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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, April 13, 2007

Crockett netters win district JH tournament

The Crockett Middle School tennis team captured first place last week in the District 2-3A junior high tennis tournament, with seventh and eighth graders taking five of the 10 division titles in the tournament at Fort Stockton High School.

Coach Teresa Bigham said Pecos swept the girls singles divisions, with Tori Garcia winning first and Kelly Lease second in the seventh grade bracket, while Dakota Long was first and Megan Fuentes second in the eighth grade bracket. In boys’ singles, Geronimo Ornelas won first in the seventh grade division, with Eddie Pando second, while in seventh grade boys doubles, Teg Lozano and John Terrazas took first, winning in the finals over teammates Mark Quintana and Chase Price.

In seventh grade girls’ doubles, Annie Cerna and Valerie Madrid won second place, as did Hillary Flores and Makayla Hernandez in eighth grade girls’ doubles. The other first place finish was in seventh grade mixed doubles, where Pete Castillo and Kebbeh Darporlar won first place, beating Joshua Hernandez and Leann Bustillos. In the eighth grade mixed doubles division, Erick Galindo and Jessica Esquivel took third place, with Jared Rios and Amanda James placing fourth.

Eagles, Loboes battle for girls track title

The Pecos Eagle girls’ track team had a good day in the field events on Tuesday, at the District 2-3A Track and Field Championships in Fort Stockton. But the Eagles still found themselves looking up at Monahans going into the running finals, which began at 3 p.m. on Thursday at Panther Stadium.

Pecos qualified at least one girl in each event on Tuesday, and six different girls overall, for the Region I-3A meet in two weeks at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, sweeping all three regional spots in the triple jump. But Monahans also had a good opening day at district, and hold an eight-point lead over Pecos going into the finals of the 400-meter relay on Thursday.Monahans boys, meanwhile, went out to a big lead on their three district rivals after the opening day of their division. Pecos had one disappointment on the first day, but did qualify two for regionals, and will be hoping to send at least a couple of runners in individual events along with at least two relay teams to the I-3A meet at Ratliff Stadium, following running event preliminaries Tuesday afternoon.

The Eagle girls scored 89 points on Tuesday to 97 for Monahans, after the six field events and the 3200-meter run were completed. “It’s going to be tight,” said coach Donna Gent, who hoped her team could win two of the three relay events on Thursday.

“My weakest (relay) is the 400, where they’re strong, but we’re strong in the mile relay, so it should come down to the 800,” she said. “We beat them all year long until Kermit (on March 23). They beat us, but I was without my regular relay due to injuries.”

Even before the races were held, Pecos, Monahans and Fort Stockton already qualified for regionals in the 400 and 800-meter relays - as long as they complete the race. Presidio will only have a relay team in the 1600 meter race, meaning the Eagles, Loboes and Prowlers will get the three regional berths in the other two races.

Pecos’ girls won three gold medals on Tuesday in field events, two by senior Chantel Mazone. She captured first in both the discus and shot put, while sophomore Jasmine Rayos won the triple jump, with Brittany Palomino getting second and Bianca Baeza third.

Mazone, who qualified for state in the discus a year ago, won that event on Tuesday with a 120-foot-4 throw, and later took the shot put with a 37-foot-11 1/2 toss. Pecos also got a sixth place from freshman Angel Millan in the discus, while in the triple jump, Rayos went 33-feet-5 on her final attempt to place first, ahead of Palomino, who went 32-feet-11, and Baeza, who jumped 32-feet-8.

In the long jump, it was Palomino and Baeza who earned the two regional berths behind Monahans’ Jordan Latham. She won the event with a 16-foot-3 leap, while Palomino went 15-foot-5 3/4 and Baeza 15-1 3/4, two inches more than Rayos, who finished fourth.

The Eagles’ other field event qualifier was sophomore Gabby Garcia. She placed third in both the high jump, with a 4-foot-8 leap, and in the pole vault, where she cleared 7-foot-6. She won a tiebreaker over teammate Allyson Salcido, while Brittany Quintana was fifth, with a 7-foot effort.

Pecos’ other regional qualifier on Tuesday was Heather Lamka, who placed third in the finals of the 3200 meter run to earn her second trip to regionals, while her sister Kathryn finished fifth. The 3200 was the first event of the day and the only running final held on Tuesday.

In the running prelims, Quintana had the best qualifying time in the 400-meter dash, Rayos has the best time in the 200 and Baeza will go into the 100-meter finals with the second-best time, behind Monahans’ Latham.

Pecos went into the boys’ running finals on Thursday knowing that they had automatic regional berths in all three relays, due to Presidio’s absence, as long as they can complete all three events. But the individual races are all contested, with Pecos’ best seeding from Tuesday’s prelims coming in the 400 meters, where Larry Johnson is seeded third and Matthew Florez fifth.

The boys picked up one second place finish from Robert Herrera in the discus on Tuesday, and also saw Eli Valenzuela qualify for regionals in the pole vault, though he actually had the second best effort by a Pecos vaulter on Tuesday.

