The Cullman Times
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.
% Good Hope 12, Hanceville 0: Cara Goodwin notched her second perfect game of the season, and the Lady Raider offense had its first outburst in quite some time to help Good Hope improve to 12-5 overall and 3-0 in area play.
Goodwin, a UAB signee, finished her flawless outing with 10 strikeouts.
Darby Randolph bad the most productive Raider bat with two hits and four RBIs. Goodwin, Kayla Tillman and Kacy Thomas all picked up two hits, too, while Alannah Henke, Bailie Andrews and Mykale Lowe each pitched in one.
Goodwin helped her cause with two RBIs, and Thomas drove in one.
“Temperature gets warmer and hopefully the bats do, too,” Good Hope coach Wayne Harris said of his team’s resurgence at the plate.
The Raiders will host county-rival Vinemont on Thursday for another area contest.
% West Point 4, Cold Springs 3: Kaitlyn Kelley contributed two hits and an RBI at the plate and was the Warriors’ winning pitcher to lift her squad in a close county clash.
Karli Beck, the younger sister of former West Point pitcher Kacie Beck, was credited with the save.
“I’ve still got one of them,” Warrior coach Kevin Sullins said of the Beck sisters. “You couldn’t ask for a better pair of girls.”
Courtney Walker was good for two hits and a run, Karra Elam chipped in one hit and an RBI, and Mallory Walker added a hit and a run for West Point. Brooke Marchman and Rebecca Carter both scored once.
“We were fortunate to come up with some timely hits, good pitching and good defense,” Sullins said. “Cold Springs is an excellent team.”
Cullman’s varsity tennis squads earned a pair of easy section wins over Boaz on Tuesday night.
With the victories, the boys (8-1) and girls (9-2) remained perfect in section play.
The Black and Gold boys garnered an 8-1 team victory.
Clint Watson (No. 1, 10-3), Baylor Adams (No. 2, 10-5), Jacob Davis (No. 3, 10-2), Ryan Hunt (No. 4, 10-5), Matthew Davis (No. 5, 10-2) and Luke Bowden (No. 6, 10-7) were all victorious in singles matches for the Bearcats.
The No. 1 tandem of Watson/J. Davis fell 10-11 in doubles but was aided with wins by No. 2 Adams/Bowden (10-2) and No. 3 Hunt/M. Davis (10-1). Jacob Lambert and Parker Adams were also 10-3 winners in exhibition play.
The Cullman girls continued their dominant season with a clean 9-0 sweep of the Pirates.
No. 1 Hannah Cornelius paced her team with a 10-2 victory, while teammates McKenzie Bussman (No. 2, 10-1), Olivia Sharpton (No. 3, 10-0) and Bailey Baker (No. 4, 10-0) were also easy winners in singles play.
Anna Trevarthan (10-0) and Makenna Smith (10-1) also tallied victories in the No. 5 and 6 spots.
The Bearcats rounded out their team win with a perfect mark in doubles.
No. 1 Cornelius and Bussman earned a 10-1 decision, while No. 2 Baker/Sharpton (10-0) and No. 3 Mary Claire Smith/Katie Hood (10-2) were just as sharp.
The boys will play Bob Jones at Cullman on Thursday. Both teams will travel to Sylacauga for a section match on Saturday.
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