PREP BASEBALL: AHSAA State Baseball Playoffs begin Friday for local teams

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Vinemont's Lucas Miller, Cullman's Brady Patterson and Fairview's Malcolm Parker. (photos by Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Postseason baseball has arrived, and we have six local teams in the field for this year’s AHSAA playoffs starting Friday. Addison, Fairview, Cold Springs, Hanceville and Cullman will be on the road for round one and the Vinemont Eagles will host an opening round game at Mike Cupp Field Friday night.

Vinemont (12-9) v. J.B. Pennington (10-9)  4:30 & 6:30 p.m.

After winning the area title over Hanceville in walk-off fashion last week, the Eagles earned a chance to host a playoff game this Friday against the Tigers of J.B. Pennington. Vinemont played the Tigers earlier in the season and won its first matchup 11-7 but had to fend off a comeback effort to seal the win.

The Eagles drew seven walks in the win and if they can show the same kind of patience in the box again this week, they’ll give themselves a chance to score runs and advance to the next round.

Cullman (19-11) at Albertville (17-14)  4:30 & 6:30 p.m.

The Bearcats wrapped up their area title with an extra-innings win at Hartselle last week and they’ll head to Albertville Friday night to kick off another trip to the playoffs. The Aggies have won five of their last seven at this point in the season, but they’ll have to face a red-hot Cullman squad that has won nine of its last 10 games.

The Bearcats have been in this spot for 19 consecutive years and if they can continue to improve, they’ll have another real chance to play their way deep into the postseason.

Fairview (15-11) at Haleyville (18-5)  5 & 7:30 p.m.

The Aggies suffered a pair of tough losses at Oneonta last week but this week they’ll have a chance to bounce back when they travel to Haleyville for round one. The Lions have won 12 of their last 13 games going into the postseason so Fairview will have its hands full on Friday.

Haleyville is giving up just under two runs per game in that stretch so the pressure will be on the Aggies’ arms as well as their bats to keep pace. Fairview has been held to four runs or fewer in its last six outings, so it’ll take strong outings on the mound and at the plate for the Aggies to advance.

Cold Springs (9-7) at Sulligent (8-11)  2 & 4 p.m.

Cold Springs punched its ticket to the postseason by defeating West End last week and the Eagles will get started with a trip to Sulligent in round one. The two teams have not seen each other yet this season and sport similar records going into the matchup and both swept their area foes last week, so this is set to be a close finish.

The Eagles have found ways to score runs throughout the year, but Sulligent will be coming off back to back wins when they square off Friday afternoon with a chance to move on to the next round.

Hanceville (12-5) at Glencoe (10-9)  3 & 5 p.m.

After falling in a pair of nail-biters at Vinemont last week, the Bulldogs finished second in Area 11 and will hit the road to face Glencoe Friday afternoon. Hanceville has not faced the Yellow Jackets yet this season and they have won five of their last seven games entering Friday’s matchup.

The Bulldogs, on the other hand, have won eight of their last 11 games including six straight in March and have been plating a lot of runs in that stretch. If Hanceville can slow down Glencoe’s bats, the Bulldogs’ offense will give them a chance to win on the road and advance.

Addison (7-8) at Southeastern (14-4)  11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs haven’t seen Southeastern yet this season, but their bats are getting hot just in time for the postseason. Addison finished as the runner up in Area 12 but won four of its last five games and is averaging 10 runs per game in that stretch.

The Mustangs enter this game on a hot streak as well, having won six of their last seven so the Bulldogs will have to keep putting runs on the board this week if they want to move on to round two.

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