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franklin county times

Russellville clinches area baseball title with wins over West Point

The Russellville varsity baseball team clinched the AHSAA Class 5A Area 14 title with a sweep of the West Point Warriors.

Russellville earned a spot in the upcoming 5A playoffs with a 19-3 victory at West Point April 8, and the Golden Tigers took first place in the area with a 16-5 win over the Warriors April 12. RHS (22-9) will host Pleasant Grove (17-13) in the first round of the playoffs scheduled to begin April 19. Lawrence County finished second in area 14, also qualifying for the postseason.

“I’ve challenged these guys, and they’ve answered the bell,” Russellville head coach Jess Smith said. “I’m super-proud of them for winning a championship and for doing what we’ve done in the area.”

The Golden Tigers took down West Point in the first game of the series by scoring in every inning but the first during the six-inning contest. Russellville outhit the Warriors 12-6, and the West Point defense committed eight errors.

Michael Scofield had three hits, two walks and one RBI to help lead RHS. Daniel Askew had two hits, two walks and three RBI. Ty Willis added two hits, two walks and two RBI and Brodie Vandiver had two hits, including a double. He also drove-in a run. Brayden Entrekin, Brandt Cummings and Cayden Johns also had hits. Johns added two RBI, while Neyland Baker and Entrekin had one each.

Cayden Johns pitched five innings and allowed one earned run. The senior right-hander struck out four. Ty Engelthaler pitched one scoreless frame, allowing no hits.

Rain caused Russellville and West Point to wait until April 12 to play game two of the series. Instead of playing at RHS, the contest was held on the artificial turf field at Northwest Shoals Community College.

Daniel Askew continued his hot hitting with three hits and four RBI. Baker had a hit and four RBI. Devin Green added two hits while Cummings, Vandiver and Johns had one hit each. Russellville got additional RBI from Entrekin and Johns. Entrekin got the start on the mound and went four innings. He allowed one earned run and struck out five. Gunner Sappington pitched one inning and allowed one earned run.

Russellville traveled to Brooks High School April 13 and defeated the 4A Lions by a final score of 5-1.

Askew was 3-for-3 at the plate and had one RBI. Cummings had two hits and one RBI and Devin Green added two hits. Baker also helped the team to victory with one hit and one RBI. Brandt Cummings pitched five innings, allowing one hit and no earned runs. Engelthaler pitched two innings, allowing two hits and no runs.

With the playoffs coming soon, the Golden Tigers are hoping for a big home crowd to be part of the atmosphere. “We need you, and we feed off your energy,” Smith said. “We think we have the best crowd in the state. Anytime you host a playoff series, you can’t take it for granted, and you want home field advantage because of your crowd. I’m asking all of our community to show up and give us that advantage because they do so often.”

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