GARLAND - Smarting from a onesided semifinal loss to Waco Southern a night earlier, Sweetwater’s Senior League (15-16 year-old) all-stars rebounded Friday with an 8-3 win over Dallas Wylie to reach Saturday’s Texas West Section 2 championship game at the South Garland Little League field.
Sweetwater needed back-to-back wins Saturday in order to capture the sectional championship and advance to state - a feat that Waco Southern’s Junior League team pulled off against Sweetwater last year in Waco. Seven members of Sweetwater’s Senior League team were on that Junior League squad. The state tournament begins later this week in Fort Worth.
Sweetwater needed a game-ending double play to hold off Wylie 3-2 in Wednesday’s sectional opener, but had an easier time in Friday’s rematch thanks to some timely hitting and a great all-around game by starting pitcher Sean Morrow.
Morrow came within one out of a complete game as he scattered seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, while striking out 10 and walking none. At the plate, he had two hits including a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning that extended Sweetwater’s lead from 5-2 to 8-2.
Sweetwater, which scored a total of just seven runs in its first two tournament games, seized control with a four-run second inning against Wylie. A bases-loaded walk to James Clift scored Quentin Wetsel with the first run, and Willie Norman singled to score both Dylan Bennett and Shawn Campbell. Clift came home on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.
Wylie cut it to 4-2 when Don Malone hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second, but Ryan Linebaugh got a run back for Sweetwater when he blasted a solo shot to lead off the third.
After striking out the side in the bottom of the fourth to keep Sweetwater’s lead at 5-2, Morrow came to bat in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and delivered a three-RBI double. Mike McCoy, Linebaugh and Greg Aiken all scored on Morrow’s hit.
Wylie’s first two hitters struck out in the seventh, but Morrow was lifted after a single, stolen base and throwing error allowed Wylie to cut the lead to 8-3. Brandon Howell came on to strike out Wylie’s next hitter and end the game.