Jonesboro falls to Ringgold in first round of state tourney

By Doug Gorman

The Jonesboro Cardinals baseball team had plenty of opportunities to stay in the game with Ringgold in the third and deciding game Saturday afternoon at the first-round of the GHSA Class AAAA state playoffs.

After all, the Cardinals pounded out seven hits, reached base on three Ringgold errors and advanced to first on one Tigers' walk..

They just couldn't get the base runners around to score as 10 men were left stranded. That certainly wasn't a problem for the Ringgold offense as the Tigers built a 6-0 lead after two innings and rolled to a 10-0 victory in a game called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

The loss ends the season for Jonesboro and closes out the coaching career for head coach Don Corr, who is stepping down as the Cardinals' baseball coach after 21 years and more than 300 wins. In the fall, Corr will move to Etowah High School as an assistant principal and athletic director.

"We certainly had our chances, we just left too many base runners in scoring position," Corr said. "My hat goes off to them, they played better than us today."

Jonesboro lost a coin toss at the start of Saturday's third and deciding game and ended up being the visiting team on the scoreboard.

In the top of the first Jonesboro had its chances to do some early damage as Harry Nutter and Kyle Ginn got the game started with back-to-back singles.

Both runners were left in scoring position as the Tigers retired the next three Cardinals' batters.

Ringgold took control of the game by scoring four runs on just two hits in the bottom of the first. Two of the Tigers' runs came across the plate on balls that got to the backstop.

Pitcher Thomas Gray helped his own cause by also driving in a runner with a single. Drew Walker, who doubled and scored in the first, came through again in the second with a two-run homer to increase Ringgold's lead to 6-0. He was a thorn in the Cardinals' side all night as he finished the game with a 3-for-3 performance and three RBIs. His RBI double in the fourth gave the Tigers' a 7-0 lead. The Tigers ended the game in the fifth inning as three more runs crossed the plate.

Bernd Toro had two hits for Jonesboro to pace its offense. Brett Stuart had a double in the fourth for the Cardinals only' extra-base hit.