Sweet Water falls in game two, game three awaits

Will Huckabee attempts to avoid a tag at home in the fourth inning against Decatur Heritage during a 2-1 loss in game two.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Sweet Water has one more chance to win its first baseball state championship since 1990 after a 2-1 loss to Decatur Heritage Tuesday morning.

With the Bulldogs leading the series 1-0, Decatur Heritage turned to its ace and Grayson Wakefield more than delivered. The senior allowed two hits over a complete game effort and struck out six for the win.

Sweet Water got all of its offense in the fourth inning when Jonah Smith and Will Huckabee opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Smith found himself on third with nobody out in the inning and broke for home on a Hunter Mendenhall grounder to third. Smith slid in under the tag to tie the game. Huckabee was later tagged out in a rundown on the way home.

Decatur Heritage opened the scoring in the second when Jeff Hunter reached on an error and Jackson Parker singled. Carter Sample reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with nobody out in the inning. Walker Jones hit a ball back up the middle but Sweet Water pitcher Sasha Smith knocked it down and threw home for the force out. Garrett Buckner then flew out to center to plate Parker for the 1-0 lead.

Decatur got the winning run across in the sixth when Stratton Orr entered the game as a courtesy runner following Trace Lentz’s leadoff walk. A sacrifice bunt from Wakefield moved the runner to second. Hunter’s walk and Parker’s single loaded the bases with only one out.

Sample hit a ball into the hole but shortstop Jonah Smith made a sliding stop to knock it down. He threw to third for the force out but Orr scored the go-ahead run.

Wakefield slammed the door with a 1-2-3 seventh for the win. Sasha Smith scattered three hits over five innings for the Bulldogs.

Sweet Water (31-8) and Decatur Heritage (23-12) are set to meet at approximately 11:45 for the decisive game three.