MONTGOMERY – Senior left-hander Austin Bohannon (14-1) hurled a one-hitter in game 2 and senior right-hander Austin Kitterman (10-1) pitched a complete game to get the win in the game 3 as defending state champion Russellville beat Faith Academy 3-0 and 5-3 Friday to capture the Class 5A State Baseball Championship at Riverwalk Stadium.
Faith Academy (36-6) won game one on Thursday night at Paterson field 9-1.
Bohannon had a no-hitter until Brooks Carson tripled with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Bohannon finished with three walks and three strikeouts as he faced just 25 batters and threw only 94 pitches to get the shutout win.
That set the stage for Kitterman, who suffered a life-threatening injury in a four-wheeler accident in 2014, pitched a gritty game in the finals allowing nine hits, striking out six and walking none. His head coach Chris Heaps said just having Kitterman’s presence on the team was “a miracle.”
Kitterman threw 92 pitches to notch the 5-3 championship game win.
Landon Oliver had two hits and two RBIs – driving in two runs in the bottom of the first in game three to help Russellville (48-7) take a 3-0 lead.
Christopher Sargent’s two-run double in the top of the second cut the lead to 3-2 for Faith Academy (36-7), coached by Matt Seymour. Will Freeman, who pitched game one win for the Rams, had a double and game-tyng RBI in the third.
The Golden Tigers took the lead when Judd Ward, who had two hits, tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth. The team added an insurance run on Colin Garrison’s single in the sixth. Faith Academy pitcher Gabe Shepard (8-2) pitched all six innings for the Rams. He allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out five.
GAME 2: Russellville 3, Faith Academy 0
Bohannon’s pitching performance in game two kept the Golden Tigers’ championship hopes alive. He earned Class 5A State Championship Series MVP for his effort.
Rams starter Reece Ewing (7-2) also had a no-hitter until the Golden Tigers bunched three hits together in the bottom of the fifth to plate two runs. The big hit was a bases-loaded single by shortstop Reed Smith to plate pinch runner Tom Barkley and Landon Ezzell. Smith walked and scored in the first inning on a wild pitch to put Russellville up 1-0 early.
Ewing went 4 1/3 innings allowing three hits, three runs and striking out three. Michael Morris hurled the final 1 1/3 innings for the Rams of Coach Mike Seymour.
Russellville left just two runners on base. Smith also turned in two big plays defensively in game two and another in game 3.