WOODROW â€” Sweetwa-ter successfully fought back from a 4-0 deficit after two innings to take a 6-4 lead over host Lubbock Cooper after 5 1/2 innings Friday.
It was the same formula the Mustangs used to knock off Pecos a week earlier in bi-district, and they needed just six outs to get another win. This time, however, they couldnâ€™t pull it off.
Instead, Cooper rallied for three sixth-inning runs and a 7-6 win in Game 1 of the teamsâ€™ best-of-3 area playoff series that resumed at Sweetwater on Saturday, with the Mustangs (20-10) needing a pair of victories to keep their season alive.
Cooper (14-17) seemed to be on the ropes after Sweet-water scored four times in the third inning to tie it 4-4, and then added single runs in the fourth and sixth to take a two-run lead. But the Pirates chased Sweetwaterâ€™s J.P. Poe (7-3) with four hits in the inning, along with a pair of walks and a wild pitch that scored the first run and cut the lead to 6-5.
Brock Freeman threw a 1-2-3 seventh to preserve the victory in a game where the momentum often shift-ed dramatically.
Sweetwater, for the third straight game, put together a huge third inning by scor-ing four times after another slow start.
Dylan Bennett, Stephen May and James Clift had RBI hits, and a ground ball out by Greg Aiken scored the other run.
Sweetwater took the lead in the fourth inning when Poe singled in Johnathan Browning, who entered as a courtesy runner for Hayden Reeves after he hit a leadoff double. It became 6-4 after May singled in the sixth to score Quentin Wetsel â€” who ran for Poe after his two-out single that was one of four straight Sweetwater hits in the inning.
The Mustangs also turned double plays in the third and fifth innings to keep the Pirates from scoring.
In the third, Cooper load-ed the bases with no outs, but a strikeout and ground ball to Tyler Beasley at third base led to an inning-ending 5-2-3 double play.
In the fifth, the Pirates had runners at first and sec-ond with one out until Poe induced a 4-6-3 twin killing to preserve a one-run lead.
Sweetwater had 12 hits as May went 3-for-4 and Bennett, Reeves, Poe and Michael Lawrence each had two hits. Cooper had 15 hits, eight of them coming in the first two innings.