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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Blue Devils keep Eagles winless at home with 3-1 win

Playing three of the last four games on the road while fighting for the playoffs wouldn’t seem to be a positive for the Pecos Eagles’ baseball team. But going into Monday night’s game in Monahans against the Loboes, that may be the best thing for Pecos’ playoff chances.

The Eagles, 2-0 in District 2-3A road games prior to Monday, fell to 0-3 at home with another weak hitting performance on Thursday, this time against the Presidio Blue Devils and pitcher Alonzo Amencia. He shut the Eagles down, holding Pecos to one run over 6 1/3 innings before Jaime Ortega came on to pick up the save in a combined two-hit, 3-1 win by the Blue Devils.

“I don’t know what it is, but we don’t play well at home,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia. “We hit the ball so well against Fort Stockton (a 12-11 win on April 2), and then we come out and don’t hit the ball when we need to.”

“We played pretty well on defense and had a little pitching problems at the start, but overall we did well,” he added. “When you hold Presidio to three runs in a game, you expect to win.”Presidio got all their runs in the third inning off starter Isaiah Rayos, 2-3, who struggled with his control for his second straight start.

He retired Presidio in order in the first, then got Ervey Rodriguez to bounce into an inning-ending double play in the second, after a walk to Edgar Ramirez. But in the third, Edgar Venegas opened with a single, moved to second on a passed ball by Chris Garnto, and Pablo Rodriguez then walked on a 3-2 pitch. Rayos would get Alfredo Armendariz to pop a bunt back to the mound, but Barron followed with an RBI single, and Rodriguez came home when Rayos bounced a curve ball past Garnto. Jesus Carrasco then made it 3-0 with a grounder to second.

Pecos, which scored four runs in the first inning of their district opener at home against Fort Stockton, has managed just three runs in the last 18 innings on their home field. On Thursday, their only run came with one out in the third, when catcher Jesus Barron’s throw to second base got past Ortega and Carrasco for an error, allowing Robert Nunez to score from third base. Barron was trying to throw out Vincent Palomino, who had walked, after Nunez opened the inning with a single, moved to second on a Rocky Lozoya ground out and went to third on a passed ball by Barron.But Palomino would then get doubled off second when Ramirez ran down Timo Reyes’ line drive to right-centerfield. It was one of three base running errors that cost Pecos on Thursday, which included Lozoya getting thrown out at home on a double-steal attempt in the fifth inning.

“On that, it was a bad decision on my part. I really thought they would throw through with two outs and go for the out at second, and thought Vincent could beat the throw, but they cut it off,” Garcia said. “We should have just let Vincent go to second and let Timo get a shot to hit.”

Lozoya had walked with two out and reached third when Ortega threw away Palomino’s fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop. The previous inning, Salcido had gotten Pecos’ only other hit, a lead-off single followed by a walk to Jose Chavez, but Kenny Rayos then flew out to short left field and Amencia got Isaiah Rayos to bounce to Carrasco, who turned it into an inning-ending double play.

The Eagles would strand Chavez at first on a two-out walk in the sixth, while in the seventh, Ortega would come on after Amencia hit Isaiah Rayos to open the inning, and ended up picking pinch-runner Lucas Chavez off second around a strikeout of Garnto and a fly out by Nunez, to end the game.

“Their pitchers just did a good job keeping us off-balance, but our kids have got to come through, especially our seniors,” Garcia said. “When we got our leadoff runners on in the fourth with our No. 4-5 batters coming up, you expect to do something.”

On the other side, Rayos was replaced on the mound in the fourth inning by Geno Leos, after Ramirez singled and Rodriguez walked to open the inning, and the Eagles’ pitcher hit Rodriguez with one out. Leos struck out Armendariz and got Barron to pop out to third, then got out of his own jams in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, after the Blue Devils put two on with one away in the fifth and got their first two batters on in the sixth and their leadoff hitter on in the seventh.

An interference call on Ortega in the fifth helped out Pecos, as Ramirez was called out after Ortega failed to slide at second after being forced on his grounder and Salcido’s throw got by Kenny Rayos at first, which at first appeared to have allowed courtesy runner Noe Anaya to score. In the sixth, Leos got Rodriguez, Armendariz and Barron after walking Rodriguez and giving up a single to Venegas to open the inning. In the seventh, Carrasco blooped a double just in front of Lozoya in center and reached third on a passed ball, but was stranded there by Leos.

