Indians end season with 8-7 loss to Canton

Russellville's Chandler Wolf releases a pitch during the third inning of the Indians' Class 2 Sectional game against the Harrisburg Bulldogs May 21 at Harrisburg.

Russellville's Chandler Wolf releases a pitch during the third inning of the Indians' Class 2 Sectional game against the Harrisburg Bulldogs May 21 at Harrisburg. Photo by April Arnett.

After defeating #3 seeded Linn 10-4 to snag the Class 2 District 8 title May 15 at New Bloomfield, the top-seeded Russellville Indians were riding high. And they continuted to ride that wave as Russellville defeated Harrisburg 5-2 at Class 2 Sectionals May 21. It was the next game that ultimately took the wind out of the Indians' sail. Tied 7-7 after seven innings in Class 2 Quarterfinal play May 22 at Canton, one extra inning ended the season for Russellville as Canton managed one more run to take the lead and ultimately the win, 8-7.

After the first inning, Russellville led 2-1, then the Indians added three runs in the second from Chandler Wolf's 3-run homer to lead 5-1. Canton added two runs to trail 5-3 going into the third inning. While the Indians were scoreless in the third, the Tigers managed three runs to take the lead at 6-5. Canton added one run in the fifth to lead 7-5.

The Indians stepped up with two runs in the seventh, then held the Tigers scoreless for an even 7-7 score. Canton brought one home in the bottom of the eighth to take the win, 8-7.

Previously in Class 2 Sectional play against Harrisburg May 21, Wolf recorded the 5-2 win with 10 strikeouts in seven innings.

Harrisburg led 1-0 after the first inning, however, Clayton Thompson ripped a line drive that resulted in a single that brought Kaleb Libbert and Caleb Harrison home in the top of the second to give Russellville a 2-1 edge. The Bulldogs evened the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the second, but that was Harrisburg's final run. Russellville's Nick Haslag drove a run home in the third inning to put Russellville on top 3-2. Wolf drove a run home in the fourth inning, and Harrison drove another run home in the fifth to give the Indians a 5-2 lead that Russellville held to the finish.

Harrison had two hits and one RBI for the Indians, while Clayton Thompson had one hit and two RBI, and Wolf and Nick Haslag each had one hit and one RBI.

"The kids really showed their toughness against Harrisburg and our overall execution was really good," Branson said. "We had some good defense at times we needed to make plays, and also had timely hitting with two outs. I'm very proud of our kids for their determination and ability to be focused, but also loose and able to play with a lot of excitement."

Russellville ended the season 16-8.

Canton (14-5) advanced to the Class 2 Final Four where the Tigers played West Platte at O'Fallon Tuesday, May 28. (Results were not available at press time.)

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