Herrera earned a regional berth with a 134-foot-6 throw on his second attempt, finishing behind Monahans’ Michael Murphree. Coach Robbie Ortega said the freshman just missed qualifying for regionals in the shot put, as he finished fourth with a 41-foot throw.

“The other guy beat him out by one inch,” Ortega said.

Valenzuela, who later qualified for the finals in the 100 meter dash, took third by clearing nine feet in the pole vault, while in the junior varsity division, Pecos’ Hector Ramirez won the event with a 9-foot-6 effort, with Westin Grant fourth with an eight-foot vault.

The disappointment for the boys came in the long jump, where Vincent Palomino failed to qualify for the finals. The junior, who has split time between track and baseball, jumped over 20 feet last month in Wink, but fell 3 1/2 feet short of that on Tuesday.

“He just couldn’t get his steps down,” said assistant coach Derick Price. Pecos did get Drake Bradley into the long jump finals, where he placed seventh, while Jeremy Martinez also finished seventh, in the triple jump.

The Eagles’ other points on Tuesday came from fifth and sixth place finishes from Gustavo Mendoza and Jesse Juarez in the 3200 meter run. Augustin Mendoza also placed sixth in the JV division of the two-mile event.

Also qualifying on Tuesday was Ramirez, in the 100-meter hurdles, and Palomino, in the 200-meter dash. Pecos had Justo Dominguez in the 110-meter high hurdles, German Rodriguez in the 800 meter run and Rodriguez, Mendoza and Juarez in the 1600 meters, in events that didn’t have qualifying heats on Tuesday.

Eagles continue road roll with 8-1 victory

Two-thirds of the way through the District 2-3A baseball schedule, none the four district teams have been able to separate themselves from the others and stake a claim to one of the three available playoff spots.

But with two more district road games to go before their next home contest, the Pecos Eagles appear to be in pretty good shape, based on their 8-1 win on Monday night in Monahans over the Loboes.

The Eagles, 0-3 on their own field in district, improved to 3-0 on the road, as they grabbed an early lead and held it thanks to the pitching of Vincent Palomino, then broke the game open in the final innings off starter Paul Dominguez and reliever Tico Olivas.

Combined with Fort Stockton’s victory on Monday night over Presidio, it left all four teams at .500 in district, going into the last of the three rounds of 2-3A play. For the Eagles, that starts on Friday night in Fort Stockton, where they’ll seek their second win of the season, after scoring a 12-11, extra-inning win over the Panthers on April 2.The Eagles and Panthers will play at 7 p.m., in the first of two games this weekend for Pecos. On Saturday, the Eagles will make up their postponed March 23 game against Fabens when they host the Wildcats in a non-district game, also at 7 p.m.

Pecos will be trying for their first win at home this season against Fabens. They’re 0-3 on their own field, including a 7-1 loss to Monahans on March 30.

“We were a lot more focused,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia of the teams’ second meeting of the year. “Vincent pitched an excellent game. He was hitting his spots tonight, and we did an excellent job hitting the ball when we needed to, and putting the ball in play.”

Palomino, who struggled at times against Fort Stockton after no-hitting Presidio in his first district start, held Monahans to just four hits and an unearned run in the fifth inning on Monday. By then, Pecos had built a 3-0 lead off Dominguez, and they would get that run back in their next at-bat, before scoring four times in the seventh inning.

“Other than a couple of baserunning errors, I thought we played an excellent game, and those are the types of errors we can fix,” Garcia said.

Kenny Rayos’ two-out single in the first scored John Paul Salcido, while a two-out error in the fourth by Monahans’ second baseman Aaron Armendariz allowed Pecos to take a 2-0 lead, after the Eagles appeared to miss a chance to score when Geno Leos ran a stop sign at third and was thrown out trying to score on a single by Palomino. Leos and Rocky Lozoya had singled before Palomino’s hit, and Lozoya was able to score when Armendariz couldn’t pick up Reyes’ hit and run grounder in time to force Palomino at second base, and then threw late to first to get Reyes.

The Eagles’ third run also involved some bad baserunning, after Kenny Rayos singled and Isaiah Rayos doubled with one out in the fifth, Chris Garnto bounced out to third baseman Domingo Estorga, who held Kenny Rayos at third. But Isaiah Rayos was caught in a rundown between second and third, heading back for second as Kenny Rayos broke for home - which is where both umpires thought shortstop Steven Valles would throw the ball.

Instead, Valles threw to Estorga at third for the tag on Isaiah Rayos, as both umpires looked towards home plate. Kenny Rayos crossed the plate standing, and after several moments of discussion, Isaiah Rayos was ruled safe at third, to give the Eagles their 3-0 lead.

Monahans would get that run back in the bottom of the inning, when Tico Olivas reached on a one-out infield hit, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored when Sean Merrick’s two-out grounder to third got past Jose Chavez for an error. But with one out in the sixth Dominguez hit Reyes, and after a Salcido ground out he went to third on a passed ball by Olivas, and scored on Chavez’s single to centerfield.

