After a lackluster effort one day earlier at Lubbock Estacado, the Sweetwater baseball team got back into the win column at home Friday when it faced former district rival Brownwood.
The Mustangs got an ex-cellent pitching effort from sophomore J.P. Poe in their final non-district game in beating the Lions, 5-3, at Newman Park. They also overcame a shaky defensive outing as they had six errors in the contest.
Sweetwater (8-10) was blanked by Estacado 7-0 on Thursday, and started slowly vs. Brownwood as the Mustangs trailed 2-0 after 3 1/2 innings and were hitless at that point. A four-run fourth made it 4-2, though, and Poe’s pitching made it stand up as he gave up just three hits. All three of the Lions’ runs were unearned.
Sweetwater had four of its errors against Brownwood in the first three innings to help the Lions build their early 2-0 lead. Brownwood had just one hit, a third-inning single, during that span until Sweetwater finally got untracked offensively.
A single by Stephen May, a walk to Greg Aiken and a bunt single by Kaleb Hoo-ver loaded the bases and Hayden Reeves forced in the first run when he was hit by a pitch.
Shawn Campbell came to bat and laid down a squeeze bunt to score Aiken. After a pair of strikeouts, Hoover and Reeves scored on wild pitches for a 4-2 lead.
Brownwood got one back in the fifth on an error, a bloop single and a sacrifice fly to cut it to 4-3 in the top of the fifth. Sweetwater, however, answered by scoring in the bottom of the inning as Poe singled, May walked and Aiken singled to score Poe’s courtesy runner, Quentin Wetsel.
Sweetwater finished the game with six hits — one each by Dylan Bennett, Poe, May, Aiken, Campbell and Hoover
May pitched well against Estacado after he replaced Hoover in the first inning, giving up just two hits in the final 5 2/3. But Sweetwater had just four hits — singles by Aiken, Bennett, Cole Maxwell and May — and got a runner to third base only once in the contest.
Estacado took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, then ad-ded a run in the third and got its final two runs in the fourth inning.
Sweetwater will be back home on Tuesday when its kicks off District 4-3A play by hosting Midland Green-wood. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.