GARLAND - Smarting from a onesided semifinal loss to Waco Southern a night earlier, Sweetwaterâ€™s Senior League (15-16 year-old) all-stars rebounded Friday with an 8-3 win over Dallas Wylie to reach Saturdayâ€™s Texas West Section 2 championship game at the South Garland Little League field.Â
Sweetwater needed back-to-back wins Saturday in order to capture the sectional championship and advance to state - a feat that Waco Southernâ€™s Junior League team pulled off against Sweetwater last year in Waco. Seven members of Sweetwaterâ€™s Senior League team were on that Junior League squad. The state tournament begins later this week in Fort Worth.
Sweetwater needed a game-ending double play to hold off Wylie 3-2 in Wednesdayâ€™s sectional opener, but had an easier time in Fridayâ€™s rematch thanks to some timely hitting and a great all-around game by starting pitcher Sean Morrow.
Morrow came within one out of a complete game as he scattered seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, while striking out 10 and walking none. At the plate, he had two hits including a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning that extended Sweetwaterâ€™s lead from 5-2 to 8-2.
Sweetwater, which scored a total of just seven runs in its first two tournament games, seized control with a four-run second inning against Wylie. A bases-loaded walk to James Clift scored Quentin Wetsel with the first run, and Willie Norman singled to score both Dylan Bennett and Shawn Campbell. Clift came home on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.
Wylie cut it to 4-2 when Don Malone hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second, but Ryan Linebaugh got a run back for Sweetwater when he blasted a solo shot to lead off the third.
After striking out the side in the bottom of the fourth to keep Sweetwaterâ€™s lead at 5-2, Morrow came to bat in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and delivered a three-RBI double. Mike McCoy, Linebaugh and Greg Aiken all scored on Morrowâ€™s hit.
Wylieâ€™s first two hitters struck out in the seventh, but Morrow was lifted after a single, stolen base and throwing error allowed Wylie to cut the lead to 8-3. Brandon Howell came on to strike out Wylieâ€™s next hitter and end the game.