The California Pintos and Russellville Indians ended their regular season Thursday in a matchup against each other. Despite the loss of one of their players, Russellville controlled the game from start to finish, defeating California 9-2 to end the regular season 23-8. California's ended the regular season 13-11.
Russellville drew first blood in the bottom of the first when center fielder Chris Seaver hit a triple right fielder off California pitcher Martin Kilmer. Two batters later, Russellville third baseman Alex Oligschlaeger hit another triple to right field to score Seaver and put the Indians up 1-0.
In the bottom of the second, Russellville extended their lead with a two-run home run by pitcher Justin Seaver to make the score 3-0. The Indians followed up the home run with three-straight singles off Kilmer to score a fourth run. Two batters later, Russellville shortstop Jesse Daniel singled on a hard ground ball to left field and drove in another run. Russellville scored another run in the bottom of the third to give the Indians a 6-0 lead after three innings.
California was in position to get on the board in the fourth off back-to-back singles and a walk off Russellville pitcher Justin Seaver. However, Seaver didn't back down and retired the next two batters to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Russellville changed pitchers by putting Chris Seaver on the mound to replace his younger brother, Justin. California put two runners on base with a single by left fielder Hayden Kilmer. Then, second baseman Cameron Combs walked. Kilmer advanced to third base on a passed ball. California's next batter, third baseman Will Edwards, scored Kilmer from third base on an RBI pop-up to center field. Later in the fifth, California took advantage of an error, a hit-by-pitch and a bases-loaded walk to score another run and make the score 6-2.
Russellville head coach Lucas Branson made another pitching change and inserted catcher Jake Schulte as the new relief pitcher. Schulte answered the call and retired California's next batter, left fielder Martin Kilmer, on a groundout to Russellville shortstop Jesse Daniel.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Indians quickly put two runners on base with a walk by center fielder Justin Seaver and an error by California off a bunt from Russellville second baseman Devin Pistel. Russellville's next batter, Chris Seaver, hit a double to center field on a 1-1 pitch to score both runners. Two batters later, third baseman Alex Oligschlaeger brought in another run on an RBI single to left field.
California had another chance to chip away at Russellville's lead in the top of the sixth. California designated hitter Tristen Nokes hit a single to lead off the inning. With two outs in the inning, California got back-to-back walks to load the bases. Schulte and the Indians escaped the sixth on a pop-out catch by right fielder Josiah Herman. Schulte held California scoreless again in the seventh to give Russellville the win 9-2.
Russellville starting pitcher and center fielder Justin Seaver pitched four innings and allowed no runs on two hits with four strikeouts. Seaver batted 2-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Seaver hit a two-run home run in the third inning.
Russellville center fielder and relief pitcher Chris Seaver batted 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Seaver pitched 0.2 innings and allowed two runs on one hit.
Russellville third baseman Alex Oligschlaeger batted 2-4 with two RBIs.
Russellville catcher and relief pitcher Jake Schulte batted 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk. Schulte pitched 2.1 innings and allowed no runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
California starting pitcher and left fielder Martin Kilmer pitched two innings and allowed five runs on seven hits with one strikeout.
California shortstop and relief pitcher Hayden Kilmer batted 1-3 with a run scored. Kilmer pitched one inning and allowed two runs on three hits.
California designated hitter Tristen Nokes batted 2-3.
Russellville head coach Lucas Branson said the win over California was a good step in the right direction for his team going into the postseason. An injury to Charlie Miller has given Russellville difficulties over the last few weeks. Branson said Miller will return to the lineup as the Indians look to go for another district championship.
"The final regular season game for us was an overall sold performance for us as we prepare for the postseason. During the final three regular season games, we've been able to build momentum going into the district tournament. Charlie will be back in a limited role for us this week," Branson said.
Russellville is No. 2 seed in the Class 2 District 8 tournament, which began Friday.