PREP BASEBALL PLAYOFFS: Cullman handles Shades Valley to advance; round 1 scoring recap

The Bearcats celebrate at the plate following Hayden Stancil’s first solo homerun in Cullman’s 19-1 win at Shades Valley Friday. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

IRONDALE, Ala. – It’s been a while since the last time it happened, but the Bearcats were on the road for the opening round of the state playoffs Friday night, looking to take two from Shades Valley. Cullman punched its ticket back to the second round in convincing fashion, handling the Mounties 19-1 in game one and capping things off with a 13-7 win in game two. The ‘Cats will return home to Bill Shelton Field next week to host either Arab or Chelsea in round two.

Cullman 19 – Shades Valley 1 (Game One)

Kaleb Heatherly blasted an RBI double off the right-center field fence to give the ‘Cats an early 1-0 lead and a few pitches later, Hunter Brooks drove an RBI single into right field to make it 2-0. Brooks scored on a sacrifice bunt by Zac Edwards to extend the lead to 3-0 after the top of the first. Carter Gay scored on a sacrifice fly from Riley Jackson to give Cullman a 4-0 lead and Hayden Stancil followed him with a solo shot to left field that made it a 5-0 game going into the bottom of the second.

Jake Dueland ripped a 2-run double into left field to add to the lead in the top of the third and Zane Watwood kept the inning going with an RBI triple over the right fielder’s head, stretching the lead to 8-0. Watwood scored on a balk just a couple pitches later and Cullman took a 9-0 advantage into the bottom of the third.

Another RBI double by Heatherly and an RBI single off the bat of Will Bradberry put the Bearcats on top 11-0 in the top of the fourth and Dueland squared up another RBI double to push two more runs across the plate to make it 13-0. An error and couple base hits allowed the Mounties to scratch a run in the bottom of the fourth, but Cullman responded and put things away in the fifth.

Another solo homer by Stancil got things started and later in the inning, Edwards was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in another run and make it a 15-1 game. Cole Robertson drove in two more runs with a double to center field and the ‘Cats added another pair of runs on passed balls to wrap up a 19-1 win in game one.

Heatherly earned the win on the mound, tossing four innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits and striking out six batters. Dueland (two hits) led the way with four RBIs and Robertson (one hit), Stancil (two HRs), Heatherly (two hits) and Edwards each drove in a pair of runs as well.

Cullman 13 – Shades Valley 7 (Game Two)

A leadoff double and a passed ball gave Shades Valley a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Bearcats responded in their half of the second. Jake Dueland drew a bases-loaded walk to tie things up at 1 and Will Bradberry scored on a sacrifice fly from Zane Watwood to take a 2-1 lead. Cody Jones brought Zac Edwards home to score on a sacrifice bunt to stretch the lead to 3-1 and Riley Jackson barreled up an RBI single to make it 4-1. An RBI triple by Hayden Stancil and an RBI double from Kaleb Heatherly made it a 6-1 game going into the third.

However, the Mounties were able to put some hits together in the top of the third and plate five runs to tie the score at 6.

The tie didn’t last long. Edwards scored on a passed ball and Watwood drilled an RBI single into right field to put Cullman back in front 8-6 in the bottom of the third. An RBI single from Jackson extended the lead to 9-6 going into the fourth.

A bunt single by Bradberry and a sacrifice fly from Edwards made it an 11-6 game in the fourth and Cullman tacked on another run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly by Hayden Stancil. The Mounties scored on a fielder’s choice in the top of the sixth to trim the lead to 12-7 but the Bearcats got the run back in the bottom half of the inning when Edwards scored on a passed ball to make it 13-7.

Cullman collected the final three outs in the top of the seventh to ice a 13-7 win over the Mounties and spot in the second round of the state playoffs.

Other first round scores: Final scores will be added as games are completed

Alexandria 16 – Fairview 0 (Game One)

Alexandria 9 – Fairview 0 (Game Two)

West Point 3 – John Carroll 1 (Game One)

John Carroll 2 – West Point 1 (Game Two)

Westbrook Christian 13 – Addison 3 (Game One)

Westbrook Christian 9 – Addison 2 (Game Two)

North Jackson 10 – Hanceville 0 (Game One)

North Jackson 21 – Hanceville 0 (Game Two)

Chelsea 1 – Arab 0 (Game One)

Chelsea 10 – Arab 8 (Game Two)

Lindsay Lane 31 – Meek 0 (Game One)

Lindsay Lane 16 – Meek 1 (Game Two)

Hokes Bluff 11 – Holly Pond 2 (Game One)

Hokes Bluff 21 – Holly Pond 1 (Game Two)

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