By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
Not far removed from a dominant county tournament championship, coach Trai Meadows and his West Point squad wanted to get off to a good start against Hartselle in their first area matchup of the season on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, things didn’t go as planned.
West Point corraled just one hit on offense, while the Tigers shelled starter Dalton Looney to the tune of 10 runs and 11 hits, as Hartselle knocked off the Warriors 10-0 in five innings.
“Hats off to Hartselle,” Meadows said. “They can hit, pitch, run and play defense. They were definitely as good as advertised.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to jump out to a lead, as they took advantage of a first-inning error from West Point third baseman Bryant Farley to score a couple runs.
Hartselle tacked on two more in the third frame but blew the game wide open in the fourth.
Looney gave up a leadoff hit and a walk before allowing a two-run single that gave the Tigers a 6-0 cushion.
Any chance the Warriors had to made a comeback were quickly dashed when Hartselle’s Brett Blackwood hit a laser home run to left-center field — his second of the game — to hand his team an eight-run advantage.
“He hit some good pitches,” Meadows said. “I think their whole team is swinging the bats about as well as anyone right now.”
West Point’s bats, however, didn’t have an answer for Colton Ord.
The South Alabama signee threw five innings of no-hit ball, striking out six batters and walking none.
“He was tough,” Meadows said. “He’s got a fastball that really jumps on you, and his curveball’s not bad, either.”
Cameron Brock had the lone hit of the game for the Warriors on a one-out single in the top of the fifth inning.
West Point ace Wesley Waters, who’s currently nursing a sore right tricep, started at shortstop for the Warriors and went 0 for 2 from the plate with a strikeout.
Meadows said he was unsure when the Wallace State signee would return to the mound for his team.
“Right now, we are just doing what the trainers are telling us to do,” he said. “We aren’t going to jeopardize his future. When they give us the green light, we will send him out.”
The Warriors returned to the field shortly after the conclusion of Game 1 to finish up the doubleheader, dropping the nightcap 9-7 in an extra-inning heartbreaker.
West Point enjoyed a 7-2 lead at one point in the contest before Chris Brown capped off the Tigers' comeback with a walk-off two-run homer — his second round-tripper of the game — in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Jordan McKenzie pitched seven innings for the Warriors (8-5), and Waters contributed a two-run home run and three-run double at the plate.
The second contest had no bearing on area standings.
‰ Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.