Cullman thumps Warren Central

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, March 3, 2012

BRANDON — Cullman (Ala.) missed out on its first chance at a victory over a Warren County school. It took full advantage of the second.

Jacob Kirkwood allowed one run in six strong innings, and helped his own cause with four hits, as Cullman beat Warren Central 8-2 on Saturday in the final game of the Mid-Mississippi Classic.

Hunter Austin went 2-for-3 with a double, and Cody Waddell had an RBI single for Warren Central (3-3), which lost its second straight game after a three-game winning streak. The Vikings didn’t score until the sixth inning, falling behind 5-0 as Cullman scored in four of the first five innings.

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“I did not think we played bad at all,” WC coach Josh Abraham said. “We had a dropped fly ball, but that didn’t cost us but one run. We hit some balls hard, they did too. They got some hits with runners in scoring position and we didn’t early. Then we hit a ball off the pitcher that kicks to the shortstop. I actually felt pretty good about the way we played.”

Cullman (6-4) was supposed to play Vicksburg High on Friday night, but that game was postponed moments before the first pitch because of severe weather. The following afternoon, it did face Warren County’s other team and slowly stacked up runs until its lead was insurmountable.

Kirkwood drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single in the top of the first, and the Bearcats added another in the second when Austin Warnke beat the throw home on a squeeze bunt. Cole Collins doubled and scored on a ground out in the fourth inning, then Keegan Thompson’ two-run homer in the fifth made it 5-0.

Waddell’s RBI single got Warren Central on the board in the sixth, Mason

Jarabica walked and scored on a groundout in the seventh. Cullman, though, added three runs in the top of the seventh to go up 8-1 and ice it.

Kirkwood finished the game 4-for-5 with two RBIs at the plate for Cullman, and Collins was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. On the mound, Kirkwood allowed six hits, walked one and struck out eight in six innings.