MOUNTAIN BROOK — John Michael Mathews opened Monday's baseball game with a solo home run for Gardendale, but then the bats fell silent.
Mountain Brook took advantage, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning as they rolled to a 6-1 victory in the deciding game of their AHSAA Class 6A first-round playoff series.
Rockets starter Dalton Moore got in trouble quickly, as Jack McPherson's sacrifice fly brought home Andrew Autrey to tie the game. Then an intentional walk, an unintended walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with Spartans, and Gardendale coach Pat Keedy pulled Moore out after just a third of an inning.
Reliver Brady Sellers then dished up a two-run hit to Mitch Morrow,and an RBI single by Parks Shoulders to finish off the five-run rally.
Mountain Brook scored another run in the fourth inning when a McPherson line-drive base hit brought in Autrey.
Mathews was 2-for-3 for Gardendale, as was Jacob Hallmark. Autrey and Drew Odom were each 2-for-4 for the Spartans, and Morrow was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Alan Hale got the win on the hill, allowing five hits. Davis McDougal threw the last inning in relief.
Gardendale ends the season with a 24-15 record.