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Russell/Victoria Falls to Concordia in Regional Final

RHS BaseballCade Evans matched star Concordia pitcher Cole Larsen zero for zero for four innings, but ultimately a run crossing the plate on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth frame proved to be the difference as the Panthers edged Russell/Victoria 1-0 in the Class 4A Division ll Regional Championship game Thursday, May 18 at the American Legion Field in Hoisington.

Larsen, who is a cousin of Bronco shortstop Austin Dale, was outstanding. He allowed just two Broncos to reach base. Tanner Rome drew a one-out walk in the second inning and Colton Fritschen got Russell/Victoria's lone hit of the game with a two-out double in the top of the sixth inning.

Larsen only allowed five balls to be put in play while recording a phenomenal 17 strikeouts.

The game's only run crossed the plate in the bottom of the fifth when Matthew James led off with a walk and quickly stole second base. Then Larsen laid down a bunt on the first base line.

Brooks Nichols fielded the ball and threw to Fritschen covering first base, but the throw was off target and Fritschen and Larsen collided as the ball rolled away. James came around to score on the error before Larsen was caught in a rundown.

Evans (2-3) allowed just four hits and recorded four strikeouts. Until Concordia scored their fifth inning run, he worked out of trouble in the previous four innings. Concordia (13-3), with the regional championship, advances to the Class 4A Division ll State Tournament next week in Emporia.

Russell/Victoria concludes the 2017 season with a record of 8-11.

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