Semis, here we come

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
ATALLA – After Friday night's game, someone needs to check Jake Ward's chest for a giant 'S'.
For the second time is as many series the Golden Tiger outfielder turned Superman ripped the game-winning hit, giving Russellville a 6-5 win and putting them in the semi-finals of the Class 5A playoffs.
Ward's RBI single, which brought home Patrick Hines, ended a nine inning chess match that reached into 10 p.m. Friday night.
Early on, it looked like it was Russellville's game to lose.
Russellville jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first when Ward blasted his second homerun of the post-season over the wall, scoring Caleb Mitchell.
Etowah came back to score a run in the third to cut the Golden Tigers' lead in half. In the top of the fifth, the Blue Devils took a 4-2 lead, their first lead of the series, with a three run inning – stoked by back-to-back homeruns.
Russellville tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Patrick Hines scored on a passed ball while Cory Trapp was standing in at the plate. Trapp settled in to knock the next pitch into centerfield for an RBI single to tie the game at four-all.
The two teams couldn't settle it in the regular seven innings, so in between a slight drizzle they lined up for two more.
Etowah took the lead in the top of the eighth but Russellville got right back in the ballgame in the bottom of the eighth when Seth Ferguson stepped into the hero spotlight, tying the game with a solo homerun.
Ward's single in the ninth put the game away. Jacey Wilson got the win for Russellville, striking out six.
Game 1, RHS 8, EHS, 3
Russellville rebounded from a defensive shoving match with Gardendale last weekend to whip Etowah High School soundly 8-3 Friday evening.
After a scoreless first two innings, Russellville broke the game open with five runs in the third.
A sac-fly by Jake Ward scored Evan Ferguson and Patrick Hines to give the Golden Tigers a 2-0 edge.
A double by Corey Flanagan scored Caleb Mitchell and a follow-up double by Seth Ferguson scored Flanagan. A single by Jacob Daniel brought in Ferguson to end the big inning.
Etowah clawed back in the fourth, scoring three runs, but in the sixth Russellville put the game well out of reach, highlighted by a solo homerun by Daniel.
Preston Beasley got the complete game win, striking out five.

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