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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pecos LL, JL teams get opening wins before rain delays

It was too wet at two sites to get in Sunday games for Pecos’ Little League and Junior League All-Star teams, while a third site was dry enough to play, but Pecos’ 11-12 All-Star squad couldn’t get on the field.

All three teams came through the abbreviated weekend schedule undefeated, though it took a 30-minute discussion and a reversal of what appeared to be a game-winning play by the Big Bend All-Stars to allow Pecos’ 9-10 team to score a 10-inning, 5-4 win on Friday night in Fort Stockton. They followed that up on Saturday with a much easier 16-8 win over the host team, and were scheduled to play Kermit on Sunday night, before rains forced that District 37 semifinal game back two days, to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Pecos’ 11-12 Little Leaguers and the 13-14 year old Junior League squads opened with much easier wins over Big Bend. The Little Leaguers won on Saturday by a 9-1 score, while the Junior Leaguers defeated Big Bend by a 16-4 margin. Both teams were scheduled to face Monahans on Sunday, but saw those games pushed back first to Monday and then to Tuesday due to the rains, the Junior Leaguers to a 4 p.m. start at Kokernot Field in Alpine and the 11-12 year olds to a 6 p.m. game at the Monahans Little League complex.

Big Bend’s Ryder White blooped a two-out single into right field in the bottom of the ninth inning that appeared to score Isaac Gallego with a game-winning run in Friday’s 9-10 year old opener. But Gallego missed home plate, and while the home plate umpire saw the miss, he also signaled the game was over. But that didn’t stop the second runner on base for Big Bend, Damien Guevara, from coming all the way around from first base and scoring when Pecos threw the ball away.

Unfortunately for Big Bend, when Guevara touched home plate that ended any chance for Gallego to go back and touch the plate, making him the third out of the inning and nullifying Guevara’s run. But it took a long argument and a call to the state Little League Headquarters in Waco for a ruling before the game continued into the 10th inning.

“They called ‘game over’ and then said we didn’t protest in time, but I said how can we protest when you’re walking off the field,” said manager Frankie Ramos. “What it really was was there were two out and he never touched home plate and the second runner touched home plate. That’s the third out, and then it doesn’t matter what the second runner does.”

Gallego was the first of seven pitchers used by Big Bend over the first seven innings of the game, as their coaches opted to keep all their pitchers under the 20-pitch limit for being eligible to pitch again the following day. Pecos meanwhile went with Joe Angel Villegas for the first four innings and then with Kris Quintana for 4 1/3 innings, before replacing him with John Michael Rodriguez after Gallego reached on an infield hit and Guevara was hit by a pitch.

Colton Foster, the seventh pitcher for Alpine, was the only one to last more than two innings, and ended up taking the loss after keeping his team alive in the seventh with an RBI double to tie the score at 4-4, after Rodriguez tripled home Nathan Martinez with two outs in the top of the inning.

Rodriguez would score the winning run in the 10th after he reached on an infield hit, when Foster threw away Quintana’s comebacker to the mound. Rodriguez then picked up the win and got help from his defense in the bottom of the inning, when Josiah Bechtel threw out Tanner Parker when he rounded first too far on a bloop single to right.

Pecos had taken a 1-0 lead in the first when Gallego walked Brandon Gonzales and Rodriguez, then gave up a two-out bloop single to right by John Christian Hernandez. But Big Bend answered with three runs in their first at-bat off Villegas, who walked the first two batters he faced, then allowed a one-out RBI single by Gallego, with Jorge Vargas scoring when Chris Soto bobbled the ball in left field. Danny Hernandez followed with a single to center to score Gallego.

Pecos tied the game in the third off White when Gonzales walked and Martinez singled. Both moved up on an error in center by Foster, and both then scored on a wild pitch by White and a passed ball by Danny Hernandez. John Christian Hernandez then followed with a single, but ended up being doubled off third by Foster on a fly out by Quintana, one of several missed scoring chances for Pecos.

“We should have scored a couple of times, but these kids are a bunch of scrappers,” Ramos said. “We just need to hit the ball and we’ll be all right.”

Hitting wasn’t a problem on Saturday against Fort Stockton. Rodriguez, who finished Friday one pitch under the 20-pitch limit, was able to get his second win on the mound in as many days, and also hit a grand-slam home run in the third inning, which at the time gave Pecos a 14-0 lead.

Martinez had a two-run single and Bubba Henson a two-run double in Pecos’ five-run first inning, while the other run came on a steal of home by Rodriguez. In the second, Pecos made it 9-0, as Quintana and Hernandez had RBI singles.

Thing were also easy against Big Bend in Alpine on Saturday for Pecos’ Junior Leaguers, who scored seven times in the first inning to help Jesus Salgado earn the win. Coach Vaughn Garnto said Devante Jenkins and Joe Arenivas each had triples, while Salgado had a pair of doubles to go along with allowing only three hits and striking out five in five innings, before the game ended under the 10-run rule.

“They played really, really well yesterday (Saturday), “ Garnto said. “They came out fired up and didn’t stop.”

The 11-12 year old’s win in Monahans took a little longer to get, but after allowing a run on a hit and an error in the first inning, Jay Hinojos no-hit Big Bend the rest of the way, while striking out 15 batters in six innings.

Coach Pony Palomino said Joe Varela went 3-for-3 while Cesar Ortega added a double for Pecos, which tied the game in the second inning then scored four times in the third. The Little Leaguers would tack on single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to advance to their game against Monahans, which had a first round bye.

The winner will face Fort Stockton, which went 10 innings and suffered through two rain delays before defeating Kermit. Pecos was scheduled to face Monahans after that game, but the delays and the extra innings forced the teams to cancel plans to play on Sunday, due to the Little League’s 11 p.m. curfew. Continued rains through the area then pushed the game back from Monday to Tuesday.

Pecos’ 9-10 year olds were to face Kermit on Tuesday, after the length of Friday’s game against Big Bend resulted in Kermit beating Monahans in the late game due to the curfew, after scoring two late runs just prior to the time limit.

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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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