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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Eagles prepare for Region I-3A tournament play

The Pecos Eagle tennis team will have seven players competing on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Region I-3A Tennis Tournament in Odessa.

The Eagles qualified three doubles teams and one singles player at the District 2-3A Tennis Tournament in Fort Stockton earlier this month, but won’t know their opening round opponents until seedings are announced on Tuesday.

Amber Pando and Kristal Ikler figure to get the best seeds, after placing first in the girls doubles division at district. The other Eagle netters advanced with second place finishes. That group includes Francisco Ornelas in boys’ singles, Jesse Hanks and Jerris Rayos in boys’ doubles and Jessica Mora and Javier Tersero in mixed doubles.

The top two finishers in each of the five divisions will advance to the Class 3A state tournament next month in Austin.

Winkles signs UTPB swim scholarship

Pecos High School senior Kyle Winkles signed a letter of intent on Thursday to attending the University of Texas-Permian Basin on a swimming scholarship, after earning all-state honors in two individual and two relay events earlier this month.

Winkles, who advanced to state in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke and as a member of Pecos’ 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams, will swim next season for UTPB. He was named outstanding swimmer at both the district and regional meets for the past two seasons, and set a new regional record in the 100-yard backstroke this past February.

Winkles said UTPB Coach Rob Rankin e-mailed him about swimming for the Falcons next week. “I was getting calls from a lot of colleges, and UTPB called around January,” he said. “I decided on UTPB because it was closer, and I could be nearer to my family the first year.”

He said he wasn’t sure what events he would swim for the Falcons. “Coach Rankin is probably going to put me in different events, and see what I can do,” he said. “He hasn’t had any personal contact, but he went to the regional meet to see me, and he went to the state meet.”

Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said Winkles would join at least one other Pecos swimmer already at UTPB. “Lindsey Shaw swam there this year, and Matt Elliott is transferring to UTPB from Tarleton,” she said.

Shaw and Elliott both graduated last year, after advancing to the state meet four years as members of the Eagles’ swim team.

Pecos downs Presidio, gets Tornillo next

The Pecos Eagle girls softball team secured second place in the District 2-3A standings after a slow start on Friday, and will get to play one more home game this Thursday, when they host the Tornillo Coyotes in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs.

The Eagles used an eight-run second inning to break a 1-1 tie in Presidio, and went on to defeat the Blue Devils by a 19-2 final score to earn second place behind Monahans in the 2-3A standings and a bi-district game against Tornillo, the third place team out of District 1-3A. The teams will play at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Pecos High School softball field; with the winner going on to face Andrews in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Pecos already had beaten Presidio once on the road this season, 31-0, and owned a 13-1 home field victory over the Blue Devils. On Friday, they scored once in the first thanks to control problems by pitcher Cynthia Corrales, then added eight runs on four hits in the second, including a three-run homer by Claire Weinacht, who opened the inning with a bloop single.

Pecos had just nine hits in the game, but didn’t have to do much more to get their runs. They received 17 walks to go along with two hit batters, while Corrales had seven wild pitches and catcher Elfida Olivas had eight passed balls in the game. Three other bad pitches ended up Pecos baserunners being tagged out at home trying to score.

“There were some good things I saw,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, despite all the runs that were handed to Pecos by Presidio. “Claire Weinacht made good contact with the ball, and Gabby (Garcia) settled down and did a good job when she started finding the strike zone.”

The Blue Devils used control problems by Garcia to get both of their runs. Garcia hit Roxy Hernandez and Olivas around a walk to Jenny Fernandez, a throwing error to second by the Eagle pitcher on a Dorinda Renteria grounder, and an error by shortstop Diana Parada on a grounder by Edlin Dominguez. Hernandez was out trying to score on a wild pitch before that play, and Renteria scored when Olivas was hit with the bases loaded.

Presidio’s other run scored when Jasmine Rayos couldn’t hold onto a throw from Parada on an Ada Porras grounder. Porras reached second and scored on two wild pitches by Garcia, who settled down after that, and ended up allowing no runs and three hits in her final three innings of work.

