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March 19, 2013

PREP ROUNDUP: Guthrie keeps rolling in Cats’ 4-1 area-opener over Indians

CAPSHAW — All games matter, but everyone knows baseball season doesn’t truly get going until the start of area play.

Despite entering Tuesday’s opener with an 8-8 record, No. 2 Cullman found a way to head back home with a 1-0 area-series advantage after defeating East Limestone by a 4-1 final.

Jordan Guthrie was sensational on the mound once again for the Bearcats, striking out 11 Indians to improve to 5-1. All five victories have been earned with complete-game efforts.

Other than Ben Rhodes, who was responsible for all three of East Limestone’s hits, the home lineup was a cakewalk for Guthrie. The Snead State signee struck out the side in the first inning and added two K’s apiece in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh frames.

Joseph Gable knocked in Kolby Robinson for Cullman’s first run in the second inning, allowing Cole Collins and Keegan Thompson to put away the game for good with respective solo home runs in the third.

Collins’ lead-off shot to right field was his first of the season, while Thompson’s blast to left was his fifth.

Robinson reached base again with a single in the fourth inning and was later driven in by a hit from Mason Jones to round out the Bearcats’ scoring.

Thompson, who served as the designated hitter, added a single to his stat-line in his last at-bat.

The Black and Gold cruised to a 12-0 five-inning win over the Indians in a Tuesday-night nightcap that didn’t have any implications on either team’s area standings.

Cullman’s offense made Troy Forrest’s job as the starting pitcher easier than usual by pulling out to a 10-0 lead after just two innings.

Thompson (single), Kristian Robinson (fielder’s choice) and Auston Neal (booming double off the fence) all knocked in one run in the opening frame.

The Bearcats batted around and scored seven runs the following inning, highlighted by a bases-clearing double off the bottom of the fence from Keaton Dean. Collins tacked on an RBI single, Zac Crocker brought in a run with a sac fly, and Thompson and Cristian Martinez had RBI walks.

Thompson made the score 11-0 with an RBI double in the third inning, and Sam Huser made the most of a pinch-hit opportunity with an RBI single in the fifth.

Collins threw out an East Limestone player trying to score on a sacrifice fly to end the third.

The foes will have a quick turnaround with another doubleheader slated for Thursday in Cullman. The Bearcats (10-8) can wrap up the area series with a win in the first game. If East Limestone wins, however, Game 2 will determine the victor.

% Vinemont 4, Cold Springs 1: The Red and White improved to 13-4 with a solid road win over the Eagles on Tuesday night.

Riley Foust was effective both on the mound and at the plate. He pitched five innings for Vinemont, striking out nine batters. Foust was also 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBI.

Duncan Hopper pitched the final two innings of the game to earn the save. The senior added three hits in the win.

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