Russell K-18 Baseball Takes Third, Goodland Wins State Title
LUCAS-The Russell K-18 Baseball team rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and defeated Clay Center ABA 9-6 in the third place game of the 71st annual State Tournament Wednesday afternoon at the Lucas Baseball Field.
After a scoreless first inning, Russell plated three runs in the bottom of the second inning to lead 3-0 and then added another run in the bottom of the third to extend the margin to 4-0 although they left the bases loaded, preventing an even bigger rally.
Clay Center ABA which beat Russell 10-2 in the East Regional championship game on July 15 in Concordia, took advantage of three Russell errors in the top of the fourth inning to surge ahead 6-4. Russell got a run back in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit to 6-5 but was retired in order in the fifth.
Then in the sixth inning Russell tied the score on a Clay Center error on a play at home plate and took the lead on a wild pitch. Two more runs came home during the at bat giving Russell a three-run lead to work with as the game entered the top of the seventh.
Clay Center got a runner to second base but could not score and Russell earned a third-place finish, their best since winning the most recent of their four K-18 state titles in 2005.
Max Evans started for Russell (9-8) and was lifted in the fourth inning for Mason Rohr who picked up his second victory of the state tournament in relief.
In the championship game, Goodland took down Phillipsburg 4-1 on the strength of an 80-pitch complete game by Kacen Sederstrom. Goodland claimed its third state title and first since 1985.