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Sweet Water falls in seventh inning to Thomasville

The host Sweet Water Bulldogs stayed toe-to-toe with 4A Thomasville on Thursday, but the Tigers produced a five-run seventh inning to get their first win of the season, 8-3.

Starting pitcher Linc Luker picked up two of Sweet Water’s three hits in the game, driving all of the Bulldogs’ three runs.

Thomasville (1-4) got on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning when Zach Ross reached on a one-out walk, advanced on starting pitcher Jay Williams’ single and scored on a single by Sam Wise.

Sweet Water (1-4) responded in the bottom half of the inning when second baseman Brett Davis drew a one-out walk, followed by a walk to designated hitter Tyler Luker. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, and Linc Luker drove them both in to give SWHS a 2-1 lead.

Thomasville tied the game in the top of the third when Charles Taylor led off with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a hit by Tevin Watters to knot the game at 2-2.

Sweet Water retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Hunter Mayton led off and reached on catcher’s interference. He advanced to second on a foul out, went to third on a balk and scored on a single by Linc Luker to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.

The Tigers answered in the top of the fifth when Charles Taylor led off with a double and went to third on a bunt single by Tevin Pope and scored on a fielder’s choice hit by Tevin Watters.

Tyler Hensler came on to pitch for Sweet Water in the top of the sixth, striking out two in that inning, but not facing the same luck in the seventh. The Tigers batted around in the inning, scoring five runs on three hits, including a three-run home run by Williams, who pitched six innings and got 12 strikeouts.

Linc Luker pitched five innings, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two. Hensler pitched two innings, allowing five runs on three hits, striking out three and walking two.

For Thomasville, Williams went six innings, allowing three runs on three hits, striking out 12 and walking two. Jesse Pope finished the game, facing four batters and not allowing a hit.

“This was a good win,” said THS head coach Clint Anderson. “We’ve been struggling here early, and Sweet Water’s got a good club. (Linc Luker) is a good pitcher — he throws the ball well — so I’m glad with the win.

“A big part of our seventh inning was our 9-hole hitter, Charles Taylor. He was on second, and he read a wheel play they had on a bunt, and he stole behind them. I thought that was a big momentum changer. Hitting is contagious, and once good things happen ahead of you, you get up there and get the job done. That started that inning rolling, and it just took off from there.”

“Up until that last inning, we played good baseball,” said SWHS head coach Kevin Byrd. “We kind of lost focus there in the seventh, we missed on a few pitches and they took advantage of it.

“It’s still early, and we’re working a lot of pitchers. We faced an absolutely good pitcher; we won’t see that in 1A. I thought we battled him really well.”

Despite the five-run loss, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 35-34.

Sweet Water plays two games on Saturday, both at Hale County, taking on host HCHS at noon and Central of Tuscaloosa at 2 p.m.