SW teams reach finals

July 5, 2012

J’Corey Amos fires to the plate for the Sweetwater Junior League All-Stars in Tuesday’s win over Abilene North in the teams’ District 5 semifinal game. (Photo by Ron Howell)

ABILENE — Sweetwater will be represented in two of the final three District 5 Little League all-star championship games today after semifinal wins on Tuesday.
Sweetwater’s 13-14 year-old all-stars will take on Abilene South at 7 p.m. in the Junior League final at Abilene Wylie after beating Abilene North, 6-5, in their semifinal.
Sweetwater’s 11-12 year-old all-stars, meanwhile, face Wylie in their final at Abilene’s Will Hair Park starting at 8 p.m. thanks to Tuesday’s 13-7 victory over Abilene Eastern. Their game follows the 9-10 year-old all-star title game between Abilene Dixie and Abilene Southern at 6 p.m.
Both Sweetwater teams are playing for the cham-pionship after finishing as runnerups in their respec-tive pools. Today’s winners will advance to sectional Little League tournaments which begin next week.
JUNIOR LEAGUE: Sweetwater 6, Abilene North 5
Sweetwater led North 6-1 heading into the seventh and final inning, then held off a furious rally.
Sweetwater led 4-0 after a four-run second, and added single tallies in the fourth and sixth to go up 6-1. But North scored four runs in the seventh. An error allowed North to get within 6-3, and two more runs scored on bases-loaded walks until Sweetwater’s Hardy Escobar recorded the final out by fielding a ground ball hit near second base and beating North’s runner to the bag to save the victory.
Sweetwater had just four hits in the game, but one of them was Matt Figueroa’s two-RBI double in the second inning while Scott Warner had an RBI single in the sixth. J’Corey Amos also had a double and Christian Martinez singled for the other hits. Amos, the winning pitcher, didn’t allow a hit until the sixth and had seven strikeouts. He was relieved in the sev-enth by Rocky Perez, who got the final three outs.
11-12 YEAR-OLDS: Sweetwater 13, Abilene Eastern 7
Sweetwater broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the third, and also scored in each of the final three innings to hold off Eastern.
Eastern scored four runs in its half of the fouth to get within 9-7, but Sweetwater answered that with three runs in the fifth inning for a 12-7 advantage and added a final tally in the sixth.
Sweetwater had five extra base hits, including home runs by Jordan McGee and Isak Alvarez. Chris Thompson was 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles, while Andrew Melendez had a two-run triple to highlight the four-run third. Thomp-son also had four RBI.
Both Alvarez and McGee homered in the fifth inning, with McGee’s hit a two-run blast. Kiante McCoy was the winning pitcher after going the first 3 1/3 innings and striking out seven hitters. He was relieved by Kobe Clark (1 2/3) and McGee, who threw the final inning.
9-10 and 10-11 stars are both eliminated after pool play: Sweetwater had two other all-star teams in District 5 tournaments who failed to advance past pool play.
The 9-10 year-olds tied Eastern and Snyder for the best record in their pool with 2-1 records, but those two advanced to the semifinals — Snyder as the pool winner and Eastern as the runnerup as the result of having the lowest runs al-lowed per defensive inning ratio. Sweetwater defeated Snyder 5-3 in its first game before losing to Eastern 11-10 in seven innings and finally defeating Jim Ned 12-2 in their last pool game on Monday. The 10-11 year-olds were 2-3 in their pool, which Wylie won with a 5-0 record and was declared the district champion. Sweet-water’s two pool victories came against Clyde (13-3) and Merkel (12-2).

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