Russellville falls to California 2-1

Russellville's Kaleb Libbert fields a hit then makes the tag at second base before throwing the California batter out at first base to complete a double play during the third inning of the varsity game March 31 at the California Sports Complex.

Russellville's Kaleb Libbert fields a hit then makes the tag at second base before throwing the California batter out at first base to complete a double play during the third inning of the varsity game March 31 at the California Sports Complex. Photo by April Arnett.

The Russellville Indians traveled to California March 31, where they lost a close contest to the Pintos, 2-1.

After four innings, Russellville trailed 1-0. Zach Voss hit a single in the fifth inning that drove Ryland Johnson home to get the Indians into the game, 1-1. The Pintos added one run in the fifth inning to lead 2-1. Russellville attempted a comeback in the seventh inning that started off with Clayton Thompson getting on base with a double, however, hits that followed by Tanner Morrow, Nick Haslag and Zach Voss were all fielded by the Pintos to end the inning and California ultimately took the win, 2-1.

Clayton Meyer recorded the win with 12 strikeouts.

Meyer led Russellville hits with two singles. Thompson had a double, and Voss had a single and RBI. Haslag and Caleb Harrison each contributed a single as well.

"This was the type of game that's decided on how good our execution was and everything gets magnified in a one-run game," Russellville Coach Lucas Branson said. "It's good for us to learn from that and move on to the next game so we can be better when these situations happen again."

Russellville won the JV game 7-5. Seth Kuda recorded the win with six strikeouts.

Alex Thompson led Russellville's JV hits with a single and two RBI. Kuda and Cole Dawson each had a single and RBI, and Noah Stubinger contributed a single.

Previously, Indians participated in the Show-Me Conference Baseball Tournament March 28-29 at New Bloomfield, where they ultimately lost the third-place game 10-3 to Linn March 29.

"We had some chances to keep ourselves in this game, but just couldn’t get that key hit when we needed it or make the pitch or defensive play at the right time," Branson said. "We were all obviously a little frustrated with our performance on Saturday, so it’s going to be important for us to make some adjustments and be ready to compete better in the next several games."

Johnson and Haslag led Russellville hits with a double and RBI each. Voss and Chase Smith each had a double as well.

In the semifinal round March 29, Russellville lost 12-2 to Fatima.

"We got off to a 1-0 lead but then had a couple of mental and physical errors that really cost us in the second inning," Branson said. "We couldn’t dig our way out of the hole."

Meyer recorded the loss with three strikeouts.

Haslag led Russellville hits with a double and Harrison had a single and two RBI.  

Previously at the tourney, Russellville defeated New Bloomfield 4-1 in the opening round March 28.

"Our overall approach to this game was outstanding and we played very well," Branson said.  "We had contributions from everyone in the lineup and our bench throughout. It was an important game for us being at New Bloomfield and playing against a district opponent, so I was really pleased with our effort."

Haslag led Russellville hits with two and Thompson had one hit and two RBI.

Kaleb Libbert recorded the win for the Indians with one strikeout.

Fatima went on to defeat South Callaway 10-2 Saturday to clench the title.

The Indians travel to Osage Thursday. The varsity game will begin at 4:30 p.m., with the JV game to follow.

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