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CARROLLTON â€” In a short span of time, the Sweetwater 11-12 year-old Little League all-starsâ€™ Section 2 semifinal against Waco Midway on Saturday went from being a near-blowout to a nearly miraculous finish.
Trailing 7-1 going into its final at bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, Sweetwater scored four quick runs to close the margin to 7-5, chase two Waco Midway pitchers and bring the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs and runners at second and third base.
The first six Sweetwater batters reached safely in the inning. Mason Maxwell and Chris Thompson singled, Taylor Turney was safe on a Midway error to load the bases and a walk to Noah Martinez scored Maxwell to make it 7-2. Another single by Isak Alvarez then scored Thompson, and Kobe Clark delivered a two-RBI double to score both Turney and Martinez and narrow the lead to 7-5.
But Midwayâ€™s third pitch-er came in at that point and retired the next three hitters, ending not only the threat but also Sweetwaterâ€™s all-star run.
Sweetwater, which has sent most of its players to sectional play three straight years, began the tournament with a 10-0 win over Burkburnett on Thursday before losing to eventual champion Fort Worth University, 11-6, on Friday and falling to Midway, which was the sectional tournament runnerup.
Thompson, Clark and Ky Hoover had two hits and Turney, Alvarez, Maxwell, Andrew Melendez and Kiante McCoy one for Sweetwater, which briefly tied Midway 1-1 in the first inning when Melendez, who was pinch-running for Hoover, scored on a wild pitch. Thompson pitched the first five innings, allow-ing just one earned run and striking out eight batters, until first McCoy and then Alvarez relieved him in the final inning, with each getting a strikeout.