Hartselle no match for Bearcats; Tigers swept
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
CULLMAN – Eight runs on eight hits, against no runs on no hits.
That was the difference in first innings Friday night in Cullman, as the Hartselle Tigers fell to the Bearcats 2-0 in a three-game series.
In both games, Cullman jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Cullman's Whit Ford did the most damage, hitting a home run in both first innings and driving home four runs.
Cullman 7, Hartselle 2
Hartselle's Tyler Eddy retired the first two batters he faced in game 1. He didn't retire another until the seventh batter in the order.
Eddy gave up three hits and hit a batter in the first inning, as Cullman scored four runs with two outs on the board. Whit Ford's shot to center field scored Clay Whittemore as the Bearcats took a 4-0 lead.
Hartselle's only runs came in the third and sixth innings. David Cameron's RBI single in the third scored Blake Heym, while Zack Smith hit a solo homer in the sixth.
Cullman scored three runs in the fourth. Again, all three runs were scored with two outs.
Smith went 2 for 3 for Hartselle with a RBI and a run. He was the only Hartselle batter with two hits in the game. Heym, Zac Ward, Cameron, Hodge Patterson and Chris Wiley also had hits.
Whittemore and Ford led Cullman with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored each.
Brandon Lee earned the win for Cullman as Eddy took the loss.
Eddy gave up seven runs on nine hits. He struck out two. Brandon Wallace entered in the fifth inning, allowed four hits and no runs.
Cullman 5, Hartselle 0
Hartselle's Joey Watson, much like Eddy, didn't have the answer for Cullman's hot hitting in game two.
Watson allowed six hits, including five in the first inning, and gave up five runs in the loss.
Watson appeared to settle down a bit in the first inning after Cullman already had taken a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Clay Whittemore singled home Brandon Lee, and Whit Ford followed with a two-run homer.
Josh Phillips' home run in the fifth inning earned Watson an early trip to the dugout. He gave way to Zach Andrews, who allowed one run on two hits and struck out five in the final three innings.
As a team, Hartselle had three hits. Jonathan Wallace went 1 for 3, Zac Ward went 1 for 2 and Chris Wiley went 1 for 2 in the loss.
Wiley had the team's first hit in the fifth inning.
Whit Ford earned the shutout win for the Bearcats.