Hits were hard to come by for Athens during the nightcap of a doubleheader against second-ranked Cullman Friday night.
Sam Huser struck out 12 in 6 1/3 innings of work for the Bearcats as they defeated the Golden Eagles 11-2 to complete the sweep in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh inning that Athens was able to push across runs on a sacrifice by Remington Christopher and a single by Conlon Farmer.
Cullman scored one run in the first on a single by Lance Cleveland. They added two more runs in the second, two in the fourth, two in the fifth, and two in the sixth.
Jordan George, Harrison Pressnell and Luke Robinson also had singles.
Cullman 8, Athens 5
A late seventh-inning rally by the Golden Eagles during game one of the doubleheader wasn’t enough as Cullman held on for the win.
Trailing by four with bases loaded and no outs, Athens trimmed the lead when Bailey Kornemann drew a walk. A pitching change followed and Cullman’s Auston Neal shut down the next three batters to seal the win.
George led Athens at the plate, going 4 for 4 with two singles and a double. Brett Lewter was 2 for 4 with a single and two RBIs, while Mason Gilliland was also 2 for 4 with a double.
Keeton Dean was the leading hitter for the Bearcats, going 3 for 3 with three singles and three RBIs.
The loss ends the Golden Eagles season at 14-18.