Weinacht broke the 1-1 tie in the second when she scored after a walk to Jasmine Rayos, when Rayos stole second and went to third when Olivas’ throw went into centerfield. She would then tag Rayos out trying to score on a wild pitch but Kimberly Jaramillo walked, went to second when Olivas threw past first on a pickoff, moved to third on a wild pitch by Corrales and scored on Aileen Rayos’ ground out to shortstop.

After that, Corrales hit Jenny Palomino with a pitch, saw her score on a wild pitch, passed ball and her own throwing error to third after a walk to Brittany Palomino, who went to third on the throwing error and scored on another wild pitch. Parada then walked and came around on a steal of second, a missed throw by Dominguez and a passed ball by Olivas. The Eagles then got a double by Amalie Herrera and single by Garcia before Weinacht homered to cap the eight-run inning.

In the third, Weinacht would have a ground out than scored a run, while of the Eagles’ remaining runs came off wild pitches, passed balls and errors. Olivas picked up Presidio’s first hit of the game, with a two-out single in the third, while Jenny Fernandez and Dominguez singled in the fifth, before Garcia got Olivas on a grounder to second to end the game.

“We had been off a week due to the TAKS test, and we have the prom tomorrow (Saturday) night, so we’ve had quite a few distractions. For us to come over here and get a win and not get anybody hurt is good for us,” Walls said.

The win improved Pecos to 19-8-2 going into their Thursday game against Tornillo, which was 7-14 on the season, and 2-7 in District 1-3A play. It will be the Eagles’ first playoff game in three years, since they lost to Monahans in the 2004 Region I-3A quarterfinals. The Eagles finished 5-4 in district play, while Fort Stockton lost their final regular season game to Monahans and ended up with a 4-5 record and third place in the district standings. They’ll also play their bi-district game in Pecos, on Friday night against the Fabens Wildcats (13-10, 6-3), the runner-up team out of District 1-3A. Monahans, which drew a first round bye after going 9-0 in district, won’t begin play until next week, in the area round of the playoffs.

Last chance for Eagles after 3-1 loss

The playoff pressure starts a game early for both the Pecos Eagles and Monahans Loboes on Tuesday night, and for one team, the final regular season game will be their last of the 2007 season.

The Eagles dropped their second straight district game on Friday night, as they were shut down for the second time in district by Presidio’s Alonzo Amancio, who tossed a three-hitter for his second straight 3-1 win over Pecos. That put Presidio in the playoffs, while Fort Stockton also clinched a playoff spot with an 11-1 win over Monahans on Friday night.

That win kept Pecos alive in the district playoff race. At 3-5, they’re a game behind both the Loboes and Blue Devils, but can only catch Monahans in the 2-3A standings, when they teams meet on Tuesday night at Eagle Field. The winner will advance to the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs next week, while the loser will see their season ended.

Amancio survived some early problems and ended up with 12 strikeouts to outpitch Pecos’ Vincent Palomino, who lost for the first time in seven decisions this season.

“We just weren’t very patient with his off-speed pitches,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia. “If we keep swinging, he’s going to continue to throw it, and he was also able to throw it for strikes.”

The Eagles’ only run came with one out in the first inning, when Timo Reyes scored on a throwing error by shortstop Oscar Lujan, after Reyes walked to open the game. Pecos’ first hit came an inning later, when Palomino beat out a grounder to deep shortstop, but that hit came around three strikeouts by Amancio, and the Blue Devils’ pitcher would allow just two more hits the rest of the way - another infield hit by Palomino to lead off the fifth, and a two out single by Isaiah Rayos in the sixth.

Pecos’ defense responded in the early innings behind Palomino, before faltering in the third and fourth. In the first, Garnto threw out Jesse Carrasco trying to steal third, after he had singled and stole second with one away, while Rayos made a strong throw from shortstop to get Edgar Rodriguez in the second inning.

But in the third Edwin Venegas’ hard grounder to third took a bad hop and hit Chavez in the face for a two -bases error, and Palomino then threw away Pablo Rodriguez’s sacrifice bunt for a two-base error, with Venegas coming all the way around to tie the game.

Rodriguez would eventually reach third on a Lujan sacrifice bunt, but was picked off by Garnto to end the inning.

