It’s not often that a Class 3A team gets the chance to play against a Class 5A team like Odessa High because it is usually such a daunting task to compete well, espec-ially after three straight losses by a combined score of 42-7.
But Sweetwater proved up to the challenge Saturday when it hosted the Broncos and won, 4-2, to snap its three-game skid.
Brandon Howell threw a complete-game win, and he and Greg Aiken each collected a pair of RBI as Sweetwater got back to .500 (7-7-1) for the season with its win over Odessa (8-15) in the non-district game.
Howell’s two-RBI double broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth, and Aiken then slapped an RBI double to increase the lead to 4-1. Howell’s hit scored Stephen May and Dylan Bennett while Aiken’s hit scored Bray Amos, who was Howell’s courtesy runner. Howell (2-1) then worked out of trouble in the seventh to get the win after an outfield error and single cut the margin to 4-2.
Ivan Subia, the opposing pitcher for Odessa, came to bat as the potential tying run. But Aiken caught his low liner and doubled off the runner at first for a game-ending double play.
Sweetwater also blunted a pair of scoring chances by getting Odessa runners out at home twice on throws from catcher Shawn Campbell to Howell, who allowed just five hits.
The Mustangs also fin-ished with just five hits, but stranded only three runners in the contest while Odessa left eight on base. “We got after it,” coach Roland Herrera said of his team, which goes to Brownwood Wednesday. “The kids got the timely hits we needed.”
Bennett reached on an error, was sacrificed to sec-ond and scored on Aiken’s single to break a scoreless tie in the fourth inning.