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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pecos girls start district with Loboes

The Pecos Eagles’ final pre-district softball game on Saturday was mostly a walk-through before Monday’s 2-3A opener against the Monahans Loboes.

Coach Tammy Walls said she was minus three of her starters for most of Saturday’s game in Marfa, where the Eagles ended up dropping an 8-0 decision to the Shorthorns in a game rescheduled from Friday afternoon.

“I didn’t have Gabby (Garcia) or Brittany (Palomino), and Diana (Parada) had to leave to go to a wedding,” Walls said. “I still had Aileen (Rayos), Ally (Salcido), Kristen (Ikeler) and Jayme (Galindo), and played them for the first two innings.

“It was 1-0 then, but after I put my JV players in we ended up losing 8-0,” Walls said. “Krystal Ramirez pitched the whole game, but I was just substituting for the other positions, and it ended up being like a scrimmage.”

The Eagles, who had beaten Marfa earlier in the season, fell to 8-10 going into Monday’s game against Monahans at the Pecos High School softball field. It’s the first of two games in two days for the Eagles, who’ll play their 2-3A road opener at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Fort Stockton, against the Prowlers.

Pecos girls 6th, boys 8th at Tornado Relays

The Pecos Eagle girls’ track team saw their point totals drop a bit, in their final meet before the spring break holiday, while Pecos’ boys total went up a bit despite a couple of absences on Friday at the Golden Tornado Relays in Lamesa.

Pecos’ girls, who scored 97 points the previous week in Crane, managed 45 points this week, and finished sixth in a field of all Class 3A teams. The boys, who had just 22 1/3 points in their last meet, increased that to 32 points, while finishing eighth at the meet.

“ I was missing about 20 or 30 points because of the kids who weren’t there,” said boys’ coach Derek Price. He said some of that was due to the Eagles’ baseball tournament in Midland, while one was a freak injury suffered by sophomore Robert Herrera.

“He broke his nose. He got hit in the face by a discus,” Price said. Herrera, who had two second place finishes and one first at the Eagles’ first three meets, had surgery on Friday, the Eagles coach said. “He should be back for district, and possibly for the meet in Kermit (on March 29),” Price added.

Pecos still managed one point in the discus, from a sixth place finish by Jeremiah Soto, while getting a second place finish from Gus Mendoza in the 3200 meter run and a third from Jerome Mazone in the triple jump. Mendoza ran a 9:47.32 to edge Snyder’s Dominic Cabrera for second, while Mazone went 38-feet-9 º. It was the first medal of the year for both Eagles, and Mazone would score points later in the meet, finishing sixth in the 100 meter dash.

The Eagles’ other points included a fourth by German Rodriguez and a sixth by Billy Garcia in the 800 meter dash; a fourth by the 1600 meter relay team and a sixth by the 400 meter relay squad, and a sixth from Omar Medina in the pole vault.

The 3200 meter run also produced the best results for Pecos on the girls’ side, as Kayla Natividad finished second with a 14:08.72 time, while the girls’ other medal was a third by Allyson Salcido in the 300 meter hurdles, with a 51.3 time.

Natividad later took fourth in the 1600 meter run, as did Olivia Castellieja in the high jump, Jasmine Rayos in the triple jump, Brittany Quintana in the 400 meter dash, and the Eagles’ 1600 meter relay team. Palomino also picked up a fifth in the long jump, and the Eagles had sixth place finishes from Catherine Moore in the shot put, Diana Parada in the 100-meter dash, Aileen Rayos in the 1600 meter run and the girls’ 800 meter relay team.

Lubbock Cooper won the boys division of the meet, by a 176-108 point margin over Andrews. On the girls’ side, Levelland edged the host Tornadoes by a 140-136 _ margin.

The Eagles are off this week due to spring break, and will have their final pre-district meet next Saturday in Kermit. The District 2-3A meet is again scheduled this year for Fort Stockton, on April 7.

Eagles lose tiebreaker, then game, to close tournament

The run totals were up on both sides for the Pecos Eagles this past weekend at the West Texas March Classic in Midland.

The Eagles, who have played a series of one- and two-run games so far this season, played three more over the weekend, including their first tie of the season. Pecos edged Amarillo Caprock and Fabens in their first two games, routed Anthony Friday afternoon, then lost out on a tie-breaker to Big Spring for a spot in the tournament finals following an 8-8 tie Saturday morning at Citibank Ballpark and ended up finishing fourth in the tournament, losing to Lubbock Cooper by a 10-6 final score.

Those games came after Pecos opened the tournament with a 5-4 win on Thursday over Caprock, and 6-4 and 18-5 wins on Friday against Fabens and Anthony.

“Our pitching wasn’t very good today,” coach Eric Garcia said of Saturday’s 18 runs allowed. “Geno struggled on the mound. I think he put the lead runner on 4-5 times, and you can’t expect to win if you do that.”

Leos played due to the spring break period starting on Friday, after losing his eligibility two weeks earlier. “It seemed like he was nervous. He wasn’t confident with his pitches and got behind the hitters, and when you do that you have to come in with what they expect,” Garcia said.

“I thought we hit the ball well in both games, but we were up 4-3 in the second game and we had a big error in the top of the third that gave them three runs and we didn’t fight back that way we have to when we got up in the third.”

Mistakes proved costly for Pecos in both their Saturday tie against Big Spring and their loss to Cooper. The Steers scored three unearned runs off Pecos errors, and led at one point by an 8-5 score before the Eagles rallied with two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to force a tie. But another error in the top of the sixth allowed the Steers to get a runner to third, which turned out to be the margin of victory, as the Eagles ended up with one less runner reaching third in the game, which was ended under the tournament’s two-hour time limit.

