Sweeny 9-year-old Little Leaguers

Members of Sweeny’s 9-year-old Little League baseball team celebrate their District 18 Area III championship Monday in Needville. Players are Peyton Pierce, Timmy Shepard, Kaden Hurt, Gavin Massey, Blane Hall, Brandon Stewart, Hunter Bass, Seth Jochum, Jax McCarey, Robert Hunt, Declan Donnelly and Hagen Greenberg.

With an unbeaten run through the Texas Little League District 18 Area III tournament, Sweeny’s 9-year-old squad is close to a district title.

Under coach Cory Pierce, Sweeny’s young baseballers (3-0) swept through the area tournament with a perfect 3-0 record to reach the district bracket, which opens play Friday at the Brazoria Little League complex at 902 Masonic Drive, Brazoria.

Sweeny’s first-round matchup in the district tournament is against Freeport at 6 p.m. Friday. Because Freeport (5-1) suffered a loss en route to the Area I crown, a single defeat in the district bracket will knock it out of the double-elimination tournament. The winner of the Sweeny-Freeport game advances to the second round to face either Lamar National (3-0) or Lamar American (3-0) at 8 p.m. Saturday.

“We’re going to have to pitch well, and we’re going to have to keep hitting well,” Pierce said when asked what his squad will need to do in order to capture the district crown.

Reaching the district tournament took a team effort, said Pierce.

“All 12 players have contributed,” the coach said. “We haven’t had to use a lot of pitching yet, and everyone has gotten a hit.”

Sweeny’s roster consists of Peyton Pierce, Timmy Shepard, Kaden Hurt, Gavin Massey, Blane Hall, Brandon Stewart, Hunter Bass, Seth Jochum, Jax McCarey, Robert Hunt, Declan Donnelly and Hagen Greenberg.

In the Area III bracket in Needville, Sweeny mowed through Tide Haven, 25-2, in the opening round Friday, but needed a comeback to beat Lake Jackson in the second round Saturday.

After falling behind, 6-0, Sweeny rallied for nine unanswered runs to take the victory and advance to the championship.

In the final, Sweeny met Lake Jackson again Monday, but had a much easier time getting the victory by a 21-7 final.

“It was a very competitive bracket, and I’m super proud of this team,” Pierce said.

Lamar National won the district title last season, and Lamar American repeated as champions in 2011 and 2012.

Unlike the older divisions of Little League, the 9-year-old category does not advance past district.

Joshua Cook is a sports writer for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0161.

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