Russellville batted around in the second inning, scoring seven runs on six hits, en route to an 11-1 win over Team PRO-DAY on the second day of the John Gross Memorial Tournament at Taylor Field.
“We started out flat and we couldn’t get anything going,” PRO-DAY head coach Stanley Stubbs said. “We ran into a buzz saw in the second and third inning.”
In the bottom of the second with one out, Cody Underhill walked and moved to third on a double by Jacob Barker.
Mitchell Mullen followed with a two-run single to give Russellville a 2-0 lead. An RBI single by Parker Thompson plated Barker and Hayden Timmerman was hit by a pitch.
Luke Price hit an infield single and with two outs Jordan Haas hit an RBI double. After a walk to Corey Hottinger, Cody Underhill singled home another run.
“Maybe today just wasn’t our day,” Stubbs said.
PRO-DAY, which is made up of six players from the White Hall and Pine Bluff area, did manage a run in the top of the fifth thanks to an RBI single by Jordan Sawyer. It plated White Hall’s Daniel Sprinkle, who led off the inning with a single.
“Pine Bluff is the home of (PRO-DAY founders) John Gross and Jeff Gross and we usually try to get some home grown talent and let those folks play in front of their home crowd,” Stubbs said. “Try to get more kids from the Pine Bluff area involved.”
Also on Team PRO-DAY were Pine Bluff’s Braylon Jones, Michael Roberts, Cameron Robertson, Michael Boyd and Brandon Lowe.
“They were selected to participate in this particular tournament because that is PRO-DAY’s way of giving back to the community,” Stubbs said.
PRO-DAY loaded the bases with just one out in the top of the fourth but back-to-back strikeouts stranded all three runners.
“We just didn’t hit,” Stubbs said. “There is no excuse about it. We just didn’t play well today.”
In the top of the fourth, Sawyer led off with an infield single – PRO-DAY’s first hit of the game – and Aaron Jones followed with a walk.
With one out, Billy Kittrell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But a pair of strikeouts issued by Russellville starter Dalton Stacy ended the threat.
“I thought we get at least two runs out of that but we didn’t do so,” Stubbs said. “Situations like that, when you have guys on base, you got to find a way to get them in.
“We just didn’t do it.”
Stacy was credited with the win after four innings of work, allowing just one hit with two walks and four strikeouts.
“We were fortunate enough to get one run,” Stubbs said. “Would have liked to have gotten a few more out of it, but that’s just the way the game plays sometimes.”
Sawyer led PRO-DAY with a pair of hits and a RBI. Sprinkle finished the game 1 for 2 with a run scored.
Russellville also scored four runs in the third inning thanks in large part to Hottinger, who hit a three-run double. He finished 1 for 1 with a walk and three RBIs.
Mullen finished the day 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
“We just have to learn from it, build from it and just keep moving,” Stubbs said.
PRO-DAY starter Kayde Richard pitched three innings, allowing 11 runs on nine hits with three walks and no strikeouts.
Pine Bluff’s Braylon Jones pitched the final inning and allowed just one hit with a strikeout.
The tournament will conclude with the championship game between Crossett and Russellville at 1 p.m. The two teams met Saturday, when Russellville won.
Crossett 10, PB Tigers 9
Later Saturday, Josh Ballard drove in the go-ahead run to secure Crossett’s spot in the championship game.
Ballard had three RBIs and went 2 for 4 for Crossett, which is 2-1 in the tournament.
For the Pine Bluff Tigers, Cody Chisholm went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Crossett 9, PRO-DAY 7 (Fri.)
PRO-DAY had a 7-0 lead after two innings, but Crossett scored three runs in the second, three in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth to come back and win the second game of the tournament on Friday.
Josh Outlaw took the win after three innings of work. He allowed two hits, two strikeouts, three walks and no earned runs.
Michael Roberts is tagged with the loss after 3 1/3 innings. He allowed one earned run on two hits with a strikeout.
Ballard finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs for Crossett. For PRO-DAY, Jordan Sawyer was 2 for 3 with two runs and one RBI.
Russellville 5, PB Tigers 1 (Fri.)
Russellville scored one run in the first, two in the third, one in the sixth and one in the seventh as they defeated the Pine Bluff Tigers 5-1 in the first game of the tournament.
Austin Robinson earned the win after pitching six innings, allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts. Aaron McDonald was tagged with the loss after six innings of work. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
Jordan Stargell had a walk and a run scored. Trey Langford was 1 for 1 and Percy Arnold had a hit and a walk for the Tigers.