The loss left Pecos with a 7-7-2 record going into their game at Monahans and 2-3 in district, tied for third with Fort Stockton. Monahans is 3-2 after their 11-1 win over the Panthers, and are tied for first with Presidio in the 2-3A standings.

The Eagles follow up Monday’s with a trip to Fort Stockton on Friday, then go to Presidio on April 20, before closing out their regular season with an April 24 home game against Monahans.

Eagles seek regional spots at district track this week

Four teams will be fighting for one of the three regional spots in each event on Tuesday and Thursday, at the District 2-3A Track and Field Championships at Fort Stockton High School.The field event finals, along with the 3200-meter run, will take place on Tuesday, beginning at 10 a.m., with preliminaries in the short-distance running events set for 4 p.m. The running finals are scheduled for a 5 p.m. start on Thursday with the 400-meter relay, and will conclude with a 1600-meter relay at 8:10 p.m.

Pecos’ girls are expected to battle with Monahans for the district title, while the Loboes’ boys are heavy favorites to win that divi sion. Fort Stockton and Presidio are the only other teams in the meet, where the top three finishers in each event will advance to the Region I-3A meet on April 27-28 at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.

Coach Robbie Ortega’s team has struggled to score points this season, but will have a few more competitors at district than they’ve had for most of their meets this season, while coach Donna Gent will have more people than she had this past Thursday, when the majority of her runners were back home for Pecos’ softball game against Presidio.

“We had a skeleton crew,” said Gent, whose team managed just 32 points at the Golden Crane Relays.

Twenty of those were from senior Chantell Mazone, who took the shot put with a 38-foot-3 throw and won the discus with a 126-foot effort. In the shot, she beat Lamesa’s Shanequia Hawkins, who had the only throw longer so far this season among Class 3A area competitors. Hawkins was third with a 36-foot 4 1/2 throw, while Gent said Monahans’ Bethany Willmon had a strong meet, placing second with a 37-foot-4 throw.

Mazone qualified for regionals in both events last season, advancing to state in the discus, where she placed sixth.

Pecos’ other medal was a second by Allyson Salcido in the 300-meter hurdles. Their other four points came from Heather Lamka, who was fourth in the 3200 meter run.

Heather and Kathryn Lamka will be Pecos’ entries in the 3200 and 1600 meter runs. Both qualified for regionals two years ago, but missed out in 2006. Along with Mazone, the Eagles’ other returning regional qualifier from last season is Jasmine Rayos, in the 200-meter dash.

Rayos, Bianca Baeza, Jenny Palomino, Gabby Garcia and Brittany Palomino are among those who missed Thursday’s meet. They’re entered in the relay events, along with Brittany Quintana, Michelle Contreras and Salcido, while Olivia Castilleja will try to join Salcido as freshman regional qualifiers in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles.

The same group will also be competing in the high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault finals on Tuesday. Joining Mazone in the shot put finals will be Veronica Tarin and Angel Millan, while Millan and Samantha Villarreal will be the Eagles’ other entries in the discus.

The boys placed 12th at Crane, getting a fourth place finish from the 1600-meter relay team and a fifth from Robert Herrera in the discus. Ortega said Pecos had a chance to score a few more points, but “We made some changes for the meet. We put some boys in some races we normally didn’t run.”

That included senior Larry Johnson, who has medaled several meets this season in the 400 and 800 meter runs. He’ll run the 400 at district, but didn’t last Thursday.

“We were just trying to get his legs back so we rested him,” Ortega said. Johnson will run in the 400, along with Matthew Florez and Jeremy Martinez, and will also be part of the 400 and 1600-meter relay teams.

Aside from Johnson, Vincent Palomino has the only other gold medal for Pecos this season, in the long jump. He’ll compete there, along with Drake Bradley and Ricardo Gomez, while Herrera, who owns Pecos’ only second place medal this season, in the discus will be entered in that event with Aaron and Bryan Navarette, and in the shot put with Bryan Navarette and Job Darpolar.Palomino and Geno Leos are the two members of the Eagles’ baseball team who’ll be competing in the meet. JV baseballer Eli Valenzuela will run with Palomino and Bradley in the 200 meters and with Jeremy Rodriguez and Gomez in the 100-meter dash.

