PREP BASEBALL: Hanceville remains unbeaten with 16-11 win over Vinemont

Hanceville's Jackson Cleveland finished with two hits and two RBIs in the Bulldogs' 16-11 win over Vinemont. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — The Hanceville Bulldogs hosted the Vinemont Eagles in a huge county game on Monday afternoon. This game saw both teams have big innings that had both sides on the edge of their seats, but a big sixth inning by the Bulldogs was key in their 16-11 win over the Eagles.

Hanceville starter Nelson Arteaga collected three strikeouts to start out the game, and the Bulldogs got him some early run support in their opening at-bats. Jake Cornelius reached on an error and later stole home to give Hanceville the early lead, then later in the first inning, Luke Brown lined an RBI single to right field to make it 2-0. The Bulldogs added to their lead in the bottom of the second.

Three straight walks loaded the bases with one out, then an RBI single by Cleveland increased their lead to 3-0. Arteaga got hit by the pitch to force home another run, then Gabriel Ognilla hit a two-run single to center field to make it 6-0. During the play, a Vinemont error allowed Cody Belcher to score to make it 7-0, then Brown added a sacrifice fly to give them an 8-0 lead. Vinemont looked to get back in the game in the top of the fourth inning.

Three straight walks loaded the bases with none out, then Jake Hale scored on a passed ball to put the Eagles on the scoreboard. Hayden Robinson added an RBI groundout to cut it to 8-2, then Jaxon Holcomb, Rush Sandlin, and Jordan Eller each scored on a Hanceville error to make it an 8-5 game. Michael Foust hit an RBI single to cut it to 8-6, but Hanceville made it 9-6 in their half on an RBI single by Ognilla.

Vinemont continued to cut into the lead in the top of the fifth, as an RBI fielder’s choice by Owen McKinney and a suicide squeeze play by Robinson trimmed it to just one at 9-8. The Bulldogs loaded the bases once again with one out in their half of the fifth, then Belcher scored on a Vinemont error, and Arteaga got hit by the pitch to force home a run to give them an 11-8 lead. Hanceville broke the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth.

Brown led off the inning with a double, and Tripp Lewis’s RBI single brought him home to make it 12-8. Back-to-back singles by Belcher and Hunter Black loaded the bases with one out, then Lewis scored on another Eagle error to give them a 13-8 lead. An RBI single by Cleveland made it 14-8, then Black scored on an error, and Ognilla continued his strong day at the plate with an RBI single to increase their lead to 16-8.

Vinemont made things a little interesting in the top of the seventh. A Hanceville error allowed McKinney and Robinson to score to cut it to 16-10, then a sacrifice fly by Henderson made it 16-11. Grayson Hurter got Foust to fly out to end the game, as the Bulldogs collect a 16-11 win over the Eagles.

Ognilla finished with three hits and four RBIs for Hanceville (6-0). Arteaga added three RBIs. Cleveland and Brown each ended up with a pair of hits and two RBIs. Lewis added a hit and an RBI, while Dalton Pirkle collected an RBI in the win. For Vinemont (4-2), Robinson finished with two RBIs. Foust added a hit and an RBI, while Henderson and McKinney each collected an RBI in the loss.

Hanceville will travel to Falkville, while Vinemont will host Holly Pond Thursday.

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