With the win, Spalding improves to 19-5 overall while East Coweta drops to 14-12. The No. 1 seeded Jags will face No. 4 seed Westside-Augusta in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs May 4 at Jaguar Field.
The Jags got the party started early against the Indians. Michael Martin singled and that was followed by the first high school home run by Parker Powell, who sent a shot over the right-field fence to give the Jags a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Powell, a 5-7 lefty, was surprised and elated to smash his first varsity homer.
“I was supposed to bunt Mike over, but the first two pitches were high. I didn’t get the bunt sign afterward so I just wanted to get a good swing in,” said Powell. “When I hit it, I just ran hard trying to get a double. After I heard the roar from the dugout and saw Mike trotting around the bases, I realized it was a homer. It felt awesome!”
After East Coweta scored a run on an RBI-groundout in the top of the second to cut the lead to 2-1, Spalding basically put the game away in the bottom of the second. Consecutive singles from Powell Krepps, Austin Smith and starting pitcher Cody Douglas loaded the bases and Parker Powell and Casey Moody hit singles to eventually drive in 4 runs for the 6-1 Jags lead.
Two innings later, a Matt Hayes RBI single scored Parker Powell to give Spalding the 8-1 lead and it looked like the Jags were on their way to mercy-ruling the Indians. The Jags completed that process in the bottom of the fifth.
Douglas reached first on an error and Sean Montgomery pinch-ran for him. Montgomery stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. East Coweta then committed a bad throwing error from the catcher to the pitcher and the heady Montgomery took off for home. Montgomery made a nice slide at the plate to avoid the tag and score Spalding’s 9th run as the enthusiastic Jags ran out of the dugout to congratulate him.
“I knew we were close to ending the game and I saw an opportunity to make my mark on this game,” said Montgomery, who decided to steal home on his own. “I saw the ball on the ground and I just decided to go for it. I’m glad I made it home safely.”
The hustle play from Montgomery set the stage for the Jags to win the game. Parker Powell walked and Moody then smashed his fourth homer of the year over the fence in right-center for the 11-1 final margin. It was Spalding’s third walk-off win by a homer this season.
Moody went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs, Martin went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, Montgomery scored 2 runs and Parker Powell went 1 for 2 with 2 walks, the homer and 4 runs scored.