COUNTY BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Good Hope, Fairview, Cold Springs advance on day 1

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The Fairview Aggies defeated Holly Pond 10-3 Saturday to advance to Monday’s county tournament semifinals. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – This year’s Cullman County Baseball Tournament officially began Saturday afternoon at Cold Springs High School and day one was packed with exciting action. Good Hope came from behind late to top Hanceville 8-7 in game one, Fairview handled the Holly Pond Broncos 10-3 in game two and in the third and final game of the day, Vinemont and Cold Springs went back and forth in a dramatic, extra-innings battle of the Eagles that Cold Springs was eventually able to win 10-9.

County Tournament action will resume at Cold Springs High School Monday with a pair of semifinal matchups. West Point will face Good Hope at 2 p.m. and Fairview will take on Cold Springs at 4:30 p.m. The County Championship Game will follow at 7 p.m.

Good Hope 8 – Hanceville 7 (Game One)

Ayden Black scored on a wild pitch and Colten Whatley scored on a fielder’s choice to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Bulldogs responded with an RBI single from Nelson Arteaga in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 2-1. After a scoreless second inning, Black ripped an RBI single into left field to put Good Hope in front 3-1 in the top of the third.

Hanceville bounced back in the bottom of the fourth. Gabriel Ognilla scored on an error to make it a 3-2 game and later in the inning, Dalton Johnson punched a 2-run single into left field to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead. A few pitches later, Jake Cornelius knocked another RBI single into left field to put Hanceville on top 5-3 going into the fifth.

Dakota Overton scored on a fielder’s choice in the top of the fifth to trim the lead to 5-4 but the Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the sixth with a 2-run single off the bat of Arteaga that stretched the lead to 7-4 going into the final frame. However, the Raiders weren’t done yet, and loaded up the bases early in the top of the seventh. An error allowed Whatley and Black to cross the plate and cut the lead to 7-6 and Carter Naramore scored on a fielder’s choice a few pitches later to tie the game at 7. With two outs on the board, Caden Drake came home to score on a passed ball to reclaim an 8-7 lead for Good Hope and the Raiders collected the final three outs in the bottom half of the inning to secure an 8-7 win and a spot in the semifinals.

Black (one RBI) and Overton each recorded a pair of hits for Good Hope in the win and Drake (one hit) finished with a pair of RBIs. Johnson finished with a pair of hits and RBIs for Hanceville in the loss and Arteaga (one RBI) posted a pair of hits as well.

Fairview 10 – Holly Pond 3 (Game Two)

An RBI single off the bat of Barrett York gave the Aggies a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and they continued adding to their lead in the second. Gannon Black launched an RBI double deep into left-center field to plate Hayden Griffin and stretch the lead to 2-0 and just a few pitches later, a sacrifice bunt by Devyn Ellis allowed Black to slide in safely from third and make it a 3-0 game. Fairview tacked on two more runs with a pair of RBI singles from Lucas West and York and the Aggies went into the third holding onto a 5-0 lead.

An error and a wild pitch allowed Fairview to put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the third but after a scoreless fourth and fifth inning, Holly Pond was finally able to push some runs across the plate. An RBI double from Sawyer Olinger brought John Martin home to score and trimmed the lead to 7-1 and later in the inning, Olinger scored on a double steal play to make it a 7-2 game. A hit batter with the bases loaded allowed another run to score for the Broncos, making it 7-3, but the Aggies got the runs back in the bottom half of the inning.

Ellis scored on a sacrifice fly from West to put Fairview ahead 8-3 and an RBI single by Nicolas Gregory extended the lead to 9-3. Gregory scored on an error later in the inning to give the Aggies a 10-3 advantage and they collected the final three outs in the top of the seventh to wrap up a 10-3 win over Holly Pond.

York finished with a pair of hits and RBIs in the win and West (two RBIs), Black (one RBI) and Gregory (one RBI) each added hits as well. Martin posted a pair of hits for the Broncos in the loss and Olinger finished with a hit and an RBI.

Cold Springs 10 – Vinemont 9 (Game Three) (Eight Innings)

Michael Foust scored on a wild pitch to give Vinemont a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Cold Springs answered in the top half of the second when Samuel Turner drew a walk with the bases loaded to tie things up at 1.

Cold Springs jumped out in front in the top of the third when Tucker Philbeck drove a 2-run single into center field to make it a 3-1 game and Mason Gable scored on a steal later in the inning to put Cold Springs on top 4-1. Jacob Hale scored on an error in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 4-2 but Josh Winfrey responded with an RBI single in the top of the fourth to get the run back and keep Cold Springs ahead 5-2.

Brady Johnson and Rush Sandlin led off the bottom of the sixth with back to back singles to give Vinemont a pair of runners and Austin Marsh knocked a single into right field to load the bases. Just a few pitches later, Chayce Sandlin blasted a bases-clearing double deep into center field and tied the game at 5. Hayden Robinson kept things going with an RBI single to put Vinemont in front 6-5 and an error and a wild pitch from Cold Springs allowed three more runs to score later in the inning, stretching the lead to 9-5 going into the seventh.

Matthew Williams led off the top of the seventh with a double to right field and Turner followed him with a single to left field to put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly from Cole Bales brought Williams home to score, trimming the lead to 9-6 and Brodee Bartlett kept things going with a double into center field. Winfrey laced a 2-run double into right field to make it a 9-8 game and just two pitches later, Philbeck drove him into score with a single up the middle that tied the game at 9 going into the bottom half of the inning. Brodee Bartlett struck out the next three batters he faced, sending us to extra innings still knotted at 9.

An RBI single by Bales plated Williams in the top of the eighth and put Cold Springs back in front 10-9 headed to the bottom half of the inning. Bartlett remained locked in on the mound, picking up two more strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth to help Cold Springs secure a 10-9 win and a spot in the semifinals.

Winfrey (two hits) and Philbeck (two hits) each posted three RBIs for Cold Springs in the win and Bales added a pair of hits and RBIs. Sandlin (one hit) led Vinemont with three RBIs in the win and Foust added a pair of hits. Robinson (one hit) and Adyen Thomason (one hit) each drove in runs as well.

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