Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Cullman take state baseball titles
The Associated Press
MONTGOMERY — Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa defeated Russell County 19-4 as J.T. Watkins made the catch in right field to end Saturday’s Class 6A championship.
The Patriots, who lost the opening game in the best-of-three series, routed Russell County 12-8 and 19-4 to take the crown. Along the way to the title, Hillcrest beat Austin in the opening round.
Hillcrest (44-20) used a 10-run fifth inning to rally in the first game. Then the Patriots scored nine runs in the first inning and five in the second to build an insurmountable lead in the finale.
“Somebody needs to pinch me, because I need to wake up,” said Hillcrest coach Todd Agee. “It doesn’t seem real to me. It’ll seem real tomorrow.”
John David Smelser, one of 11 Hillcrest seniors, was named the most valuable player. Smelser pitched a complete game in the 12-8 victory. He went 3-for-3 in the second game and drove in seven runs.
Russell County (44-11) won the opener 5-1 on Friday.
Cullman 10, Bibb County 1: John Nyquist drove in two runs and scored three times and Matt Drake tossed an eight-hitter, lifting Cullman to a 10-1 win over Bibb County on Saturday for the 5A state championship.
Cullman (48-7) swept the best-of-three series to claim its first state title since 2002.
Nyquist went 2-for-2 and Blake Huddleston had two RBIs on a walk, sacrifice and hit batsman.
Chris Cain went 2-for-4 with a double.
Cannon McDonald led Bibb County (35-10) at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Childersburg 15, Oneonta 14: Jordan Connell scored four runs — two in his team’s 10-run sixth inning — to help lead Childersburg to a win over Oneonta and snag the 4A state title Friday.
Childersburg (38-6) beat Oneonta 14-6 on Thursday, and Friday’s narrow win eliminated the need for a third game in the best-of-three series.
Oneonta (32-14) took an early lead, ahead 4-1 after the first inning, and led 10-4 at the end of the fifth inning. But Childersburg came back with 10 runs in the sixth inning to pull ahead 14-10.
Oneonta rallied in the seventh, tying the score 14-14. But then Oneonta gave up an unearned run as Childersburg’s Jake Tubbs scored, winning the game and clinching the state title.
State baseball, softball champs
Class 6A: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
Class 5A: Cullman
Class 4A: Childersburg
Class 3A: Hokes Bluff
Class 2A: Leroy
Class 1A: Hackleburg
Class 6A: Baker
Class 5A: GulfShores
Class 4A: Alabama Christian
Class 3A: Leeds
Class 2A: Oakman
Class 1A: Kinston
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Save $84.50 a year off our newsstand price:
Subscribe today for only 38 cents a day!