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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pecos golfers opening play in Region I-3A tournament

Pecos Eagle golfer Nathan Duke teed off Monday morning in the opening round of the Region I-3A Golf Tournament at Nueva Vista Golf Course in Midland, while golfers Rica Pino and Tatum Windham will begin the first round of their 36-hole regional tournament Tuesday afternoon on the Nueva Vista course.

The three qualified as medalists for the regional tournament after both Pecos’ boys and girls’ teams placed third in the District 2-3A Tournament this year. Duke advanced to regionals after finishing fifth in the medalist standings with a 54-hole score of 248. Windham had three straight rounds of 90 and finished at 270 to place seventh on the girls’ side, while Pino ended up with a 272 score to finish eighth.

Duke and Pino both advanced to regionals as members of the Eagles’ I-3A qualifying teams last season, while Pino also advanced to state with the Eagle girls’ team in 2006. Windham will be making her first trip to regionals after qualifying this year as a freshman.

Coach Tina Doan said as medalists, Windham and Pino would tee off to open the girls’ regional rounds, around noon on Tuesday and at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, while Duke will tee off at 8 a.m. on both days in Midland. “Coach (Gaylon) Doan and Nathan will be leaving on Sunday, and we’ll leave on Monday afternoon,” she said. The Eagles did get a chance to play a practice round on the Nueva Vista course late last week in preparation for regional competition.

Monahans qualified both their ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams for regionals on the girls’ side, and the Lobo girls are expected to battle for one of the two regional berths in the Class 3A state tournament next month. Monahans and Fort Stockton were the two regional qualifiers on the boys’ side this year. Along with the top two teams on both sides, the top six individual finishers will also advance to the Class 3A state tournament.

Eagle girls’ relay altered after Iraan meet results

The Pecos Eagle girls’ track team was a little shorthanded for Friday’s regional qualifier’s meet in Iraan. But coach Donna Gent said in at least one case, that may end up helping out the Eagles going into this coming weekend’s Region I-3A Track and Field Championships at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.

Gent said she was only able to take seven girls to Iraan for Friday’s meet, due to the conflict with Pecos’ softball game against Presidio. For the relays, that meant a number of changes from the Eagles’ teams that won first at the District 2-3A meet on April 7, including two changes on the 1600-meter relay team.

“I had to replace Ally (Salcido). They just ran off the events one after the other, and she told me her legs were gone,” Gent said, after Salcido had placed second with a 48.6 time in the 300 meter hurdles.

“Olivia Castilleja was the diamond in the rough. She filled in for Ally in the mile relay and ran a 62 leg. That’s the best we’ve had all year, faster than Jasmine (Rayos) or Brittany Q(intana),” she said. “So she’s earned a spot on the mile relay. She’ll replace Carissa Cerna, but Carissa will still be an alternate.”

Gent said the 1600 meter relay won their event with a 4:16 time, their best all season, but will have to do even better at regionals, where Canyon ran a 4:04 time in Lubbock this past weekend and Abilene Wylie ran a sub-four minute time earlier this year.

“We just haven’t been pushed all year,” Gent said. “But I truly believe when we have someone pushing Jasmine and Brittany to where they have to run because they’re not so far in the lead, we’ll run a 4:04.”

Gent said Rayos earlier won the long jump with a 15-foot-8 effort and placed second in the triple jump, going 32-feet-9. “She turned right around and did the triple jump. It wasn’t more than 10 minutes later, and she got second because her legs were pretty dead,” Gent said.

Salcido also placed fourth in the pole vault, clearing 8-foot-6, while the 400-meter relay team placed second with a 52.8 time and the 800-meter team was first, with a time of 1:53.

“The sprint relay had two alternates on it and got second, and the 800 relay had four completely different people,” Gent said.

Aside from Cerna, who placed first in the 800 meter run at district the Eagles also were missing Diana Parada, Gabby Garcia, Brittany Palomino and Aileen Rayos due to Friday’s softball game, with Salcido the only regular starter who went to the Iraan meet.

Gent said she’d try and work out the logistics for this weekend’s regional track meet, especially Saturday’s running finals, which will be in conflict with Pecos’ softball playoff game against Clint. Game 2 is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday in Pecos.

The Eagles will play the first game of their playoff series in Clint on Thursday afternoon, while the Region I-3A meet opens with field events at 10 a.m. on Friday. The finals of the 3200-meter run and other running preliminaries on Friday afternoon, while the remaining field events are set for 9 a.m. on Saturday and the running finals start with the 400-meter dash at 1:15 p.m. and conclude with the 1600-meter relay at 4:15 p.m.

Eagles pull out win over Blue Devils

“Senior Night” for the Pecos Eagles turned into freshman night at the finish, as two freshman and a senior combined to give the Eagles a win in their second extra-inning game of the season.

Joel Chavez, playing in his first varsity game, blooped a double down the left field line to lead off the ninth inning, and another freshman, Isaiah Patino, then scored from second when Presidio pitcher Oscar Lujan threw away Chris Sotelo’s two-strike sacrifice bunt, giving the Eagles a 9-8 victory.

