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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, March 30, 2007

Netters traveling to Stockton after 2nd place

The Pecos Eagles’ tennis team will be playing in Fort Stockton three times in the next five days, going their for their final regular-season tournament this Friday and Saturday and returning on Tuesday for the District 2-3A Individual Tournament.

“I’m only taking half the team to Fort Stockton. The other half is in the one-act play, so I’ll have a few participate on Thursday in the JV tournament,” Coach Bernadette Ornelas said. The Eagles were to host junior high teams as well at the one-day tournament at the Pecos High School tennis courts.

Ornelas said the Eagles placed second last weekend in a five-team tournament at Monahans, with Francisco Ornelas winning first in boys’ singles and Paul Zubeldia and Jesse Hanks taking first in boys’ doubles. On the girls’ side, Janette Perea and Doni Marquez defeated teammates Catherine Moore and Megan Lopez for third place in doubles, while in mixed doubles, Elias Alvarado and Jessica Munoz took second, and Derrick Barron and Hope Mora were third.

Ornelas said she had to change up some of her lineup, mainly on the girls’ side, for last Saturday’s tournament, but will have a full team for Tuesday’s district tournament in Fort Stockton.

“Right now we’re looking really, really strong in girls and boys doubles and in boys singles as well,” she said.

Pecos’ junior high players, who were at home on Thursday, were in Fort Stockton last weekend for tournament play, and will go back there next Thursday for their own district tournament.

Both teams placed third in their divisions last weekend. The eighth graders earned a first from Dakota Long in singles, as she defeated teammate Megan Lopez in the finals. In the seventh grade division, Geronimo Ornelas won first in boys singles, with Eddie Pando placing fourth; Teg Lozano and John Terrazas were second in boys doubles, with Joshua Hernandez and Mark Quintana third; Peter Castillo and Melissa Penaflor were third in mixed doubles; and Tori Garcia placed fourth in girls singles.

Golf teams in second after 2-3A opening round

The opening round of the District 2-3A golf tournament on Tuesday in Fort Stockton produced a tight race between the Pecos Eagles, Monahans Loboes and the host Panthers, while things were more spread apart in the girls’ division, though the Eagles face a challenge from Monahans’ ‘B’ team for the second spot in the regional tournament.

Pecos’ boys shot a 325 on Tuesday and are second in the standings, behind the Panthers and in front of the Loboes, going into the second round of their three-round tournament next Tuesday at Monahans. On the girls’ side, Pecos is also second after an opening round of 364, 34 strokes in back of the Loboes’ ‘A’ team and just six in front of Monahans’ ‘B’ team, with Fort Stockton another 58 strokes behind.

“We’re six in back of Fort Stockton and 11 up on Monahans,” boys coach Pat Gent said. The Panthers shot a 319 in the opening round of play, while the Loboes are at 336 and their ‘B’ team is fourth, with a 355 total.

“Fort Stockton did surprise me a little, but on their course they shot a 329 and beat us in one round (of last month’s Fort Stockton Invitational), so I knew they were going to be tough, but the 319 did surprise me.”

“The boys played well. Joseph (Tarin) and Drake (Bradley) both shot in the 70s, and that helped us out,” Gent said. “Drake’s leading the medalist race by two strokes. Joseph had a little trouble on the last two holes, and we’re working to make adjustments on that. A 79’s not too bad, but he told me he could do better.”

Bradley had a 76, while Tarin’s 79 put him in fifth in the medalist standings, while Heath Armstrong shot an 81 and is tied for sixth overall. Nathan Duke and Richard Dutchover both shot 89s for the Eagles’ other ‘A’ team scores.

“I think that’s the first time all year that none of my Top 5 have shot in the 90s,” Gent said. “I was really impressed with the way Nathan and Richard played, because they didn’t start off well on the front nine, but improved by 11 strokes on the back nine.”

