Mustangs defeat Burkburnett in non-district finale

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

After two straight losses in which the team gave up big leads, Sweetwater ended non-district play on a positive note Friday with a 6-4 victory over Burkburnett at Sportsman’s Park.
Sweetwater — now 8-8 overall — jumped out to a 3-0 lead after collecting six hits in the bottom of the first inning.
Burkburnett rallied with two runs in the second and third innings to tie it at 4-4 until two runs in the fourth put Sweetwater back ahead to stay. The Mustangs took the lead on a bases-loaded walk to Ky Hoover, then picked up an insurance run when Kobe Clark reached on an infield error.
Starting pitcher Tony Heredia got the win for Sweetwater after throwing the first four innings. Chris Thompson picked up a save after allowing just one hit over the final three frames.
Thompson threw a 1-2-3 seventh as his team halted a three-game losing streak, the last two on late collapses after leads of seven and six runs, respectively.
The Mustangs also won for just the second time in eight games following a 6-2 start. Sweetwater, which starts District 5-4A play by hosting Big Spring Tuesday, out-hit Burkburnett 11-5.
The teams met for the first time since Sweetwater won their one-game bi-district playoff by a score of 2-1 last season. This time, the Mustangs exceeded that in the first inning. A double by Mason Maxwell produced the first two runs and he scored on Tyler Warner’s RBI single.
Burkburnett cut it to 3-2 in the top of second, but Sweetwater got a run back when Tristan Longoria hit a leadoff triple and scored on a bloop RBI single from Thompson.
Four players — Longoria, Thompson, Maxwell and Warner — had two hits and Clark, Kiante McCoy and Justen Gomez one each.
Thompson and Maxwell scored twice and Longoria and McCoy also scored for the Mustangs, who have played 13 games since the start of March with a 7-6 record. Sweetwater was a perfect 5-0 at its annual Wes Bishop Classic two weeks ago, but 1-4 at Abilene’s three-day tournament held this past weekend.

Photo caption: Sweetwater's Kiante McCoy awaits the throw as Burkburnett's Gavin Morris runs to first base in the Mustangs' non-district game Friday at Sportsman's Park.
Photo by Kevin Wright