However, in the fourth, Edgar Ramirez blooped a single between Rocky Lozoya and Geno Leos in right-center field, and the Eagles then misplayed another sacrifice bunt, this one by Jaime Ortega. It got past Rayos at first, allowing Ramirez to go to third, where he scored on Edgar Rodriguez’s bloop hit down the right field line.

Pecos then got caught napping, leaving third base uncovered on a bunt attempt by Amancio, which allowed Ortega to move over from second. Palomino would strike out Amancio, but Tony Barron then laid down a squeeze bunt to score Ortega and make it a 3-1 game. Garcia said his team should have been able to handle Presidio’s bunts better than they did, after Palomino had no-hit the Blue Devils last month in Presidio.

“That’s all we worked on this week. I knew they were going to do that, because they can’t hit Vincent, they were going to bunt at every opportunity,” he said. “We worked on it, but when your pitcher has trouble fielding it, it’s going to come back and cost you.”

Presidio’s defense had a much better time after a couple of early mistakes.

Barron would throw Palomino out trying to steal second in the fifth inning, and Amancio got Garnto to ground to third after Rayos’ sixth inning hit, to end that threat. The only other baserunner besides Reyes to reach second for Pecos was John Paul Salcido, who got there on a wild pitch after Ramirez missed his grounder to first. But Amancio then got Kenny Rayos to ground out to Carrasco at second base and Lujan made a running catch on Isaiah Rayos’ pop up into short centerfield to end the inning.

The loss left the Eagles with an 8-9-2 season record going into Tuesday’s 7 p.m. game against Monahans, 11-1 losers on Friday to Fort Stockton, which clinched the district title with the win, and are 5-3 overall in 2-3A play. The Loboes beat the Eagles in Pecos last month by a 7-1 score behind Steven Valles, while Palomino picked up an 8-1 win two weeks ago in Monahans. The Loboes (4-4) could still place second in the district with a win and a victory on Tuesday by Fort Stockton over Presidio (4-4), while the Eagles would advance to the playoffs based on tie-breakers as the third place team, if they win on Tuesday.

“It’s not the way we’d like to do it, but I told the guys for some reason somebody wants you in the playoffs,” said Garcia. “They will probably throw Valles at us, and I’ll probably go with Vincent again. He didn’t throw too many pitches tonight, and he gets three days rest.”

Mason starts regional play; PHS boys out

Pecos Eagles senior Eleanor Mason began play early Monday morning at the Region I-3A girls golf tournament at the Nueva Vista Golf Course in Midland.

Coach Tina Doan said Mason would be one of the first golfers to tee off at the regional tournament, because she’s playing as an individual. Mason finished fourth at the District 2-3A Tournament two weeks ago, to earn a trip to regionals, while Pecos finished one stroke out of a team berth, as Monahans’ ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams advanced to this year’s Region I-3A competition.

Mason was a member of last year’s PHS golf team that advanced to state and finished fourth. She’ll be trying to be the second Eagle golfer in three years to advance to state as a medalist, after Shelly Martinez made it to state as a junior in 2005.

Mason will be the only Pecos golfer competing in regionals this year, after Pecos’ boys were forced to drop out of their tournament in Midland later this week, due to failing grades. “I’ve got three going to land judging, with Heath (Armstrong), Nathan (Duke) and Sammy (Sandoval) and grades got the two others, so we didn’t have enough to fill a team,” said Eagles’ golf coach Pat Gent.

Armstrong and Duke, along with Drake Bradley, Joseph Tarin and Richard Dutchover, were the ‘A’ team members who rallied from 20 strokes down to win the District 2-3A title on April 13 in Pecos, beating Monahans by three strokes and Fort Stockton by 10 strokes. Fort Stockton will now advance to the Region I-3A Tournament in place of Pecos on Wednesday and Thursday.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” said Gent, as the Eagles were forced to forfeit their first trip to regionals since 2002. “But I am still proud of them for what they accomplished, coming back the way they did.”

Duke and Armstrong also members of the FFA land judging team that advanced to state competition with a third place finish in area competition. The state competition is scheduled for Thursday at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.

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

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