Spain Park goes 4-2 at Hoover spring break tourney, improves to 21-6

Published 2:30 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – One of the state’s hottest teams in recent weeks, the Spain Park Jaguars were able to extend their win streak to nine in a row over spring break before losing two tight games to finish their run at the Hoover spring break tournament 4-2 overall.

Now 21-6 overall, the Jags won their first four games of the tournament, beating Prattville, Gadsden City, Lincoln and Bingham all by at least 10 runs before falling to Morton and Auburn to end the tournament by scores of 9-4 and 5-4.

In the opening game against Prattville, Spain Park started a stretch of four straight games with at least 10 runs by taking down the Lions 10-0.

Spain Park scored two runs in the opening inning before a scoreless three innings followed. The Jags, however, then followed with two more in the fifth and six in the sixth to put the game away.

In addition to the success at the plate, Lucas Thornton allowed Spain Park to pull away in the win after an impressive shutout performance that featured 12 strikeouts. He gave up just four hits and one walk in the complete-game effort.

Cole Edwards led the team at the plate with two hits and two RBIs, while Chapman Blevins finished with a hit and two RBIs. Evan Smallwood and JR Thompson both added one hit and one RBI, while Ryan Cole, Clay Spencer and Aiden Berke each finished with one RBI.

In the second game against Gadsden City, it was another 10-run wine as the Jaguars scored 12 runs to take down the Titans 12-1.

The Jags scored five in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth to pick up the shortened win in five innings.

Jackson Bradley was the leader this time around with two hits and four RBIs in the victory, while Coleman Gray and Sam Waldrop each finished with two RBIs on one hit. Tyler Walker, Evan Bistritz and Blevins all finished with one hit and one RBI, while Jacob Byrd added one hit.

Lucas Harvey got the win on the mound, going four innings and allowing just three walks with four strikeouts. Cooper Cole finished off the final inning and struck out two in that time.

Spain Park continued the impressive stretch of play with a 13-3 win over Lincoln to close out Thursday’s games.

The Jaguars got three RBIs each from Spencer, Matthew Widra and James Battersby with Spencer and Widra totaling two hits each and Battersby one. Smallwood added two hits and two RBIs, while Edwards also finished with two hits.

Beyond that, the Jags got one hit and an RBI from Jacob Tobias, while Thompson, Cole and Berke each finished with a hit as well.

Christopher Gross got the complete-game win on the mound, pitching all five innings and striking out five while allowing two earned runs and six hits.

The final win of the tournament came a day later on Friday, March 31 against Bingham, as the Jags picked up a 14-4 victory in five innings once again.

Spain Park scored eight of those 14 between the first two innings and went on to score at least one run in all five of the innings played.

Tobias and Widra led the way with two hits and three RBIs each, while Battersby and Berke each finished with two hits and one RBI. Specner added a hit and two RBIs, while Edwards finished with a hit and Cole an RBI.

Thompson got the complete-game win on the mound, going the distance and allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Spain Park went on to fall to Morton after a seven-run fourth inning made the difference, while the Jags fell to Auburn by one run in a back-and-forth battle despite outhitting the Tigers 11-6.