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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, March 23, 2007

Track squads facing limited squads Friday

The Pecos Eagle track teams will be trying to shuttle players between Pecos and Wink on Friday, when the teams go to Wink for the Wildcat Relays.

Field events at the 3200-meter run start at 12:30 p.m., while the remaining running finals begin at 5:15 with the 400-meter relay. The early afternoon start means both boys coach Robbie Ortega and girls coach Donna Gent was hoping to be able to use some of Pecos’ baseball and softball players, before they would have to return home for Friday’s 5 and 7 p.m. games against Fort Stockton.

The girls have a little less leeway with the 5 p.m. start and the 45-mile drive between Wink at Pecos. “I hope to have the softball girls until 3:30, or after they finish with their game, they might be able to get back here for the final running events,” she said. “For the first running finals, I’ll just go with what I have left.”

Pecos placed fifth two weeks ago at the West Texas Relays while missing some runners, after a third place finish at the season-opening West of the Pecos Relays.

Pecos’ boys have struggled to score points at their two meets so far in 2007. The Eagles’ lone medals have been third place finishes by Larry Johnson in the 400 and 800 meter runs, but Ortega said, “We’re going to have a few more now that the JVers are back from grades, and we’re actually going to debut a whole new sprint relay.

“We’re going to be able to use some of the baseball and golfers,” Ortega said. Overall, he said the boys should have between 25 and 30 people competing in the varsity and JV divisions at Wink.

Eagles’ Macha earn all-district basketball spot

Pecos Eagles senior Lucas Macha was selected to the All-District 2-3A basketball team, while two other Pecos seniors received honorable mention in voting by the district’s coaches.

Macha was the lone returning starter from last year’s Eagle team, and the leading scorer on this year’s squad that finished fourth in district play and with a 7-17 record for the season. Coach Chaun Brooks said senior post Vance Mondragon and senior guard Mark Molina were the honorable mention selections for the Eagles.

Fort Stockton, which won the district title, had all five starters named to the team, with senior Omar Calderon earning MVP honors and junior Sergio Corral being named defensive MVP. Sal Florez, Joe Daniel Garcia and Jeremy Martinez were the other Panther players named to the team.

Second place Presidio had three players chosen, while third place Monahans had two named to the 2-3A team. The Blue Devils’ Edgar Ramirez and the Loboes’ Arnold Rodriguez shared Newcomer of the Year honors, while Jaime Ortega and Oscar Carrasco were the others chosen from Presidio, and Justin Patterson was the other Monahans player selected.

Crockett netters score wins at tournament in Monahans

The Crockett Middle School tennis team picked up two first place finishes on March 10 in tournament play at Monahans, and a second place finish there and at a tournament held last month in Andrews.

Mark Quintana and Joshua Hernandez took first place in the seventh place boys’ doubles at Monahans, while Ariel Salgado won first in the eighth grade boys’ singles division. Placing second in seventh grade boys singles was Allen Medina, after Geronimo Ornelas had taken second in the same division earlier in the season at Andrews, according to coach Teresa Bigham.

The Eagles also had four third place finishes in Monahans. Kelly Lease finished third in seventh grade girls singles, and Ally Morales and Lluvia Nunez took third in seventh grade girls’ doubles. In the eighth grade division, Alonzo Contreras was third behind Salgado in the boys singles division, while Christina Mora and Diana Munoz were third in girls’ doubles.

Bigham said Crockett also had a consolation winner at Monahans, as Lenora Blanchard took that division in eighth grade girls singles following an opening round loss.

Loboes hits, Eagles’ errors lead to 12-1 loss

The defensive problems the Pecos Eagles softball team suffered in their final pre-district games continued into their District 2-3A opener Tuesday afternoon in Monahans, and the result was an 11-run loss to the defending district champions.

Monahans took advantage of a trio of Pecos mistakes to score three times in the first inning, while using their bats and control problems by Pecos starter Gabby Garcia in the second to score four more times, before getting their final runs off reliever Amalie Herrera in a five-inning, 12-1 victory.

“I’m tired of young mistakes,” Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls said. “There’s no excuse. I’ve tried to be patient about repeated errors, but we’re just not stepping up.”

The Loboes out-hit the Eagles by a 13-4 margin, and were the third straight opponent to play errorless ball against Pecos, while the Eagles had three errors on the day and have now committed 12 in their past three games, all losses.

The closest Monahans came to making an error instead turned into a first inning double play for the Loboes, after Brittany Palomino’s one-out double down the right field line off Heather Shuler. Kristen Ikeler followed with a low pop up that Bailey Marcum lost in the sun at first base. She dropped it, but recovered in time to beat Ikeler to the base and the Loboes were then able to throw out Palomino trying for third on a questionable call, to end the inning.

Things didn’t go as well for Pecos with one out in the bottom of the inning. Kristi Wilson’s single to center got past Palomino for a two base error, and she scored on a single to left by Shuler. Dina Ortiz then walked, with Shuler going to third on a passed ball by Claire Weinacht, and after she stole second, both runners came in on Lana Santiago’s single to center.

