Spain Park offense catches fire in county win over Pelham

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – The Spain Park Jaguars continued an impressive start to the 2023 baseball season on Tuesday, Feb. 21 with an offensive outburst against county foe Pelham.

Taking on the Panthers, who made it to the Class 6A State Championship series last year, Spain Park scored three runs in the first inning and at least one in each of the first three innings, while the Jags scored in all but one inning of the game en route to a 9-6 victory.

Pelham also had a strong offensive night and only trailed 7-6 going to the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Jags tacked on two more runs to their lead, which became too much for the Panthers to overcome.

In the early going, Pelham scored the first two runs of the game in the top of the first thanks to an RBI single from Andrew Petrock and a fielder’s choice grounder from Brody Watts.

Spain Park, however, had a quick answer in the bottom half.

Not only did Jacob Tobias drive home one with an RBI single, but one at bat later, Clay Spencer stepped to the plate and lined a ball over the wall in center field for a two-run shot that put Spain Park in front 3-0 through one inning of play.

The Jags extended the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the second thanks to a wild pitch allowing Jack Kendrick to score.

Blake Woodall then answered for Pelham in the top of the third with an RBI single to score Watts once again, but the Panthers left two on base and still trailed 4-3.

That became the theme of the night, as Pelham had a strong night offensively, but also left several on base that could have flipped the outcome.

The Jags went back up by two in the bottom of the third with an RBI single from Ryan Cole, which drove home Jacob Byrd for a 5-3 advantage.

Pelham once again drew within a run in the top of the fourth on a bunt from Chase Saul that ended with an error and Clayton Mains scoring, but the Panthers left the bases loaded when Spain Park forced a double play to end the inning.

Pelham did finally tie the game in the top of the fifth when Durbin Stewart doubled and was driven home on a Woodall RBI single. That was followed shortly after with an RBI single from Saul to give the Panthers the lead back at 6-5.

Spain Park, however, answered by loading the bases in the bottom half of the inning.

The Jaguars then got back-to-back sacrifice flies to take a 7-6 lead, and this time, they didn’t relinquish it.

Pelham put two on in the top of the sixth, but left both stranded, and Spain Park put together the final blow in the bottom half.

The Jags used an RBI double from Spencer and an RBI single from JR Thompson to add on two more runs, which became the final two runs of the night. The Panthers left 11 on base in the loss, while the Jags left seven on base.

Spencer led Spain Park with an impressive 3-3 night featuring two doubles and a home run with three RBIs. Thompson and Tobias both finished with two hits and an RBI apiece, while Cole had one hit and one RBI. Wes Blackmon and Kendrick both finished with an RBI.

Pelham was led by two hits and two RBIs from Woodall, while Saul, Watts and Petrock all finished with a hit and one RBI.