RHS baseball turns to familiar faces for another championship quest
The Russellville baseball team will be taking the field in 2022 with a large number of players with state championship-winning experience.
Head coach Chris Heaps has a roster stocked with talented pitchers and batters who were key parts of this past year’s Class 5A title-winning squad. A group of leaders from the 2021 team, however, will surely be missed.
Gone to the college ranks are the likes of 5A championship series MVP second baseman Cole Barnett and starting pitcher of the clincher versus Pike Road, Rowe Gallagher, along with the reliable arm of Gordon White. RHS will also be looking to replace the tremendous defensive and hitting skills of first baseman Jackson Lindsey, now at UAH, and Nick Smith, who is also playing at the next level.
“Jackson Lindsey was the 5A hitter of the year, and he’s one of the best defensive players, but he’s also one of the hardest workers on the team,” said Heaps. “Cole Barnett, same thing – one of the hardest workers on the team.
“With Nick Smith, Cole Barnett and Jackson Lindsey, you’ve got about 90 RBIs that we need to find somewhere, and those don’t come real easily.”
Returning players who had big roles on last season’s team are pitchers Emitt Green and Reed Hill. Eli Gipson returns as the starter at shortstop. Canyon Pace is back at the catcher position, but an early-season thumb injury has forced Pace into the designated hitter role as of late.
The 2022 outfield has returning starters Casen Heaps in center and Grayson Thorpe in left.
Also look for Samuel Pace, Andrew Hatton, Karson Hyde, Ethan Oliver and Nathan Brockway to play bigger roles in 2022 as they make up a huge senior class of players with Green, Hill, Pace, Gipson and Thorpe.
Russellville is part of a three-team Class 5A, Area 15, with Lawrence County and West Point.
RUSSELLVILLE VARSITY BASEBALL ROSTER
1 Logan White
2 Banks Langston
3 Andrew Hatton
6 Shayden Romans
7 Brayden Spurgeon
8 Grayson Thorpe
9 Karson Hyde
12 Brayden Heaps
14 Ethan Oliver
15 Casen Heaps
16 Samuel Pace
17 Nathan Brockway
18 Emitt Green
21 Eli Gipson
23 E.J. Jones
24 Canyon Pace