Russellville leads Sheffield in District 6 finals
Kim West, Franklin County Times
With darkened skies overhead and a smattering of light rain falling, Russellville cleanup hitter Blake Hyde stepped up to the plate against Sheffield with the bases loaded Friday night and the scoreboard empty.
Hyde, who pitched the Tigers to a 12-2 win in Thursday's night elimination game, delivered a three-run double to bring home Jordan Gist, Jackson Smith and Caleb Robison that put Russellville ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning.
Then the light shower turned into a rainstorm, and Little League officials halted the District 6 Major League championship game. The rain continued for over an hour, and officials decided not to resume play.
The game's pitchers, Sheffield's Simon Ridgeway and Russellville's Gist, can still pitch when the game is continuted, but their pitch counts from Friday night will carry over.
Ridgeway allowed three runs with three strikeouts and one walk, and he only has 33 pitches remaining with three innings left to pitch.
Gist allowed no runs with four strikeouts and one walk, and he has 47 throws remaining with only two innings left to work.
Hyde was 2-for-2 with a single, a double and three RBIs. Gist and Cameron Harris added one hit apiece.
Sheffield mounted a scoring rally in the top of second inning, but Russellville centerfielder Drew Malone and catcher Jacob Seal snuffed the rally with the defensive play of the game.
After Gist struck out Sheffield leadoff hitter Eric Yarbrough, Austin Tippett doubled down the right field line and was in scoring position when Johnathan Tenneyson laced a single up the middle. Tippett came around to score, but Malone threw a bulls-eye to home plate and Seal managed to hang on for the tag-out. Then Gist got Michael Johnson to ground out to end the inning.
Officials decided to reschedule the game until Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Lee Complex. Play will resume with Rusellville at the plate with no outs in the bottom of the third inning.