Russellville baseball opens area play with wins over Lawrence County
The Russellville High School varsity baseball team started the quest for a playoff berth with a couple of area wins over the Lawrence County Red Devils.
RHS, No. 1 in Class 5A, went to Moulton March 23 and took a 4-0 win over LCHS with the help of an outstanding pitching performance by Emitt Green. The right-hander used his side-arm delivery to baffle the Red Devils, and he carried a no-hitter into the game’s final inning before Lawrence County picked up a single.
Green threw 70 pitches in the contest, and he struck out four and did not walk a batter. Two RHS errors led to a couple of Lawrence County base-runners.
Canyon Pace had two hits and an RBI to lead the Russellville offensive attack. Grayson Thorpe and Reed Hill also picked up RBIs and had singles. Also hitting safely for RHS were Jackson Lindsey, Cole Barnett, Eli Gipson and Casen Heaps.
The threat of inclement weather forced the two schools to play game two of the series at RHS March 24, a day earlier than previously scheduled. Russellville took five innings to get a dominating 10-0 victory.
Senior Rowe Gallagher continued the strong RHS pitching with a two-hit, no-walk performance on the mound. The Wallace State signee struck out four and threw 59 pitches for the win.
Hill and Gipson had two RBIs each. Lindsey, Nick Smith, Pace, Barnett and Banks Langston also drove in runs.
The RHS hits were by Thorpe, Smith, Gipson, JD Bishop and Langston.
The wins put RHS at 2-0 within the three-team area that also includes West Point.
“I told our guys we practice every day for seven teams right now,” said Russellville head coach Chris Heaps. “Those seven teams are Lawrence County, West Point and then the five we hope to face if we get to Montgomery. So, that’s what we’re practicing for, and the rest of the games are just to, hopefully, get the work that we need to be successful and get better every day.”
Hartselle 6, Russellville 5
No. 6 in 6A Hartselle hosted the Golden Tigers March 26 and put together a late rally to send the game into extra innings before taking the victory in nine.
Russellville used five pitchers, with Gordon White getting the start. He was followed to the mound by Samuel Pace, Langston, Hill and Ethan Oliver. White and Pace allowed two runs apiece, while Hill and Oliver gave up one run each.
Lindsey had two hits to lead RHS. Smith, Hill, Barnett and Gipson also had singles. Lindsey, Hill, Gipson and Bishop had Russellville RBIs.
Russellville 9, Decatur 3
RHS went to Decatur March 27 and defeated the Red Raiders in their first game of the day.
Barnett hit a home run and had two RBIs. Brayden Heaps had a double and two RBIs for the Golden Tigers, and Smith also doubled. Canyon Pace added two hits and a couple of RBIs.
Langston was the starter on the mound, going four innings. He allowed three hits and two runs and struck out three. Green pitched the final three frames, allowing a run on five hits. He struck out a batter. Neither pitcher issued a walk.
Russellville 7, East Lawrence 1
Andrew Hatton went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBIs, two runs scored and three stolen bases to lead RHS to victory in game two Saturday.
Gipson homered and singled, and Hill also had two hits.
Russellville (16-4) was busy on the bases with seven steals. Karson Hyde, Langston, Oliver and Gavin Slay had swipes in addition to the three by Hatton.
Oliver got the start and the win by going five innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. Casen Heaps worked two innings and gave up no runs, hits or walks while striking out three.