ABILENE — Sweetwater’s Senior League (ages 15-16) Blue Jays found themselves in an unfamiliar spot early on in Tuesday’s District 5 championship game with Abilene Wylie’s Tigers.
The Blue Jays, who de-feated Wylie in both regular-season meetings, trailed 7-1 after just two innings.
But Sweetwater came back to cut Wylie’s lead to 7-6 after a five-run third and finally took the lead with a nine-run sixth inning en route to a 19-14 victory at the Wylie field.
Tuesday’s comeback win completed a 14-0 season for the Blue Jays, who reached the championship game with much easier wins over the Wylie Cardinals (13-3) and Abilene South Rangers (24-1) this past week.
Sweetwater collected 22 hits, four for extra bases, against the Tigers as all 11 players who saw action got on base at least once. Greg Aiken and Cole Maxwell led the Blue Jays with four hits apiece while Shawn Campbell and Steven May had three hits and Dylan Bennett, James Clift and Ryan Linebaugh two. Bran-don Howell and Quentin Wetsel also hit safely. Ten players scored, with Clift crossing home plate three times and Aiken, Bennett, Campbell, Linebaugh, Max-well, May and Wetsel all scoring twice.
Campbell had four RBIs and Linebaugh three, while Aiken and May drove in two runs and Bennett, Clift, Howell, Maxwell and Wet-sel also had RBIs in the contest. Linebaugh stroked a two-run homer in the third inning that began the rally from a 7-1 deficit and also had a double. Clift also had two extra-base hits, a triple and a double.
Campbell had two hits to pace the nine-run sixth that completed the comeback and gave the Blue Jays a 19-12 lead. Maxwell, Clift, Bennett, Wetsel, May and Aiken also had hits in the inning. Three runs scored on a wild pitch, balk and a hit batter with the bases full. The Blue Jays sent 15 batters to the plate during their decisive inning.
Linebaugh started on the mound and lasted 1 1/3 in-nings before Clift came on to pitch the next 3 2/3, with Aiken hurling the last two innings. They combined for 10 strikeouts in the contest.