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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Student physicals set May 15

Physicals will be given next week to students who will be involved in athletics at Pecos High School and Crockett Junior High School for the 2007-08 school year.

The physicals will be given on Monday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Pecos High School new gym, for all students entering grades 7-12 this coming August. PHS trainer Joel Birch said the physicals will cost $15 and can be paid for at the time the student arrives at the gym.

Physical forms can be picked up before next Monday’s exams from any of the coaches at the students’ current campuses.

Softball, T-ball sign-ups start

Registration is underway at the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department for their summer T-ball and softball programs, with an entry deadline on both of Thursday, May 17.

The T-ball program is open to boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 7. Softball is open to girls between the ages of 7 and 15. Both leagues will have an entry fee of $10 per player, with a $25 fee for parents who sign up their children after the May 17 deadline.

Parents must provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate at the time they return their registration forms, which are available at the RCCRD office during regular hours, Monday through Friday afternoons and evenings and Saturday mornings. For further information, call the RCCRD office at 447-9776.

Pecos to face Cooper after sweep of Anthony

The opening round of the Class 3A baseball playoffs only caused a brief amount of trouble for the Pecos Eagles, as they rallied from brief early deficits in both their games against the Anthony Wildcats to score a two-game sweep of their bi-district playoff series on Friday and Saturday in Van Horn.

Pecos spotted Anthony a 1-0 lead in both game, before rallying for a 12-4 victory on Friday, and a six-inning, 12-2 win on Saturday that moved them into the area round of the Class 3A playoffs against the Lubbock Cooper Pirates this weekend.

Eagles coach Eric Garcia said Game 1 of the best-of-three series would be at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Andrews High School baseball field. Game 2 will be on Saturday at 4 p.m., with a third game, if needed, starting around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“We hit the ball really well, and jumped on them early,” said Garcia, as the Eagles picked up their first playoff series win since 2003, when they downed Seminole in the bi-district round.

Vincent Palomino and Geno Leos got the wins against the Wildcats, with Timo Reyes pitching one inning of relief in both games. Reyes also had a two-run home run in the fourth inning of Friday night’s game that gave Pecos a 6-1 lead, while Isaiah Rayos had a three-run shot on Saturday off pitcher Ruben Aguirre to give the Eagles a 10-2 lead.

Martin Anaya held Pecos scoreless for the first two innings on Friday, while Anthony took advantage of some Pecos errors to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Jerry Medina singled and came all the way around to score on two throwing errors by catcher Chris Garnto.

But the Eagles would capitalize on a one out error by third baseman Jeff Ramirez in the third inning on a Reyes grounder to score four times. Anaya walked John Paul Salcido after the error, and Jose Reyes tied the game with an RBI single. Kenny Rayos was then intentionally walked, but Isaiah Rayos would make it 2-1 with a ground rule double down the line in left, and Garnto followed with a two-run single to make it a 4-1 game.

“That’s the first time we’ve adjusted to somebody with a curveball,” Garcia said. “We realized he was going to come with his fastball early, and told them to look for it, and when we started ripping it, he started coming with nothing but curveballs, and we did a good job adjusting.”

Reyes’ homer came one pitch after Palomino had reached base on a third strike passed ball by Medina. Anthony would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, when Marco Aguilar had an RBI single after a leadoff walk to J.C. Cisneros. But Aguilar was then thrown out by Garnto trying to steal third, and the Eagles upped their lead to 8-2 in the fifth.

Garnto had a double to center to score Isaiah Rayos, who led off the inning with a walk, and Palomino followed with an RBI single. In the fifth, Kenny Rayos would triple to center and score when Aguilar couldn’t handle Garnto’s grounder to shortstop. Aguilar then misplayed Leos’ grounder, and after a walk to Daniel Reyes, Palomino made it 11-2 with a bloop single to centerfield.

Up by nine, the Eagles then had their own fielding problems in the bottom of the sixth, as Ramirez singled and scored when Salcido threw away an Aguilar grounder and Leos threw the ball past second base after that. Aguilar then came home when a throw back to the mound by Garnto got past Palomino.

Pecos’ final run came when Kenny Rayos singled and scored on an Isaiah Rayos single after a passed ball by Medina.

Palomino ended up allowing three hits, while striking out six and walking four. “His biggest problem was his curveball. He wasn’t getting it down and had to go with his fastball,” said Garcia. “As things turned out, I think he had to work a little harder than he had to in his other games, but Vincent is a competitor and I had confidence in him.”

