Surging Stangs rip Tigers, 10-3

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

Sweetwater came in to Friday’s District 5-4A baseball game with Snyder having already clinched a playoff berth thanks to its 5-2 win at Big Spring that came seven days earlier.
But the Mustangs added an exclamation point with their third win in a row, beating Snyder 10-3 at Sportsman’s Park.
With its latest win, Sweetwater improved its record in District 5-4A to 4-2 and also avenged an earlier 9-3 defeat to the Tigers, who fell to 2-4 with the loss.
Friday marked the final district home game for the Mustangs, who broke a 3-3 tie with a four-run fourth inning. Two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth aliowed Sweetwater (12-10 overall) to reach double figures for the third time in its four district victories.
The Mustangs still have three games left to play, starting Tuesday at first-place Wylie. After a non-district home game Friday vs. Ranger Junior College’s JV, the regular season ends March 24 when Sweetwater plays its last district game by going to Brownwood.
Sweetwater fell behind 3-1 in the second inning. Two of the three runs by Snyder scored on an infield error, plus a double and RBI groundball out.
But pitcher Mason Maxwell, who allowed just two hits, settled down to get a complete-game win on the mound. He struck out eight and walked five, allowing just one earned run. At the plate, Maxwell had a 3-for-4 day including a first-inning RBI double.
Sweetwater tied the game 3-3 in the second on Isak Alvarez’s sacrifice bunt and an infield error.
The four-run fourth had one hit, an RBI single by Alvarez. Alvarez and Kiante McCoy, who both collected two hits, had RBI singles in the fifth inning.
Sweetwater turned three double plays — one each to end the first, fifth and sixth innings — with shortstop Chris Thompson and first baseman Tony Heredia involved in all three. That helped out Maxwell, who ended the game with a flourish by striking out Snyder's last three hitters.
Snyder also committed seven errors on a night where strong winds blew throughout the game, which affected all players. However, Sweetwater coach Roland Herrera said it particularly affected Maxwell's balance, and ability to throw his slider, until he made some adjustments. Meanwhile, Snyder pitcher Lance Davis, who threw a complete-game victory against Sweetwater on March 23, lasted just four innings and gave up seven runs — just three earned — and six hits in taking the loss.

Pictured: Chris Thompson of Sweetwater puts the tag on Snyder's Ryan Rodriguez at second base in Friday's game.
Photo by Kevin Wright