Golden Tigers split games with Madison, Hartselle teams
By Brannon King
For the FCT
The Russellville Golden Tigers faced tough competition at home on the baseball diamond over the past week and came away with a split, winning three games and losing three.
The top-ranked team in Class 5A Golden Tigers (22-4) took on the second-ranked team in Class 6A Hartselle Tigers, No. 5 five in 7A Bob Jones Patriots and the James Clemens Jets, who also received votes in the latest 7A rankings.
The Hartselle Tigers came to RHS March 22 for a double header, and the Golden Tigers dominated game one, winning by a score of 10-2. Cody Greenhill pitched a complete game, giving up only three hits and one earned run. He had six strikeouts and walked two Hartselle batters.
Landon Ezzell went 3-4 at the plate for Russellville and scored two runs and had two RBIs. Ezzell, Skylar Holland, Austin Bohannon and Russ Carpenter all had doubles for RHS, while Landon Oliver had a triple. Oliver (2), Reed Smith (2), Judd Ward (1), Holland (1), Bohannon (1) and Carpenter (1) all had hits for the Golden Tigers.
Hartselle battled back and took game two, 3-0. Bohannon got the start on the mound and took the tough-luck loss, only giving up two hits in six innings pitched and one earned run. He struck out eight and walked four. Bailey Thompson came on and worked a scoreless seventh inning in relief.
Ward had two hits for RHS, while Reed Smith and Bohannon each had one. Kitterman reached base on a walk, but Russellville was shutout for the first time this season.
“I thought that it was a productive day. I knew that it was going to be a tough day to win two,” Russellville head coach and former Hartselle player and assistant Chris Heaps said.
“I was proud of us the first game,” Heaps added. “I felt like we got a very positive attack on their pitcher, and we were very disciplined at the plate and had a lot of hits. Cody’s pitching performance was very good. Cody got up into the 90s today, and he was amped up and wanted the ball.”
“I thought that Austin Bohannon threw great; we just kind of threw him in the river a little bit. We didn’t hit in the clutch,” Heaps said.
The Bob Jones Patriots came to RHS March 23, and the Golden Tigers took game one, 6-1 behind a strong pitching performance by Kitterman. The senior right-hander went six innings, striking out five, and he allowed one run on a homerun. Smith came on to work the final inning in relief.
Bohannon hit a homerun in the second inning to get RHS on the board first. Landon Oliver led the team with three RBIs.
The Patriots jumped out to a quick lead, scoring four first inning runs in game two and held on for the 6-2 victory. Chad Wray started the game on the mound for Russellville and pitched into the third inning before Skylar Holland came on in relief.
Russellville had more hits in the game, but the Patriots had more runs. Bohannon had two hits for RHS, while Cody Greenhill had a hit and a walk. Ward picked up an RBI for the Golden Tigers.
The James Clemens Jets came to Russellville Saturday and shocked the Golden Tigers with a late 3-2 comeback win in game one. With Greenhill on the mound, things were looking great for RHS until a 2-run homerun cleared the fence in the last inning to give the Jets the lead. Greenhill went the distance, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out ten Jets in the loss.
All of the runs in the game came as the result of homeruns. Holland hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning for Russellville, and James Clemens picked up a run in the sixth inning on a long ball.
Russellville battled back in game two and took the win, 8-2. A big fourth inning at the plate made the difference for RHS. Carpenter got things going by driving in the first run. Greenhill then picked up an RBI single. Smith added an RBI sacrifice fly before Ward followed with an RBI double. Oliver then finished off the inning by picking up a two-RBI double.
Kitterman drove in a run with a double in the sixth inning, and then Thompson drove in the final run on a sacrifice fly.
Bohannon picked up the win on the mound. He pitched five innings and gave up one run. Kitterman came on in relief and worked the final two innings.