- Cullman, Alabama

March 25, 2013

PREP BASEBALL: Bearcats split pair of games at Hoover Spring Break Classic

By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times

— While most prep teams are taking it easy during their spring break, the Cullman varsity baseball team is getting its tournament play on.

The Bearcats used an eight-run sixth inning to propel themselves to a 10-2 victory over Montgomery Central on Monday in the 19th annual Hoover Spring Break Classic.

Tied at two late in the game, the Black and Gold was able to take a 4-2 lead by drawing a few walks.

From there, freshman Owen Lovell took care of the rest, doubling off the center-field wall in his first varsity at-bat to drive in two runs and break the game open for the Bearcats.

“That hit let everyone sort of relax a little,” coach Brent Patterson said. “Everyone was pressing offensively.”

Troy Forrest pitched a complete game to earn the victory.

The win puts Cullman’s record at 12-10 on the season. It will play Brentwood Academy (TN) at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, followed by a 2 p.m. matchup with Northridge High.

The four-day tournament consists of a 16-team field featuring teams such as Spain Park, Brentwood High (TN) and Briarwood Christian.

Seven players participating in the tourney, including the Bearcats’ pitcher Keegan Thompson, have signed or are expected to sign with SEC schools. Another is committed to play at Navy.

“They put on a good tourney every year,” Patterson said. “It makes you be at your best. You get to find out some stuff about your team playing good teams in big tournaments. We are trying to find the pieces to the puzzle.”

% Hoover 1, Cullman 0: The Bearcats dropped a tough 1-0 decision to the host Buccaneers on Monday.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning, Hoover’s Billy Reed hit a two-out infield single up the middle that was corraled by shortshop Kolby Robinson. The Bucs’ Brooks Haley, who was on second, never stopped rounding the third base bag and scored on a close play at the plate.

Jordan Guthrie was excellent for Cullman in the tough-luck loss, tossing 6 2/3 innings of four-hit ball. He struckout seven and walked none.

“Jordan was fantastic again,” Patterson said. “He did what he’s really done all season for us. It was a tough loss for him.”

Guthrie’s counterpart Geoffrey Bramblett was too good for the Bearcats to handle, however, as the Alabama commit allowed just one hit, while striking out four in his complete game shutout. Haley, Josh Vines and Ian Kirk rounded out Hoover’s four hits in the game.

“He (Bramblett) has a very good high school curveball,” Patterson said. “That gave our guys some trouble and he was just good at mixing pitches up.”

‰ Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at