A great pitching effort and timely hitting Tuesday allowed Sweetwater to end its three-game losing streak by beating Midland Green-wood, 5-1, here Tuesday.
Sweetwater (3-3, 16-6) solidified its sagging playoff hopes out of District 4-3A by moving within a game of Snyder and Big Spring, who are both 4-2 and tied for second place after the Steers — once 0-2 — won their fourth straight Tuesday by beating the Tigers, 9-5. The Mustangs also moved ahead of Monahans (2-4), which lost 14-4 Tuesday to first-place Wylie, which is 5-1.
Sweetwater and Green-wood (0-6) were tied 1-1 until the fifth, when the Mustangs broke through by scoring three runs. Stephen May, Greg Aiken and Kaleb Hoover — the first three batters — all hit singles to load the bases, and May came home to make it 2-1 when J.P. Poe was hit by a pitch. A single by James Clift scored Aiken to increase the lead to 3-1, and Hoover scored on a ground ball out by Hayden Reeves for a 4-1 lead. Sweetwater then added an insurance run to make it 5-1 in the sixth.
May reached on a one-out single and moved to third after a throwing error by Greenwood pitcher Javier Vizcaino on a pickoff at-tempt, before scoring on a sac fly by Aiken.
J.P. Poe (4-2) allowed just six hits and the one run he gave up in the first inning was unearned. He struck out seven and walked just one. Greenwood used an error, hit batter and single to take a brief 1-0 lead, but the Rangers were unable to score again over the last six innings. A pair of double plays — one in the second inning and the other in the sixth — helped Poe avoid trouble and get his second win in district play.
Sweetwater didn’t waste a lot of time tying up Tuesday’s game, scoring its initial run in the first inning.
Dylan Bennett led off with a single, moved to second on Isaiah McGee’s sacrifice and scored on a single by Aiken. It stayed 1-1, however, until the Mustangs broke through in the fifth.Sweetwater, which out-hit Greenwood 8-6, faces another key game Friday when it goes to Big Spring in an attempt to cool off the red-hot Steers. Sweetwater beat Big Spring 9-6 in the teams’ first meeting.