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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pecos closes out pre-district with 10-0 win over Sonora

The Pecos Eagles closed out the portion of their 2007 season at their home-away-from-home, the Crane High School baseball field, on Friday night in successful fashion, with a five-inning, 10-0 win over the Sonora Broncos.

It was the fifth game of the season in Crane for Pecos, and counting last year’s season-ending playoff loss to Greenwood, their sixth since they last played a home game, which the Eagles will finally get to do on Friday night when they host the Fort Stockton Panthers in their District 2-3A opener at 7 p.m.

Vincent Palomino threw a one-hitter and struck out nine Sonora batters, while the Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first two innings before putting the game away under the 10-run rule with two runs in the fifth.

“We played really well,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia. “Offensively we executed well. We hit-and-run quite a bit and we executed on the bunt. It was a good thing to see going into district.

“Isaiah (Rayos) had a three-run homer in the first that kind of sparked the offense, and the rest of the team hit the ball really well,” Garcia said. Rayos’ home run to left field off starter Lito Trevino got the Eagles off to a 3-0 lead in the first, following a lead-off single by Timo Reyes and a two out walk to Kenny Rayos.

In the second, the Eagles would score five more times, while sending 11 batters to the plate. Palomino walked and scored on a squeeze bunt by John Paul Salcido for a 4-0 lead, and Salcido would come around on singles by Jose Chavez and Kenny Rayos. Chavez would go to third on Rayos’ hit and then scored on a double steal to make it 6-0. After a walk to Isaiah Rayos, Chris Garnto made it 8-0 with a two-run double to left field.

Palomino would give up his only hit of the game in the second, a one-out single to Riley Sanchez, and would have runners on second and third with one out before striking out Austin Castaneda and Ricardo Rodriguez to end the threat. The Broncos would get Evan Rousselot on base with a leadoff walk in the third and Rodriguez off an error by Chavez at third base in the fifth, but neither runner would get past second base.

“Pitching-wise, the last four outings, though the (Snyder) tournament and Friday we’ve had pitchers go at least five innings, which is where I wanted us to be at this point of the season,” Garcia said.

Vic Vaquera would replace Trevino on the mound in the third for Sonora and had two scoreless innings, but the Eagles were able to win the game under the 10-run rule in the sixth on a pair of errors by Derrick Van Winkle at shortstop. He threw away Chavez’s one out grounder, following a single by Salcido, then couldn’t handle a throw in from Sanchez on a sacrifice fly by Kenny Rayos, allowing both runners to score to end the game.

The win got Pecos back above the .500 mark on the season, at 5-4-2, going into their district opener on Friday against Fort Stockton. Along with being the Eagles’ 2006 home opener, it’s also the first of back-to-back games in Pecos this weekend. They’ll host Fabens in an afternoon game on Saturday, which will also be their final non-district game of the year.

Errors again hurt Eagles in loss to Rangerettes

The Pecos Eagles softball team cut down on their mistakes Friday in their final game before opening District 2-3A play. But they still made a couple of errors too many to come away with a win over the Greenwood Rangerettes.

The Eagles, who allowed seven unearned runs off six errors in their previous game, saw errors in the third and fifth innings lead to four unearned runs by the Rangerettes, while pitchers Amber Garduno and Katelynn Collins limited the Eagles to just one run in the top of the fifth and won by a 4-1 score.

“We’re going to fix it,” Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls said of the errors. “Greenwood’s a good team, and they’re going to capitalize on mistakes, and we made some errors and they took advantage.”

Pecos did play minus starters Claire Weinacht at catcher and Kristen Ikeler at third base, which Walls said affected the Eagles’ hitting. “We had our No. 5 batter gone and our No. 6 batter gone, so we had to make adjustments,” she said. “I thought Allyson Salcido did an outstanding job. She didn’t get a hit, but she walked all three times at bat and scored our only run.”

Both teams squandered early scoring chances, after getting their two lead runners on in the first inning. But Greenwood would score after Garduno walked and Stephanie Ledbetter doubled to start the third inning off pitcher Gabby Garcia. She struck out Amanda Dublin, and then got Krista Eklund to ground back to the mound, catching Garduno off third base. But her throw home was low and got past catcher Priscilla Sotelo, allowing Garduno to score, and Ledbetter then scored moments later on a passed ball by Garduno.

“We had a freshman behind the plate catching, and she did a good job overall, but I think this was a little more advanced than what she was used to,” Walls said.

Two innings later, it was another Eklund grounder to Garcia than got Pecos in trouble, after Dublin had doubled off the top of the fence in center with two outs. This time, Garcia threw the ball wide of first, allowing Eklund to reach, while Dublin scored. Collins then followed with a double to center for the final run of the game.

The Eagles had cut the Rangerettes’ lead to 2-1 in the top of the inning when Salcido led off with a walk and Cassandra Terrazas singled off Garduno. She came back to strike out Jenny Palomino, but after a sacrifice bunt by Brittany Palomino, Amalie Herrera’s soft line drive fell just in front of a diving Juli Muldrow at second base, and she was unable to recover in time to throw out Herrera, as Salcido scored. She would advance to second on a passed ball by Ledbetter, but Terrazas had to hold at first a Garduno got out of the inning by getting Garcia to ground to shortstop.

Singles by both Palominos to open the game and a fly out by Herrera put runners on second and third for Pecos with one out, but Garduno would strike out Garcia and Bianca Baeza to end the threat. In the bottom of the inning, a walk to Browning Hays, a Garduno single and a Ledbetter sacrifice bunt put Rangerette runners on second and third with one away, but Garcia would strike out Dublin and Collins around a walk to Eklund to end the threat.

Garduno would get three more strikeouts in the second, while walking Salcido and hitting Terrazas with a pitch, while Herrera was thrown out at third trying to steal after a one-out single in the third inning. Garcia allowed a two out walk in the second before falling behind in the third, and both pitchers retired the side in order in the fourth inning.

Collins also had a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, while Herrera, who came on to pitch in the bottom of the inning, survived a one-out error at third by Salcido and a wild pitch to get out of trouble, as Garduno grounded out to Garcia at shortstop. Pecos would get the lead runner on in the top of the seventh when Salcido walked, but she would be doubled off first base on a one-out fly by Jenny Palomino to end the game.

The loss left Pecos with a 14-4-2 record going into Tuesday’s District 2-3A opener at Monahans, while Greenwood, whom the Eagles could face in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs, improved their record to 11-3 on the year. The shortage of players that forced Walls to juggle her line-up due to spring break also forced cancellation of Friday’s junior varsity game between the Eagles and Rangerettes. The JV will face Monahans on Tuesday starting around 7 p.m., following the varsity contest.

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