Spain Park goes 4-1 at Hoover spring break tourney

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

HOOVER – Heading into spring break, the Spain Park Jaguars were heading in the wrong direction having lost four consecutive games after jumping out to a 13-4 start prior to that, but during the Hoover High School spring break tournament, the Jags regained that early-season confidence to put together a 4-1 performance.

Spain Park (17-9) took down Montgomery Central, Wetumpka, Arlington (TN) and Florence to earn a trip to the semifinals of the tournament where the Jaguars lost to Houston (TN).

A recap from Spain Park’s impressive run at the tournament is below.

Game 1: Spain Park 12, Montgomery Central 2

Consistency at the plate was key for Spain Park to start the tournament, as the Jags strung together two runs in each of the first three innings, before busting the game open with six runs in the fifth to end the mercy-rule win at 12-2 through five innings.

Spain Park got triples from Chris Mancill and Carter Sidor in the win, while Colton Ledbetter hit a two-run home run. The Jags outhit Montgomery Central 11-7 in the win.

Mancill went 3-for-4 in the game with three RBIs, while Ledbetter also had three RBIs after going 1-for-2. Adam Wygle went 2-for-2, while Jack Poist went 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Seven different players had at least one RBI in the game.

Matthew Robbins got the start on the mound and tossed four innings allowing five hits and two runs while striking out five. James Robert Lambert finished the final inning and allowed two hits but no runs.

Game 2: Spain Park 10, Wetumpka 0 

Spain Park put together its second dominant performance in as many days against Wetumpka thanks to 10 combined runs between the fourth and sixth innings to complete a second mercy-rule victory by a final score of 10-0.

After a scoreless first three innings, the Jaguars broke open the scoring in the top of the fourth with seven runs, followed by two in the fifth and one in the sixth. SPHS outhit Wetumpka 12-2 and committed no errors.

Poist went 3-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and two runs scored. Ledbetter added two more RBIs after a 1-for-4 game, while Sidor and Lane Willis both picked up two hits and one RBI.

Eli Copenhaver got the win on the mound after a complete-game effort featuring just two hits and a total of five strikeouts. 

Game 3: Spain Park 5, Arlington (TN) 1

In the third game, Spain Park got more strong pitching allowing just two hits for the game, and took advantage of two runs in the third and three in the sixth to pick up a come-from-behind victory.

Arlington took the early lead with a run in the top of the second, but the Jaguars answered back an inning later with two runs in the bottom of the third, before adding the insurance in the sixth with three runs to put the game to rest.

Ledbetter continued an impressive tournament with a 2-for-3 game featuring three RBIs and two runs scored. John Poist also had a solid game with a 2-for-2 performance featuring one RBI. Willis added the Jags’ last RBI.

Linden Samaha got the start and tossed a complete-game two hitter with three strikeouts and one unearned run.

Game 4: Spain Park 10, Florence 9 

Spain Park kept the winning streak alive with a crazy game against Florrence that saw the Jags jump out in front 8-0 through four innings before having to stave off a comeback from Florence to hold on for a 10-9 win.

Florence scored eight combined runs between the fifth and sixth innings, but luckily for the Jags, they added two runs in that time span to hold a 10-8 lead heading to the final inning.

In that final inning, Florence added one run and had the game-tying run on second with two outs, but a fly out to right field ended the game in favor of the Jags.

Willis went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs, while Sidor went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Ledbetter also added two RBIs after a 1-for-3 game featuring two runs scored.

Game 5: Spain Park 5, Houston (TN) 8

In a similar situation as the fourth game of the tournament, the Jags took a 5-3 lead after four innings, but gave up five unanswered between the sixth and seventh innings, including four in the seventh, to fall to Houston in the semifinals of the tournament.

Spain Park fell behind 1-0 after one, before tying it through two innings. Houston then regained the lead with one run apiece in the top of the third and fourth.

The Jags then answered in a big spot with four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-3 advantage, but late in the game, they couldn’t maintain that lead.

After giving up four in the top of the seventh, Spain Park was down 8-5 and tried to mount a comeback in the bottom half after a leadoff double from Mancill and a hit batter put two aboard with one out, but a strikeout and fly out ended the threat.

Willis went 2-for-3 in the game with a run scored, while six different batters picked up one hit.

Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.