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BIG SPRING â€” After losing three straight games by at least seven runs, Sweetwaterâ€™s baseball team got a boost on Friday to end its 2011 season.
The Mustangs traveled to Big Spring and came back home with a 5-4 victory â€” its second over the Steers in District 5-3A play â€” as Sweetwater finished 2-6 in district and 12-16-1 overall under third-year coach Roland Herrera.
Big Spring â€” one of two other schools in the district where Herrera has previously coached along with Snyder â€” took a 1-0 lead in the first inning by scoring an unearned run, but the Steers were held in check after that until rallying for two runs in the seventh. But Sweetwater held on for the victory while Big Spring fell to 0-8 in district.
Sweetwater finally tied the game with a run in the fourth, then pushed across a pair of runs in the fifth and seventh innings, which was just enough to hold off the Steers. All six Sweetwa-ter hits came in the fifth and seventh frames, while the Steers were limited to two hits by three Mustang pitchers â€” Kaleb Hoover, Kris Mayes and Larry Daniel.
Hoover, a freshman, got the win after pitching the first five innings and allowing just one hit.
Big Spring cut the lead to 5-4 in the seventh, but Daniel came in to get the last three outs and secure the narrow victory.
Sweetwater tied it 1-1 with the help of two errors in the fourth, and went ahead 3-1 with two runs in the fifth. Mayes singled and scored the first run when Greg Aiken reached on an error. A single by Connor Stafford allowed Aiken to score.
The Steers cut it to 3-2 in the sixth after Hoover had been lifted in favor of Mayes, but Mayes returned the favor when he singled and reached third on an outfield error, then scored on Ryan Linebaughâ€™s single for Sweetwater in the top of the seventh. Linebaugh eventually moved around to third base on a single and a balk, and he scored to give his team a three-run lead on a sacrifice fly by Stafford.
Sweetwater also got hits from Aiken and Sean Mor-row. They and Linebaugh will be the three returning fulltime starters next year.