Quinn grand slam lifts Oak Mountain past Spain Park

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – Oak Mountain’s Heath Quinn hit a grand slam in the fifth inning to lead the Eagles to a 5-4 victory over the Spain Park Jaguars in Class 6A, Area 8 action March 12.

Spain Park (9-7, 0-1) jumped out to a 4-0 lead while holding Oak Mountain (7-7, 1-0) to just two hits before the Eagles erupted in the fifth.

Oak Mountain’s Justin Hoyt led the Eagles’ fifth off with a single and Connor O’Brien followed with an infield single before Pierce Clarke hit a RBI single to cut the deficit to three, 4-1. Jared Spivey reached base on a bunt single to load the bases.

Spain Park was able to retire two batters to bring Quinn with two outs. Quinn took the third pitch he saw over the left field fence to give Oak Mountain a 5-4 advantage.

Eagles’ head coach Brian Breeze said that capitalizing on the hits in the fifth paid huge dividends for his team.

“We always tell our guys that we are not looking for seven – we just want a couple,” said Breeze. “We were able to get five in the inning and that was huge for us.”

The Eagles held Spain Park to two base runners with one hit over the next two innings to seal up the area win. Hoyt said that pitching with the lead gave him confidence in the sixth and the seventh innings.

“The game is never over in baseball until the last out is done,” Hoyt said. “I felt good about it and I knew that I was not going to give up the lead.”

The Jaguars scored four runs in third when they took advantage of three batters that were each hit by a pitch. Matt Berler led off the Spain Park third inning with a single to center and two hit batsmen followed to load the bases for the Jaguars. Josh Close was hit by a pitch to bring home Berler and Grant Veteto worked a walk to bring home a run to take a 2-0 lead. Josh Rich reached base on a two-out error, which allowed two runs to score for a 4-0 Spain Park edge.

Oak Mountain’s Hoyt pitched a complete game and allowed two earned runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.

“He went out there and just competed,” said Breeze on Hoyt’s performance.

Rich took the loss for Spain Park allowing five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

EJ Alsbrooks and O’Brien each went 2-for-3 to lead the Eagles. Quinn finished batting 1-for-3 with four RBIs with the grand slam.

Close led Spain Park batting 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.