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Russell Sr. Legion Advances to Zone Title Game

Russell Legion Baseball PatchThe Russell Post 99 Senior American Legion Baseball team outlasted Smith County for a 7-6 victory in the semifinals of the AA Zone 2 Tournament Sunday evening at the Shaffer Field Sports Complex to advance to the Championship game on Monday.

Russell jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Walker Braun tripled home Kyler Fritschen who had led off the game with a walk and Kirk Huser added an RBI groundout to score Braun.  Russell extended the advantage to 3-0 in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Farmer.

Braun, the Russell starting pitcher had a generally smooth first three innings recording eight strikeouts and striking out the side twice but he ran into trouble in the top of the fourth inning as the Blue Raiders plated four runs to go ahead 4-3.  Braun was lifted for Josh Foster who ended the inning with just one pitch.  Russell regained the lead in the bottom of the frame on back to back RBI singles by Caden Oberle and Cooper Windholz.

Russell's lead expanded to 7-4 in the bottom of the fifth with two more runs off the bat of Braun who delievered a key RBI single.  Smith County battled back to within a run with two tallies in the top of the sixth on a throwing error and an sacrifice fly, but Farmer who came on in relief of Foster got Smith County's Camden Dietz to pop out to Kaden Rome at second base to end the threat.  Farmer then retired the side in order in the seventh to save the contest for Foster who was the game's winning pitcher.

Russell (14-8) needs just one win to advance to the State Tournament next week in Hays.  Earlier Sunday, Ellinwood eliminated Lincoln County with a 5-1 victory but then exited the tournament themsleves later Sunday night with a 9-5 loss to Hoisington.  Smith County will face Hoisington at 6 p.m. Monday with the winner taking on Russell at 8 p.m.  If either Smith County or Hoisington wins that game, a second Championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Russell "AA" Zone Tournament Schedule

Saturday, July 20
Game 1 - 3PM - #4 Smith County 13, #5 Ellinwood 1
Game 2 - 5PM - #3 Russell 15, #2 Lincoln County 7
Game 3 - 7PM - #4 Smith County 16, #1 Hoisington 3

Sunday, July 21
Game 4 - 3PM - #5 Ellinwood 5, #2 Lincoln County 1 (Lincoln County eliminated)
Game 5 - 5PM - #3 Russell 7, #4 Smith County 6
Game 6 - 7PM - #1 Hoisington 9, #5 Ellinwood 5 (Ellinwood eliminated)

Monday, July 22
Game 7 - 6PM - #4 Smith County vs. #1 Hoisington (Elimination Game)
Game 8 - 8PM - Game 5 Winner vs. #3 Russell (Championship Game #1)

Tuesday, July 23
Game 9 - 6PM - Championship Game #2 (If Needed)

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