Spain Park downs Oak Mountain in final-inning come back

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – Trailing by two runs with one out and nobody on base in the bottom of the final inning, Spain Park’s undefeated start to the 2021 season was in jeopardy against rival Oak Mountain on Monday, March 1.

When Brooks Ballantine was hit by a pitch, however, a rally began. That was followed by back-to-back singles from pinch hitter Howie Berke and Conner Eberhardt.

Then, back-to-back walks to Ethan Smallwood and Cole Edwards drove home two runs to tie the game at 3-3.

That set the stage for Trent Thompson.

With the bases loaded and still just one out, Thompson took the second pitch he saw and hit a hard grounder to shortstop, but there was no play to be made defensively, as Eberhardt sprinted home for the walk-off win.

Thompson was credited with the infield single to help the Jags pick up the win and improve to 6-0 on the season. It also marked his second hit of the game, as he was the only one to finish with two hits for Spain Park.

He added a run scored and a walk to contribute in several facets of the game.

Early in the game, however, Oak Mountain was able to take control.

Following two quiet innings, the Eagles put together a three-run top of the third to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

Chapman Wallock kick started the inning with one of his three hits in the game. After he advanced to second on a sac bunt, Davis Gillespie doubled to center field to drive him home for a 1-0 lead.

A single from Andrew Hunt and a Walk from Maddox Macrory kept the threat alive before an error allowed both Gillespie and Hunt to score and make it 3-0.

Following that error, however, Spain Park was able to turn a double play to get out of the jam down by three.

The Jags got their first run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Charlie Goodwin, which helped cut into the deficit. But it wasn’t until the final inning that the Jaguars were able to string together successful at bats to complete the win.

Behind Thompson, Spain Park got hits from Goodwin, Eberhardt, Edwards and Berke, while Smallwood, Edwards and Goodwin all added an RBI.

On the mound, Hayden Humber was a big reason the Jags had a chance to win late. He took over with the Jags trailing, but went on to pitch two innings of no-run baseball. He allowed two hits and struck out one.

Jake Majors allowed six hits in the start as well as three runs, but only one run was earned, while he also struck out three.

Oak Mountain was led by Wallock with three hits and a run scored, while Hunt finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. Drew Roland went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while Gillespie was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Mitchell Pierce also added a hit.

Stephen Moraski got the start on the mound and allowed two hits and one run in five innings with eight strikeouts.