The win assured Pecos of finishing no worse than second in the District 2-3A standings. But to win their first district title in six years, the Eagles will have to win on Tuesday night in Monahans against the Loboes, who would take the 2-3A title with a victory, but could also miss the playoffs with a loss.

The Eagles, who had trouble getting hits with runners in scoring position in their 11-inning, 4-2 loss last Monday night against Fort Stockton, got a grand slam home run from Joseph Ontiveros in the first inning, and a two-run triple from Lucas Chavez in the fifth inning of Friday’s game. But in the other innings, the Eagles continued to struggle at the plate, and the Blue Devils were able to rally from 5-0 and 8-4 deficits to tie the game in the sixth inning.

Both teams had a couple of runners on base after that, but Joel Chavez’s bloop down the line in left in the ninth set things up for Sotelo. The senior missed on two bunt attempts, but was able to put down a 1-2 pitch up the third base side of home plate which Lujan fielded, but threw past Jesse Carrasco at first base, allowing Patino to score just ahead of the throw to catcher Jesus Barron.

“When I looked at it with two strikes, I figured even if he had struck out, we’d still have a runner on second with Lucas (Chavez) batting,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia, who had tried unsuccessfully earlier in the game to bunt a runner over on a two strike count.

Joel Chavez came into the game in the fifth inning due to Pecos’ hitting problems since the first, when Ontiveros hit his second homer of the season just over the fence in left off Lujan, who pitched the first 4 1/3 innings and then returned to the mound in the eighth.

Pecos already had a 1-0 lead, after Lucas Chavez walked to open the first and scored on a wild pitch, following a bloop double to center by Vincent Palomino. Timo Reyes and J.R. Lujan walked after that, while James Garcia and Isaiah Vela struck out before Ontiveros hit the first pitch he saw from Oscar Lujan to give Pecos a 5-0 lead.

“We made a little better contact, and we had that first inning blast from Joseph, but we needed to keep hitting and scoring more runs, and for the next few innings we didn’t take advantage,” Eric Garcia said. “In the fifth inning we had three or four good hits, and I thought we were in good shape, but we made too many errors and let them get back into the game.”

Vela had survived a first inning double by Edgar Ramirez without harm, when Tony Reyes was able to grab Barron’s line drive to second. And in the second, Garcia started an inning-ending double play on Raul Barron after Victor Ledezma’s one out single.

But in the third Vela would walk Noe Anaya with one away and then give up a single on a hit-and-run to Carrasco, sending Anaya to third. He would score when Carrasco stole second and J.R. Lujan’s throw got past Tony Reyes, and Carrasco came in on a two-out single by Jesus Barron to make it a 5-2 game.

Vela got out of trouble after that, and was helped out in the fourth by Sotelo, who threw out Ledezma at home trying to score on a Raul Barron single, after he reached second on a leadoff error by Palomino in right field. “It looked like he was struggling and was not comfortable out there. It looked like he was aiming the ball, but he did a good job for most of the game keeping them in check,” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, the Eagles stranded seven runners in the second, third and fourth innings, and also failed to take advantage of a leadoff error in right, this one by Joaquin Valenzuela that put Lujan on second with none out in the third.

Then in the fifth Ramirez walked with one out, and after he was forced at second by Jesus Barron by Timo Reyes on a pop up to short left-centerfield, Oscar Lujan reached when Garcia couldn’t field his bouncer to third and both runners scored when Ruben Guerrero tripled to left center.

That made it 5-4, and Gerald Saenz was brought on to replace Vela on the mound. He got out of the inning when Reyes made a running catch on a Ledezma line drive to left field, and then with one out in the bottom of the inning Raul Barron misplayed a soft check swing line drive by Joel Chavez for an error. Sotelo then singled to right field and Lucas Chavez followed with his triple into the gap in right-center, making it a 7-4 game. Palomino then singled him home, and that sent Guerrero to the mound in place of Lujan, who was able to get the final two outs.

The Eagles’ four-run lead was short-lived. Saenz walked Raul Barron to open the sixth, then after striking out the next two hitters, saw Carrasco single before walking Ramirez. That brought Timo Reyes on to pitch, and he got Jesus Barron to ground to shortstop, only to see Lucas Chavez’ throw pull Sal Baez off the bag. Raul Barron scored and Lujan then lined a two-strike pitch into right-center for a bases-clearing triple to tie the game.

“Gerald came in and did an excellent job in middle relief,” said Garcia. “We were trying to get to Timo for an inning or two, and Timo came on and did a good job. He gave up that one triple, but Presidio’s lineup with their 1-4 batters is tough to get by.”

Pecos had a chance to score in their half of the sixth, but Carrasco was able to strike out Sotelo after Lujan opened the inning with a walk and moved up on a two-out error by Guerrero on Joel Chavez’s bouncer to third. In the eighth, Presidio missed a chance when Carrasco looked at the 3-2 count on the scoreboard and trotted to second when Reyes missed on a 2-2 pitch to Ramirez. He was thrown out, and that allowed Reyes to survive walks to Ramirez and Barron, as he got Lujan to bounce out to Lucas Chavez to end the inning.

