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March 14, 2014

PREP ROUNDUP: Cullman shines in doubleheader sweep of 6A Gardendale

GARDENDALE — For the second time in four days, Cullman’s baseball team secured a doubleheader sweep over a Class 6A opponent.

On Tuesday, it was Grissom. On Friday, the 5A No. 3 Bearcats walked onto Gardendale’s home turf and boarded the bus a few hours later with a two wins to improve to 12-7 on the season.

Brent Patterson’s squad squeaked by the Rockets 3-2 in the first game of the afternoon before grounding them completely in the latter contest with a decisive 11-1 victory.

“We played pretty good and pitched it pretty good today,” said Patterson, whose team has won five straight contests. “We are coming out lately with some good consistency on the mound and on defense. I’m really pleased with that. We’re just trying to get a little better offensively.”

Cullman led 1-0 in the second inning of Game 1 before senior Keaton Dean roped a two-run double to center field to give his a three-run advantage. Sam Huser and Orvis Cuello had one hit apiece for the Bearcats in the win.

Freshman Owen Lovell was dynamite on the mound yet again for the Black and Gold, tossing five innings of sublime baseball. He allowed two hits, walked one and punched out two. Carter Bowen pitched the final two frames and surrendered a couple of unearned runs before closing up shop to pick up the save.

“Owen was really, really good tonight,” Patterson said. “And we played great defense behind him, too.”

In Game 2, Cullman’s pitching remained stout — but its bats came alive with ferocity.

Cuello went 3 for 3 at the plate, while both Kolby Robinson and Lance Cleveland socked two hits — the latter cleared the bases with a double in the seventh and finished his night with five RBIs — to help the Bearcats secure the easy win.

Maison Goodwin, Dean, Clay Krout, Cole Collins and Lovell all had one hit each. Lovell, Krout and Huser each notched an RBI.

“We found some holes,” Patterson said. “We put together a few pretty good at-bats and ran the bases well. We are getting some big two-out hits, too.”

Auston Neal, Jesse Scott and Noah Fondren combined for a superb one-hitter. The trio struck out 10 batters and did not issue a single free pass.

Cullman is back home against East Limestone on Tuesday for a critical area doubleheader.

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