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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 20, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Sports Page IO_ herald-Zeltung, New Braunfels, Texas    Wednesday,    February    20,    1991 rn Unicorns slip into first place NB hands the Rattlers their second consecutive 27-5 A loss New Braunfels moved into sole possession of first place in the District 27-5A soccer race Tuesday night by rallying for a 2-1 victory over visiting San Marcos. Ezell Sanchez’ fourth-effort shot midway into the second half provided die winning margin for the Unicorns, who sit atop the district standings with an 8-1 record. The Rattlers, who lost their first district game a week ago to Smithson Valley, fell to 7-2. For New Braunfels, it was the second consecutive victory against a playoff-contending team. The Unicorns edged Smithson Valley 1-0 on Friday to hand the Rangers their first loss. But Unicom Coach Sam Snyder said Tuesday’s win was even more important bcause it puts his team in the driver’s seat as the second half of district play begins. *To me, this was a bigger win than Friday’s because of the fact that the pressure is no longer on us,” he said. “We still have to win all of the games we’re supposed to, but the pressure is on San Marcos and Smithson Valley. We’re still going to have to play hard, though.” Snyder said his team was not nervous in hosting the Rattlers, despite Soccer District 27-SA Soccer Standings Team W L T Pts New Braunfels 8 I 0 16 San Marcos 7 2 0 14 Smithson Valley 7 1 I 15 Seguin 8 3 0 12 Tlvy 3 5 0 6 Canyon 3 6 0 6 Clemens 2 5 2 6 Boerne 2 6 1 5 Lockhart 0 9 0 0 Monday's Game Boerne 4, Clemens 4 Today's Games Smithson Valley I, Canyon 0 New Braunfels 2, San Marcos 1 Seguin 8. Lockhart 0 Friday’s Games Smithson Valley at Seguin Canyon at San Marcos Tivy at Clemens Boerne at Lockhart losing 4-0 in San Marcos in the first meeting. “I thought we still looked confident, even before the game got started. We knew we just hadn’t played very well the first time,” he said. The Unicorns received extra motivation, he said, when the idle Rattlers showed up to root for New Braunfels in its game against Smithson Valley. “I think San Marcos may have taken us lightly. And when they were cheering for us (on Friday), I think we looked at it as an insult because they were cheering for us because they thought they could beat us,” Snyder said. The Rattlers struck first in Tuesday’s game, scoring on Kevin McCarty’s kick IS minutes into the contest. New Braunfels trailed until the final four minutes of the half when Randy Willard scored his third goal of the season on a 25-yard kick off a back pass from Felipe Romero. “The first half was pretty even. We controlled the ball real well, but we didn’t dominate by any means. We’d control the ball for a while, then they’d have one of their booming kicks to clear it out,” Snyder said. San Marcos found it harder to take advantage of its superior speed against a steady breeze in the second half, as the Unicorns’ short-passing game proved more effective. “Not only does controlling the ball help you, it also negates some of the stuff they are trying to do,” Snyder said. The deciding goal came 13 minutes into the second half, as Sanchez dribbled towards the end line to the right of the goal. His first shot hit the keeper and bounced directly back to him. The same result occurred cm his next two shots off the rebound. On his fourth attempt, the sophomore was able to squeeze the ball past the goalie for his 12th tally of the year. “It was a pretty strange goal,” Snyder said. “He finally managed to score on his fourth try. As fast as their goalie’s hands were, that’s how fast Ezell’s foot was.” As they had early in the game against Smithson Valley after securing a lead, the Unicorns then dropped Sanchez back to a defensive position. San Marcos was able to stay on the offensive for the final IS minutes of the contest, but could not manage the tying same. Snyder credited the strong play of fullback Will Zeck in helping to keep the Rattler offense in check. San Marcos leads the district in goals scored with 31. The Rattlers outshot the Unicorns 23-19 in the game, with Unicom keeper Corey Sanderford making IO