Mustangs beat Andrews with 6-run rally in the 7th

Victories can come in all kinds of ways.And lately, that’s all the Sweetwater High School baseball team has done in building a 12-3 season rec-ord with just one game left until District 4-3A play gets started next week.Having said that, Mon-day’s 9-8 win over Andrews at Sportsman’s Park — Sweetwater’s ninth straight — won’t soon be forgotten by anyone who saw it.It came after the Mustangs trailed 8-1 with only six outs remaining, and 8-3 going into their final at bat before scoring six runs in the bot-tom of the seventh.Perhaps even more satis-fying, it came against the team that ended its season with a gut-wrenching playoff victory in a best-of-3 Region I-3A quarterfinal series this past May.Yet Monday’s game was just the latest in what has been two years’ worth of exciting — and wildly unpredictable — contests between the two rivals.Last year, Sweetwater and Andrews met four times — twice during the regular season and twice in the playoffs — and while And-rews won three times, all four games were decided by just one run and no lead, no matter how big, was safe.Ditto for Monday’s game, which could be a preview of this year’s playoffs as well.Sweetwater — after giving up just 12 runs in its previ-ous eight games including three shutouts — started out the game poorly as Andrews scored five runs in the second inning, one in the third and two more in the sixth for a commanding 8-1 lead.Or so they thought.The Mustangs’ only run up to that point came on an inside-the-park Greg Aiken home run to lead off the fourth inning.Sweetwater finally broke through with two runs in the sixth, both scoring on an RBI double by J.P. Poe after a single by Hayden Reeves and double by Kaleb Hoo-ver. But there was still a lot of work to do entering the seventh. Not to worry.The defense had provided a lift with a double play to end the top of the inning, but now it was the offense’s turn. Dylan Bennett reached on an error to start the seventh, and Aiken’s single and a walk to James Clift on a 3-2 pitch loaded the bases until Reeves singled to score Bennett and make it 8-4.Hoover followed with another single to score Aiken, and an error on the play allowed courtesy runner Quentin Wetsel to score as well. Poe then singled to score Reeves and get the Mustangs within 8-7, and Hoover scored on Tyler Beasley’s single to tie it at 8 with pinch-runner Johnathan Browning going third. With Isaiah McGee at bat, Andrews’ catcher tried to pick off Browning. But his throw was off the mark and Browning came home with the winning run.