PREP BASEBALL: Norton’s walk-off lifts Cullman over Houston 8-7; Saturday scoring recap

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MURFREESBORO, TN. – Cullman continued its slate of weekend matchups in Tennessee with the Houston-Germantown Mustangs Saturday morning and picked up another big win with another big hit in the final frame. Trailing 7-4 going into the bottom of the seventh, the ‘Cats plated four runs in the final inning, capped off by a walk-off RBI double from Brennen Norton to win it 8-7.

After a scoreless first inning, the Mustangs scored on a fielder’s choice and took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Cullman got the run back in the bottom half of the second when Matt Brock drove in Paxton Ponder with an RBI double to tie the game going into the third inning. Houston answered with a 3-run inning in the top half of the third to make it a 4-1 game, but the Bearcats managed to cut into the lead in their half of the inning. With runners on second and third, Jake Dueland laced a double into left field to score two more runs and trim the lead to 4-3 going into the fourth.

Neither team could get on the board in the fourth or fifth inning, but the Mustangs were able to string some hits together in the top of the sixth to plate three more runs and stretch the lead to 7-3. An RBI double off the bat of Brennen Norton drove in Will Bradberry to make it a 7-4 game but that was all the ‘Cats could get going into the seventh inning. Houston was able to load the bases with one out in the top half of the seventh, but third baseman Hayden Stancil gunned down a runner at the plate and the next batter flew out to Brock in center field to get Cullman out of the jam with one more chance to pull ahead.

A single from Max Dueland and a walk from Jake Dueland gave the Bearcats a pair of runners with two outs and Max was able to come around to score on an error by the pitcher to cut the lead to two. Bradberry drew a walk and Ponder was hit by a pitch to load up the bases and Brock put a single up the middle to score Jake Dueland and make it a 7-6 game. The game ended on the next pitch when Norton drilled a walk-off double into left field to give the ‘Cats an 8-7 win over the Mustangs.

Norton led the game with three hits and three RBIs. Brock (two hits) and Jake Dueland (one hit) each drove in a pair of runs for Cullman and Max Dueland posted a pair of hits as well.

Other local scores:

West Point 8 – North Jackson 7 (Baseball)

The Warriors’ week of baseball continued Saturday with a trip over to Albertville and in game one of their doubleheader, they scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull away and defeat North Jackson 8-7.

A pair of errors allowed West Point to score the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the first but a 2-run homer from North Jackson tied the game at 2 in the top of the second. Isaac Hoffpauir drew a walk with the bases loaded to put the Warriors back in front 3-2 and a few pitches later, Carter Thornton drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3. An RBI groundout from Caiden Rodgers added another run and an RBI single from Branson Smith made it 6-2 going into the fourth inning.

North Jackson was able to put some hits together and cut the lead to 6-5 in the top of the fourth and the Chiefs tacked on two more in the fifth to pull ahead 7-6. West Point responded in the bottom of the sixth by loading the bases and scoring on a pair of errors to pull ahead 8-7 going into the final frame. Aubry Cleghorn went back out onto the mound for the top of the seventh and collected two of the final three outs with strikeouts to secure an 8-7 win for the Warriors.

Smith (one RBI) posted three hits in the win and Rodgers (one RBI), Cleghorn and Will Cochran each added a hit as well. Eli Folds, Hoffpauir, Thornton and Brody Freeman each drove in a run for West Point.

Oakland 7 – Cullman 5 (Baseball)

The Bearcats fell behind 1-0 when Oakland scored on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the first, but they moved in front 2-1 in the top of the second after an RBI double from Paxton Ponder and an RBI groundout from Matt Brock. A sacrifice bunt from Jake Dueland made it a 3-1 game and an RBI single from Cole Robertson stretched the lead to 4-1 in the top of the second.

Oakland managed to score two runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 4-3 but after a scoreless fifth inning, Hayden Stancil drove an RBI single into right field to build the lead to 5-3 in the top of the sixth. However, Oakland’s bats got hot in the bottom half of the inning and the Patriots put four runs on the board to pull ahead 7-5 going into the seventh.

The Bearcats began putting together another late inning rally and were able to load the bases with two outs but couldn’t get any runs across the plate and Oakland held on to win it 7-5.

Buckhorn 3 – Cullman 1 (Softball)

Cullman was back on the field in Madison to take on the defending 6A state champions Saturday morning but after four scoreless innings, Buckhorn took a 2-0 lead in the fifth and the Lady Bearcats weren’t able to come up with an answer offensively.

It was a pitcher’s duel through the first four innings as neither team could get anything going offensively, but the fifth inning proved to be different. A one-out single by Buckhorn later led to a two-out, two-run homer to give them a 2-0 lead; they made it 3-0 in the sixth on an RBI fielder’s choice. Cullman finally got something going in the bottom of the sixth. 

Haley Shannon hit a leadoff single, then after a fly out and a strikeout, Emma Claire Wilson reached on an error and Carlie Burnham reached on an infield single to load the bases. Faith Guest then got hit by the pitch to bring home Shannon and that made it a 3-1 game, but they went down in order in the seventh and the Lady Bearcats wound up dropping the game, 3-1, snapping their eight-game winning streak.

Guest (one RBI), Burnham, Shannon, Savannah Davis and Chalea Clemmons each finished with a hit for Cullman. Clemmons allowed just six hits and two earned runs in her complete game performance, walked two and struck out five.

Dothan 13 – Hanceville 4 (Baseball)

Hanceville hit the road Saturday for a matchup at Dothan and took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning but couldn’t hold onto it and the Bulldogs fell 13-4.

After a scoreless first inning, Hanceville got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning. Bo Joles hit a leadoff double, then Les Fischer reached on an error, which allowed Joles to score and Fischer later scored on another Dothan error to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. A solo home run and an RBI single by Dothan quickly tied the game up at two in their half. The Wolves broke the tie in the next inning on an RBI groundout and put up four more runs in the fourth on an error and a two-run single. 

Hanceville cut into the deficit in the fifth inning. Zachary Campbell hit a one-out single and Drew Campbell hit a two-run home run over the left-field fence to make it a 7-4 game, but Dothan scored the final six runs of the game and the Bulldogs didn’t get any closer after that as they wound up falling, 13-4.

Drew Campbell finished with a hit and two RBIs for Hanceville (5-16). Zach Campbell, Adam Cooper, and Joles all added two hits and Logan Guthery collected a hit as well. The Bulldogs will travel to take on Good Hope on Tuesday.

Check back later for more Saturday scores as they become available

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