Spain Park tops Thompson to sweep season series

Published 4:17 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HOOVER – After coming out on top against the Thompson Warriors in their season opener on February 16, the Spain Park Jaguars repeated the feat on Thursday, March 14, claiming an 8-7 win at Thompson High School.

After drawing a leadoff walk in the top of the first inning, Thompson got the next two batters out, but Aiden Berke advanced to third on a steal and defensive indifference.

Just one pitch after Coleman Gray walked to put runners on the corners, a wild pitch allowed Berke to score the first run of the game for Spain Park.

The bottom of the frame was mostly similar, with the Warriors earning a leadoff walk before back-to-back outs, but in the process, D’Marion Terrell advanced to third base.

That allowed Thompson to equalize off an error during Wyatt Williams’ at-bat.

The second inning came and went without a run, but with one out in the top of the second, the Jags made their move.

Rhys Jones hit a solo home run to left to give Spain Park the 2-1 lead and kick off the scoring in the inning.

The Warriors earned the second out of the inning on the next batter, but they walked the next three. During the third walk, an error allowed another run to score.

On the first pitch of the ensuing at-bat, Evan Bistritz hit an RBI single to increase the lead to three. Thompson then walked the next two batters to make the score 5-1 at the end of the third.

The Warriors earned their first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth and capitalized with two on and one out.

Alex Jones hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to three, and Thompson parlayed that into a strong inning.

While the Jags took a three-pitch strikeout on the next batter, Terrell not only kept the inning alive with a single but scored another run in the process.

Ethan Crook then launched a home run to center on the next pitch to score two runs and give the Warriors the 6-5 lead.

Spain Park responded by putting two on with one out in the top of the fifth, putting itself in the position to score off a wild pitch and tie the game back up.

On the next batter, Berke hit an RBI single to left to give the Jags the 7-6 lead.

Thompson didn’t go down quietly and tied the game again in the bottom of the fifth after Drake McBride walked, advanced to third on a steal and error and came home off a groundout by Williams.

With the game tied at 7-7 in the top of the sixth, James Battersby started the inning strong for the Jags with a first-pitch single. He stole a base during each of the next two at-bats to put himself on third with one out.

After Matthew Widra reached base on an error, Sam Waldrop bunted on the first pitch of his ensuing at-bat to bring Battersby home for the go-ahead run.

Spain Park then held onto the 8-7 lead by allowing just two hits in the final two innings and saw out the win.

Jackson Bradley took the win with two shutout innings, taking three strikeouts against two hits.

Berke led the offense by going 2-4 with a walk, run and RBI.

The Jags will return home for a matchup with local rival Briarwood on Saturday, March 16 at 1:30 p.m. Thompson will play a doubleheader the same day against Helena at 11 a.m. and Hazel Green at 6 p.m.