PREP BASEBALL PLAYOFFS: Vinemont and Hanceville split Monday doubleheaders

Issac Smith (35) connects with a pitch during Vinemont's round one mathcup with J.B. Pennington on Monday. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – After edging Hanceville in a pair of thrillers to win the area title, the Vinemont Eagles welcomed the J.B. Pennington Tigers to Mike Cupp Field Monday night for the opening round series of this year’s AHSAA State Playoffs. This is the first home playoff series at Vinemont since 2012. After falling behind 3-0 in game one, the Tigers plated 15 unanswered runs to put the Eagles away in six innings, but Vinemont was able to rally and bounce back in game two with an impressive 5-3 win, forcing a game three back at Vinemont tomorrow.

J.B. Pennington 15 – Vinemont 3 (game one)

After a scoreless first inning, Vinemont took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with an RBI double off the bat of Colby Miller that brought Hudson Wood around to score. Just a few pitches later, a sacrifice fly scored Deacon Samples to make it 2-0 and an RBI single from Wyatt Thomason brought Miller and stretched the early lead to 3-0.

The Tigers trimmed the lead to 3-1 in the top of the third, but the momentum really started shifting in the fourth. Pennington scored two runs on a pair of errors to tie the game and a sacrifice fly put the Tigers ahead 4-3. They added a 2-run double to take a 6-3 advantage into the fifth and continued to stretch the lead.

Pennington tacked on six in the top half of the fifth inning, three of which came on a homerun over the left field fence, to go up 12-3 and pulled away to win it 15-3 in six innings. The Tigers posted 16 hits in their game one win.

Vinemont 5 – J.B. Pennington 3 (game two)

After a tough loss in game one with some defensive miscues and bad hops, the Eagles responded in game two by holding the Tigers to just three runs with a combined effort from Adam Dunn and Deacon Samples. Dunn got the start and allowed just two hits in four innings of work and Samples picked up the save after tossing the final three innings for Vinemont.

Wyatt Thomason drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the third to give Vinemont a 1-0 lead and Hudson Wood singled to drive in a run and make it 2-0. Another bases-loaded walk brought a third run across the plate for the Eagles and Thomason came home to score on a wild pitch to make it a 4-0 game going into the bottom of the third.

Pennington cut the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth, but Vinemont got the run back in the top of the sixth to take a 5-1 lead into the final frame. The Tigers plated one on an RBI single and another on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the seventh to trim the lead to 5-3 but Deacon Samples ended it with a strikeout to seal the 5-3 win for the Eagles and force a game three back at Mike Cupp Field Tuesday at 4:30.

Glencoe 10 – Hanceville 0 (game one)

The Bulldogs were shut out and held to just one hit in their game one loss at Glencoe after falling behind 5-0 in the bottom of the first. TJ Kubia picked up the only hit of the game for Hanceville and the Bulldogs went into game two down 1-0 in the series with their season on the line.

Hanceville 8 – Glencoe 3 (game two)

Hanceville flipped the script completely in game two against Glencoe Monday night. After falling 10-0 in game one, the Bulldogs bounced back to win the second game of the night with ease thanks to another dominant performance from Mark Dyer on the mound. Dyer went six and a third on the hill and allowed just one earned run on just two hits and racked up 10 strikeouts.

Hanceville recorded just two hits in the win, coming from Zach Campbell and Ashton James, but drew nine walks to help put runs on the board. Glencoe mustered a small rally in the top of the seventh and cut the lead to five but it was too little too late and the Bulldogs held on to win it 8-3.

The Bulldogs will be back on the field tomorrow for a rubber match at Glencoe with a chance to advance to round two on the line.

Southeastern 9 – Addison 1 (game three)

The Mustangs eliminated the Bulldogs in Monday’s tiebreaker game and held Addison to just one run on five hits. After trailing 3-0 going into the third, the Bulldogs trimmed the lead to 3-1 but Southeastern answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning and pulled away to win it 9-1.

Gage Gilliland drove in a run in the loss and Jesse Brock, Hayden Lee, Jake Wilson, Colten Tyree and Ty Tuggle each collected a hit for Addison. The season comes to an end at 9-12 for the Bulldogs.

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