Palomino, Bradley, Johnson and Jonathan Dominguez will make up the 400-meter relay team, while Johnson, Florez, Hector Ramirez and Lucas Macha will be on the 1600-meter squad.In the distance races, Jesse Juarez, Gus Mendoza and German Rodriguez will run the 1600, while Juarez and Mendoza will be in the finals of the 3200 meters on Saturday and Rodriguez will also run the 800-meter finals on Thursday.

Pecos faces Monahans after win over Presidio

The final score was less football-like on Thursday, in the Pecos Eagles’ second meeting of the season with the Presidio Blue Devils. But it was still an easy win for the Eagles, who snapped a two-game losing streak going into their games this week against the Monahans Loboes and Fort Stockton Panthers.

The Eagles were in Monahans on Monday for a 5 p.m. game, following their 13-1 win at home over Presidio. The Loboes already have clinched the District 2-3A softball title, but the Eagles can secure second place this week with wins over Monahans and Fort Stockton, who they’ll host this Friday in their final regular season home game.

Pecos’ first meeting with Presidio resulted in a 17-run first inning and an eventual 31-0 win. On Thursday, the Eagles scored five times in the first inning and widened the lead from there, before winning in the fifth inning under the 10-run rule despite collecting just five hits in the game.

“We really didn’t get a bead on their pitcher,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, whose main concern was a series of injuries that had her juggling her lineup before the game, and concerned about her pitching going into Monday’s game at Monahans.

“We got a little banged up. I hope these three days off we can get some of the swelling out of those injures and get ready to play Monahans,” she said.

Walls was without third baseman Kristen Ikeler after she sprained an ankle in practice on Wednesday. Claire Weinacht replaced her, after she was ruled out at catcher due to a palm injury. The Eagles were able to fill that hole after junior Diana Parada’s transfer back to Pecos was finally cleared by the University Interscholastic League, but pitcher Amalie Herrera reinjured a tendon in her pitching hand when she tagged out Edlin Dominguez trying to steal, after moving from pitcher to shortstop in the fourth inning.

“We’ll just have to see how it feels on Monday. She said her pinky is in quite a bit of pain right now,” Walls said.

The Eagles didn’t collect a single hit in the first while getting their five runs off starter Dorinda Renteria. After leftfielder Jaime Carrasco misplayed Jenny Palomino’s leadoff fly into a three-base error, Renteria walked the next four batters, forcing home one run, while wild pitching another one in. A passed ball by catcher Elfida Olivas scored the third run of the inning, a ground out by Brittany Palomino made it 4-0, and the final run scored after Cynthia Corrales replaced Renteria at pitcher when Dominguez misplayed Bianca Baeza’s two-out grounder.

In the second, Herrera was hit by a pitch and scored after Weinacht’s single, when second baseman Aida Porras missed Carrasco’s relay throw from leftfield. Corrales then hit Garcia with a pitch, and after Brittany Palomino walked, Cassandra Terrazas made it 8-0 with a two-run single to left. Terrazas would score one out later on a wild pitch by Corrales, for a 9-0 lead.

Presidio would get on the scoreboard in the second inning, scoring on a passed ball by Parada after Olivas reached on an error by Herrera to lead off the winning. But that would be the Blue Devils’ lone run of the game. A diving catch by Parada on a Roxy Hernandez pop up would help Herrera survive two out singles in the third by Jenny Fernandez and Renteria, while Pecos would add another run in the third on two out singles by Herrera and Weinacht, around two more wild pitches by Corrales.

“Getting Diana eligible should help us,” said Walls, who said she would probably move the junior to shortstop when Weinacht’s hand is healed. “Then I’ll also have to look at the battiing lineup to see where to make changes.”

The Eagles’ final runs on Thursday scored on another Corrales wild pitch and another passed ball by Olivas, after an infield single by Brittany Palomino and a walk to Terrazas.

The win got Pecos back to .500 in district, at 3-3, and put them at 17-7-2 on the season. They’re tied for second with Fort Stockton, and host the Prowlers this Thursday in their final regular season home game.

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Pecos Enterprise
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Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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