PREP BASEBALL: West Point secures 4th straight County Championship with 10-0 win over Fairview

The West Point Warriors defeated Fairview 10-0 Monday night to win this year’s County Tournament Championship. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – After a rainy weekend canceled games Saturday, this year’s Cullman County Baseball Tournament resumed Monday night and the West Point Warriors took down Hanceville in the semifinals and Fairview in the title game to claim their fourth consecutive county championship. County Tournament MVP Eli Folds got the start on the mound for the Warriors in the championship game and earned the win after allowing just two hits and striking out 14 in the 10-0 win.

The Warriors were ready and focused for this year’s county tournament and Head Coach Drew Bryson likes the energy his guys are playing with as a playoff matchup at the end of the week approaches.

“We had a tough week last week against a really good Russellville team and just could not scratch any runs and get on the board. So, it was good to come out and get some runs on the board. We played great defense all day and obviously Caiden Rodgers and Eli (Folds) both set the tone on the mound for us,” Bryson said. “We’re big on pitching and defense setting the tone and then everything else just flows from that. They did a great job coming out today and getting us back in the win column even though we competed really well last week and took three losses. I’m proud of how they have played as of late, so I feel like we’re carrying some momentum into the playoffs.”

After Folds struck out the first three batters he faced in the top of the first, the Warriors loaded up the bases in the bottom of the first. Both Folds and Cade Simmons drew walks to bring in a pair of runs and give the Warriors a 2-0 lead going into the second inning.

Folds collected three more strikeouts in the top half of the second and West Point was able to add to its lead in the bottom of the third. J.D. Cochran scored on a passed ball to make it a 3-0 game and Simmons drove an RBI single up the middle to make it 4-0. After a scoreless fourth inning, Kanaan Sutter ripped a 2-run single into left field to extend West Point’s lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth. Colton McCoy drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring another run in to score and Andrew Putman scored on a passed ball to make it an 8-0 game. An RBI single off the bat of Cochran pushed another run across the plate to stretch the lead to 9-0 going into the sixth.

Singles by Lucas West and Parker Martin gave the Aggies a pair of runners in the top of the sixth, but Folds got out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly ball. Folds reached base on an error in the bottom of the sixth and later in the inning, Bryson Phillips drove him in with an RBI single to wrap up a 10-0 win for the Warriors.

Sutter (two hits) and Simmons (one hit) each drove in a pair of runs for West Point and Cochran (two hits) and Phillips (one hit) each posted an RBI as well. West and Martin finished with the only two hits for Fairview.

Both the Aggies and Warriors will now turn their attention to the postseason. Fairview will travel to take on Alexandria and West Point will hit the road to face John Carroll.

West Point 9 – Hanceville 2 (Semifinal)

After a scoreless first inning, West Point took an early lead in the second. RBI singles by Eli Folds and Cade Simmons put the Warriors in front 3-0 and Brody Freeman crossed the plate on a wild pitch to make it a 4-0 game going into the third.

Following a scoreless third frame, West Point continued adding to its lead in the fourth. Simmons scored on an error and Caiden Rodgers ripped an RBI double into left field to stretch the lead to 6-0. An RBI double from Isaac Hoffpauir plated another run and an RBI groundout off the bat of Colton McCoy put the Warriors up 8-0 headed into the fifth.

Adam Cooper scored on a fielder’s choice to trim the lead to 8-1 in the top of the sixth, but Rodgers scored on an error in the bottom half of the inning to get the run back for West Point and make it a 9-1 game. Hanceville scored on a wild pitch to get another run on the board in the top of the seventh but couldn’t add any more after that and West Point advanced to the county title game with a 9-2 win.

Rodgers was dominant on the mound for the Warriors, racking up 12 strikeouts in five hitless innings to earn the win. Rodgers, Hoffpauir, Folds and Simmons each posted a hit and an RBI in the win. Drew Campbell finished with a pair of hits for the Bulldogs.

Fairview 7 – Vinemont 1 (Semifinal)

After a scoreless opening frame, Fairview took the lead in the bottom of the second. Crimson Wright drove an RBI single up the middle to put the Aggies in front 1-0 and Parker Martin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 2-0. A balk and a passed ball allowed a couple more Fairview runners to score and stretched the lead to 4-0 going into the third inning.

Vinemont cut into lead with an RBI single from Parker Williams to make it 4-1 in the top of the fourth, but Martin scored on a fielder’s choice in the bottom half of the inning to get the run back and put Fairview in front 5-1. Following a scoreless fifth inning, Martin and Dalton Payne each scored on an error to extend the lead to 7-1 and that was all the Aggies needed to secure the win and advance to the county championship game.

Nicolas Gregory posted three RBIs in the win for Fairview and Wright and Martin each finished with a pair of hits and an RBI as well. Carson Jones tossed a complete game for the Aggies, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out three.

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