PREP BASEBALL: Cullman collects wins over Palatine, Enterprise

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HOOVER, Ala. – The Cullman Bearcats traveled to Hoover Saturday morning for a pair of varsity games, and they returned home with a pair of wins. Cullman got the day started with a 10-0 win over Palatine and wrapped things up with a 5-3 win over Enterprise.

Cullman 10 – Palatine 0 (Baseball)

Cullman got on the scoreboard in its opening at-bats. Tanner Gaines drew a one-out walk, and Carson Stancil’s RBI triple brought home Gaines to give the Bearcats the early lead. One out later, Brooks Heatherly hit an RBI single to center field to make it 2-0. Cullman quickly broke the game wide open in the top of the second. Jonah Inman drew a two-out walk, and stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch. Two more walks loaded up the bases for Bennett Johnson, who drew one of his own to make it 3-0.

Heatherly hit a two-run double to right field to give them a 5-0 lead. A walk loaded up the bases again, then Colter Bowen hit a two-run single to left field to stretch their lead to 7-0. Tyler Brock and Bowen both scored on an error to make it 9-0. Bowen added an RBI single in the top of the sixth to increase the Bearcat lead to 10-0 and Cullman would go on to shut out Palatine 10-0.

Heatherly led the way for Cullman with two hits and three RBIs. Bowen added a pair of hits and two RBIs, while Stancil (two hits) and Johnson (one hit) each collected an RBI of their own in the win. Case Edwards pitched a complete game three-hit shutout for the Bearcats.

Cullman 5 – Enterprise 3 (Game Two)

After a scoreless first inning, Enterprise struck first in the top of the second as a two-out error gave them a 1-0 lead. Cullman took the lead in the bottom of the third. Cooper Loftin and Inman both reached on an error to lead off the inning, then on just the second pitch of the at-bat, Gaines hit a two-out single to right field to give the Bearcats a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats hit an RBI single and an RBI triple to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth. Cullman, though, answered right back in the bottom of the sixth.

Johnson reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Heatherly, Brock hit an RBI double to left field to tie the game up at three. A single put runners on the corners, then a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Heis gave them a 4-3 lead. Andrew Au followed that up with an RBI single to make it a 5-3 game. Enterprise loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Kase Nixon forced the next batter to fly out to left field to end the game, and the Bearcats hung on to knock off the Wildcats 5-3.

Gaines finished with a hit and two RBIs for Cullman (9-17). Brock (two hits), Au (one hit), and Heis each added an RBI in the win. Nixon went the distance for the Bearcats as he allowed seven hits and two earned runs, walked two and struck out two.

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