saves. New Braunfels has an open date on Friday, then resumes play next Tues- Sc. c . wuKNS, Pag* 12 Pogo ball New Braunfels forward Felipe Romero looks like he's trying to stand on top of the ball, but he’s actually trapping a pass in Tuesday night’s match against San Marcos. Romero had an assist on the Unicorns' first goal in a 2-1 victory. (Photo by Erik Karlsson) SY hands Canyon fourth 1-goal loss ish, who had IO saves in the game. “He had a heck of a game,” Bueno said of his keeper, who was forced to sit out the final six minutes of the first half after hurting his back while making a save. “That was one of the best efforts I’ve seen by any keeper so far in district.”Giving chaseSmithson Valley’s Ezell Sanchez tries to catch up with Canyon’s Javier Gomez during the second half on Tuesday's contest at Cougar Stadium (Photo by Erik Karlsson) By TOM LABINSKI Sport* Editor Jason Dildy's goal off a penalty kick 13V4 minutes into the second half proved to be the only score of the night as Smithson Valley moved into second place in the District 27-SA race with a 1-0 victory over Canyon on Tuesday. The Rangers’ victory completed a season sweep over the Cougars, but Tuesday’s contest at Canyon was much closer than the S-1 game which opened the season. Smithson Valley improved its record to 7-1-1 in district play as the team pulled ahead of San Marcos. New Braunfels currently leads the race at 8-1. The Rangers close the season with games against both the Unicorns and the Rattlers. “We’re looking forward to the second half, but we can’t afford to look too far ahead,” said Smithson Valley Coach Larry Schaffer. “There’s a lot of games before those two and as balanced as the district is, any team can sneak in and be a spoiler ” Canyon dropped to 3-6 in 27-5A action and 4-6-1 on the year. It was fourth time the Cougars have dropped a district match by a single goal. “I thought we played well again,” said Coach Danny Bueno. “We were more intense for a longer period of time; we maintained it longer.” The circumstances surrounding the game’s only goal made the loss even harder to take, he said. The Cougars were called for taking down Smithson Valley forward Valentin Sanchez inside the penalty box. “We definitely fouled him, but before that happened he ran over one of our fullbacks to get the ball,” Bueno said. “They had some other opportunities where they may have deserved a penalty kick, but that wasn’t one of them.” Dildy’s penalty shot found the corner of the net, despite being partially blocked by goal keeper Kristen Mal- Malish came up with his season-high number of saves against a Smithson Valley team which managed IS shots on goal. Schaffer acknowledged Malish played well, but added his offense is still lacking in the ability to take advantage of its scoring opportunities. “I keep saying we’re going to break a game open soon. Our shots just aren't getting in the net, and we're getting to the tune of year where we're going to need to start putting -them away,” he said. Schaffer credited the strong defensive play of Sonny Satierlee and sweeper Walter Contam, while Blake Outlaw stepped in to replace Lanyon Stanley, who was red-carded in Friday’s 1-0 loss to New Braunfels. Jason Ramsey was limited to a fraction of his usual playing time because of a foot injury. Bueno said fullback Harvey Gomez did a good job of holding Sanchez in check for much of the game, as did Doug Hell in relief. Sweeper Roger Gomez also had a strong showing, he said, as did midfielders Jason Barucky — who just joined the team after playing ai Canyon’s basketball team — and Jurgen Abrego. Schaffer said the Cougars have shown definite improvement since their first meeting with Smithson Valley. “Canyon’s playing a lot better, especially defensively, than they were at the beginning of the season,” he said. “They’re still real dangerous up front because they have kids who can kick the ball hard.” Bueno said he was surprised by the talent the Rangers showed on Tuesday.' “They’re a whole lot better team than I thought they were, skillwise,” he said. And because Smithson Valley is a strong team, Bueno said, it acates opportunities for itself. “It seems like the good teams get the breaks, and they got the big one tonight," he said. “They