“We’ve shot a lower round than this. We had a 323 this season, and I think our kids know they can shoot better. We just have to go out next Tuesday in Monahans and play a good round, and then we should be in good shape,” the Eagles’ coach added.

Pecos’ girls, who placed fourth at state a year ago, need a strong round on Tuesday in Monahans to make sure they get a return trip to regionals in late April, coach Tina Doan said.

“Thirty-something strokes is a little too big a deficit to make up. We just didn’t play golf the way we should,” she said. “Eleanor (Mason) had a wonderful round. She shot in the 80s, and I was hoping my other golfers would shoot in the 80s as well. I know they have the potential.”

Mason had an 85 to lead the Eagles and is in fourth in the medalist standings, while Stephanie Galindo shot a 90, Carolina Briones shot a 93, Rica Pino a 96 and Kayla Natividad had a 98 for the opening round of play.

“Next week is going to be a tough challenge against Monahans on their home course. Our girls just need to get mentally tougher and believe in themselves, and if we can do that, we can go to regionals,” Doan said. “I have faith in the girls, and know they’re capable of shooting in the 80s.”

Monahans’ Paige Shaw shot a 78 and Shelbye Hill had an 80 to lead the medalist race. The Eagle boys and girls were both one player short of having enough to qualify for a ‘B’ team score on Tuesday. Samantha Sparkman shot a 103, Katrina Hinojos had a 106 and Ari Alligood shot a 109 for the girls, while Lomas Gonzales shot a 101, Sammy Sandoval shot a 103 and Mateo Tarango shot a 106 for the boys.

The final round of the district tournament will be on Friday, April 13 at the Reeves County Golf Course. Both boys and girls will start about 10 a.m. next Tuesday in Monahans, while the girls will play in the morning and the boys in the afternoon in Pecos.

Palomino’s no-hits Blue Devils in 5-0 victory

It was a good week for Pecos Eagles’ junior Vincent Palomino.

After picking up both his and the Eagles’ first track and field gold medal last Friday by winning the long jump at the Wildcat Relays, Palomino turned in an even more impressive performance on Tuesday night in Presidio, as he no-hit the Blue Devils to help Pecos win its first District 2-3A game of the season, 5-0.

“He pitched an excellent game,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia. It was the second straight shutout for Palomino, but the last was a five-inning 10-0 win over Sonora. “He only had three walks, and what impressed me was the way he hit his spots all night.

“Everything I called, he hit his spot, and that’s what I’ve been trying to impress on our pitchers, and I think it opened his eyes,” he said. “A lot of people see a curveball that comes in towards your chest and drops into the strike zone, and then ooh and ahh, but the ones that start at your waist and drops to your knees are the most effective, and he did that all night.”

Palomino struck out 12 and was only in trouble once, after walks gave Presidio two runners with one out in the third inning and the top of the order coming to bat. But he would come back to strike out Jesus Carrasco and Oscar Lujan to end the threat, and by then, the Eagles had already taken advantage of two Blue Devils errors to score five runs off starter and loser Jaime Ortega.

A leadoff error in the first inning on a Timo Reyes grounder and a sacrifice bunt by John Paul Salcido set up Jose Chavez’s RBI single. Then in the third, after Palomino reached on a one-out infield single, a two-out error on a Salcido grounder set up Chavez’s second RBI single of the game, making the score, 2-0. One pitch later Kenny Rayos hit his third home run of the season, a shot over the fence and towards the Rio Grande in right field, for what turned out to be the final runs of the game.

“We didn’t hit the ball as well as we would have liked to, but we hit enough to give our pitcher the support he needed,” Garcia said. “Defensively, we also had a good game. Jose Chavez excelled at third base, and he was 3-for-3 with two RBI.”

Palomino would have at least one strikeout in each inning, while the Eagles played errorless ball to get their win over Presidio, which is seeking its fourth straight district title this season. He would strike out Ortega on a 3-2 pitch to open the seventh, then got Edgar Ramirez and Herve Rodriguez to fly out to Robert Nunez in right and Rocky Lozoya in center to complete the no-hitter.

