Mustangs hold off Rangers to pick up win in 4-3A opener

March 20, 2013

James Clift delivers a pitch for Sweetwater in Tuesday’s District 4-3A opener. (Photo by Ron Howell)

The home field has been kind to Sweetwater’s base-ball team this year, and the Mustangs took advantage of those familiar surroundings to win their District 4-3A opener on Tuesday against Midland Greenwood.
Despite being out-hit 7-6, Sweetwater prevailed 4-3 as the Mustangs (9-10 overall) scratched out a 4-1 lead through five innings and held on in improving their home record to 7-1.
Sweetwater, which never trailed, used its small-ball abilities to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning and added single tallies in the fourth and fifth innings.
That production, while not prolific, was more than enough thanks to the solid pitching of James Clift, who hurled a complete game and struck out five, while walking only two, to get the win.
The first runs of the game for Sweetwater came after a one-out single by Shawn Campbell and a walk to Clift. Campbell stole both second and third, then came home when Nick Nemir — Clift’s courtesy runner — broke for second base with J.P. Poe at the plate. Nemir wound up at third after an error, and then scored when Poe laid down a squeeze bunt.
After Greenwood cut the Mustangs led to 2-1 in the top of the fourth, Sweetwa-ter got the run back despite a baserunning gaffe in the bottom of the inning.
Poe, Cole Maxwell and Dylan Bennett singled to load the bases before Steph-en May hit an RBI single that scored Poe and made it 3-1.
In the fifth, Kaleb Hoover reached on an error and ad-vanced to third base on an errant pickoff throw before scoring Sweetwater’s final run on an RBI ground ball by Campbell.
Greenwood collected four of its seven hits in the last two innings against Clift.
After cutting the lead to 4-2 in the sixth, the Rangers scored another run to make it 4-3 on an infield single, catcher’s interference, ano-ther single and a groundball out that scored the run and put runners at first and third. Greenwood’s Zach Long was thrown out when he tried to steal second base for the second out, but Gar-rett Carlisle walked before Clift struck out Zane Helms to end the game.
Sweetwater plays at Big Spring (also 1-0 in district) at 7 p.m. Friday.

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