Playoff Baseball

Cold Springs' Joshua Winfrey (left) and Brodee Bartlett are pictured.

For the first time in two years, postseason baseball will be played in Alabama.

Six squads in The Times’ coverage area — Cold Springs, Cullman, Fairview, Good Hope, Vinemont and West Point — claimed playoff berths this season, and all six will kick off their potential championship journeys with first-round matchups on Friday. 

The Bearcats won their area title and will host. The other five teams will hit the road. 

See below for complete capsules of each opening-round series. 

Team: Cold Springs (Area 13 Runner-Up) 

Record: 9-8 

Class: 2A 

Opponent: North Sand Mountain (Area 15 Winner)

When: Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. — if necessary

Coach Speak: “It’s always a good thing to be playing baseball at this time of the year. We missed it a lot last year. The kids missed it a lot, and they’re excited to be back playing.” — Cold Springs’ Wesley McSwain 

“From what I’ve gathered, North Sand Mountain is a lot like we are. I think we match up well with them.” — Cold Springs’ Wesley McSwain 

Team: Cullman (Area 14 Winner)

Record: 25-10

Class: 6A

Opponent: Hazel Green (Area 16 Runner-Up)

When: Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m. — if necessary 

Coach Speak: “It’s better to be in the playoffs preparing than it is to be sitting at home (laughs), but it never gets easier. You don’t want to go into any round unprepared. You want to try to give your team the best chance to be successful.” — Cullman’s Brent Patterson

“Hazel Green is extremely well coached and competitive. They can score a lot of runs and put up big offensive numbers. They’ll have a nothing-to-lose mentality that can be dangerous. They’ll play with a lot of energy and a lot of passion.” — Cullman’s Brent Patterson 

Team: Fairview (Area 14 Runner-Up) 

Record: 14-16

Class: 5A

Opponent: Madison Academy (Area 16 Winner)

When: Friday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday at noon — if necessary 

Coach Speak: “It’s definitely good to be back and playing ball again after how last year went. It’s good for us to come back, play pretty well and get in the playoffs. We’ve added a lot of young guys to our varsity this year, and we’re excited to see how we stack up.” — Fairview’s Brandon Tidmore

“Madison Academy is a quality opponent and a really good program. We have a lot of respect for them. They’ve played a good schedule and have beaten a lot of good teams. They also have some good arms, and they swing it well. It’ll be a good measuring stick for us.” — Fairview’s Brandon Tidmore 

Team: Good Hope (Area 11 Runner-Up)

Record: 10-16

Class: 4A

Opponent: Cherokee County (Area 9 Winner)

When: Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. — if necessary

Coach Speak: “It’s nice to have a sense of normalcy and be back on the field playing in the playoffs. The kids are excited about the opportunity. Baseball is a game of ups and downs, and we’re hoping to hit our stride this weekend.” — Good Hope’s Mitch Witcher

“Cherokee County is a pretty scrappy team that's aggressive on the basepaths and plays small ball. They’re also aggressive at the plate. It’s a good matchup. They’re a lot like us. Their pitchers throw strikes and depend on their defense.” — Good Hope’s Mitch Witcher 

Team: Vinemont (Area 15 Runner-Up)

Record: 9-8

Class: 3A

Opponent: J.B. Pennington (Area 13 Winner)

When: Friday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Saturday at noon — if necessary

Coach Speak: “It’s nice to be back. The guys have really worked hard, and it's something they feel like they deserve.” — Vinemont’s Matt Collins

“I haven’t heard much out of them, but they were a solid team when we played them in the playoffs in 2019. Traditionally, they’re solid. I wouldn’t expect that to be any different on Friday.” — Vinemont’s Matt Collins

Team: West Point (Area 15 Runner-Up)

Record: 19-17

Class: 5A

Opponent: Sardis (Area 13 Winner)

When: Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m. — if necessary

Coach Speak: “We expect to be a playoff team year in and year out now. Last year, nobody got the opportunity. In 2019, we missed it by a game. That really got our guys to buy in, and it became a two-year thing to get to this point. We’re glad to be here, but we aren’t satisfied. We have an expectation to make a run. We’ve been playing our best baseball as of late, and if we continue that trend, I like our chances.” — West Point’s Drew Bryson

“Sardis is a young team, but they’re very talented. I’m expecting it to be a pitching duel the whole series. The way we both throw the ball and play defense, I’m expecting low-scoring games and trying to manufacture runs and trying to pull out two wins.” — West Point’s Drew Bryson

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