FAIRVIEW – Something will take place Thursday when the Cullman County High School Baseball Tournament gets wrapped up at Fairview High School- a new champion will take home the hardware. That became possible on Monday night when the reigning champions (from 2014), the Hanceville Bulldogs, took it on the chin from the Cold Springs Eagles 8-5.
Cold Springs over Hanceville, 8-5
Cold Springs handed Hanceville its second consecutive defeat in the tournament. The Bulldogs fell in a heartbreaker to the West Point Warriors Saturday 5-4 in 10 innings.
Cold Springs, in the meantime, is now gaining momentum. After being sent to the loser's bracket in round one by Fairview, the Eagles have come back to eliminate Holly Pond (10-0 on Saturday) and Hanceville.
Waiting next to face the upstart Eagles is Good Hope. The Raiders took out Vinemont 11-1 in a game that ended in the fifth inning by the 10-run rule.
The Cold Springs bats were solid in the first two innings to support the pitching of Tyler Rice. After Rice allowed an unearned run to score in Hanceville's half of the first, he never trailed for the rest of the night.
His single drove in Josh Freeman to tie the game at 1-1 in the last of the first. That was followed by a run scoring on an error, and Mason Abbott's fielder's choice produced a run to give the Eagles a 3-1 advantage when the first inning ended.
Cold Springs drove home four runs in the second with two outs against Hanceville starter Issac Weissend. Levi Harris and Jakob Ryer had run-scoring singles with a triple to right field by Cody Anderson sending two home, and the Eagles extended the lead to 7-2.
Hanceville could manage just a run in the third, but had a couple to score on a Cold Springs fielding error that made it 8-5 in the fifth.
Rice then regained his confidence by striking out the side following the two runs. Rice would go on to strike out 15 Hanceville batters in a complete game performance, sending seven of the final nine he faced by the "K" route.
Rice had three hits and two runs batted in to support himself at the plate. Josh Freeman and Ryer singled twice and scored twice while Cayde Elliott got a single and raced home with the Eagles' final run in the fourth inning.
Good Hope over Vinemont, 11-1
Before the Cold Springs upset, Good Hope broke a 1-1 tie with Vinemont in the third with three runs, keyed by run scoring base hits from Warren Creel and Tristen Franklin and a bases-loaded walk to Zach Bagwell.
In the Raiders' half of the fourth, Good Hope had a run to score on a single by Malachi Holt, two coming in on a double by Franklin, one on a walk with the bases loaded and the final two when a fly ball in the outfield was misplayed.
Jon Calvert earned the win for the Raiders, giving up three hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Calvert set down the final six Vinemont batters he faced, with the game getting done by the run rule in an hour and 37 minutes.
Coming up on Tuesday, West Point and Fairview will play in a winner's semifinal at 4 p.m. Both are undefeated coming into this segment of the tournament.
Good Hope and Cold Springs will play at 6 p.m. in the elimination bracket.
The finals are set for Thursday at 5 p.m., with an if-needed game to take place at 7 p.m.