Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Andrews beats Monahans for 3A girls golf title
AUSTIN (AP) – Addison Long of Andrews won the the Class 3A girls golf title, and her team won the overall championship for Class 3A by a 25 stroke margin over second place Monahans.
Long shot a two-over par 144. Whitley Patterson of Glen Rose tied with Taylor Newin of Frisco Wakeland at 148, but edged her out in a playoff for second place.
The Class 3A boys state title was won by Chase Chapman of Waco Robinson, who shot a one-under par 141, putting him two strokes ahead of Jason Fiscus of Longview Spring Hill and three ahead of Chance Cathey of Gatesville.
The 3A boys team title went to Graham, whose two-day score of 597 was three better than Waco Robinson. Andrews shot a 620 to earn their title, while second place Monahans finished with a 645 score.
Early errors, lack of late hits end Eagles’ season
The bats never came around for the Pecos Eagles baseball team over the weekend against the Andrews Mustangs, and while the gloves did improve in Game 2 after a shaky start on Friday, it wasn’t enough to avoid a two-game sweep by Andrews of their Region I-3A area round playoff series.
Andrews scored 10 times with two outs in an 11-1 victory in the opening game of the best-of-three series at Christensen Stadium in Midland, with eight of those runs coming in the fifth and sixth innings after a series of Pecos mistakes had allowed the Mustangs to score three unearned runs in the first three innings.
Andrews would get another unearned run in the first inning of Game 2, but the Eagles got one back in the second and pitcher Isaiah Vela held the Mustangs to just one hit through five innings. But Pecos could manage only four hits all game off Mustangs’ pitcher Corey Lee, who would also collect a one-out single in the top of the sixth, then steal second and score on Malachi Melton’s single to centerfield for a 2-1 Andrews victory.
“When you score two runs in two games, you’re not going to win many games, especially against a good baseball club like Andrews,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia. “The whole series came down to us not hitting.”
While Pecos out-hit Andrews in Game 2 by a 4-3 margin, the Eagles found it far tougher to advance runners, due to Lee’s strikeouts and Andrews’ defense, which made only three errors with no passed balls or wild pitches in the two games.
An error in Game 2 did allow Pecos to tie the score, when centerfielder Elizar Luna dropped Vela’s deep fly ball with two outs, allowing J.R. Lujan to score. Lujan had singled, moved up on a sacrifice bunt by James Garcia and then was balked to third base by Lee, who fanned Joel Chavez before Luna’s error scored Lujan.
In the first inning, Vela and the defense started off a little shaky. The pitcher walked leadoff hitter Juan Contreras on four pitches, and Chavez then dropped a Raul Valenzuela pop up while running towards the third base line. Lee sacrificed both runners up, and Contreras was just able to beat the throw home by Timo Reyes on a Melton sacrifice fly to left field.
Reyes then threw out Valenzuela trying to score on Kyle Coomer’s single to left to end the inning. That came after he had been thrown out by Luna trying to stretch a two-out double in the first into a triple in the top of the first, when the centerfielder and Justin Escobar collided trying for Reyes’ line drive into left-centerfield.
The Eagles couldn’t do anything with their other extra-base hit, a leadoff double by Lujan in the fourth, as Lee came back to strike out Garcia and Chavez and then picked Lujan off second, one of three Pecos baserunners picked off second by Andrews in the series.
Vela pitched out of a jam of his own in the bottom of the fourth, after walking Lee and Melton to open the inning. Coomer bounced to Garcia, who forced Melton at second, and Vela then got Escobar to pop out to Tony Reyes at second and Ozzie Bueno to fly out to Timo Reyes in left to end the inning.
Pecos would get one more hit off Lee, a two out single by Timo Reyes in the sixth, but Lee then got Lujan on a deep fly to right to end the inning. In the seventh, Pecos go the tying run on when Bueno booted Garcia’s leadoff grounder to second, but Lee was then able to fan Chavez and Coomer threw out pinch-runner Eli Valenzuela trying to steal second, before Vela struck out to end the game.
“It came down to the one thing I was afraid of, which was their speed. They were able to take a couple of extra bases on us,” Eric Garcia said. “I knew if we didn’t score early, it was going to come back to haunt us.”