In Game 2, Saul Garcia and Aguirre opened the game with singles off Leos, with Garcia scoring on a ground out by Anaya. “For some reason his curveball wasn’t breaking as much as it usually does and they were hitting him early, but Geno was able to battle back and get out of a couple of jams,” the Eagles’ coach said.

Medina followed Anaya’s ground out with a single, but outfielder Rocky Lozoya was able to keep courtesy runner Cisneros from scoring, and the Eagles scored twice in the bottom of the first.

Timo Reyes singled and Salcido walked to open the inning, and Aguirre then threw away Kenny Rayos’ one-out grounder to the mound, trying for Salcido at second. One out after that, he walked Garnto to force home Reyes, and Salcido was then able to steal home when courtesy runner Lucas Chavez was caught in a rundown.

Anthony would tie the game in the second, as Aguilar reached on an error by Isaiah Rayos at short and scored on a single by Mike Guillen, but in the bottom of the inning Daniel Reyes walked, moved to third on a double by Palomino and scored on a sacrifice fly by Timo Reyes to give Pecos a 3-2 lead.

The lead grew to 6-2 in the third. Chavez tripled, Isaiah Rayos was hit by a pitch and then an RBI single by Garnto was followed by errors by Luis Alvarez in left field and Sean Williams at first base that scored Rayos. Palomino then added a sacrifice fly.

Rayos’ homer in the fourth came one pitch after an RBI single by Kenny Rayos had made it 7-3. Pecos didn’t score in the fifth, but won it in the sixth under the 10-run rule, on a bases-loaded walk to Leos and a Palomino fly ball misplayed by Alvarez.

“Once we got up on them they had some trouble,” said Garcia. “Their No. 2 pitcher (Aguirre) pretty much threw straight fastballs, and all our kids hit the ball.”

The win improved Pecos’ overall record to 12-10-1 going into their area round series against Lubbock Cooper, the District 4-3A champs who are 23-7 on the season after a 15-1 win on Friday over Crane. The Pirates ousted the Eagles from the playoffs in their last trip to the area round, in 2004.

“Cooper apparently doesn’t think we’re going to be much of a problem, because they didn’t even bother to scout us,” Garcia said.

The winner of the Lubbock Cooper series will take on the winner of the Snyder-Fort Stockton series in the Region I-3A quarterfinals next week.

Missed chances end Eagles’ season

The Pecos Eagles softball team couldn’t close things out on Thursday night, and couldn’t keep things going on Saturday morning against the Andrews Mustangs, and the result was a frustrating two-game sweep of the Eagles by the Mustangs in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs.

The Eagles took leads on the Mustangs three times on Thursday night in Andrews, including the top of the 10th inning on an RBI double by Amalie Herrera. But all three times Pecos was unable to keep the lead through the bottom of the inning, as Andrews took advantage of Pecos’ mistakes to rally for a 5-4 victory.

Then on Saturday, the Eagles used errors by the Mustangs to score twice in the first two innings, and had runners on second and third with none out in the second against Andrews' pitcher Crystal Molinar. But Pecos not only wouldn’t get those runs in, they wouldn’t get another baserunner for the rest of the game, as Molinar retired the final 18 batters she faced, while her teammates rallied for three runs in the third, then broke the game open with three more in the seventh for a 7-2 win.

“We started hitting them early, then I don’t know what happened,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls. “The kids played as hard as they could play, but Andrews just hit the ball, and they had some dead bunts in the third inning we had troubles fielding.”

Molinar started both games for Andrews, and fell behind 1-0 both times in the first inning. On Thursday, Brittany Palomino singled with one away, stole second and then scored on Herrera’s bloop single to center field. But in the bottom of the inning, Herrera walked leadoff batter Amanda Stevens, and saw her steal second, third and home, the last when catcher Claire Weinacht failed to look her back to third base as she threw the ball back to Herrera on the mound.

Stephens would give her team a 2-1 lead in the second, doubling off the wall in center to score Cassie Cornejo, who had walked on a 3-2 pitch with two away. The Eagles then failed to take advantage of two Mustang errors in the third inning, but survived a leadoff single by Teira Helms in the third, when Weinacht turned Cara Hogan’s popped-up bunt into a double play, and a leadoff double by Shanna Stephens in the fourth, thanks to a couple of good defensive plays by shortstop Diana Parada.

Pecos would regain the lead in the sixth and chase Molinar from the mound, as she walked Brittany Palomino and Parada to lead things off, before Hogan threw away Herrera’s bunt trying for Palomino at third base. Palomino scored and Molinar then wild-pitched Parada home before being replaced on the mound by Crystal Caddell.

