WEST POINT — West Point is the king of Cullman County once again.
Eli Folds hurled six stellar innings, the Warriors’ offense did more than enough to back him up, and the Maroon and White took down Fairview 10-0 in the championship game of the Cullman County Baseball Tournament on Monday to notch the program’s fourth consecutive county crown and improve to 16-15 this season.
Folds allowed just two hits and issued two walks while striking out 14 batters.
Earlier in the day, the Warriors knocked off Hanceville 9-2 in the semifinals behind another terrific pitching performance — this one by Caiden Rodgers. Rodgers tossed five no-hit innings, walked two and struck out 12.
"We had a tough week last week with a really good Russellville team,” West Point coach Drew Bryson said. "We just could not scratch across any runs and get on the board, so it was good to come out, put some runs on the board and play great defense all day. Obviously, Caiden and Eli both set the tone on the mound for us. We’re big on pitching — pitching and defense. They did a great job today coming out and getting us back in the win column, even though we competed well last week. I’m proud of how they’ve played as of late, and I feel like we’re carrying some momentum into the playoffs.”
Folds and Cade Simmons each drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to give West Point an early 2-0 lead.
A passed ball by Fairview made it 3-0 in the third inning before an RBI single by Simmons put the Warriors ahead 4-0.
West Point produced five more runs in the fifth inning — Kanaan Sutter and JD Cochran each recorded run-scoring hits, Andrew Putman scored on a passed ball, and Rodgers drew a bases-loaded walk — and ended the game in the sixth inning following an RBI single by Bryson Phillips that plated Folds.
Sutter (RBI) and Cochran (RBI) each had two hits for West Point, while Simmons (two RBIs), Phillips (RBI) and Putman tallied one apiece. McCoy and Folds each totaled an RBI.
“Our goal from Day 1 was to establish ourselves as a program that competes year in and year out,” Bryson said. “The most successful programs across the state are always in the hunt every year, and that’s what we wanted to do with the baseball program here at West Point — compete and contend every year. The credit goes to the players, past and present, who have bought in and sacrificed in order to establish a winning culture. We’ve been fortunate to have players who are talented but also have a strong work ethic, and are selfless teammates and coachable athletes. When you have a combination of those, winning tends to take care of itself."
Lucas West and Parker Martin provided one hit apiece for Fairview, which defeated Vinemont 7-1 in the semifinals.
See the All-Tournament Team below as well as capsules from other tournament games on Monday.
Seth Whiting, Holly Pond
Preston Williams, Vinemont
Braxton Marshall, Good Hope
Drew Campbell, Hanceville
Dalton Payne, Fairview
Lucas West, Fairview
Caiden Rodgers, West Point
Eli Folds, West Point — MVP
JD Cochran, West Point
Cullman County Baseball Coaches Association Scholarship
Paydon Bagwell, Good Hope
Fairview 7, Vinemont 1
Crimson Wright (F): 2 hits, RBI
Parker Martin (F): 2 hits, RBI
Nicolas Gregory (F): 3 RBIs
Dalton Payne (F): 3 walks
Carson Jones (F): 7 IP, 4 H, R, 3 K
Colby Miller (V): 2 hits
Preston Williams (V): hit, RBI
West Point 9, Hanceville 2
JD Cochran (WP): 2 hits
Caiden Rodgers (WP): hit, RBI
Isaac Hoffpauir (WP): hit, RBI
Eli Folds (WP): hit, RBI
Cade Simmons (WP): hit, RBI
Colton McCoy (WP): 3 walks, RBI
Andrew Putman (WP): RBI
Caiden Rodgers (WP): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 12 K
Drew Campbell (H): 2 hits
Brady Cleek (H): RBI