CULLMAN - From the first pitch of game one to the last out of game two, Cullman's 2017 state baseball play-off future was never in doubt, as the Bearcats swept the McAdory Yellow Jackets, earning their spot in round two.
GAME ONE- Cullman 9, McAdory 0
Cullman scored in four out of six innings in game one. Noah Fondren got the 'Cats started with a single up the middle. Levi Thomas followed with a single to put two on with nobody out. Owen Lovell walked to the plate next and ground into a fielder's choice that erased Thomas, but Lovell quickly took his place when he swiped second two pitches later. Jacob Heatherly drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Next up was Carter Bowen who made a productive out on the ground to score Fondren and give the Bearcats a 1-0 advantage.
Cullman extended their lead in the second when Caleb Lipsey smashed a one-out double over the head of Jordan Shakeel in left. Next up, Grayson Taylor reached on an error by shortstop and Fondren laid down a beautiful bunt for a hit to load the bases for the second consecutive inning. Thomas then flew out to right to score Lipsey and give Cullman a 2-0 lead.
Back at it in the bottom of the fourth, Taylor led off with a single, and two batters later Thomas reached on the second error charged to Cameron Smith of McAdory. Lovell ripped a double to right to score Taylor. Heatherly was plunked by a Chase Lee pitch to load the bags for the third time in four innings. After a Bowen infield fly, Trent Price drew a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk that scored Thomas. Catcher Wheeler Eastman blasted a hard hit single to left that scored Lovell and Heatherly, giving Cullman a 6-0 lead.
A two-RBI single by Price and an RBI single by Lovell in the bottom of the sixth put the game out of reach and gave Cullman the 9-0 victory with Heatherly taking the hill in game two.
GAME TWO- Cullman 6, McAdory 2
It is always an event when Heatherly is on the mound. With scouts eager to see what he can do and fans hungry for a win to send the Bearcats to the second round, Heatherly took the ball and never looked back.
The senior phenom and top MLB draft prospect threw 106 easy pitches, allowing just two runs on two hits and recording a staggering 16 of the possible 21 outs via strikeout, including fanning the side twice.
McAdory managed to get to Heatherly for a run early in the first when Lee came home to score on a ball four that got past Eastman, but Heatherly soon settled down and it was business as usual for the heat throwing lefty.
Cullman took the lead back in the top of the second with two runs on an RBI double by Ben Smith. Heatherly struck out the side in the bottom of the inning with the Cats up 2-1 after two.
The black and gold went right back to work with the sticks in the top of the third when Thomas raced home on an error by shortstop. Eastman followed with a ringing single that scored Chayton Grimmett and Bowen to give the 'Cats a 5-1 lead. McAdory scored one in the bottom of the inning to make the score 5-2.
Cullman added an insurance run in the top of the seventh making the score 6-2, which was more than enough as Heatherly struck out two of the last three hitters he faced. Cullman took game two and the sweep by a final of 6-2.
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