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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Series team honored as LL opens ’06 season

The Pecos Little League opened its 54th season of play on Saturday with a tribute to the group of Pecos Pony League All-Stars who advanced to the Pony League World Series 35 years ago.

Seven players off that squad, along with coaches Phil Ryan and Lynn Owens, threw out first pitches prior to the start of the first game.

“They had exceptional talent. They had heart. They believed in themselves and believed in their coaches,” Ryan told the crowd at Chano Prieto Field. “They had total unity. They were a family and remained a family, and have talked to each other since that time.”

Ryan also mentioned the names of the other managers and officials with the Pony League and Little League organizations in the late 1960s and the early 1970s who helped with the success of the program in Pecos. He also mentioned the help given by parents and other community members at that time, both in maintaining the baseball facilities and with the donations to help the 1971 squad finance their trips, first through Texas and then to the national tournament in Washington, Pa.

“Plan each time you step on the field to give 110 percent,” Ryan told the current group of Little Leaguers. “Because if you don’t, you’re short-changing yourself.”

Along with the introduction of the 1971 Pony League All-Stars and the introduction of the 12 teams playing in the league this season, members of last year’s 11-year-old Little League All-Star squad also were introduced individually during the opening ceremonies. The 11-year-olds won the inaugural District 37 Little League title last July, then took the Region 1 Sectional championship to advance to the state Little League Tournament in Waco. Pecos also captured the District 37 title in the 12-year-old division a year ago, before losing in sectional play.

A moment of silence was also held for Chano Prieto, manager of the 1986 Little League All-Star team. The Pecos Little League field with renamed for Prieto after he was killed in a SUV accident near Abilene in August of that year. Preito and nine members of the team were returning from the state Little League tournament in Waco when the accident occurred.

JH girls, second, boys fourth at Pecos tourney

The Pecos Eagle girls junior high golf team is in second place, while Pecos’ junior high boys are in fourth following the opening round of their five-round area tournament on Saturday at the Reeves County Golf Course.

Monahans’ boys and girls lead both divisions. The girls shot a 201 in their nine-hole tournament for a 21-stroke lead over the Eagles. Andrews is next with a 226 score, while no other area school had enough golfers for an ‘A’ team.

Arianna Alligood shot a 50 on Saturday to lead the Eagles individually, and is in third place overall in the medalist race, behind Monahans’ Shelby Hill and Courtney Rutledge, who had 47 and 48 rounds on the day. Tatum Windham was next for Pecos with a 53 and is tied for fifth with Andrews’ Haley Peralta, while Katrina Hinojos shot a 57 and is in 10th place in the medalist standings, Rina Pino shot a 62 and Branie Lara a 65 for the other ‘A’ team scores.

Pecos’ ‘B’ team shot a 300 and is in sixth place, behind Andrews ‘B’ (263) and Monahans ‘B’ (275). They were led by Amber Valdez’s 70, while Heather Matta shot a 73, Cynthia Ramirez had a 78., Tori Carrasco a 79 and Miren Hinojos an 80. The Eagles also had two medalist golfers, Destiny Simmons, who shot a 70, and Desirae Deakins, who shot an 81. On the boys’ side, Monahans shot a 349 over 18 holes and lead Andrews by 12 strokes, while the Loboes’ ‘B’ team shot a 376 and is five strokes in front of Pecos’ ‘A’ squad. Andrews ‘B’ is fifth at 396, followed by Fort Stockton at 420 and the Eagles’ ‘B’ team with a 433 total.

The boys had two golfers in the Top 10, Lomas Gonzales, who shot a 90 and is in eighth place, and Richard Dutchover, who shot a 93 and is tied for 10th place. Edgar Madrid had a 95, and Omar Medina and Mateo Tarango both shot 103s for the other ‘A’ team scores. The ‘B’ team was led by Dominique Veji with a 96. Sammy Sandoval shot a 109, Coe Duke a 111, Ruben Carrasco a 117 and Patrick Madrid a 122, while for the medalists Angel Valle shot a 127, John Tarin a 128 and Andrew Carrasco a 138 for the Eagles.

Alpine’s Ryer Skillman led the medalist race with an 81 score, four shots ahead of Monahans ‘B’ teamer Garrett King and Andrews’ David Manez, who both shot rounds of 85. The Loboes ‘A’ team then had the next four best scores in the medalist race.

