Meridian Star

March 29, 2013

Russell rolls past Park Place

Tony Tsoukalas
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — A big day from shortstop Kyle Russell helped the Russell Christian Academy baseball team take down Park Place Christian Academy 12-4 at home Thursday.

    Russell led the Warriors at the plate, going 3/4 with two doubles and two RBIs, as RCA chipped away at the Crusaders all day.

    “I have more confidence now at the plate,” Russell said. “They were throwing me all fastballs, and I was looking for fastballs to drive. That's just what I have to do.”

    Russell got things started for the Warriors in the first inning with a two-out RBI double to the wall in right field to score Dylan Nolan. The Warriors would get another two-out run in the second inning, as Park Place second baseman Jon Matrick was unable to handle a ground ball. Matrick's error was one of five for the Crusaders on the afternoon.

    RCA would get another run in the third inning before Park Place rallied back in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs to cut the lead to 3-2.

    However, the Warriors would continue to put up runs against a shoddy Park Place defense. RCA  used two Crusader errors in the bottom half of the fourth to set up a four-run inning and give the Warriors a comfortable 7-2 lead. Park Place would score another run in the top of the fifth, but RCA answered back with a run in the bottom half of the inning before busting the game open with a four-run sixth.

    RCA 8-3 (4-0) beat Park Place 20-1 on the road Monday. However, Warriors head coach Larry Lippert said his team came out over confident and stressed to his players after the game the importance of never overlooking an opponent.

    “They were a little sluggish coming out,” Lippert said. “I tried to warn them about that before the game. We beat them handily the other night, but you can't take anybody lightly.”

    Baylie Ethridge (1-1) got the win for the Warriors, giving up one earned run over four innings. The outing was Ethridge's second appearance this season, as the junior continues to recover from knee surgery in December.

    “He did well today,” Lippert said. “He has been at full strength for us for three weeks, and he is pitching well.”

    RCA will take on Lamar at home on Monday.

    “I like our chances this season,” Lippert said. “We have the talent to go deep in the playoffs this year. Our goal all year has been to bring home a state championship, and I think we got a good shot at it.”