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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pecos starts strong in tournaments

Pecos’ three Little League All-Star teams went through the opening weekend of District 37 Tournament play undefeated, with two of the teams picking up a pair of wins while the third was seeking its second victory of the tournament on Monday night in Fort Stockton.

Pecos’ 10-11 year old Little Leaguers were scheduled to face Monahans in a 7 p.m. game, after going extra innings in their opener to defeat Greenwood on Saturday by a 5-3 final score. That game was played just before the 9-10 year old All-Stars picked up their second win in as many days, downing Monahans by a 9-5 final score.

Things were closer on Sunday night in Pecos for the 11-12 year old Little Leaguers, who took advantage of Monahans errors in the first and fifth innings to score a 2-1 victory. The 11-12 year olds had opened tournament play on Friday night with a five-inning, 10-0 shut out of Winker County (Kermit), while the 9-10 year olds had an even easier time in their opener, routing Greenwood by a 27-2 final score.

Brandon Garnto tossed a three-hitter and got through a controversial sixth inning for Pecos to pick up Sunday night’s win at Chano Prieto Field. He struck out 15 batters and also had two of the three hits in the game for Pecos, which was able to capitalize on a couple of fielding errors and some control problems by Monahans starter Elias Sigala.

Things started well for Monahans, when leadoff batter Peyton Marcum took Garnto’s second pitch of the game over the fence in right-center field for a quick 1-0 lead. Sigala then retired the first two batters for Pecos in the bottom of the first, before Garnto singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Michael Carrasco’s line drive to center went off the glove of Zachary Navarro for a two-base error.

Pecos missed a chance to take the lead in the second, when Zack Johnson walked and Pony Palomino reached on an infield single to open the inning. That came after Monahans’ leadoff hitter in the second, Heath Wood, reached on an error by Sammy Villegas at first base.

In the third, Garnto reached on a one out error by third baseman Daniel Barnes and Eddie Fuentes walked with two away, but Sigala was able to get Johnson to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the threat. An inning later, Alvaro Dominguez walked and Jeffrey Trujillo was hit by a pitch with two away, but Sigala then struck out Geronimo Ornelas to end in the inning.

Monahans would get a runner to third in the top of the fifth, when Jackson Scarf singled and went to second on an error by Carrasco in center. Courtesy runner Tyler Jones was sacrificed to third with one out, but Garnto then struck out Dominick Perales to end the threat. He then opened the bottom of the fifth with a single, and courtesy runner Jared Windham then moved to third on two wild pitched, and scored when Scarf’s throw from catcher back to the mound got past Sigala for an error.

Carrasco would walk and get as far as third base off new pitcher Rogelio Sauceda, but was left stranded, keeping the lead at 2-1. And it looked like it would be enough when Garnto struck out Marcum and Navarro to open the sixth, then got two strikes on Sauceda.

But Sauceda then lined a 1-2 pitch deep to left and off the top of the fence for what appeared to be a double. Monahans’ coaches then argued Sauceda should be awarded third, after he collided with Palomino after coming around first. Instead, Sauceda ended up having to scramble back to first, after being told he had missed the bag before running into the Pecos second baseman.

Sauceda would get back to second on a steal, and went to third on a passed ball, but was left stranded when Garnto got Sigala on a called third strike to end the game.

On Friday, Ornelas tossed a two-hitter and ended the game under the 10-run rule with a home run in the fifth inning, in Pecos’ 10-0 win over Winkler County. Carrasco got Pecos off to a quick start with a three-run homer in the first inning, while Garnto had three doubled in the victory.

Down in Fort Stockton, the 9-10 year olds also had an easy first game and a tougher one in the second, though not as close as the 11-12 year olds’ win over Monahans. Pecos scored two runs in the first and added four in the second for a 6-0 lead, then added one run in the third and two more in the fourth after Monahans had cut the lead to 6-3.

Starter Gus Mendoza allowed no hits in five-plus innings, but left after walking the bases loaded in the sixth. Reliever J.J. Lerma was greeted with a two-run single to break up the no-hitter, but was able to settle down after that and get the final three outs, though Monahans was able to get the tying run to the plate.

Lerma and Cesar Ortega scored the first two runs for Pecos, both reaching on errors in the first inning. In the second, Jay Hinojos and Nathan Martinez opened with singles off pitcher Isaac Olivas, with Hinojos scoring when John Michael Rodriguez reached on an error. A fielder’s choice grounder by Mendoza made it 4-0, Lerma followed with an RBI single and another fielder’s choice grounder, this one by Ortega, scored what turned out to be the game-winning run.

In Friday’s rout of Greenwood, John Zuniga earned the victory, while Ortega and Fabien Tarin both had home runs for Pecos, which will take on the host team, Fort Stockton, in the tournament’s semifinal game, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Pecos’ 11-12 year olds will face Alpine at 8 p.m. on Tuesday in their semifinal game. Alpine had a first round bye and then won their opener on Saturday by a 4-1 score over Fort Stockton.

If both teams win, they’ll advance to the finals of the double-elimination tournament, at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Pecos and Fort Stockton, while loses would drop them into elimination round games at 7 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Deciding games, if needed, would be held on Friday, also at 7 p.m.

Pecos’ Junior League All-Stars were the only team to lose in District 37 play over the weekend. They dropped a 13-12 decision to Monahans on Saturday after drawing a bye in the first round of the 13-14 year old bracket. They’ll now await the winner of Monday’s game between Winkler County and Fort Stockton, and will play in the elimination round at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Pecos’ Senior League All-Stars scored wins in their tournament games at Kermit over the weekend, shutting out Monahans and the host Winkler County team to advance to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. tournament finals. A win would put the 15-16 year olds into the Region I Sectional Tournament for the second year in a row, while a loss would force a deciding game, set for 7 p.m. on July 4.

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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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