played well and I thought we played well. It’s (me of those games where you hate to see it decided on a penalty kick ” The Cougars will travel to San Marcos on Friday to face a Rattler team w hich has lost two in a row since beginning 27-5A play with a 7-0 record. Smithson Valley will host Seguin, a team which is still in the playoff chase with a 6-3 record. Gawlik’s I-hitter paces Rangers in their opener Seguin scores in bottom of 7th to edge the Coogs SEGUIN — The Canyon Cougars lost their baseball season opener 12-11 on Tuesday when the Matadors scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs and a runner on first, Seguin scored the game-winncr on Derek Bird’s triple into the right-center field gap. The Matador base runner beat Canyon’s throw home. Trailing 11-10 with two outs in the seventh, the Cougars had earlier forced the game to go the full seven innings by tying the game in the top of the last inning. Canyon was down to its final out when Donovan Riven ben out an infield single. Rivers stole second, scored on Dionicio Torres’ base hit to tie the game 11-11. Tm Cougars had IO hits in the game, while Seguin had ll. Riven and Junior Rodriguez each honored for Canyon, with Trey Daffm adding a single and a triple and Bryoi Arnold hitting two beat hits. “We hit OK,” Canyon Coach Ralph Behrend •aid. "Early in the game, we had a chance to score •vol more. That would have helped us, as it turned Linescore Canyon    104 008 1-11 10 3 Seguin    001 442 1—12 11 2 Oat fin, Amok! (4). Schaas (5) and Mack. WaNao*. K it chnor (3), Jubei* (6) and WanzsI W—Jubeta (1-0). L— Schaas (O-l). HR—Canyon: Riven. 6th, solo; Rodriguez. Sth, taro on. out. He said the high number of runs scored was partially a result of a very tight strike zone. "Right down the middle of the plate was the only place either team was going to get a strike called,’’ he said. "That led to some of the scoring." Even so, he said the contest started out appearing like it was going to be low scoring. Canyon starter Trey Daffin allowed one run in the first three innings, aid the Cougars scored just one in the first two before breaking open with a four-run third. . Seguin tied the game in the fourth, scoring four off Daffin and Cougar reliever Arnold. The Mata dors took a 9-5 lead with four more in the bottom of the fifth. Canyon recaptured the advantage at 10-9 in the top of the sixth, scoring five runs including a solo homer by Rivas and a two-run shot by Rodriguez. The Matadors scored two in the bottom of the sixth, preceding Rivers’ infield hit and Torres’ game-tying single. Canyon used three pitchers in the game: Daffin, Arnold aid Johnny Schaas. "(Daffin) did a real good job," Behrend said. "He looked real good, then his last inning he got a little wild." He said all of the pitchers needed to improve on changing speeds and location, as they could rarely keep Seguin off balance. Defense is another current concern for the Cougars, as Behrend said they need to become more confident in the field. The poor defense by his teammates helped lead to a strong effort by first baseman Chris Amrhein. "He did a great job in picking up some not very accurate throws," Behrend said. "He had an oui-8a* COUGARS Pag* 12 By JOE BELK Staff Writer Smithson Valley prevailed Tuesday night in its baseball season opener, with a stellar and promising pitching performance and the hitting to back it up. Junior Matt Gawlik threw a one-hitter, going the distance with 12 strikeouts for a shutout in the Rangers’ 7-0 victory. Gawlik, a varsity player last season, was pitching for the first lime on varsity. "That’s all you could ask for out of Gawlik for his first varsity outing," Smithson Valley Coach Keith Brown said. "For a junior in his first varsity game (on the mound), he did as good as you could want." The one hit Gawlik gave up was to Rattler reliever Bobby Vasquez, who hit a slow bouncer up the middle. Ranger second baseman Wes Penolo-za made a diving stop to keep the ball from finding the outfield, but did not have time to throw out Vasquez. The pitch was a curveball, which Brown had called for in the situation. "It was the only pitch I called all night, and I ruined his no-hitter," he said. "We were able to slop it up the middle, but we just couldn’t