By Anthony Rhoads
The Jonesboro Cardinals opened play in Region 5-AAAA in convincing fashion Wednesday night, cruising to a 17-4 victory over Stone Mountain in a game that was called after five innings.
"It's about time we started hitting the ball some," Jonesboro head coach Don Corr said. "We worked in a lot of guys and some of them got in there and got some hits for us. It's a great first region game where we could play everybody."
Things didn't look too promising for Jonesboro early as Stone Mountain took a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
Pitcher Frankie Crawley recovered and went on to pitch all five innings, striking out six and walking three while allowing just three hits.
"He settled down and did a good job after the first inning," Corr said.
Jonesboro (4-2, 1-0) batted around in the second inning, scoring six runs.
The Cardinals tied the game at 2-2 when junior Steven Gaines smacked a two-run home run, driving in Stephan Philyaw, who had walked.
It was Gaines' third home run of the season. All of Gaines' home runs this season have been two-run shots and they've all come in his first at-bat.
Gaines went 1-for-2 with three RBIs and one walk in Wednesday's game.
"He's really worked hard and works to improve behind the plate," Corr said. "If he continues to work to improve behind the plate, we should be solid."
After Gaines' home run, Tyler Whitley was hit by a pitch and Brett Stuart and Harry Nutter both walked to load the bases.
Kyle Ginn grounded out to first but Whitley was able to score, giving Jonesboro a 3-2 lead.
Harold Walker then collected a two-run double and Bernd Toro followed with an RBI single to give Jonesboro a 6-2 lead.
Stone Mountain scored a run in the top of the third but Jonesboro batted around again in the third inning, scoring 11 runs.
Philyaw and Stuart scored two runs each in the inning and scored one run each were Nutter, Ginn, Walker, Toro, Cullen Clemons, Kyle Henderson and Tyler Whitley.
Stone Mountain managed to score a run in the top of the fifth.
Notes: While Jonesboro's offense was definitely in high gear Wednesday, the defense had a solid day as well. The Cardinals turned a double play in the first inning...Jonesboro racked up nine hits with Nutter leading the way with two. Jonesboro also was able to take advantage of some free passes by Stone Mountain as Stone Mountain allowed eight walks, hit three batters and committed one error...Jonesboro gets back into action Friday at Mays for a region contest at 4:30 p.m.