Oak Mountain steals two from Spain Park

Published 11:18 am Thursday, March 24, 2016

Oak Mountain's Gene Hurst delivers a pitch during the Eagles' first game against Spain Park on March 23. Oak Mountain stole a pair of games from the Jaguars on the road by finals of 4-2 and 2-1. (Reporter Photo / Baker Ellis)

Oak Mountain’s Gene Hurst delivers a pitch during the Eagles’ first game against Spain Park on March 23. Oak Mountain stole a pair of games from the Jaguars on the road by finals of 4-2 and 2-1. (Reporter Photo / Baker Ellis)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor 

HOOVER – Oak Mountain made the quick trip down Caldwell Mill Road on March 23 to pay a visit to crosstown foe Spain Park. The baseball Eagles brought a 12-4 record into the non-area series, and won a pair of games in dramatic fashion to move to 14-4 on the season as the Jaguars fell to 13-12 with the pair of losses.


Game 1. Oak Mountain 4 – Spain Park 2

Spain Park jumped on Oak Mountain early when Bryan Sanderson doubled to right field on the third pitch of the bottom of the first inning, and was brought home two batters later when Hayden Freeman doubled to right field as well. After Freeman advanced to third on a wild pitch, he later scored when Quinton Hoffman grounded out, giving the Jaguars an early 2-0 lead.

After giving up two runs in the first inning, Gene Hurst settled and pitched a gem for Oak Mountain, not allowing another run for the rest of the game. It took the Eagle bats a while to warm up however, as Will Battersby kept Oak Mountain at bay for the better part of six innings. Joseph Hartsfield scored with two outs in the top of the sixth inning to bring the Eagles back within one, and Trevor Shaw, pinch running for Spencer Hughes, snuck across the plate to tie the game in the top of the seventh and force extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Hughes singled to left field, which scored John McDonald and Caleb Floyd, to give Oak Mountain its’ first lead of the game at 4-2. After Sanderson doubled to start the bottom of the eighth, Hurst retired the next three Spain Park batters to secure the win.

Hurst threw 110 pitches over eight innings for Oak Mountain in the winning effort, giving up two runs, both in the first inning, on six hits.


Game 2. Oak Mountain 2 – Spain Park 1

The second game ended in much the same dramatic fashion as the first. Neither team scored until the fifth inning, as Hartsfield kept the Jaguars bats quiet from the mound for Oak Mountain while Spencer Graham did much the same for Spain Park.

The stalemate finally broke when Hartsfield grounded out to second in the top of the fifth, scoring Jake Elkins from third. The slim lead didn’t last long, however, as Reed Thomas doubled off the first pitch in the bottom of the fifth, and was later brought home when Jacob Rich slapped a single into the infield, tying the game at one run apiece.

Oak Mountain broke the tie in the top of the seventh in much the same way it scored in the fifth. Elkins led the inning off and singled to left, advanced to second when David DeAraujo hit a sac fly, moved to third when Ethan Holsembeck singled to left, and scored when Hartsfield once again grounded out, giving the Eagles a slim 2-1 lead and the eventual win.

Hartsfield tossed seven complete innings, threw 111 pitches, gave up five hits and one run in the winning effort.