By Chad Dixon
The Russell County Warriors are in the midst of a 15-game winning streak, but Russell County Head Coach Tony Rasmus is pleading that they need to play more local teams.
“Unfortunately, we can’t get Central or Smiths Station to play us. Both of them are playing really well. Our level of competition has not what we would like it to be,” Rasmus said. “We can’t travel to Birmingham during the week to find good teams to play – we need to play local teams.”
The Warriors are preparing to start the Class 6A Area 3 portion of their schedule on March 22 as they travel to Dothan, Ala. to play Northview. The series will move to Russell County March 23 starting at 6 p.m. ET.
“Northview will definitely be good. They have dominated since I got back to Russell County. I am sure that they are confident that they can handle us. We are not hitting right now, but our pitching staff has kept us in every game,” Rasmus added.
The Warriors are hitting .283 as a team. Their pitching staff has combined for a 1.68 ERA. Logan Austin (53) and Kobe VanBogart (50) have combined for 103 strikeouts in the two and three slots of the rotation. Defensively, Russell County has a .939 fielding percentage.
“I like our arms, but it will be a battle to keep them from scoring. We will have to find a way to manufacture runs. We will have to play better than we have to have a chance to win” Rasmus said.
The Warriors defeated Valley 3-1 on March 16 at home. Logan Austin was dominant with 12 strikeouts. He pitched seven innings and allowed just one hit.
“He worked ahead all night and commanded his fastball, curve and change-up. It helps to have a 92 mph fastball in your back pocket. It was another solid outing by our pitching staff,” Rasmus added.
Austin singled in the bottom of the first to score Hunter Donaldson to take a 1-0 lead. He hit a sacrifice fly to left in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 2-0. Zac Rice, who leads the team with a .425 batting average, hit a sacrifice fly to left to score the third Warriors’ run. Joseph Wade was 2-for-2 at the plate.