Monahans’ second inning rally also came with one out. Katlin Mitchell, Wilson and Shuler singled to center on consecutive pitches, before Ortiz walked on a 3-2 pitch to force home a run. Santiago then grounded to second, but Aileen Rayos’ throw home was too late to get Wilson. One out later, Garcia walked Jeny Jarrett and Marcum to make it a 7-0 game.

Monahans would score twice in the third off Herrera, off singles by Mitchell, Shuler and Santiago and an RBI ground out by Ortiz. In the fourth, the Loboes added three more runs as Kellie Almanza singled after staying alive on a dropped foul pop up and Mitchell singled and went to second when the ball got by Cassandra Terrazas in left field. Wilson then reached on an RBI infield hit, Shuler scored Mitchell with a ground out to second and after a walk to Ortiz, Wilson scored during a rundown between first and second with Ortiz, who was able to get back to first safely.

Pecos’ run came on a two-out rally in the fourth, when Herrera walked, moved to second on a wild pitch by Shuler and scored on Weinacht’s bloop single to center. Garcia followed with a single, but Shuler then got Jasmine Rayos on a pop up to end the inning, and then ended the game in the fifth on three pop-ups to third base around an infield hit by Terrazas. The loss left the Eagles with a 14-5-2 record going into Friday’s District 2-3A home opener against Fort Stockton. The Prowlers will be playing back-to-back district road games, as they open their 2-3A schedule with a Thursday afternoon game in Presidio.

The Prowlers have beaten out the Eagles for a playoff spot three of the past four years . Both teams are expected to advance to post-season play this spring, but Pecos’ hopes for a district title will be hurt with a second straight loss to start 2-3A play.

“We’re working on character, and the ability to overcome in the face of adversity,” said Walls, who had Garcia get in some more pitching work in the junior varsity game that followed the varsity contest, which Pecos won by a 12-4 score. “That’s not always easy to achieve, but it’s necessary to compete at a higher level.

“We’re young in some places, but all we’ve got it our three seniors in the outfield and Amalie. All the others are freshmen and sophomores, but they’ve got to be able to handle the pressure.”

Pecos is expected to get one additional veteran player in the lineup on Friday in junior Diana Parada, who moved back to Pecos earlier this month after 2 1/2 years in Midland. Parada was a starter for the Midland Lee Rebels earlier this season.

Pecos takes on Stockton in district, home opener

The Pecos Eagles will be trying to make this season’s district opener at home against the Fort Stockton Panthers better than last season’s opener against Fort Stockton, when they host the Panthers on Friday night, starting at 7 p.m.

It’s not only the District 2-3A opener for Pecos, but also their 2007 home opener, and the first of two home games this weekend for the Eagles, who’ll host Fabens in a 2:30 p.m. non-district contest on Saturday.

The Eagles played their first 11 games of the season away from home, the last one a 10-0 neutral site win in Crane over Sonora last Friday. Vincent Palomino picked up the win in that game, while coach Eric Garcia said Isaiah Rayos, 2-1, would get the start on Friday. Rayos won his last start, 4-2 over Dumas at the Snyder Tournament, while running into control problems as a reliever two days later, in a 5-4 loss to the Tigers.

Fort Stockton comes in with a 9-2 season record, which includes a 7-1 win last week over Sonora. Fort Stockton also had a 17-7 victory over San Elizario during spring break, while dropping a 5-2 decision to Frenship.

Bryant Gonzales took the loss in the game against the Tigers, while Justin Fuentes was the winner against Sonora before giving way in the final inning to Billy Bradshaw, who also had a home run in the win.

“They did really well up in the Andrews Tournament, and they won the Monahans Tournament, so they’ll be a team to reckon with every time out,” Garcia said.

Fort Stockton three-hit the Eagles in last year’s district opener, winning by a 6-1 score, while Pecos came back from a 5-0 deficit on the Panthers’ home field for a 14-5 victory, a game Fuentes finished up for the Panthers.

Garcia is hoping the Eagles’ bats look the way they did last Friday against Sonora, when Rayos has a three-run homer in the first inning and Pecos took an 8-0 lead after two innings.

“We’ve got a good mix right now, and if we can keep hitting the ball the way we’ve been hitting it, and get the pitching we’ve been getting, we’ll be all right,” the Eagles’ coach said. Saturday’s game will be the second of the season between Pecos and Fabens. The Eagles played on the Wildcats’ home field a month ago and won by a 16-5 score. Palomino got the win in that game in relief of Robert Nunez, while Garcia said he would decide on his Saturday starter based on what happens on Friday.

“I may pitch Geno (Leos), or we might pitch Jose (Chavez). He never has gotten a chance to pitch, because his elbow was hurting before,” Garcia said.

The Eagles go to Presidio next Tuesday and then host Monahans to finish up the first round of the three-round district schedule this season. Pecos will play five of their nine games away from home, and just two of their last six on their home field.

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