The win improved the Eagles record in district to 5-3 and put them at 18-7-1 on the season going into their final regular season game on Tuesday against Monahans. Presidio falls to 4-4 in district, and need a win over Fort Stockton or a Pecos win over Monahans on Tuesday to clinch a playoff spot.

Garcia said Palomino, 6-2, would start on Tuesday. “Vincent will get the rock, which is what we were hoping we’d end up with in that situation,” Garcia said. “You want your best pitcher in the district championship game.”

The Loboes have beaten the Eagles in both their district meetings this season, including a win over Palomino in Monahans by a 7-3 score. The senior struck out 17 but had no decision in last Monday’s loss to Fort Stockton.

Monahans would win the district title with a victory, since they hold the tiebreakers over both Pecos and, in the event of a three-way tie for first, over the Eagles and Blue Devils. But the Loboes’ 12-7 loss on Friday to Fort Stockton means the Panthers hold the tiebreaker over Monahans, which would miss the playoffs with a loss to Pecos and a win by Fort Stockton over Presidio.

Pecos made adjustments in win over Presidio

Pecos Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls is hopeful that a few changes in the pitch delivery for Gabby Garcia will improve the Eagles’ chances in the playoffs, following their final regular season game on Friday against the Presidio Blue Devils.

The Eagles had their third 10-run rule game against Presidio, scoring 10 times in the second inning on the way to an 18-0 win over Presidio at the Pecos High School Field. The Eagles were already locked into third place in the District 2-3A standings before the game, thanks to their loss last Tuesday in Fort Stockton, and will now face the Clint Lions in a best-of-three bi-district playoff series, in Clint this Thursday and in Pecos on Saturday afternoon.

Game 1 will be at 5 p.m. CDT at the Clint High School softball field, with Game 2 and, if needed, Game 3 at 3 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in Pecos. Clint was beaten out by Fabens for first place in the District 1-3A standings.

Garcia’s control problems over the past two weeks has been the Eagles’ main concern, so the junior went the distance on Friday, even after Pecos jumped ahead by a 13-0 score after two innings.

“We worked on Gabby and shortened all her footwork,” Walls said. “Her toe was hurting her, so we thought we’d work on first shortening her steps. Her pitches slowed down, but she threw strikes and she had control.”

Garcia did give up a first inning walk to Roxy Hernandez but she was erased on an inning ending double play by Jhenny Fernandez. Her other walk came in the fourth inning to Andrea Perez, and by then the Eagles had their 13-0 lead.

Aside from working to improve Garcia’s control, Walls also made three changes on the infield and outfield for Friday’s game, moving Diana Parada back to shortstop, where she started the season, and putting Brittany Palomino in left field and Carissa Cerna at catcher.

Palomino started the year at catcher following the off-season knee injury to last year’s catcher, Claire Weinacht, but swapped positions with Parada when Garcia ran into control problems at the start of the season. Cerna had been the junior varsity catcher this year and made her first varsity start on Friday.

“I felt we had to get Diana back out on the infield so she could be the leader out there more than she could at catcher,” Walls said. “At the start of the year Cerna wasn’t ready, but she caught all the games on the JV this year, and I felt she was ready to step in where we need her most. With Brittany, I felt comfortable playing her out there and she feels comfortable playing there.” Palomino opened the bottom of the first with a single off Presidio pitcher Cynthia Corrales, who had control problems of her own on Friday. She walked Marlene Salgado and then allowed Palomino to score on two wild pitches. Salgado then scored on a single by Parada and she came home one out later after a single by Garcia, a walk to Jayme Galindo and a fielder’s choice grounder by Ashley Baeza.

In the second Corrales opened by walking Salgado, Parada and Aileen Rayos before Garcia singled home two runs for a 5-0 lead. Galindo then singled off Corrales’ leg to score Rayos and after a walk to Baeza, Cerna was hit by a pitch to force home Garcia. Hernandez then replaced Corrales as pitcher, and was greeted with a two run double by Crystal Ramirez and an RBI single by Palomino. The Eagles’ final runs of the inning came on a double by Parada and a single by Rayos.

The final five runs came in the fourth, when the Eagles had most of their reserves in the game.

After Palomino reached on an error Monique Rodriguez doubled to score her, and after a Palomino single, sacrifice bunt by Rayos scored Rodriguez. Garcia then singled and one out later, Baeza was hit by a pitch and Cerna followed with an RBI single to make it 16-0. The final two runs then scored on a single by Conner Armstrong.

“We did what it takes, but we’ve got a lot of work to do for next week,” Walls said following Friday’s win. “We’ve got to fine tune this lineup before we play Clint.”

The win gave the Eagles a 4-5 record in district and a 12-15 overall mark going into their playoff game against Clint. The winner of the series will take on District 4-3A champ Levelland in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs next week.

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