0

My love-hate affair with college hoops

By Lance Field

Special to the Daily

The Henry County Warhawks have been on a mission trying to win their second state baseball championship in just four years

Wednesday night, a trip to the Elite 8 was the prize as the Warhawks hosted South Effingham .

The Mustangs brought a perfect 10-0 region record with them, and a 20-7 overall mark.

The Warhawk bats fell silent at the worst possible time as they dropped a season ending doubleheader 9-3 and 10-0.

In the opener, South Effingham got a terrific pitching performance by starter Jesse Osborne.

The senior right-hander kept the Henry County hitters off balance, as he mixed speeds effectively.

The Mustang offense put up runs in the first three innings off starter Jamel Mann, who will play for Furman next year.

The lead ballooned to 7-0 in the top of the fifth before the Warhawks dented the scoreboard.

Senior Blake Newalu, playing in his last series wearing the black and gold, doubled down the left field line.

Jeremy Boyd plated Newalu who will play for the University of San Diego Toreros next year.

Drew Little, who came on in relief in the top of the fifth, pulled the Warhawks to within four with a two RBI single.

That was as close as they got as South Effingham added two more runs for the 9-3 win.

In the nightcap, coach Jason Shadden sent Travious Harris to the mound looking for the split. Harris fell behind quickly as the Mustangs scored six first inning runs to take a commanding lead.

A John Roberts two-run home run in the bottom of the second put the visitors up 8-0.

After adding two more runs in the fourth, South Effingham closed out the fifth to advance to take on the winner of the Westminister-Oconee County series.

After the game, a disappointed Shadden spoke fondly of his seniors, many of whom will go on to play at the Division I level.

"We've got some good guys that will be graduating. The sky's the limit for them as long as they hustle and work hard".

Henry County finishes the season with a 16-7 mark.

Next season, the Warhawks will play in Class AA after spending the past two seasons in Class AAA.