WACO - Sweetwaterâ€™s 10-11 year-old all-stars gave themselves a chance to play for the Texas West Section 2 championship by beating Wichita Falls, 10-0, on Friday at the Waco Midway Little League field.
The victory, which was Sweetwaterâ€™s second against Wichita Falls in the tournament, set up a rematch Saturday against Fort Worth University in the losers bracket final.Â
Sweetwater needed to defeat Fort Worth University in order to reach todayâ€™s championship game against Waco Midway that starts at 6 p.m., then beat Waco Midway in back-to-back games in order to capture the sectional title.Â
Waco Midway reached the championship game by beating Fort Worth University, 5-4, on Friday. The state tournament starts later this week in Fort Worth.
All but one member of Sweetwaterâ€™s current team was on a 9-10 year-old squad that played for the sectional championship a year ago in Fort Worth, only to lose to Fort Worth University.
Sweetwater, the District 5 champion, had beaten Wichita Falls 14-5 on Wednesday to begin this yearâ€™s tournament before losing to Fort Worth University, 10-0, on Thursday.Â
But on Friday, Sweetwater reversed that result in its second meeting with Wichita Falls. It was 5-0 after one inning and 8-0 after two, then stayed that way until Sweetwater scored two more runs in the fifth to win by the 10-run mercy rule.
Jordan McGee and Kiante McCoy both homered against Wichita Falls. McGee hit a three-run shot in the second inning that also scored Kobe Clark and Andrew Melendez, while also driving in Sweetwaterâ€™s first two runs with a first-inning double. Chris Thompson had an RBI single and Taylor Turney provided a run-scoring double in the first inning as well.
McCoy belted a solo homer in the fifth to make it 9-0. Mason Maxwell singled and both Thompson and Isak Alvarez walked to load the bases, and Noah Martinez singled to score Maxwell with the 10th run that ended the game.
Meanwhile, five pitchers - Maxwell, McGee, Alvarez, Nick Figueroa and Thompson - combined to throw a five-inning shutout while allowing just two hits and striking out six batters. Wichita Falls twice loaded the bases with no outs, but failed to score each time.Â
Sweetwaterâ€™s Ky Hoover also turned in a defensive gym with an unassisted double play at second base to end the fourth inning. It came when he caught a line drive and then stepped on second to snuff out the threat after Wichita Falls had put runners at first and second with one out.