Against Cooper, an error in the first inning allowed the Pirates to score one of their three runs, and after the Eagles rallied to grab a 5-4 lead, misjudged fly balls helped Lubbock score three times in the third inning and four more in the fifth against starter Vincent Palomino and reliever Geno Leos.

Palomino had picked up his fourth win of the season on Thursday, allowing five hits in the Eagles’ 5-4 win over Caprock. He fell to 4-2 with Saturday’s loss, while Leos went 4 2/3 innings before being relieved by Gerald Saenz in the opener, and pitched the final two innings against Cooper.

“We’ve got to do better pitching, but at the same time, I don’t think we were prepared coming into this morning’s game, and I think that was my fault,” Garcia said.

Timo Reyes’ RBI single in the bottom of the sixth against Big Spring scored Lucas Chavez with the tying run. Reyes had drive in Chavez with another single in the first inning, after Big Spring had used a Matt Yanez double, a balk by Leos and a passed ball by J.R. Lujan. Pecos took a 2-1 lead in the second when Cody Landis dropped Tony Reyes’ fly in right, following a leadoff hit by James Garcia, but Big Spring went up 4-2 in their next at-bat after two walks and an error by Leos on a Keagan Hunt sacrifice bunt set up Nathan Doporto’s two-run single.

Pecos got a run back when Palomino singled and scored on a double steal with Timo Reyes, and the Eagles would take a 5-4 lead in the fourth, on a two-run double by Chavez after walks to Tony Reyes and Isaiah Patino. That lead disappeared quickly, when Big Spring used a walk and two singles to make it a 6-5 game, then upped their lead to 8-5 on a bloop hit by pitcher John Benavides after a two-out error by Timo Reyes on a Lance Gross grounder.

Saenz replaced Leos on the mound after the single and got the final out after hitting the first two hitters he faces, and the Eagles then got lucky in the bottom of the fifth, when Leos batted out of order but wasn’t caught, reaching on an infield hit after a leadoff single by Lujan. He scored on Garcia’s ground out, and Leos would then come home on a passed ball by catcher Rance Terry.

The first three innings of Game 2 were similar to the opening game for Pecos, as both the Eagles and Pirates allowed runs to score off errors. Cooper took a 1-0 lead on two walks and two singles, got a second run when Chavez misplayed Jared Flowers’ hit to left field and made it 3-0 when Bryson Fuller scored on Maxx Pope’s sacrifice fly.

Pecos then made it 3-1 in the bottom of the inning on a walk to Chavez and singles by Palomino and Reyes, then tied the game when Kameron Bounds threw wide to first on a two-out grounder by Garcia. The Eagles went up by a 4-3 score in the second on a walk to Patino, bunt singles by Chavez and Palomino and a ground out by Lujan, but with two outs in the third Palomino walked Fuller, saw Flowers single of the pitcher’s glove and then watched both runners score when Chavez misjudged Pope’s fly ball. He then made it 6-4 by scoring on Austin Husky’s bloop single.

Pecos couldn’t take advantage of a two out error in their half of the third, and both teams went quietly in the fourth. But in the fifth Austin Taylor and Fuller greeted Leos with singles and Flowers then doubled over Chavez’s head in left to make it an 7-4 game. After a one-out walk to Husky, Matt Gillespie singled in two mote runs and pitcher Justin Hillstrom followed with a double down the line in left to make it a 10-4 game.

The Eagles did scratch out an unearned run in the fifth, on a throwing error by Pope on a two-out grounder to third by Patino, and cut the lead to 10-6 in the sixth, when Timo Reyes singles and later scored on a Justin Contreras ground out. But reliever Jacob Jones got out of trouble after that, and the game ended under the time limit rule.

Saenz would pick up the win on Friday in relief of Timo Reyes, who ended up getting Saenz the victory with his two-out, two-run double in the fourth off Fabens’ pitcher Albert Villalobos. The Wildcats had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Carlos Garcia, who would stroke a leadoff double as part of Fabens’ three-run third inning. He scored on a passed ball while Andrew Perez had a two-run single later in the inning.

Palomino tied the game in the bottom of the first, singling home Chavez who reached on an error, while in the third singles by Chavez and Palomino set up a double-steal of second and home. Lujan then drove in Palomino with a one-out double, and after being balked to third, scored on a sacrifice fly by Garcia.

“We struggled against Fabens a little, and they hit the ball,” said Garcia. “I ended up having to bring Gerald in, and he did a good job. He shut them down and we got a couple of late runs and ended up holding on the bottom of the fifth inning.

Against Anthony, both teams had nightmare first innings for their pitchers. Martin Anaya didn’t retire any of the 10 batters he faced, allowing nine hits before giving away to Jeffrey Ramirez. He allowed one more hit and Pecos’ 10th run of the first inning before retiring the side. Then it was Anthony’s turn to bat around, as eight of their first nine batters reached base against Isaiah Vela. The Wildcats scored five times, but Vela was able to leave the bases loaded by fanning Sal Garcia and Martin Anaya the second time through the order, and the Eagles would then add another six runs in the second inning, before ending the game in the fourth under the tournament’s 12-run rule.

Canyon ended up winning the tournament by a 7-1 score over Big Spring after edging Cooper on Friday night, 4-3. The 3-1-1 weekend improved the Eagles to 12-4-1 on the season. Pecos will have all of this week off due to spring break, and will open District 2-3A play in their next game, on March 25 against last year’s district champion, Fort Stockton, on the Panthers’ home field.

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