Mustangs to continue homestand today after four wins at Classic

March 8, 2011

Sweetwater’s Willie Norman swings at a pitch during the Wood Bat Classic. (Photo by Betsy Howe)

It’s not even mid-March, and Sweetwater’s baseball team has already equalled its win total for the entire 2010 season. The Mustangs can exceed it by defeating Midland Greenwood today at Newman Park starting at 6 p.m.
The Mustangs are off to an 8-2-1 start after going 8-21 a year ago, and five of this season’s victories — including four this past weekend at Sweetwater’s annual Wood Bat Classic — have come in the friendly confines of Newman Park.
Sweetwater finished 4-1-1 at its three-day event that ended Saturday.
The Mustangs defeated Post twice — 7-0 on Thurs-day and 4-3 on Saturday — and also got wins over Lamesa (8-2) on Friday and Clyde (10-8) on Saturday, while losing 4-3 to Slaton in eight innings on Saturday and finishing in a 5-5 tie with Ozona on Friday.
Despite senior Kris Mayes’ pitching masterpiece, Sweetwater lost to Slaton when the Tigers took advantage of two errors to score the winning run in the eighth. Mayes had 16 strikeouts and gave up just one hit — a first-inning single — but still took the loss. Sweetwater saw a 3-2 lead disappear when Slaton tied the game in the sixth.
Sweetwater had five hits — two from Greg Aiken and one each by Tanner Crain, Cameron Fox and Sterling Reeves — while Fox, Austin Burt and Willie Norman scored one run apiece.
Sweetwater came back later in the day, however, to defeat Clyde 10-8 and end the tournament on a winning note. The Mustangs came up with three fifth-inning runs to wipe out an 8-7 deficit. The 10 runs marked the third time Sweetwater had reached double figures, the other two coming at the Lake View tournament that the Mustangs won just one week earlier in San Angelo.
Connor Stafford had four RBI and he, Fox and Crain each had two hits in the win over Clyde, which was trailing 7-1 until the Bulldogs rallied to score seven runs in the top of the fifth inning.
On Friday, Lamesa took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Sweetwater before the Mustangs came up with a pair of runs to tie it 2-2. In the fourth, Sweetwater broke the game open by scoring six runs to take an 8-2 lead before the game was called. Lamesa chipped in with three errors, while Ryan Linebaugh had a two-run triple and Mayes had an RBI single. Sweetwater then rallied to tie Ozona 5-5 later on Friday after trailing 4-0, thanks to a three-run fourth in which Crain singled in Mayes with the tying run.

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