“I didn’t know he had a no-hitter until the final out, and Vincent didn’t know. We weren’t keeping track, and I thought he had given up a hit. So some people in the stands might have known, but nobody on the field did,” Garcia said.

The win gets the Eagles to .500 in district, at 1-1, going into their 7 p.m. home game on Friday against Monahans, while moving them back over .500 for the season, at 6-5-1. Monahans’ 16-5 win at Fort Stockton, after their 5-4 loss to Presidio in their 2-3A opener, means all four teams are tied at 1-1 after the first week of play.

Garcia said Robert Nunez would start on the mound on Friday against the Loboes, while Monahans figures to go with Steven Valles, who took the loss last week against Presidio. Valles only allowed three hits in the loss, while Garcia said, “We’ll go with Robert and see how he does on the mound, and then we’ll use Vincent again next Tuesday in Fort Stockton.”

Anthony Cota had two triples for the Loboes and Sean Merrick had a triple and five hits overall in Tuesday’s win at Fort Stockton. Pecos swept Monahans in their district games last season, including a 5-4 homefield win decided by a three run homer by Kenny Rayos off Tico Olivas.

Eagles face Loboes after 31-0 win at Presidio

The Pecos Eagles softball team will start the second round of the three-round District 2-3A season on Friday, with a 5 p.m. game at home against the Monahans Loboes, after racking up 31 runs on Tuesday in Presidio, in a shutout victory over the Blue Devils.

The Eagles scored 17 times in the first inning off Presidio, sending 21 batters to the plate, while adding 14 runs over the next four innings against starter Cynthia Cordero and reliever Elfida Olivas. “We hit the ball,” said coach Tammy Walls. “I made substitutions, but we didn’t do anything different, because I’m not going to practice bad habits in district. We did try to bunt, but their pitcher kept hitting our batters.”

Six Eagles were hit by pitches in the game, starting with the game’s leadoff batter, Jenny Palomino. She then scored on her sister Brittany’s single, and after an Amalie Herrera double, Claire Weinacht reached on the first of a series of errors by the Blue Devils. She was later safe at third on another Presidio error on a Kristen Ikeler’s fielder’s choice grounder, after Gabby Garcia was hit by a pitch, and after Aileen Rayos grounded out to Cordero, two runs scored when Jasmine Rayos reached on a throwing error by shortstop Elida Dominguez.

Cassandra Terrazas made it 7-0 with an RBI single, and would follow that up later in the inning with her first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left field. In-between, she scored after a walk to Jenny Palomino and another Brittany Palomino hit, and after a foul out by Herrera, Weinacht scored one run with an infield single, and two more runs came home on an Ikeler hit after a Garcia walk. Aileen Rayos then walked and was safe on an error by Ada Porras at second on a Jasmine Rayos grounder, and one run would score on a wild pitch before Terrazas’ home run.

That made it 16-0, and the Eagles would round out the scoring for the inning when Jenny Palomino singled and went to third on a two-base error and scored on Brittany Palomino’s third hit of the opening inning. Presidio finally got out of the inning when Herrera lined out to Dominguez.

“Brittany Palomino was 6-for-6. She was really hitting the ball well,” Walls said. “I also thought Amalie did a good job pitching for two innings, then I moved her to first and Gabby came in to pitch and did well.”

Garcia went the final three innings, while Herrera was able to turn an unassisted double play at first base, in her first action there this season.

The win improved Pecos’ season record to 16-5-2 going into their game against Monahans, which routed the Eagles in the teams’ District 2-3A opener on March 20, 12-1. The Loboes scored 11 runs in the first inning of their game with Presidio, on the way to a 26-0 win, then broke away from Fort Stockton in the late innings this past Tuesday to improve to 3-0 in district with a 16-3 victory.

Walls said Herrera, who beat Fort Stockton last week, 7-2, after pitching in relief of Garcia against Monahans, would start Friday’s game against the Loboes.

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