By Anthony Rhoads
Jonesboro fans filed out of their home baseball field in disbelief.
Most came to the Jonesboro High School facility Monday evening expecting to see a good game between the Cardinals and their Region 2-AAAAA rivals, the Henry County Warhawks.
But by the end of the fourth inning, the contest was called with Henry County coming away with a 16-1 victory.
The win extends Henry County's winning streak to seven and gives the Warhawks a 6-2 league record. The improve to 10-4 overall.
"I've been on the other side before so I know how they feel," Henry County head coach Chuck Campbell said. "It doesn't matter what the score is; it still counts as a ?W' for us and a loss for them. It was a big win for us; it puts us at least ? game ahead in the region after tonight."
Henry County pounded out 16 hits with Michael Rozier leading the way with a 4-for-4 performance, including three doubles. He also scored a run and collected three RBIs to bring his season total to a team-leading 19.
Rozier, Henry County's No. 1 pitcher, has been out of the rotation for the last few weeks because of an elbow injury. He goes to the doctor today and Campbell said he is expected to be cleared to pitch.
Even if he is given the go-ahead to pitch, Campbell will ease him back into the pitching rotation.
"He'll work a few innings here and there," Campbell. "The other guys have picked up the slack and have done well."
Monday, sophomore Matt Clark worked all four innings. He struck out six, allowed three walks and only one hit, a solo home run by Rashard Brown in the second inning.
"For a sophomore, it was a tough place for pitch but he responded well," Campbell said. "After that home run, he came right back. We told him you usually don't lose on a solo home run."
Some other players who have been pitching well lately for the Warhawks have been Patrick Wyatt and sophomores Greg Lindsey and Austin Peacock.
"Our younger players have pitched well," Campbell said. "It makes it tough on our j.v. coach but they're getting experience and they're responding well. Our pitching coach Dow Culberson does a good job with them."
Lindsey has also been a key for Henry County offensively and defensively.
Monday, he went 2-for-4 with one RBI and three runs. He also made two key catches at right field.
Matt Brown had a solid day for the Warhawks by going 3-for-3 with three runs and one walk.
Also getting multiple hits for Henry County were Keith Wimpey (2-for-4, three RBIs, two runs), Lane Hammond (2-for-4, two runs, two RBIs) and Bo Andrews (2-for-3, two RBIs, one run). Josh Cagliani went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, two runs and two walks.
Henry County led 5-1 at the end of the second inning and led 7-1 after three.
Jonesboro drops to 7-8 overall and is in the middle of the pack of the region standings with a league record of 4-4.