BRANSON MO NEWS: The Russellville Indians had a good start to Friday’s pool-play action at Vivion Field in the Capital City Invitational. They also had a good finish.
It was the middle innings that proved to be costly.
Russellville lost 7-4 to the Eureka Wildcats and then 16-3 in five innings to the Blair Oaks Falcons to finsh pool play with an 0-3 record.
“In that game against Eureka, we had a couple opportunities where we left some runners on base,” Russellville coach Lucas Branson said. “Ideally, if you get a big hit in those key spots, then the momentum swings our way even more than what we already had.”
The Indians wasted no time showing they weren’t intimidated by playing their second Class 5 opponent is as many days.
Nick Thompson singled on the second pitch of the game and Mason Stewart followed with a double to right-center field on an 0-2 count. Two batters later, Braden Hickey singled into left field, driving home both runners to give Russellville an early 2-0 lead.
“Our kids, they know they can be good,” Branson said. “I don’t want them to be intimidated just because they’re playing bigger schools.
“They have to get past and realize that our goal is to show up and compete every day, no matter who it is on the other side of the field.”
Euerka scored twice in the third inning to tie the game at 2, but Russellville answered with another pair of runs in the fourth to retake a two-run lead. With two outs, Nick Thompson drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the go-ahead run, then Mason Stewart reached on an error to plate another run for the Indians.
“We put together a lot of good at-bats in that game,” Branson said.
Russellville pitcher Riley Marcum minimized the damage …
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