Hartselle salvages split with Cullman
Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle salvaged a split in Tuesday afternoon’s doubleheader with rival Cullman at Reuben Sims Field, but the Tigers’ loss in the opener was costly.
Cullman used a 12-hit attack and a handful of Hartselle errors to win the opening game of the doubleheader 14-0.
Hartselle came back to win the second game 7-2 behind solid pitching from Chad Girodo.
The first game counted in the area standings, giving the Bearcats an early lead in the area race. The two teams will meet again April 8 in Cullman.
Hartselle is now 10-2 overall and 1-1 in area play. Cullman is 7-7 and 2-0 in the area.
In a matchup between staff aces, Cullman’s Drew Bryson stood tall with a two-hitter.
Bryson, the Class 5A pitcher of the year in 2007, allowed only a double by Garrett Turrentine and a single by Andrew Howard in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Bryson then struck out the next three batters to end the game.
Hartselle had just one baserunner in the first four innings against Bryson, who won 17 games a year ago.
Hartselle’s J.C. Bates suffered the loss after getting off to a strong start by retiring the first six batters he faced.
But Cullman sent 25 players to the plate in the third and fourth innings to quickly put the game out of reach.
Jacob Smith got Cullman’s first hit off Bates in the third when he doubled to the gap in left center.
Josh Bell followed with a single and Austin Golden was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Matt Drake hit a two-run single and Chris Fisher, Chase Mathis and Luke Satterfield all followed with hits to give Cullman a 7-0 advantage.
The Bearcats added seven more runs in the top of the fourth inning with six hits - four off Bates, who was relieved by Ryan Joy in the inning.
Hartselle committed several costly errors on routine plays that should have had the Tigers out of the inning.
Hartselle 7, Cullman 2
Girodo struck out nine as the Tigers picked up the win in the second game of the doubleheader.
The junior allowed just four hits in the win.
Will Chappell had a two-run double for the Tigers in the win.
Garrett Turrentine drove in Joy with the go-ahead run.
Hartselle scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning and added another when Joy hit a sacrifice fly that scored Nic Howard.
Hartselle will host Russellville and Houston, Tenn., Saturday in a doubleheader at Sparkman Park.
The Tigers will also host Collierville, Tenn., and Madison Academy Saturday.