RHS falls to Florence in finals

By Staff
Scot Beard
FLORENCE – Russellville entered the TimesDaily Classic baseball tournament with a losing record.
The Golden Tigers went undefeated through pool play, beat Shoals Christian in an elimination game and pounded Deshler in the semifinals.
The magic ran out in the championship game as Russellville rallied to force extra innings only to fall to Florence 9-5.
The Golden Tigers got off to a strong start as T.J. Lindsey led off the first inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Jake Ward.
Lindsey stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Nathan Vincent.
The host Falcons would not remain down long. Florence scored a pair of runs in the top of the second to take the lead and extended its advantage to 4-1 in the third inning.
Russellville's bats began producing again in the fifth inning Lindsey drew a walk, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice fly by John T. Watkins.
Vincent drove Lindsey in with a drive to center field that the outfielder misplayed, which allowed Vincent to reach third. John Batchelor's sacrifice RBI drove in Vincent to cut Florence's lead to 4-3.
The Falcons added a run in the top of the seventh, but Russellville had one more rally left.
Down to their final three outs, the Golden Tigers had back-to-back infield singles from Ward and Vincent. Batchelor drew a walk to load the bases with no outs before Collin Bradford doubled to score Ward and Vincent.
Jonas Boyles drew another walk to reload the bases.
With the winning run on third base and no outs, Casey Herring struck out. Matthew Duncan flied out to center field for the second out and the runner coming from third base was thrown out at the plate.
Florence added four runs in the eighth inning and Russellville was unable to answer, leaving the Falcons as the tournament champions.
Russellville 12,
Deshler 2
Ryan Bowling pitched five strong innings to dominate Deshler as Russellville rolled through the semifinal game 12-2.
Bowling allowed two runs on four hits. He did not issue a single walk.
The Golden Tigers led 2-0 going into the fourth inning, before exploding for nine runs. They added another run in the fifth to end the game.
Each starter scored at least one run for Russellville while Ward, Vincent and Duncan scored two runs each.
Russellville 10,
Shoals Christian 0
Ward pitched a complete-game shutout for the Golden Tigers to put Russellville in the semifinals.
He allowed one hit, issued one walk and struck out six in five innings of work to earn the win.
Leading 4-0, the Golden Tigers scored five runs in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.

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