Henry County earns state playoff berth

By Doug Gorman

The Henry County Warhawks baseball team is headed to the big dance, and it has nothing to do with the senior prom.

With its doubleheader sweep Monday night against Northside Warner Robins, the Warhawks made their reservations to the Class AAAA state baseball tournament.

Henry County won the first game 10-6 and the second game 10-8 in eight innings.

The Warhawks were the visiting team in the second game, and Jason Heyward delivered a two-run homer, also scoring Matt Clark in the top of the eighth to produce the winning run.

Pitcher Jeremy Hardy picked up the win from the mound, helped by a double play in the bottom of the eighth to seal the win.,

"This is the first time since we played at Brunswick that we have played a doubleheader," said Henry County head coach Troy Baker. "We had a little trouble keeping our focus, but the big thing is we are one of just 32 teams playing in the state tournament."

Game One: Henry County built an 8-0 lead through five innings en route to the win in the first game of the doubleheader.

Henry County pounded out 10 hits and starting pitcher Matt Clark breezed through the first five innings, striking out seven .

Clark struck out the side in the first and Henry County retired the side in order in the second and fourth.

Northside put together its one rally attempt in the six, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring six times.

With Henry County leading 1-0, the Warhawks broke the game open in the third when Greg Huff smacked a three-run homer.

The Warhawks also added two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth. In one of the strangest plays of the game, Blake Newalu had a home run called back when the home plate umpire ruled the Northside pitcher balked on the pitch. Instead of scoring three runs, only Heyward scored on the play.

Game two: Henry County built a 5-0 lead through the first two innings, then had to fight hard en route to the sweep.

Greg Lindsey had four hits and scored three times in the second game to pace the offense.

Before belting his game-winning homer, Heyward also had three other hits.

Clark also had three hits.

The Warhawks scored four times in the first and Lindsey homered in the second to jump start its offense en route to a 5-0 lead.

Northside cut the e lead to 4-3 after four innings.

Henry County held off a couple of rallies throughout the game, but with the Warhawks leading 8-5 in the sixth, Northside scored three times to tie the game.

Shane Scott had the big blow in the sixth for the Eagles, pounding a two-run double.

Henry County now has several days off before gearing up for the state tournament.

"We have somethings we need to work on, and we will use this time to do that," Baker said.