MOUNTAIN BROOK — Gardendale scored once in the top of the fifth to break a 2-2 tie, and the run stood up as the Rockets beat Benjamin Russell 3-2 in the first game of an opening-day tri-series at Mountain Brook.
The Rockets were pummeled by the Spartans 13-3 in six innings in the final game.
Against the Wildcats in the opener, Joseph Calvert hit a two-run single to put the Rockets in front early.
Carter Burns went five innings and gave up three hits in the win.
Caleb Brooks hit a run-scoring double for Russell.
In the nightcap, Chris Walton was shelled early and often, but it was a five-run fourth inning by the Spartans that prompted coach Pat Keedy to pull him off the mound.
Andrew Autrey went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, while Sam Centeno was also 2-for-5 with three runs driven in for Mountain Brook.
Calvert was 2-for-3 with an RBI, as the Rockets score three runs in the third inning.
Hunter Holcomb got the win for the Spartans.
Gardendale hosts Hayden on Thursday.