‘Dogs survive SW rally to take control at top of 4-3A

April 22, 2013

Kaleb Hoover of Sweetwater heads for first base after swinging at a pitch as Wylie catcher Jake Linn watches during the first inning of Saturday’s District 4-3A baseball showdown at Sweetwater. The Bulldogs held off a furious late rally by the Mustangs to pull out a 10-9 victory. (Photo by Ron Howell)

After one of the wildest finishes of the 2013 high school season, there are now two baseball teams sharing first place in District 4-3A.
But Wylie, not Sweetwa-ter, is now in control after the Bulldogs survived a five-run rally by the Mustangs in the seventh inning to leave Sweetwater with a 10-9 win on Saturday.
Both Wylie and Sweetwa-ter are now 7-2 in 4-3A, but the Bulldogs — by virtue of winning both head-to-head meetings — hold the tie-breaker for the No. 1 seed.
Sweetwater can still win the title if the Mustangs de-feat Snyder in their regular season finale this Friday and Wylie loses at Big Spring. Sweetwater and Wylie have clinched playoff berths.
Big Spring (5-4) will clinch the district’s No. 3 playoff berth by beating Wylie, or if Sweetwater knocks off Snyder (5-4). The Tigers will claim the No. 3 spot if they beat Sweetwater and Big Spring loses to Wylie.
Wylie built a 7-0 lead on Saturday before Sweetwater had even gotten a hit, and took a 10-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning when things suddenly got interesting.
Dylan Bennett and Step-hen May led off with singles and Bennett scored after an outfield error that advanced May to third. Greg Aiken walked and Sean Morrow was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Then Kaleb Hoover — after Wylie made what was the second of three pitching changes in the inning — hit a double that scored May and pinch runner Bray Amos to make it 10-7. That led to another pitching change by Wylie. However, the Mustangs were far from finished. Shawn Campbell executed a suicide squeeze bunt that scored Morrow from third base to cut the lead to 10-8. Hoover ad-vanced to third on the play and scored on James Clift’s two-out single to make it 10-9. Cole Maxwell walked to put the winning run at first, but Bennett flied out to center to end the game.
Sweetwater scored three runs in the third inning and one in the fifth to get within 7-4, but Wylie got one in the sixth and two in the seventh for a seemingly-comfortable 10-4 advantage.
A double by Clift and single by Maxwell began the third, and Clift came home when Maxwell’s courtesy runner Quentin Wetsel stole second. Wetsel went to third after an errant pickoff attempt, and he scored to make it 7-2 when May was safe on an infield error. May advanced on a wild pitch and passed ball and scored on Morrow’s double.
In the fifth inning, Greg Aiken walked and Morrow hit his second double of the game, narrowing Wylie’s lead to 7-4.
But a big seventh inning for the second straight game — Sweetwater had scored six runs in the seventh to beat Monahans 10-5 four days earlier — wasn’t quite enough to take down Wylie.
Clift pitched 2 1/3 innings before Maxwell came in to work the next 3 2/3. He was then lifted for Clift, who came back in to finish up by getting the last three outs.
Wylie hit three homers in the contest as John Lauve and Cole Townsend each went deep in the second in-ning and Blake Frampton homered in the sixth. Clift just missed a homer for Sweetwater as his double in the third caromed high off the left field fence.
Of Sweetwater’s eight hits, half were doubles. In nine district games, the Mustangs have scored seven or more runs six times.

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