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Devils shut out in Sweet Water

SWEET WATER — Sweet Water (15-11) scored eight in the first and 12 in the second to cruise to a 20-0 win over Maplesville (3-12) in the decisive game three of the teams’ first-round playoff series.

“I know we’re extremely young, but this is some valuable experience for these guys, valuable experience that they will take with them,” Maplesville coach Steven Hunter said.

The Red Devils picked up a 9-2 win in game one Friday night before falling 7-3 in game two to force Saturday’s rubber match.

“That’s huge when you win the first game and you force the other team’s back against the wall,” Hunter said. “We didn’t beat ourselves (Friday). Our pitchers did a good job. But you sure can’t take anything away from Sweet Water. They knocked the ball to pieces today.”

“They had a plan for us and I thought they executed their play very well,” Sweet Water coach Kevin Byrd said. “They just caught some bad breaks and we were hot.”

Byrd’s Bulldogs put together 18 hits on the day, nine of which came in the first inning. Two of those opening-frame hits were multi-run longballs off the bats of Chris Landrum and Hunter Mayton. Pitching proved a glaring ailment for MHS most of the day Saturday as the squad utilized three hurlers to get through the first inning before making the change to a fourth with only one out in the second. Five walks and two hit batsmen during the first two frames helped to compound the problems started by the Bulldog’s barrage of hits. “We’ve got pitchers, but their young,” Hunter said. “This is their first real varsity experience. I think it was a valuable experience for them.”

Despite the daunting deficit, the Red Devils continued to swing the bats. Maplesville nearly broke onto the scoreboard in the fourth inning before their runner was cut down at the plate by a Tyler Hensley relay throw.

“Our guys have had the attitude that if something bad happens, they are going to keep fighting,” Hunter said. “They didn’t have any give-up in them.”

The win advances Sweet Water to round two where it will face 1A’s No. 2 team, Holy Spirit (20-5).