Spain Park sweeps rival Oak Mountain for 2-0 start to area play

Published 9:59 am Thursday, April 6, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Fresh off a 4-2 showing over spring break, the Spain Park Jaguars jumped into area play April 4-5 and remained one of the state’s hottest teams by picking up a sweep of rival Oak Mountain.

The Jaguars took down the Eagles 5-3 to open the series and then finished off the series sweep with a dominant 10-0 shutout a day later.

In the opening game, the Jags were able to steadily build a 3-0 lead with one run each in the first, third and fifth innings, but the Eagles erased that deficit quickly with three combined between the fifth and sixth to even the score.

Spain Park, however, kicked off the final inning with two runs to regain the late lead, which ultimately became the difference in a two-run win. An RBI double from Jacob Tobias and an RBI single from Clay Spencer led to both runs scoring.

From there, JR Thompson finished off a strong final two innings by forcing the Eagles to go down in order in the home half to preserve the win.

Thompson pitched two innings and allowed two unearned runs, while he struck out three and gave up one walk and two hits.

Lucas Thornton got the start and allowed one unearned run in five innings with four hits and four walks with three strikeouts.

At the plate, Tobias finished with two hits and two RBIs, while Cole Edwards and James Battersby both finished with a hit and one RBI. Spencer added two hits.

Oak Mountain was led by Matthew Heiberger in game one with a hit and an RBi with two walks, while he struck out nine batters on the mound in the start, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks.

Game two was much more one sided, as Spain Park scored at least one run in all but the fifth inning, closing the game with four in the sixth to complete a 10-0 shutout in six innings.

Spain Park took a 2-0 lead with one run in the each of the first three innings and then started pulling away with three in the third to make it 5-0.

The Jags added one more in the fifth and then closed the game with four in the sixth to complete the win.

Edwards put together a 3-for-3 game with a home run and two doubles as well as four RBIs. Thompson also had three hits and picked up two RBIs, while Evan Smallwood finished with a hit and an RBI.

Matthew Widra also had multiple hits in the win, totaling two in four plate appearances with a run scored, while Battersby and Tobias each finished with one RBI in the victory.

Christopher Gross picked up the complete-game shutout on the win, striking out three and giving up two walks and four hits.

Heiberger had two of Oak Mountain’s four hits in the loss.