New Golden Tiger coach picks up first victory leading RHS baseball

The Russellville varsity baseball team continued its stretch of road games to begin the season with trips to Decatur and Guntersville. After starting the season 0-5 against tough competition, the Golden Tigers have now won three straight games.

Russellville 4, Decatur 3

Jess Smith got his first win as Russellville head coach Feb. 28 at Decatur. The Golden Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead and held on for the victory.

“It’s been a hard-fought stretch here early,” Smith said. “We’ve played some really good baseball teams, and we’ve competed. Three out of the first five, we’ve lost by one run, and we have been walked-off twice.

“Here we are in another one-run baseball game late, so it was really good for our guys to win a hard-fought game and hold onto that win late because we’ve been finding ways to give it away.”

Brodie Vandiver hit his first home run; Eli Boutwell picked up a two-RBI double; and Brayden Spurgeon had a sacrifice fly to account for the Russellville runs.

Banks Langston and Brandt Cummings also hit safely for RHS.

Spurgeon got the start on the mound and went five innings. The senior right-hander allowed three runs, with two being earned. He gave up five hits, struck out three and walked three.

Cummings worked the game’s final two innings. He allowed no hits and struck out four batters.

Russellville 3, St. Clair County 1

Russellville traveled to Guntersville March 4 and played St. Clair County and then Guntersville. In a rematch of a play-off series from this past season, RHS defeated St. Clair County again.

All of the scoring came in the sixth inning, when the Saints scored a run in the top of the frame and the Golden Tigers answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Logan White pitched a complete game to get the win. The senior allowed one unearned run and three hits. He struck out five and issued no walks.

Langston had two hits to lead Russellville. Vandiver added a double and an RBI. Cummings also picked up a double, and he was joined in the hit column by Spurgeon and Cayden Johns.

Russellville 9, Guntersville 6

The Golden Tigers and Guntersville battled it out, and RHS got the exciting win in nine innings.

Russellville had a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but GHS fought back with two runs to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

Shayden Romans had the big hit with a two-run double to put RHS back up for good. The senior catcher also had a triple earlier in the contest, in addition to a couple of walks.

Langston added a hit, two walks, two runs, two RBIs and four stolen bases. Boutwell had a hit, walk, run and two RBIs.

Cummings had two hits, a walk, run and one RBI. Daniel Askew also hit safely, and EJ Jones walked and scored a run.

Doing the pitching for RHS were Johns, Seth Burns and Cummings. Johns went four innings; Burns threw 2.2 innings; and Cummings finished the game for the win.

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