Russellville dominates Games 1 and 3 to win 5A state title

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Russellville propelled themselves to a 7-4 Game 3 victory over Faith Academy off a four-run first inning and a fifth run in the second to win the Class 5A state baseball championship.

The Golden Tigers chased Rams starting pitcher Jamison Morris off the mound before he ever recorded an out as Morris gave up four runs on two hits, a walk, a wild pitch, and a hit by pitch. Braxton Bell then came on to pitch five innings and gave up the three other runs on eight hits while striking out five.

Skylar Holland picked up the win for Russellville with four strikeouts allowing two runs on five hits, a walk, a wild pitch, and two HBPs in six innings. Faith Academy scored four runs in the last two innings, but Rudy Fernandez closed the door on the mound for the last two outs. Batting, Cody Greenhill went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run and was awarded the series MVP.

In Game 1, Greenhill struck out 11 and allowed just two hits on the way to the 9-1 win. Greenhill set the tone by getting strikeouts on five straight outs from the first to third inning. Faith Academy didn’t earn their first hit until the third inning with a Jackson Bell single. From the plate, Skyler Holland went 3-for-3 with a RBI single in the second.

Game 2 was a slugfest as Faith Academy took a 4-0 lead in the second and third innings. Russellville tied the game at 5-5 after a four-run fifth inning then took a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, Faith Academy managed to load the bases with a single and two walks in the first three batters. Pinch runner Reece Ewing then scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to one.

After a strikeout, Gabe Shepard singled to score pinch runner Chandler Farley and tie the game. Jackson Bell then scored Braxton Bell on a sacrifice fly to take the 8-7 lead. Russellville put runners in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the seventh but hit two groundouts to end the game.