Golden Tigers see week of wins
By Brannon King
For the FCT
Russellville 14, Lawrence County 2
The top-ranked in Class 5A Russellville baseball team (36-6) traveled to Moulton April 12 and claimed game one of the Area series against the Red Devils.
Landon Oliver led the way at the plate for RHS by going 4-5 with a double, three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Reed Smith, Skylar Holland and Landon Ezzell all had three hits apiece. Smith scored three runs, drove in two and stole two bases. Meanwhile, Holland picked up a triple, drove in two runs and scored two. Bailey Thompson (2) and Cody Greenhill (1) also had hits for the Golden Tigers.
Austin Bohannon went the distance on the mound and was the winning pitcher. He threw seven innings, gave up two hits and struck out 12.
Russellville 6, Lawrence County 0
The Golden Tigers claimed the Class 5A, Area 14 championship April 13 by winning the first game at home against the Red Devils. By winning the Area, RHS will host the Boaz Pirates in round one of the playoffs, beginning with two games April 22. The playoffs will feature a best-of-three format with game three of round one taking place April 23 at RHS if needed.
Russellville head coach Chris Heaps was proud of his team for claiming the area crown. “Glad to be area champs,” Heaps said after the games against Lawrence County. “You’ve got goals that you set at the beginning of the year, and winning your area obviously is definitely one of our goals. Hosting the first round of the playoffs is big. We typically play well here,” Heaps added.
Greenhill and Kitterman combined to pitch the shutout for RHS. Greenhill threw five innings and struck out seven, while Kitterman pitched the final two and struck out three.
Oliver (2), Judd Ward (2), Kitterman (2), Smith (1), Holland (1), Thompson (1) and Ezzell (1) all had hits for RHS.
Russellville 17, Lawrence County 3
Russellville finished off the regular-season sweep of the Red Devils with the commanding victory in game two April 13.
The Golden Tigers jumped out to a big lead early and went on to score in every inning of the contest. Ward and Oliver both had three hits. Oliver had a home run and five RBIs in the game, while Ward picked up a triple, drove in three runs and scored three.
Holland also had five RBIs and hit a home run. Ezzell (2), Greenhill (1) and Colin Garrison (1) also had hits for RHS.
Chad Wray started the game and was the winning pitcher. He threw three innings and gave up two hits. Thompson came on in relief and pitched five innings. He allowed no runs, two hits and struck out three batters.
Russellville 10, Madison Academy 9
Two highly-ranked teams faced off Saturday at RHS as the Golden Tigers defeated the number-three ranked in Class 3A Mustangs in thrilling final-inning fashion.
RHS got out to a large lead early in the game, leading 9-2 after five innings, before Madison Academy came roaring back late with four runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh to tie the game. The Golden Tigers fought back and took the win with a run in the final inning.
Smith, Ward and Ezzell all had two hits for RHS. Oliver, Kitterman and Greenhill had one hit apiece. Oliver’s hit cleared the fence for a home run.
Wray picked up the win and only threw three pitches in the game. He came on to get the final out of the seventh inning after the Mustangs had already tied the score.
Russellville 11, Pinson Valley 0
RHS also won their second game Saturday, this time defeating the Pinson Valley Indians. Russellville combined strong pitching with timely hitting to claim the victory.
Austin Bohannon shined at the plate with a homerun and on the mound as the winning pitcher. He threw three innings of one-hit ball before Greenhill finished off the game by throwing two innings, and he gave up two hits.
Ward had two hits while Smith, Holland, Kitterman, Ezzell and Garrison all had one.