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Golden Tigers win three in Georgia baseball tourney

By Brannon King

For the FCT

The Golden Tigers went to LakePoint in Emerson, Georgia for a tournament against teams from all over the country and fared well.

Russellville 8, King’s Ridge Christian (Alpharetta, Ga.) 7

RHS gave King’s Ridge their third loss of the season Thursday. Skylar Holland went 3-4 at the plate for RHS and had 4 RBIs. He also picked up the win on the mound by pitching four innings of relief after Chad Wray got the start. Austin Kitterman worked the final inning and got the Save.

Judd Ward and Landon Oliver each had two hits. Ward added three stolen bases and scored two runs.  Smith, Kitterman, Scott and Thompson all had a hit for RHS.

Russellville 11, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 3

Austin Bohannon pitched six strong innings Friday at LakePoint to get the win. He had ten strikeouts in the game. Bailey Thompson pitched one scoreless inning of relief.

Ward, Oliver and Ezzell each had two hits for RHS. Greenhill, Holland and Smith added a hit apiece.  Ezzell, Greenhill, Oliver and Ward all had doubles.

East Paulding (Dallas, Ga.,) 3, Russellville 2

The East Paulding Raiders gave the Golden Tigers their only loss at LakePoint. RHS scored one run in the first inning and one in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the talented Raiders, who finished the tournament with a 14-5 record for the season.

Greenhill pitched a complete game for RHS. Smith, Ward, Holland and Ezzell all had hits for Russellville.  Oliver had an RBI.

Russellville 5, Jordan (Sandy, Utah) 2

RHS finished up the tournament in Georgia Saturday with a game against the Jordan Beetdiggers from just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ward (3), Oliver (3), Smith (2), Kitterman (1), Holland (1), Bohannon (1) and Ezzell (1) had hits for RHS.  Kitterman got the start on the mound and was the winning pitcher. Smith worked one scoreless inning and picked up the Save.

Russellville 6, Cullman 3

The Golden Tigers took game one in a battle of defending state champions April 5 at Russellville. Austin Kitterman hit a walk-off, three-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning to give RHS the exciting victory over the Bearcats.

“It was awesome to see,” Russellville head coach Chris Heaps said. “That’s a walk-off homerun, and he deserves it. He’s worked so hard to come back, and I’m proud of him … That’s exciting for our team and exciting for his family.”

A move up in the batting order to the cleanup spot helped set the stage for the senior’s late-game heroics. “Today, I decided to bat Kitterman in the four hole because he’s a great fastball hitter. and I knew their guy was going to throw it hard,” Heaps said.

Oliver also had a big, two-run homerun in the game. His key hit came in the first inning after Russellville got off to a shaky start defensively in the top of the first and fell behind 3-0 to start the game.

Greenhill settled in after the first inning and did not allow a run the rest of the way. He pitched seven innings for the win, giving up five hits and striking out eight batters.  Greenhill also went 2-3 with the bat and picked up a double.

Reed Smith had two hits in the game, scored two runs and stole two bases for RHS.

Cullman 10, Russellville 5

The Bearcats got some revenge in game two against RHS. The Golden Tigers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead but couldn’t hold on for the win. “We just didn’t play with enthusiasm the whole game,” Heaps said. “We just didn’t have the killer instinct the entire day.”

Oliver led RHS at the plate by going 3-4, including two doubles and 2 RBIs. Smith, Ward, Holland and Landon Ezzell also had hits for Russellville. Bohannon got the start on the mound and pitched 3 innings. Kitterman, Smith and Thompson all worked in relief.