Spring Garden continued to get dominating pitching performances from junior Colby Slayton and sophomore Weston Kirk and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the AHSAA Class 1A baseball playoffs.
The Panthers will host Heritage Christian, until recently known as Shades Mountain Christian, in a best-of-three series Thursday. Thursday’s doubleheader will begin at 4 p.m. If needed, the third game is set for Friday at 4:30 p.m.
The winner in Spring Garden meets the winner of quarterfinal-round series between home-standing Mars Hill Bible of Florence and Donoho in the semifinals. If the Panthers beat Heritage, they will be at home for their semifinal series regardless of their opponent.
Playing at Falkville on Friday, Spring Garden drilled the Blue Devils 13-0 in six innings in the opener. Slayton limited Falkville batters to one hit. He struck out 13 and walked just one. With Spring Garden batting as the home team, Kirk also tossed a shutout in the second game. The Panthers supported him with 11 runs in the first four innings. When Falkville didn’t score in the fifth, the game, and the series, ended. Kirk gave up two hits, walked one and fanned five.
Luke Ivey led Spring Garden at the plate in the opener with three hits, including a triple and a double. He scored three times and added one RBI. Catcher Luke Welsh homered and singled and drove in two runs. Kenneth Petty had two singles in four at-bats, scored once and drove in one run.
Grayden Guthrie doubled and had one RBI. Slayton, Weston Kirk, Ryley Kirk and Nathan Law each had a single. Ryley Kirk was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and one run. Weston Kirk drove in one run and scored three times. Slayton, Law, Chaz Pope and Andrew Floyd each scored once.
Welsh was 3-for-3 with another home run and a double in the nightcap. He added three RBIs. Ivey was 1-for-1, a double, walked twice, scored three runs and had two RBIs. Law went 2-for-2 and scored once.
Weston Kirk helped his own cause at the plate with a double and a single in three at-bats and had one RBI. Ryley Kirk singled in two at-bats and scored once. Pope and Andrew Bates each scored two runs. Slayton drove in one run and scored once.