throw him out." Much of Gawlik’s offensive support was provided by catcher John Belcher, who homered and doubled to drive in three Ranger runs. "He concentrated and got on top of the ball," Brown said of Belcher. "Usually, pitchers have an advantage at this time of year." The pitchers on both sides did have the advantage for the majority of the game, with all of Smithson Valley’s runs coming in the third and fourth innings. Gawlik struck out four of the first five batters he faced and 12 on the game, while San Marcos’ Richard Vasquez fanned all of his seven in the first three innings. Bobby Vasquez struck out three in relief as the teams combined for 22 strikeouts. "(Richard Vasquez) was a good pitcher," Brown said. "Aside from Matt’s pitching. I’m real happy we got to their pitcher. He had a good change of pace — anytime you’ve got three pitches (you have a change of pace), and he had control of all of them." The Rattler starter began to tire in the third inning, giving up his first hit to Brad Staats on a single up the middle. Vasquez then balked Staats to second, and hit Jason LaRue with a full-count pi tea. Penoloza executed a textbook sacrifice, a slow-rolling bunt off a 2-1 pitch, to move the runners up. San Marcos second baseman Zach Gilmore then mishandled Jason Long’s hard-hit bouncer which scored Staats, aid LaRue also scored on the play when first baseman Delbert Aguilar’s throw home was wild. Long later reached third on the errant throw, then scored when Belcher sent ai 0-1 pitch ova the left-center field fence. The Rangers scored the remainder of their runs in the fourth inning alia Staats opened with a walk. HeBox score SAN MARCOS 8MTTHSON VALLEY * ab r h bl ab r h bl Plack) 3b 3 OO 0 LaRue ss 3 22 0 WUmsph 0 OO 0 Pnolza2b 3 OO 0 Banda lf 3 OO 0 Long 1b 4 21 I VNrHb I OO 0 Be lehr c 4 1 2 3 RVasqzp 2 OO 0 Gawtkp 2 OI 0 BVasqzp I OI 0 Pf Hr cr 0 OO 0 Aguilt 1b 3 OO 0 Ramsycf 3 OO 0 . Soto c 3 OO 0 Mreno lf 2 OO 0 Glmre2b 0 OO 0 BowrsSb 3 OO 0 Pchcoss I OO 0 Slats rf 2 21 0 Gomz2b 1 OO 0 Totals 28 7 7 4 Rdrgzcf 2 OO 0 Hmdzph 1 OO 0 . Mntyrrt 2 OO 0 A SUnas ph I OO 0 Totals 24 01 0 San Marcos OOO OOO 0-0 u Smithson Valley 004 300 X—7 E—San Marco*: Aguilar 2, Solo2, Pacheco 2, Gilmore. Smithson Valley: LaRue, Staats. DP—None. LOB—San Marco* 8, Smithson Valley 6. 2B—Belcher. LaRue. 38—None. HR—Batcher (1). SB—LaRue. Long. S—Penoloza. SF—Non*. San Marcos    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO R.Vasquoz(LO-l)    4.0    6    7    3 3 7 B.Vasquez    2.0    1    0    0    0    3 Smithson Valley    IP    H    R    ER BB SO Gawlik (W1-0)    7.0    1    0    0    5    12 WP—Gawlik. PB—Soto. Balk-R Vasquez. Gawfik. HBP—LaRue by R.Vasquez. advanced to second on a passed ball, then took third on LaRue’s single into the hole at short. LaRue stole second, taking off before the pitcher committed to the plate. Vasquez threw to first, and LaRue beat Aguilar’s throw to second. Long then hit a shot down the first-base line, bating in Staats and moving LaRue to third. Long then stole second, with the pickoff throw again headed for first. Aguilar’s throw went wide into the outfield, allowing LaRue to score and Long to reach third. Belcher knocked in Long for the final Smithson Valley run of the game, with the senior catcher bouncing a ground-rule double over the right-center field fence. With the lead stuck on 7-0, Gawlik made sure the zero stayed in place. The left-hander struck out four batters in the final two innings and did not allow a ball hit out of the infield after the fourth. "There’s no comfortable lead in this park," Brown said. "Tha’s what we tried to keep Matt thinking about.” Gawlik*s shakiest inning was the second, in which he struck out the side but walked consecutive batters between the second and third outs. Brown said he was pleased with the way the junior quickly regained his concentration and got stronger as the game progressed. He said the dominance of Gawlik prevented him from getting a good look a the Raigcr defense, though Smithson Valley generally handled the routine plays and also made some spectacular stops. Some of the Rangers are still getting used to their positions, such as Long, who was playing first base for the first lime. ta# RANGERS, Pag* It ;