- Special Sections
A Sweetwater team com-prised of 16-18 year-olds, all of whom played for Sweet-water High Schoolâ€™s varsity baseball team this past year, represented District 5 this past weekend when it played at a Big League Section 2 tournament in Garland.
Sweetwater won its first two games to reach Sundayâ€™s championship game before losing twice to Arlington, which advanced to play in a Big League state tournament at All Saints High School in Fort Worth starting this Friday.
Arlington had lost 12-5 to Sweetwater in the semifinals on Saturday, but beat Waco Southern later in the day to force a rematch with Sweetwater in the finals. Arlington then defeated Sweetwater 9-6 to force a second title game, and won again 15-3 to capture the Section 2 championship.
South Garland, which Sweetwater defeated 14-0 in its first game, also competed in the tournament.
Sweetwaterâ€™s 10-player team at Garland consisted of James Clift, Stephen May, Kaleb Hoover, Greg Aiken, Dylan Bennett, Sean Morrow, Shawn Campbell, Brandon Howell, Cole Max-well and Willie Norman.
Campbell batted a team-high .625 at the tournament while Morrow hit .500, May .467, Norman .438 and Bennett .429. Four of Mor-rowâ€™s six hits were doubles and he also led the team with five RBI. Norman and May shared the lead in hits with seven apiece and Norman scored a team-high eight runs for Sweetwater in the four games.
Sweetwater needed only 4 1/2 innings to dispose of South Garland by the 10-run rule in Fridayâ€™s opener, as it put the contest away by scoring six runs in the second inning and five more in the third while also scoring in the first and fourth innings. May and Norman had three hits each to pace a 12-hit attack while Morrow had two RBIs and May, Aiken, Clift and Maxwell one.
May and Hoover, mean-while, were dominating on the mound as they teamed up to pitch a five-hit shutout with six strikeouts while allowing no walks.
On Saturday, Sweetwater faced Arlington for the first time and had another solid team effort offensively as nine players scored, eight players collected at least one hit and six players had at least one RBI.
Sweetwater led 3-2 after the first inning, added four runs in the second and secured the win with a five-run sixth inning that made it 12-3. Morrow had two RBIs and Norman, May, Aiken, Clift and Maxwell one.
Clift pitched the first five innings, allowing just one earned run, before Morrow and Aiken finished up.
Sweetwater overcame an early deficit with a four-run second inning in the first title game for a 5-2 lead, but then Arlington rallied and held Sweetwater scoreless after that until the seventh inning. Arlington took the lead, 6-5, with a three-run fifth and built its advantage to 9-5 by scoring three more runs in the sixth while limiting Sweetwater to just one more run in the seventh.
Campbell had three hits and Norman, Morrow and Bennett two each while Norman, Aiken, Morrow and Campbell had RBIs. Sweetwater had the go-ahead run at the plate when the game ended.
May got his second start and pitched the first four innings until Hoover came on to finish the game.
In the second title game, Arlington scored seven runs in the third inning, then answered three Sweetwater runs with four more tallies in the fourth and fifth including a game-ending grand slam. Morrow doubled and Maxwell and Campbell had RBI singles for Sweetwater in the fourth. Morrow got the start on the mound, and he and Aiken each pitched two innings.