Monahans will host the second round of the area tournament, scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Ward County Golf Course.

Eagles survive Tornado blasts to get 9-7 win

For once, home runs weren’t the deciding factor in the Pecos Eagles’ softball game against the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes. Which was good news for the Eagles, who lost that battle by a 2-0 margin on Friday in Lamesa, but wound up winning on the scoreboard by a 9-7 score.

Ali Borrego, who had a grand slam home run last year in Pecos to defeat the Eagles, had a pair of two-run home runs on Friday, the latter tying the game at 4-4 in the fifth inning. But Jessica Florez, who had a grand slam last month to lead the Eagles to a 12-2 win over Lamesa, would break the tie in the fifth inning with a two-out single, and Brittany Palomino would follow with a two run double as part of a five run inning, which allowed Pecos to withstand a Tornadoes’ comeback in the seventh inning.

“I was very happy with the way we hit the ball,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, whose team managed just two hits last Tuesday despite defeating Presidio by a 10-0 score. “We got eight hits in the game.”

Borrego hit both homers off Amalie Herrera, who went the distance to get the victory. Her other problems came in the seventh, when the Eagles had some errors that helped Lamesa scored three times and got the tying run up to bat before Pecos was finally able to end the game.

“We let her (Borrego) have two pitches we shouldn’t have had,” said Walls. “The top of their lineup is strong, and I knew they had the 9-1-2 batters coming up in the last inning. I knew if we could get past the first four batters in the order it would be in our favor, and I knew we were going to walk the cleanup hitter.”

The win got Pecos back above .500 in district at 4-3. The Eagles also are 18-6 on the season going into their 5 p.m. home game on Tuesday against Seminole, 4-0 losers to Monahans on Friday.

“They’re improving. They beat Greenwood and Monahans only beat them by a 5-4 score,” Walls said. Pecos was able to pull away from the Maidens late in their first meeting for a 10-3 victory, and also defeated Seminole in tournament play at Crane earlier in the season.

Eagles jump out to early lead, score 8-4 victory

The Pecos Eagles picked up Friday night against the Alpine Bucks where they left off on Tuesday night, taking advantage of their opponent’s mistakes to get some gift runs from Alpine. And while the Eagles would later surrender some gift runs of their own, and fail to capitalize on a few late-inning scoring chances, they were able to keep things under control and go on to an 8-4 home field victory, in their final non-district game of the regular season.

Taking a break from District 3-3A play after rallying for five runs in their last at-bat to defeat Presidio on Tuesday, 6-5, the Eagles got three runs in the first two innings off starter Marcos Ramos, added three more in the fourth against reliever Merced Muniz, then scored twice more in the fifth, after Alpine had halved Pecos’ lead to 6-3. But coach Elias Payan said his team still failed to take advantage of other chances in the game.

“I felt we were too relaxed. We were bored as the game went on,” he said. “We looked a little flat at times.

“What I’m disappointed it was t he way we left men on bases. We just have to learn we need to take our opportunities and make them work for us,” Payan said.

Pecos did capitalize in the first inning off Ramos, when Jose Chavez singled with two outs, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Kenny Rayos’ double to left center field. In the second, Chris Garnto reached on an infield hit before Jonathan Garcia reached when Ramos threw away his infield dribbler. Both runners would then score, with Garnto crossing the plate on a passed ball by catcher Chris Martinez and Garcia scoring when the Bucks threw to second to get John Paul Salcido, who had walked.

Garnto also started Pecos’ three-run fourth with a single off new pitch Muniz, which was followed by a base hit by Garcia. He was forced at second by Salcido, but the Eagles then pulled off another double-steal, this time with Garnto scoring and Salcido reaching second on a high throw from first baseman Mario Martinez. Eddie Vela followed with an RBI single, and after he moved to third on a Chavez single, scored on a passed ball by Martinez. Vela started on the mound for Pecos and held the Bucks scoreless until the fifth, surviving a one out single and an error in the fourth inning. But Moises Estrada doubled to open the fifth and scored on Aaron Natez’s one-out infield hit. Muniz and Ramos followed with hits to load the bases, before Vela wild pitched a run home and Muniz scored on Mario Martinez’ ground out to second.

The Eagles then got two of those three runs back in their next at bat. Pecos loaded the bases when Kenny Rayos blooped a single down the line in left, Muniz then hit Isaiah Rayos, and Adrian Salmanica booted Garnto’s grounder to shortstop. Salcido then singled to left to score two runs, but the Eagles failed to get their two remaining baserunners home, and then ran themselves out of two scoring chances in the sixth inning, after getting their first two runners on base.