Palomino, who improved to 6-0 on the season, would retire Monahans in order in the bottom of the sixth, and Pecos then broke things open in the seventh. Isaiah Rayos doubled and Garnto singled to open the inning, and after a fly-out by Leos, Dominguez threw away Lozoya’s sacrifice bunt, allowing courtesy runner Lucas Chavez to score. It also brought Olivas onto pitch and moved Dominguez to shortstop, but the new pitcher was greeted by a bloop single to left by Palomino and Dominguez then missed Reyes’ grounder for another error. That scored Lozoya and Palomino would then score on a passed ball by Valles, who had moved from shortstop to catcher.

The win, coupled with Fort Stockton’s 9-0 win over Presidio, has all four district teams sporting 3-3 records, while the Eagles are 8-7-2 going into Friday’s game against the Panthers. Garcia said Leos, who picked up a save for Palomino against Fort Stockton and went five innings in relief of Isaiah Rayos in last week’s 3-1 loss to Presidio, would get the start, his first since an 11-9 loss to Abilene Wylie on March 9 at the Snyder Tournament.

Following Friday’s game, the Eagles have a week off before going to Presidio, and end their regular season with an April 24 home game against Monahans.

Pecos plays Stockton for second after 8-0 loss

Second place in District 2-3A girls softball will most likely be decided Friday afternoon in Pecos, when the 3-4 Pecos Eagles face the 4-3 Fort Stockton Prowlers in their final regular season home game.

The Eagles, 7-2 winners at home over Fort Stockton last month, and the Prowlers, 4-2 winners on their home field on April 3, will meet at 5 p.m. Fort Stockton would clinch second place outright with a win, while the Eagles need a win and either a victory in their final regular season game, at Presidio, or a loss by Fort Stockton in their last game, against Monahans, to wrap up second place.

The Eagles fell out of a tie for second this past Monday in Monahans, as the Loboes used a pair of home runs to get their third district victory over Pecos, by an 8-0 score.Dina Ortiz had a two-run homer in the third inning off Amalie Herrera, while Lana Santiago broke the game open in the fifth with a three-run shot, and Heather Shuler tossed a three-hitter, giving up a game-opening hit to Jenny Palomino and then a ‘non-hit’ hit to her sister Brittany, before shutting down the Eagles until Claire Weinacht’s single with two outs in the seventh.

“Monahans can hit the ball very well, but that doesn’t mean it should be an automatic victory for them,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls. “We have to be able to compete, also, and we need to be able to hit the ball and make plays on defense.”

Brittany Palomino’s grounder between first and second hit her sister, which counted as a single, but was also an automatic out for Jenny Palomino, and Shuler then got Diana Parada and Herrera and fly outs. That unusual play then happened again in the bottom of the inning, when Ortiz was called out and Santiago credited with a single after she nailed Ortiz with a line drive just wide of first base.

By then, Monahans held a 1-0 lead after Katlin Mitchell led off with a single, stole second, and came around on a wild pitch by Herrera and a passed ball by Weinacht. Both pitchers retired the side in order in the second, but after the Eagles went in order in the third and Herrera struck out Mitchell to start the bottom of the inning, Kristi Wilson doubled to right center field.

Herrera then got Shuler to foul out to Weinacht, but with two outs and first base open the Eagles elected to pitch to Ortiz, who had five hits in her last six at-bats against Pecos. She took a 2-0 pitch over the fence in left for a two-run homer and a 3-0 lead.

Santiago followed with a double, but was left stranded when Herrera got Catherine Cutbirth on a grounder to second base. Two innings later, the Loboes had another runner on second with Ortiz up, this time on a one-out double by Shuler. Herrera walked Ortiz on five pitches, but Santiago then connected for a three-run homer over the fence in center to make it a 6-0 game.

“We knew their 4-5 hitters could do some damage. We just didn’t want anyone on when they got up,” said Walls, who added she thought about walking Ortiz in the third inning, but would still had to have pitched to Santiago.

After Santiago’s homer, Cutbirth would reach second on a throwing error by Gabby Garcia, who was playing third in place of the injured Kristen Ikeler, and scored on Barbara Felon’s two-out single. In the sixth, Wilson reached when Jasmine Rayos dropped her two-out pop up and scored after a Shuler single, when Brittany Palomino couldn’t hold onto a throw after Shuler was caught in a rundown between first and second.

Shuler would retire 14 Pecos batters in a row - 15 including the first inning out on Brittany Palomino’s grounder. Rayos reached to open the sixth inning on an error by shortstop Kellie Almanza, but was left stranded, while she finished the game with her sixth strikeout, getting Garcia after Weinacht’s single.

Monahans improved to 7-0 in district and 22-9 going into their game Friday against Presidio, while the Eagles are 17-8-2 entering their game with Fort Stockton. The winner will probably play the third place team out of District 1-3A in the bi-district round of the playoffs, while the loser would face the 1-3A runner-up in the bi-district round, the week of April 23-28.

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