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Golden Tigers one win away from State title

Russellville wins 2-0 in game One of 5A State Championship
Russellville wins 2-0 over Holtville  in game one of the 5A State Baseball Finals.
Russellville wins 2-0 over Holtville in game one of the 5A State Baseball Finals.(WAFF)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:11 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Moments after winning game one of the Class 5A State Baseball Championship Series, Russellville High School Coach Chris Heaps made it clear it’s not yet time for his Golden Tigers to celebrate.     “Everything we set out to do it still in front of us,” he said. “We haven’t accomplished anything yet. The mission isn’t accomplished.”    

The defending state champion Golden Tigers (34-12) moved within one victory of back-to-back 5A state championships with Wednesday night’s 2-0 victory over Holtville (34-6), coached by Scott Tubbs, in game one of the best-of-three championship series at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park signature baseball field. Game two is set for Thursday at 4 p.m., at Jacksonville State University’s Rudy Abbott Field-Jim Case Stadium, with game three, if necessary, to follow.    

Russellville’s Banks Langston struck out six and allowed just three hits in 6 2/3 innings to get the win, and Braydon Spurgeon got the last out for the save.     The Golden Tigers scored a run in the fifth and another in the sixth, making the most of their five hits against Holtville pitcher Tanner Potts. Potts allowed just five hits and struck out six but took the loss.    

Casen Heaps and Nathan Brockway each had doubles for Russellville, Drew Barrett slugged a double for Holtville.     Holtville (34-6) is trying to win its first state baseball title since winning back-to-back in 1982 and 1983. Russellville is vying for its fifth title since 2015.     All Baseball Championship Series are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network and AHSAA TV Network with WOTM TV producing the series. The State Softball Championship games will also be live-streamed by the NFHS Network.    

The Class 2A and 5A championship series’ will finish Thursday at Jacksonville State, while game one for Class 1A and 6A is scheduled for Choccolocco Park. Class 7A gets underway Friday at Choccolocco Park and closes out the 2022 State Championships Saturday at JSU.

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