Josh Anchondo replaced Vela on the mound with one out in the sixth, after back-to-back singles by Wesley O’Bryant and Estrada. The Bucks would then pull off a double steal to cut the lead to 8-4, before Anchondo struck out Chris Martinez and Natez, then retired the side in order in the seventh to get the victory.

“Eddie did a good job, but he still has problems with his curve ball,” Payan said. “When he’s comfortable with it, it confuses people, because when he gets the curveball over he can then sneak his fastball by.”

The victory improved Pecos to 15-5 on the season going into their final game of the first half of district play, a 4:30 p.m. start on Tuesday in Lamesa against the Golden Tornadoes. Lamesa is winless in 3-3A play at 0-5, and lost by a 7-0 score to Pecos at the Wood Bat Tournament in Sweetwater last month. But the Eagles have struggled in their second meetings so far against district rivals.

“I don’t want to take anything for granted. We’ve got to beat Lamesa,” said Payan, who plans to start either Vela, Anchondo or Robert Nunez against the Tors, while holding Edward Valencia for Friday night’s second half opener at Fort Stockton, which defeated Greenwood on Friday, 4-1.

Pecos’ junior varsity team traveled to Lamesa on Monday to face the Tornadoes, after going 2-1 and placing third in the Seminole JV Tournament this past weekend. Pecos won their opening game, played in Kermit against the Yellowjackets, by a 3-1 score, then lost to Monahans 11-1 before defeating Crane by an 11-10 score.

Lucas Chavez got the win over Kermit, striking out nine in the game, while Timo Reyes got the win over Crane and finished with 10 strikeouts, coach Pat Gent said.

Pecos results improve in Kermit, SA meets

The Pecos Eagle girls bounced back from a rough meet in Andrews this past Saturday, competing at the Permian Basin Relays in Kermit, while Pecos’ boys improved on their recent results, while finishing seventh at the San Angelo Relays.

The girls placed second behind the host Yellowjackets on Saturday, scoring 109 1/2 points to 124 1/2 for Kermit. The boys only scored 18 points at the San Angelo Relays, but were able to pick up a pair of medals at the two-day meet.

“The girls performed extremely well, and with district coming up, we needed a meet like that,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent, who benefited by having all but two of her girls available for Saturday’s meet.

Chantell Mazone and Jennifer Martinez picked up two gold medals apiece for Pecos. Mazone won the discus and shot put, while Martinez took the 1600 and 3200-meter runs. In the discus, the junior threw 119-feet-3 while in the shot, Mazone won with a 38-foot-7 effort. Martinez won the 3200 meters with a 12:57.15 time, while teammate Kathryn Lamka was second with a 13:29.18 time, while in the 1600, the senior took first with a 6:01.48 time, with Heather Lamka second at 6:10.78 and her sister third with a 6:11.58 effort.

Freshman Jasmine Rayos also picked up a pair of medals on Saturday. She finished second in the 200-meter dash and was third in the long jump. Rayos also was sixth in the triple jump, while Gaby Garcia tied for fifth in the high jump and Brittany Palomino placed sixth in the long jump for the Eagles’ other field event points.

In the other running events, the Eagles placed second in the 1600-meter relay and were fourth in the 400-meter relay and sixth in the 800-meter relay. “Going into the mile relay we were in fourth place, and the mile boosted us up to second,” Gent said.

Garcia was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles and Palomino was fifth in the 100-meter dash for the other individual points on the day.

For the boys, 14 of their 18 points came from a second place finish at Andrew Grant in the pole vault and a third by Larry Johnson in the 400-meter dash. Grant got second by clearing 11-foot-6, while Johnson placed third with a 52.37 time.

“I was proud of our boys. I think our confidence was getting a little low, but they stepped up to the plate in San Angelo,” said coach Robbie Ortega. “Larry ran his best time of the year, and got a lot more confidence after that. Andrew pole vaulted well. He’s still stuck on 11-6, but I think he’ll get over that.”

This weekend’s meets are the final ones for Pecos before the District 3-3A meet on April 14 at Eagle Stadium. Both teams were scheduled to go to Crane on Saturday, but that trip has been cancelled due to the district junior high meet this Saturday in Monahans.

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