Spain Park run rules Briarwood for third straight win as Jags honor 2014 state champs

Published 4:43 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HOOVER – The Spain Park Jaguars defeated their local rival, the Briarwood Christian Lions, in dominant fashion on Saturday, March 16, taking a 12-1 win on a big afternoon for the Jags.

Spain Park recognized its 2014 state championship team during the varsity game to celebrate 10 years since its success at state.

Briarwood struck first after a Houston Hartsfield double on the first pitch of the game turned into a run thanks to a passed ball and a groundout.

However, that 1-0 lead was erased an inning later and the Jags never looked back from there.

A pair of hit batters loaded up the bases for Spain Park in the bottom of the second, and on the next batter, a wild pitch helped the Jags open up the scoring and tie the game. Three pitches later, Aide Berke hit a two-run double to quickly take a 3-1 lead.

Two batters later with two on and two outs, Coleman Gray hit a two-run single for the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.

Spain Park added to that 5-1 lead in the bottom of the third thanks to a sacrifice fly and a passed ball that put it up 7-1.

After a one-two-three top of the fourth inning, the Jags once again used free baserunners to extend their lead. Three walks in four batters led to the eighth run of the game, and following a hit batter on the ensuing at-bat, Arnold Bush hit an RBI single to extend the lead to nine.

The runs kept coming from there with just one out in the inning, as a Berke single loaded up the bases for Rhys Jones, who was hit by a pitch to score another run and trigger the run rule.

Three pitches later, James Battersby hit an RBI single for the final run of the afternoon as the Jags saw out the 12-1 win in five innings.

Berke finished the day 2-3 with three RBIs, Bush went 2-2 with two runs and two RBIs and Battersby had a 2-4 day at the plate with a run and an RBI.

Patrick McQueeney earned the win and nearly went the distance in 4.2 innings. He took three strikeouts while not allowing an earned run, working his way around three hits, two walks and an unearned run in the process.

Spain Park will take on Vestavia Hills in its next game on Tuesday, March 19 on the road at 4 p.m.

Briarwood will have its final two area games against McAdory this week, with the Lions hosting on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to the Jackets on Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m.