RUSSELLVILLE — The Russellville Indians have pitching depth, but they wanted to make sure to preserve some of it for the later rounds of their home tournament.
Landon Plochberger struck out six of the nine batters he faced and the Indians batted around in both innings Tuesday in a 16-0 defeat of the Stoutland Tigers to begin play in the Russellville Tournament.
"I know that we've got some guys that can carry the load a little bit," Russellville coach Lucas Branson said. "We've got pretty good depth."
Plochberger struck out the side to open the game and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second with a strikeout.
Stoutland led off the second with a single and loaded the bases with two outs after a hit by pitch and a walk.
Jesse Daniels closed out the game in the top of the third, only allowing a single.
It didn't take long for Russellville to get on the board. Dawson Koch reached on an error and later scored on a wild pitch. Logan Cinotto followed with a grounder down the left-field line for an RBI single.
Alex Oligschlaeger also had an RBI single in the first inning, sending a fly ball to left field for a 6-0 lead.
In the second, Charlie Miller drove in the first run of the inning with a grounder to left field and made it 16-0 by smacking a fly ball to deep left field for another RBI single.
Prior to Miller's second RBI single, Matthew Miller blasted a no-doubt home run to right-center field to score a pair of runs.
Matthew Miller, Charlie Miller, Cinotto and Oligschlaeger each had two RBI. Plochberger led with three RBI, including an RBI single in the second for his second hit of the game.
Russellville advances to play Hermann at 2 p.m. today in the nine-team, double-elimination tournament.
"We're doing what we can to give kids an opportunity to have something to play for rather than it just being a night of games," Branson said.
The Russellville-Hermann winner will advance to the semifinals, with the loser having to play an elimination game at 6 p.m. today.
Russellville could play as many as four games Thursday.
"We're gonna have to stretch it out a little bit more than what we have so far this summer," Branson said of the pitching staff. "So we'll kind of see how they can battle through that. They've been in that situation before, so I'm not worried about it right now."