MONTGOMERY – Cullman (44-9) downed Pelham 5-4 Friday night at Paterson Field in game one of the AHSAA state baseball championship series. The best-of-three series concludes Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium as the Bearcats and Panthers play game two at 10 a.m. Game three, if needed, will follow approximately at 1 p.m.
Cullman senior starter Jesse Scott (14-1) tossed a five-hitter to get the complete-game win. He had two-hitter and 5-1 lead heading into the seventh before Pelham (33-11) rallied to score three runs off three hits. Sam Finnerty (10-2), the losing pitcher, stroked a two-RBI single to pull the game to within one run before Scott got the last out on a fly out to right.
Finnerty also pitched well. He yielded nine hits but only allowed two earned runs while striking out five. Scott struck out eight.
Coach Brent Patterson’s lead-off hitter Noah Fondren had three this and scored twice to pace the Bearcats. Orvis Cuello added a double and single and RBI and Sam Huser had two hits.
Hunter Stovall added an RBI single for Pelham, coached by Sean Anderson, and Hunter Orr had a double to score one run.
The Class 7A series set to open Friday night at Patterson Field, will feature games one and two at Riverwalk Stadium at 4 and 7 p.m., following the 6A series Saturday. Thompson meets Smiths Station in the 7A finals.
All games will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network.