RHS boys still seek first win, starting season with road games
The 2023 varsity baseball season is underway for the Russellville Golden Tigers under new head coach Jess Smith. RHS has won the past two 5A state titles and is aiming for another but is off to a 0-5 start, facing larger schools on the road to begin the year.
Florence 5, Russellville 4
The Golden Tigers opened the season with a trip to 7A Florence Feb. 18, and the Falcons got the win with two runs in last inning.
Brandt Cummings led RHS with two hits, a run and two stolen bases. Shayden Romans added a double, two RBIs and a walk.
Also hitting safely for Russellville were Logan White, Brayden Spurgeon, Banks Langston, Cayden Johns and Daniel Askew. White and Johns also had RBIs. Langston, Spurgeon and Johns shared pitching duties.
Sparkman 9, Russellville 1
Russellville visited 7A Sparkman two days later, and the Senators got three runs in the third inning to pull away.
RHS had two hits, by Michael Scofield and Romans. White had the lone Russellville RBI.
White got the start on the mound, and he was followed by Johns and Cummings.
Faith Academy 8, Russellville 4
A trip to Mobile followed Feb. 24 for the Golden Tigers. Russellville and Faith Academy have met a few times for the 5A state championship, and this year the matchup was in the regular season, with Faith Academy now being a 6A school.
Trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning, Russellville took a 3-2 lead, but the Rams answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to retake the lead.
Eli Boutwell was joined in the hit column by Langston, White, Scofield and Askew. Langston’s hit was a triple.
RBIs for RHS came from White and Scofield.
Spurgeon got the start on the mound, and he was followed by Cummings, Askew and Boutwell.
Saraland 8, Russellville 7
Russellville faced another Class 6A Area 1 team, the Spartans in Saraland, for a double-header the following day. A five-run fifth inning hurt Russellville, and a late comeback attempt by the Golden Tigers fell just short as Saraland held on for the win.
Brodie Vandiver and Johns had two hits each. Langston smacked a double, and White and Scofield each had singles.
Vandiver had three RBIs, while White, Johns and Scofield had one each.
Golden Tiger pitchers were White and Boutwell.
Saraland 6, Russellville 5
Game two was also a battle to the end, but Saraland got two runs in the bottom of the last inning to get the victory.
Vandiver, Langston, Spurgeon and Boutwell all had one hit each. Langston drove in two, and Vandiver had one RBI. The Golden Tigers were busy on the bases with five steals.
Four pitchers worked for RHS: Johns, Gunner Sappington, Spurgeon and Cummings.