She retired the side in order, and the Mustangs would tie the score in the bottom of the inning, when Jaycee Harris reached on an error by Kristen Ikeler and scored on a two-out single by Larissa Falcon. Andrews would then put two runners on with one out in the seventh, but Herrera got Amanda Stephens to ground to Ikeler, who forced Caddell at third, then got Helms on a grounder to shortstop.

Both teams had runners in the eighth and ninth innings. Herrera survived a one out double by Hogan in the eighth and a leadoff single by Shanna Stephens in the ninth, while the Eagles had a two out single by Herrera in the eighth and two out hits by Cassandra Terrazas and Jasmine Rayos in the ninth, but were unable to score.

Herrera’s double, on a 3-2 pitch came with one out in the 10th, after Parada had singled off Caddell. But in the bottom of the inning Jenny Palomino misjudged Amanda Stephens leadoff fly ball to right field and turned it into a three-base error. She then scored on a single to left by Helms to tie the game. Herrera then walked Harris, and after both runners moved up on a passed ball, Helms beat the throw home on Hogan’s grounder to Ikeler, giving Andrews the victory.

“We had that game. That was ours to give away,” said Walls. “Amalie pitched well, and she deserved to win, but we just made too many mistakes that we shouldn’t have made. In the second game the Eagles opened the game with a single by Jenny Palomino and a one-out infield hit by Parada, which turned out to be the Eagles’ only hits of the game. Parada stole second and scored when Hogan tried to pick Palomino off third and bounced the ball off her helmet and into left field. But she would pick Parada off third on a strikeout by Molinar of Herrera, to end the inning.

In the second, Andrews committed four errors in the Eagles’ first three batters. Helms misplayed Weinacht’s grounder to third and then Amanda Stephens misplayed Gabby Garcia’s grounder to short, which sent Weinacht to third. Hogan then threw the ball by third again, this time trying to get Weinacht as Garcia stole second, to give Pecos a 2-0 lead. Ikeler then made it to second when Kristin Corbin dropped her fly ball to left field, but she turned out to be the final baserunner for Pecos. Molinar got Terrazas to foul out to Stephens, struck out Rayos and got Jenny Palomino to line out to Erin Hogan at second, to end the inning, and the Mustangs then took advantage of Pecos’ fielding problems to take the lead in the third.

Those mistakes came after Molinar singled and Harris hit into a fielder’s choice, when Corbin put down a sacrifice bunt that Herrera threw past first base for an error. Amanda Stephens then reached on a bunt single to load the base, and Andrews tied the game on a single by Helms and an error by Weinacht, who let Terrazas’ throw home get past her, as Corbin scored. Shawna Stephens then put down another bunt the Eagles had problems fielding, with her sister scoring for a 3-2 lead.

“We work on fielding bunts repeatedly, but they caught us off-guard,” Walls said. “Some of our kids played well the other night, and didn’t play well today, and some didn’t play well then and did today.”

Herrera was able to get Helms at third on Andrews’ fourth bunt of the inning, by Cara Hogan, then got Falcon to retire the side, and survived a leadoff single to Erin Hogan in the fourth. But in the fifth the Mustangs made it 4-2 on a leadoff home run to center by Helms, and Walls opted to replace Herrera with Garcia as the sixth inning opened.

The sophomore survived another Hogan leadoff hit and a two out error in the sixth, but in the seventh, Helms singled to open the inning and after a sacrifice bunt by Shawna Stephens, scored on Cara Hogan’s RBI hit. Fowler, Erin Hogan and Molinar followed with singles to score two more runs, and Molinar then retired the side in order in the seventh to give Andrews the win and send them into a Region I-3A quarterfinal series against Lubbock Cooper, which swept Clint in their playoff series in Pecos on Thursday and Friday, by 5-4 and 3-2 scores.

Monahans, the District 2-3A champion, swept Andrews’ District 3-3A rival Snyder in their area playoff series, by 5-0 and 3-0 scores. The Loboes will take on District 4-3A champ Levelland, which eliminated Fabens in their series over the weekend in Pecos, by 9-0 and 6-4 scores.

Pecos ends their season with a 22-10-2 record, and lose Herrera, Terrazas, Jenny Palomino and Bianca Baeza to graduation. “We’re young, but we’re really going to miss our seniors,” said Walls. “We have some of the best kids in Texas, and their parents and our fans should be proud of them.”

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