The Cullman Times
Cullman received strong starts from Sam Huser and Branch Hill and came up with some big-time base hits to grab a doubleheader sweep versus Vestavia Hills (11-1) and Overton, Tenn. (7-1) at the Hoover Classic on Tuesday afternoon.
Huser pitched a five-inning complete game, allowing one run on four hits and punching out four Rebel hitters to improve to 5-0 on the season.
The Bearcats held a 4-1 cushion heading into the top of the fifth inning before breaking out for seven runs to grab an easy victory on the road.
Lance Cleveland led the team with two hits and an RBI, while Owen Lovell, Cristian Martinez and Clay Krout each contributed a hit and an RBI apiece. Kolby Robinson tossed in two RBIs on a sacrifice fly and a groundout. Keaton Dean had a hit, too.
“It was a tight game there for awhile,” Bearcat coach Brent Patterson said. “We were able to capitalize on a few errors in the fifth inning and score some runs.”
Following their win, Patterson and Co. hopped on the bus and headed over to the Met to take on Overton in Game 2 on the day.
Branch Hill picked up right where Huser left off, throwing six innings of three-hit ball to earn the W. He walked three hitters and struck out six. Noah Holder tossed a scoreless seventh to close out the game.
Cole Collins was a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs, while Lovell and Auston Neal each had two hits and an RBI for the Bearcats.
Drake Hollingsworth notched a hit and two RBIs. Orvis Cuello was good for a hit and one RBI. Maison Goodwin, Robinson and Huser all had one single.
The Class 5A No. 3 Black and Gold improved to 20-8 on the season with the two wins.
“We want to pitch it and defend it every game,” Patterson said. “We didn’t do that in our past two games. Sometimes, the runs will come and sometimes they won’t. But we have absolutely got to do those two things to win. It was important for us to come out and get over that loss on Monday, and we did that. I’m proud of them.”
Cullman will play Pell City today at 2 p.m.
% Vinemont 6, Hanceville 5: Garrett Boland provided the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh to help the Bulldogs bounce the 3A No. 6 Bulldogs in the opening game of the county rivals’ area series.
See more on the close contest in Thursday’s Times.
Vinemont can clinch the series with a win in Game 1 Thursday on the road. A loss would give Hanceville the chance to snag the series in the nightcap that would follow shortly after.
% Dora 9, Holly Pond 3: The Broncos took a 3-2 lead into the fourth but gave up five runs in the frame to “spell the doom” on what turned out to be a lopsided loss on Tuesday.
Hunter Townson was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs to go along with a six-inning, nine-hit, three-K start. Zac Naler pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.
Naler also helped out with a hit and an RBI. Nathan Duke and Mitchell had singles of their own.
The Broncos will take an 8-12 record to Fairview on Thursday.
Gulf Shores Classic
The Cullman softball team wrapped up pool play at the beach with a 3-2 mark after falling to top-ranked Curry (5A) and going berserk with the bats for a 12-4 win over Smiths Station Tuesday.
Further details were unknown.
The 5A No. 8 Lady Bearcats (18-9) will get tourney play going on Wednesday.
% Good Hope 5, Vinemont 4: The Raiders moved to 3-1 in area play on Tuesday following a Bailey Starnes walk-off two-bagger in the bottom of the seventh inning.
She finished with two hits, while Alannah Henke and Darby Randolph each had three apiece for Good Hope (4-10).
Randolph went the distance for the Raiders, scattering 10 hits and striking out three.
Raven Christiansen took the tough loss for Vinemont. She surrendered 12 hits and struck out seven.
Allison Fowler, Grace Griggs and Anna Hughes each notched two hits piece for the Eagles, who fell to 1-4 in area play.
% The Times’ Jake Winfrey and Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.