Rusk got in its playoff mindset early as the Eagles prevailed over Jacksonville by a score of 4-1 on Saturday afternoon at Eagle Park.
The win, took just 79 minutes to gin and was Rusk's 11th in-a-row.
With the Eagles having already secured a post season berth after going through District 19-3A play undefeated, Rusk head baseball coach Jason Barnes said the same things that the Eagles plan on employing in the upcoming playoffs were also used to defeat the Tribe.
“Pitching and solid defense; we feel like that's are strength going into the playoffs and we got good pitching (Saturday) from Wyatt (Gilchrest) and Morgan (Johnson) in relief, and our defense was solid all day.”
Gilchrest got the start and worked six innings and gave up the only run Jacksonville could muster.
Although he gave up seven hits, Gilchrest let his defense take care of business behind him — the Eagles did not commit an error in the game. Gilchrest struck out four and walked one.
Johnson pitched the final frame and struck out two of the three batters he faced.
A three-run fifth inning proved to be too much for the Indians (7-18-1) to overcome as Rusk sent three runners across the plate to brake a 1-1 deadlock.
Taylor Hamilton hit a long single into deep left field to get aboard as the first batter of the frame for Rusk (17-9).
“Taylor (Hamilton) leading the inning off with a base hit was big, especially with the top of our batting order coming up,” Barnes said.
Vijay Stingley then dropped down a sacrifice bunt that moved Hamilton over to second.
Jadarian Skinner followed and put another bunt down on the infield grass that Jacksonville pitcher Mason Smith fielded cleanly, but the throw was a bit wide of first base, which enabled the speedy Skinner to get all the way to second base, while Hamilton scored what would turn out to be the winning run on the play.