Russell K-18 Baseball in State Semis After Extra-Inning Walk-Off Win
LUCAS-The Russell K-18 Baseball team rallied from two runs down in the bottom of the seventh inning and edged Scott City 9-8 in eight innings Saturday afternoon in the first round of the 71st Annual State Tournament at the Lucas Baseball Field.
The game which was played in intense 108-degree heat was back and forth from beginning to end. Scott City opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning before Russell grabbed a 2-1 advantage on back-to-back home runs with two out in the bottom of the frame by Mason Rohr and Max Evans.
Russell added to their lead and made the score 3-1 on a Scott City error in the bottom of the second but three Russell errors in the top of the third help Scott City move back in front 4-3. Scott City added another run in the top of the fourth to increase their lead to 5-3.
Evans' RBI single in the bottom of the fifth started a three-run Russell rally to give them a 6-5 lead but Scott City responded with two runs in the top of the sixth to regain the edge and added a run in the top of the seventh to lead 8-6 and put Russell on the brink of elimination.
Russell however, took advantage of key Scott City errors in the bottom of the seventh and tied the game on a one-out two-run single by Kyle Huser. Huser was then left stranded on third base with the winning run and the game went into extra innings.
Mason Rohr worked around a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth inning to keep Scott City scoreless and then Russell won the contest on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the bottom of the inning with Evans at bat.
Wyatt Griffin started on the mound for Russell and was relieved by Evans before Rohr took over in the seventh inning and picked up the victory.
Russell (8-7) advances to the semifinals on Sunday in Lucas where they will face Goodland which defeated Lincoln 13-5 earlier Saturday. The other semifinal will have Phillipsburg taking on Clay Center ABA. That game will begin at Noon with the Russell-Goodland game slated to start between 2:00 and 2:30 p.m. The semifinal losers meet for third place on Wednesday, July 27 at 3 p.m. in Lucas with the Championship game between the semifinal winners scheduled for 5:30 p.m. that day.
With Saturday's win, the Russell K-18 Baseball team has assured itself of its first top-four finish at State since 2008 when they finished fourth after losing to Concordia CNB 7-6. Russell has won the K-18 Baseball State title four times in its history in 1961, 1963, 1998 and most recently in 2005.