By Doug Gorman
If the first game in the AABC 13-14-year-old recreation state tournament at Charlie Griswell Park in Jonesboro is any indication, fans are going stay glued to the edge of their seats.
Although the Brown's Mill Orioles beat the Locust Grove Hurricanes 11-10, both teams proved no lead was safe.
Because of the hour and 50 minute time limit, the game ended after 41/2 innings, but that didn't mean the contest lacked excitement or drama.
Locust Grove scored two runs in the first inning when Joey Duffy drove in Landon Thomas and Marcus Minko to give the Hurricanes a quick two-run lead. Thomas and Minko each singled to start the team's offensive fireworks.
The lead didn't last long. Brown's Mill exploded with six runs in its half of the inning after sending 10 men to the plate in the inning.
Locust Grove cut the lead to 6-3 in the top of the second inning with some help from the bottom of the order. Lorenzo Jackson singled, stole second and scored on Stephen Bowers' base hit.
Brown's Mill responded with three more runs in its half of the second to take a 9-3 lead.
In the top of the third, rally caps were in vogue for the Hurricanes as they exploded for seven runs. A collection of walks ignited the fuse for the team from Henry County as it sent 11 men to the plate.
The big offensive blows for Locust Grove came from Shane Matthews who drove in two runs with a double. Bowers drove in his second run of the game and Thomas single in a run to cap the big inning.
A two-out rally in the third by Brown's Mill pushed the Orioles ahead for good.
Locust Grove heads into the loser's bracket game Thursday night at 6:15. Brown's Mill plays at 8:15.
Tonight the Jonesboro Braves, who are the tournament host, play the Fairview Cardinals at 8:15.
The Riverdale Yankees are another Southern Crescent team entered in the tournament. They earned a first-round bye to start the tourney.