Alabama High School Team Preview: Russellville Golden Tigers


PBR Alabama Staff

The 2022 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Alabama.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Montgomery at the AISA or AHSAA state championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Alabama. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing our scheduled podcasts and releasing our preseason Top 10 in each AHSAA classification. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each AHSAA classification as well as a Power 25. One thing that you especially don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state as well as recaps and previews of big games across the state.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.


High School Name: Russellville Golden Tigers 

Coach’s Name: Chris Heaps

Classification: AHSAA 5A 

Area Number: Area 15 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Pitching, Defense, Offensive Versatility 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2022 Prospects:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Russellville Golden Tigers returned to dominance in 2021, winning their fourth Class 5A State Title in the last seven years in convincing fashion. The Golden Tigers swept three series, including the 5A State Championship series against Pike Road, throughout the playoffs and will look to repeat as champions in 2022.

The Golden Tigers certainly have the talent coming back in order to make it to Jacksonville this spring, as six positional players and seven pitchers return for 2022. They will have to replace a few players, like Jackson Lindsey, who played crucial roles offensively, but it looks like they have the pieces to fill those spots. SS Eli Gipson (Union) really emerged down the stretch for the Golden Tigers and will be a leader for this team in his senior season. Gipson is as good as it gets up the middle defensively, and has continued to makes strides offensively, as well. C Canyon Pace (Union) is a physical middle-of-the-order hitter returning for his senior season. Pace is a solid defender with plenty of power packed into his right-handed swing. RHP Emitt Green will be one of the top arms on this staff after starting some big games down the stretch last spring. Green is a submarine-type pitcher who fills the zone up with all pitches and gets consistent weak contact. RHP/UTL Reed Hill emerged as a reliable arm on the back-end last spring as a junior, and he should be a viable candidate to see more innings this spring. A few other arms returning who will pitch some big innings this spring will be RHP Samuel Pace, RHP/INF Ethan Oliver & RHP/OF Banks Langston. Returning to the outfield this spring will be OF Grayson Thorpe & OF Casen Heaps after a strong seasons last year. INF Andrew Hatton is another notable hitter returning after coming up huge in multiple pinch-hit situations late in the playoffs in 2021.

Some other players to keep an eye out for this spring will be OF Karson Hyde, LHP/UTL Nathan Brockway, LHP Brayden Heaps, RHP/INF Brayden Spurgeon, LHP Logan White & C Shayden Romans. All of these player will look to expand their roles and make an impact for the Golden Tigers this year. Russellville should once again be a heavy favorite to repeat as Class 5A State Champions in 2022.

 

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