RUSSELLVILLE — The left side of Fayette's defense was busy Thursday afternoon.
The Russellville Indians hit the ball hard to third base and left field numerous times in their first-round game of the Russellville Tournament, and the results made for a quick game.
"We've got a lot of pull hitters," Russellville coach Lucas Branson said after the Indians defeated the Falcons 15-0 in three innings. "They're trying to figure things out and learn how to make adjustments on the fly. They're learning. We're doing pretty good."
But it wasn't all about pulling the ball. Logan Cinotto doubled twice, including a fly ball that flew just over the reach of the right fielder to drive in a run as part of a three-run second inning.
Cinotto also bounced a hard grounder down the left-field line for an RBI double in the nine-run third inning.
Jake Schulte was one of seven Indians to drive in at least one run Thursday, getting a fly ball to drop in front of a diving center fielder for an RBI triple in the third inning.
Jake Schulte added a single for a two-hit day and finished with three RBI.
Isaiah Kauffman had three RBI, Jesse Daniel had an RBI single as part of a two-RBI day and Charlie Miller added a single and two RBI.
"We've been doing a better job lately, in the last week or so, of putting balls in play against different styles of pitching," Branson said. "Today after the first time through the lineup we started hitting line drives and using the entire field."
Landon Plochberger struck out eight of the 12 batters he faced, allowing one hit and walking two in three innings.
"I think that they were focused even though there wasn't a lot of action for the defensive players," Branson said. " We've had some games earlier in the year where we scored some runs early and didn't put teams away when we should have, so it's nice to kind of be doing that a little bit more."
Russellville (12-5), ranked No. 5 in Class 2 by the Missouri Baseball Coaches Association, has won six of its last seven games.
"They have seen what our success has been, but it's understanding what that means and making sure that every day that they show up to practice and every day they show up for a game they're ready to compete and make sure we're trying to get better," Branson said of his team of two seniors, three juniors, 10 sophomores and two freshmen.
Russellville will face Capital City, which defeated School of the Osage 15-5 in five innings Thursday, at 9 a.m. Saturday in the tournament semifinals.
The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the third-place game is set for a 4:30 p.m. start Saturday.
Fayette (2-12) dropped Thursday's loser's bracket semifinal against School of the Osage 16-2 in six innings.
Fayette will play at 9 a.m. Saturday in the seventh-place game at California High School.