Cullman’s bid for back-to-back state titles ended following a 7-2 loss to Chelsea on Saturday.
The Class 6A No. 3 Bearcats (28-13) registered just four hits against the No. 7 Hornets (27-15) in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.
The defeat marks the first time Cullman hasn’t advanced to the quarterfinals since 2013. It also ends a streak of six consecutive semifinal appearances.
Chelsea jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning following a throwing error that plated a run and a two-run triple by Evan Jones.
The Hornets garnered three more runs in the third inning — Christian Kallaher’s two-run single was the crushing blow — to push their lead out to 6-0. Connor Ball’s RBI single an inning later put the home team up by seven runs.
Cullman eventually got on the board in the fifth inning, collecting a pair of runs on a Chelsea error and an RBI double by Matt Brock.
Parker Szush, though, held the Bearcats in check the rest of the way and finished with six strikeouts in his complete-game effort.
Brock (RBI), Max Dueland, Zac Edwards and Kaleb Heatherly had one hit apiece for Cullman.