BASEBALL: Briarwood sweeps John Carroll

Seventh-ranked Briarwood Christian School opened Class 5A, Area 8 play with a dominating 13-1 victory over John Carroll (4-6, 0-1) Thursday in game one of a doubleheader in Homewood.

Austin Lankford led BCS in the first game with three RBIs off 3-for-3 hitting, while Brett Conner had two RBIs and three hits. Pre-season All-American Ben Bracewell picked up his third victory of the season, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out eight.

Bracewell and Conner each stepped up again in the nightcap with a pair of hits each from the plate, as Briarwood beat John Carroll, 15-8. Conner scored four runs in the game, but the big stick of the game belonged to senior Evan Simmons, who hit a grand slam in the second inning.

John Carroll took a 6-1 lead after the first inning, but Simmons’ blast helped even the score after two.

David Woods picked up the win for Briarwood, striking out five and allowing four hits. He allowed only one earned run after coming in as relief in the first inning.

-THOMPSON 11, OAK MTN. 0: Thompson pulled even in Class 6A, Area 10 Thursday with an 11-0 blasting of Oak Mountain at home. After struggling to find offense in the first 21 innings of area play, Thompson opened things up Tuesday with a two-run eighth inning to down Oak Mountain, 2-0, and poured on 11 more runs to secure at least a third-place position in the area after four games.

Matt Haskins led Thompson with a triple, single and three RBIs, while sophomore Jon Keller picked up his first area win with a five-inning shutout, allowing two hits and striking out seven.

Pelham leads the area with a 2-0 record, followed by Spain Park (2-1), Thompson (2-2), Oak Mountain (1-3) and Hoover (0-1). Pelham has the week off from area play and Spain Park is scheduled to host Hoover Friday night at 6:30.