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Russell Sr. Legion Falls in State Opener

Russell Senior Legion Wins Zone TournamentHAYS-The Russell Post 99 Senior American Legion Baseball team opened play Wednesday in the AA/AAA State Tournament at Larks Park with a 10-0 loss to Iola in the first game of pool play.

Russell, the visiting team in Wednesday's game had a runner on first base with one out in the top of the first inning when Kyle Farmer drew a walk but he was stranded.  In the bottom of the inning, Iola plated three runs on a single by the Indians' Derek Bycroft, the starting and winning pitcher.  A second run scored when the ball went by center fielder Cooper Windholz after a diving attempt at a catch.  A third run scored on a wild pitch by starting and losing pitcher Kirk Huser.  Huser was lifted after a third of an inning and replaced by Josh Foster who recorded the final two outs after a walk.

Iola tallied two more runs in the second inning on a single and a bases-loaded walk and three more crossed the plate in the third frame on a hit batter with the bases loaded, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly for an 8-0 advantage.  Russell's only hit of the contest came in the top of the fourth inning on a leadoff single by Walker Braun.  Braun advanced to second base when Huser was hit by a pitch but Bycroft recovered and struck out the next three hitters to end the rally.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kane Rogers led off with a single and was forced out at second base with Zane Whitney reaching safely.  The next batter, Cal Leonard launched a Kaden Rome pitch barely over the fence near the left field foul pole for a two-run homer that triggered the 10-run rule and ended the game.

Russell is next in action Thursday back at Larks Park when they face Sabetha in the second game of pool play with first pitch scheduled for approximately 12:15 p.m.  Sabetha won their opening game earlier Wednesday over Norton 15-0.

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