Vela took the loss despite allowing only the three hits, while finishing with three walks and three strikeouts. “He pitched his butt off,” the Eagles’ coach said. “He threw his fastball when he needed to and was getting his curve over for strikes. I told him before the game he was going to have to get the curveball over, because that’s what they have had trouble with.”
Friday’s loss came in six-innings under the 10-run rule, after the Eagles had gone the entire series not losing a game by more than five runs. Vincent Palomino took the loss despite a strong start on the mound, as Pecos’ defensive problems started in the first inning.
Timo Reyes would get a late start on a fly ball down the left field line by Valenzuela that fell in for a one-out double. Lee then hit a ball to shortstop that Vela first bobbled, then threw into the dugout for a two-base error, scoring Valenzuela. Lee would go to third while Lujan threw out Melton at first on a curve ball strikeout in the dirt, and that allowed him to score on a wild pitch by Palomino.
Melton was the first of five straight strikeouts by Palomino, which included all three batters in the second inning. But in the third the Eagles followed up a good defensive play with a bad one, as Lucas Chavez threw out Contreras trying for third on Valenzuela’s single following a one-out walk, but first baseman Sal Baez then couldn’t catch Lee’s pop up between first base and the mound, allowing Valenzuela to score.
Lujan would throw out Coomer trying to steal third base in the fourth inning, but in the fifth Andrews’ hitters started getting to Palomino following a leadoff walk to Ernest Marquez.
He moved to third on a ground out and passed ball, and after Contreras lined out to Joel Chavez at second Valenzuela got his third hit of the night, a two-strike single to left that made it 4-1. Lee then smashed a 1-0 pitch from Palomino over the fence in left to make it a 6-1 game.
Meanwhile, the Eagles got to Andrews pitcher Jesus Saldana for a single run in the first inning, but ran themselves out of three other scoring chances.
Lucas Chavez singled to open the bottom of the first, was sacrificed to second by Palomino, and scored on Lujan’s two out single to right-center. He went to second on the throw home, but Saldana got out of trouble by picking pinch runner Isaiah Patino off second base to end the inning.
In the third Joel Chavez opened with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Chris Sotelo. But with two outs the freshman was thrown out trying to score on Palomino’s single to center field.
“That was my fault. I should have held him up,” Garcia said. “I sent him and then I looked and saw where their outfielder was and knew he was in trouble, but it was too late to stop him.”
Andrews would turn a double play on Lujan after a leadoff walk to Timo Reyes in the fourth, and in the fifth Vela was caught off second and thrown out by Melton on a missed bunt attempt by Sotelo, after Vela walked and Joel Chavez reached on Andrews’ only error of the night, a wide throw by Valenzuela on a bouncer to third.
Palomino lasted only two batters into the sixth inning, after a Coomer lined out hard to new second baseman Tony Reyes and Escobar followed with a single. “I don’t think Vincent was frustrated, he just started leaving balls over the plate,” Garcia said. “To his credit, he threw strikes tonight, and probably pitched one of his best games in a while, but the defense just didn’t help him out.”
Freshman Matthew Rodriguez came on and allowed Saldana a single to center, and then, after the Eagles couldn’t turn an inning-ending double play on Marquez, Bueno followed with a single that got past Palomino, now in right field, for a two base error. He then scored to make it 9-1 on a single by Contreras, and after Valenzuela walked and Gerald Saenz came on to pitch, Lee took his first offering to the fence in left-center for a two-run double.
That made it 11-1 and allowed Andrews to end the game in the bottom of the sixth under the 10-run rule, as Saldana retired Pecos in order.
The wins improved Andrews to 22-7 on the season, including 21 victories in their last 23 games, while Pecos ended its season with a 21-9-1 record. The Mustangs will now face District 4-3A champ Lubbock Cooper which beat Monahans in Midland on Friday and Saturday in their area round series by 7-6 and 7-0 scores. The only team to beat Andrews in their last 23 games, District 3-3A champ Snyder, also advanced by eliminating Presidio in their area round series by 8-0 and 7-1 scores.
For the Eagles it was their second straight area round playoff defeat, and their sixth area round loss in the past decade.
“I really hoped we’d be able to push it to a Game 3, because the way we played today (Saturday), I thought we were going to have a shot,” Garcia said. “They came to play today, but we’ve got to get our pitcher some run support.”
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