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BIG SPRING â€” Falling behind early has been common for Sweetwaterâ€™s baseball team since district play began. It happened again Friday as Big Spring led 3-0 after two innings and 4-0 after three. The Mustangs got one run back in the fifth and scored two more runs to make it 4-3 in the sixth, but couldnâ€™t get any closer as Big Spring held on for a 5-3 victory over Sweetwater.
The Mustangs fell to 3-4 in district, with a more im-pressive 16-7 overall record, and are now tied for fourth place with Monahans with only three games left in the regular season.
Sweetwater will play host to Monahans in a game with major playoff implications Tuesday. Big Spring, after losing its first two district games, the last to Sweetwater back on March 21, has won five consecutive games to improve to 5-2 and is second only to Wylie (6-1) in the district race.
Sweetwater finally got on the board when James Clift hit a leadoff triple and came home on a groundball by Hayden Reeves in the fifth inning to make it 4-1. In the sixth, the Mustangs got four hits, including RBI singles by Greg Aiken and Clift, to pull within a run.
But Big Spring was able to get a run back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a pair of singles and a Sweetwater error that allowed the Steers to increase their lead back to two runs.
Fridayâ€™s loss was the fourth in five games for Sweetwater since starting 2-0 in district. The Mus-tangs also trail Snyder (4-3), which lost to Monahans, 5-4, on Friday.
After a 1-2-3 first inning on the mound, Clift gave up a pair of doubles, a single and a walk in the second as Big Spring scored three times to go ahead for good.
Sweetwater left two runners stranded in the top of the third, and Clift was lifted after another run by Big Spring increased the Steersâ€™ lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the inning.
Stephen May came on in relief and held the Steers to four hits and one unearned run the rest of the way. But the damage had been done for Sweetwater.
The Mustangs got two hits each by Aiken and Clift and finished with eight in all. May doubled for Sweet-water to begin the Must-angsâ€™ two-run sixth inning and Dylan Bennett, J.P. Poe and Reeves also had hits.
Brett Brorman had two doubles for Big Spring, the first of which began the three-run Steersâ€™ uprising in the second inning.
May replaced Clift in the third with no outs and after walking his first batter, got three flyball outs to avoid further damage.