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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, July 14, 2006

Balmorhea’s Mendoza, Matta participating in games

Two Balmorhea High School senior graduates will be playing for the West All-Star teams this weekend, at the Texas Six-Man Coaches Association’s football and basketball All-Star games in Lubbock.

Brian Mendoza will participate in the six-man football All-Star game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Lowery Field in Lubbock, while Savanna Matta will be part of the West team in the girls’ six-man contest. That team will face the South All-Stars on Friday evening at the Rip Griffin Center on the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock.

Both Mendoza and Matta were senior members of the Bears’ football and basketball teams during the 2005-06 school year. Matta was also a second-team All-Region II selection in girls’ basketball during the past season.

The six-man All-Star games are played annually each July in Lubbock. Other area players with Matta on the all-star girls basketball team include Shyra Dean of Dell City and Kristy Kester of Grandfalls. In football, Lorenzo Sanchez of Sierra Blanca is the only other District 6-A player participating in this year’s six-man game.

Late homers lift San Angelo past Pecos team

Pecos’ 15-16 year old Big League All-Stars didn’t fare as well as the 11-12 year old Little Leaguers in holding off a San Angelo Northern comeback on Wednesday in the opening game of their Sectional Tournament, held at Northern’s 29th Street Field in San Angelo.

San Angelo used back-to-back home runs to lead off the sixth inning to complete a comeback from a 4-1 deficit and defeat Pecos by a 5-4 final score. However, with only three teams entered in the tournament, the 15-16 year old team will still be alive even if they lose their 7 p.m. game Thursday evening against Odessa at the 29th Street field.

Pecos took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and after San Angelo tied the game in the second, J.R. Lujan had a triple to help put the Big Leaguers back in front in the third. They would score once more in the fourth and took a 4-1 lead in the fifth against pitcher Austin Terry on Joseph Ontiveros’ RBI single, but San Angelo would score twice in their half of the inning on an RBI hit by Terry and a double steal, then won in the sixth on the home runs off starter and loser Timo Reyes.

San Angelo lost to Odessa on Wednesday before their win over Pecos. If Pecos wins Thursday’s game, total runs will be used as a tiebreaker to determine the top seed and first round bye for the final games of the tourney, which start on Friday. If Odessa wins, they’ll draw a bye and Pecos will face San Angelo Northern again, for the right to advance to the tournament title game Saturday morning against Odessa.

Llers hold on to win sectional opener

What looked as if it would be a convincing win after four innings turned into a nail-biter for the Pecos Little League 11-12 year old All-Stars on Wednesday evening, in their opening game of the Section 1 Tournament in Odessa.

Pecos scored three times in the second inning and once more in the third against San Angelo Northern to grab a 4-0 lead, but had to survive a three run rally in the fifth by San Angelo and another in the sixth inning, after the Little Leaguers got all three runs back in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 7-3 lead.

Jesus Salgado had to both start and finish the game on the mound, after giving way to Brandon Garnto in the third inning. Salgado came on with one out and the tying run on in the sixth, and was able to get the final two outs around an RBI bunt single, allowing Pecos to escape with a 7-6 victory.

The Little Leaguers’ win moved them into a 6 p.m. game Thursday against Borger at the Jim Parker Little League Complex. Borger drew an opening round bye, and the winner of the game will advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals, while the loser will fall into an elimination round contest on Friday evening.

“We played flat, plain and simple,” said manager Rene Rayos. “We should have done a better job against that team. But we gave them a little chance and they started coming back and coming back.

“We only had four hits, and we can do a lot better than that,” he said. “I told them they need to pick it up by tomorrow.”

Salgado surrendered only one hit, a two-out single in the second, in his first two innings of work, while Pecos took advantage of an error and control problems by San Angelo pitcher Justin Chevalier to score their first four runs.

Garnto reached on a throwing error by the pitcher on his slow roller near the mound to open the second, and he then walked Geronimo Ornelas, C.J. Gomez and Antonio Rodriguez to force in the first run. Israel Espudo scored as a pinch runner for Garnto, then drove in the second run as a pinch-hitter with a sacrifice fly, before Devante Jenkins doubled to score Gomez for a 3-0 lead. In the fourth, a leadoff walk by Salgado and single by Garnto allowed Pecos to score again, on a ground out to shortstop by Alex Garcia.

Garnto and Salgado switched positions in the third, with Salgado taking over at catcher while Garnto moved to the mound. He got out of a small jam in the third after allowing a pair of two-out singles, then retired the side in order in the fourth and picked up two strikeouts around a walk to start off the bottom of the fifth.

But Jordan Miadrez then singled and Brandon Yarborough doubled both runners home to make it a 4-2 game. Logan McClellan was up next and put down a bunt that Salgado threw past first base. Yarbrough scored and McClellan went all the way to third, but Garnto came back to strike out Carter Holdrege and Pecos maintained a one-run lead.

McClelland had come on to pitch for San Angelo in the fourth and retired the first four batters he faced. But after Analee Rodriguez reached on a one-out infield hit, he walked Salgado and Garnto, and then saw Rodriguez score on passed ball by catcher Nate Harrington after striking out Ornelas. One pitch later Josh Hernandez doubled over the head of Robert Aguilar in left field to score both runners and make it a 7-3 game.

But Garnto gave up singles to the first two hitters he faced in the top of the sixth and was replaced by Rodriguez. She walked Harrington on a 3-2 pitch, then struck out Josh Grady on another 3-2 pitch before Marcus Ureste singled to make it a 7-4 game. That brought Salgado back to the mound, and he struck out Miadrez, before Northern again used the bunt to score. Yarborough put one down in front of the plate, and Garnto was unable to get back there in time to force out Aguilar. Two pitches later Harrington scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-6, but McClellan then hit a slow grounder to second that Rodriguez was able to field and throw to first, just in time to get the Northern runner to end the game.

Rayos said while he worked 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday, Salgado could still pitch some on Thursday against Borger if they needed him, but he wouldn’t start the second game of the tournament. He said there were a couple of possible starters, including Jenkins, who defeated Fort Stockton in Pecos’ 9-3 win in District 37 Tournament play last week.

Tournament play for the Section 1 games is scheduled to run through Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the Texas West state tournament in Waco next weekend. Most of Pecos’ 11-12 year olds were members of last year’s 10-11 year old squad that advanced to state and finished third.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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