saturday in Kermit. Pecos’ girls picked up their third victory of the season, while the Eagle boys finished seventh out of 18 teams entered, coach Fred Howard said.

Stephanie Galindo, Marissa Lyles, Kathleen Ramirez and Ashley Ornelas were the regional qualifiers for Pecos’ girls. Galindo qualified in the above 220-pound division, Lyles in the 220-pound weight class, Ramirez at 198 pounds and Ornelas in the 114-pound division.

Howard said Maritza Acosta earned a regional alternate spot behind Ramirez, while Amanda Contreras fell just short of a regional berth at 114 pounds. The top 10 lifters in each weight class advanced to regionals.

Qualifying for the boys were Julio Orosco, Chris Navarette, Ruben Salgado, Mason Baeza, Michael Lee, Albert Lopez, Lamberto Herrera, Eli Hinojos and Elias Valenzuela. Salgado, Baeza, Lee and Lopez all qualified in the 242-pound weight class, while Navarette advanced at 275 pounds, Orosco in the super-heavyweight division, Herrera at 165 pounds, Hinojos at 132 pounds and Valenzuela at 114 pounds.

“We had four of the 10 regional qualifiers at 242 pounds,” said Howard, who did not take Salgado to Kermit this past weekend to allow him more time to recover from an injury. He went into the meet seeded No. 1 among lifters in that weight class for Region I.

None of the Eagle boys placed first at last Saturday’s meet in Kermit, where the best finishes were a third by Lopez at 242 pounds, with a combined 1175 pound total, and a third by Valenzuela at 114 pounds, with a combined 635 total. Lee and Baeza were fifth and sixth in the 242-pound division, both with 1135-pound efforts. In the super-heavyweight class, Orosco placed fourth with a combined 1100 pound lift for his squat thrust, bench press and dead lift, while Navarette was fifth in his division, with a combined 1145 pound effort.

At 220-pounds, Bill Moody placed 10th at Kermit, with a 1070 total. In the 198-pound weight class, Isaac Salgado finished 15th with an 830-pound total and Job Darpolar was 16th, with a 765-pound effort. In the 181 pound division, Aaron Navarette was 16th, with a 325 pound total, as he failed on his bench press and dead lift. Herrera placed fifth at 165 pounds, with a 955-pound combined total, and Levi Cobos was 13th, with a 755-pound total. In the 132-pound weight class, Hinojos was fourth, with a combined 820 pounds, and Michael Tarin placed 12th, with a 630-pound total.

For the girls, Ramirez placed first at 198 pounds, with a total lift of 605 pounds, and Acosta was second, with a 525-pound total. At 220 pounds, Lyles was second with a 620 total and in the above 220 division, Galindo was third with a 505-pound total.

In the 148-pound weight class, Jessica Trujillo finished second with a 575-pound total, and Doni Marquez was fifth, with a combined 450 pounds. In the 114-pound weight class, Ornelas placed third with a 520-pound total, and Amanda Contreras finished fifth, with a total lift of 510 pounds.

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