By Doug Gorman
The windy weather made it feel like Wrigley Field in Chicago, and the cold temperatures made it seem more like football season, but Monday evening, the Jonesboro Cardinals and Stockbridge Tigers baseball teams fought off the nasty conditions to do battle in a Region 4-AAAA baseball game.
In the end, Jonesboro broke a 2-all tie in the top of the seventh inning with a three-run explosion to win the game 5-2.
With the victory, the Cardinals improved their record to a 5-8 overall and 2-4 in Region 4-AAAA.
After the loss, the Tigers continued to struggle, dropping to 4-10 overall and 0-6 in Region 4-AAAA action.
Monday's contest turned into a pitcher's dual early with Joneboro starting pitcher Antonio Allen and Stockbridge's Justin Nichols each keeping their opponents off balance with strike outs.
Allen finished the game with nine strikeouts and Nichols seven strikeouts.
Jonesboro score a run in the first and third innings with Mario Cummings driving in both runs to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead early in the contest.
The Cardinals appeared to be in the driver's seat until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Tigers added two runs to tie the game.
Brent Williams and Chris Hallett started the Stockbridge fireworks when they reached on back-to-back errors to spark the rally.
Nichols helped his own cause when he squeezed across the Tigers' first run of the game as Williams scored to cut the lead to 2-1.
Ben Carr then ripped a single to score Hallet with the game-tying run.
The Cardinals regrouped in the seventh inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring three runs.
Cummings delivered the big blow in the inning, scoring Allen and Brandon Beal with the two runs to help seal the Cardinals' victory.
Kenneth Nettles also singled and scored a run for the Cardinals in the seventh to give the team a 5-2 cushion.
Allen finished off the Tigers in the bottom of the seventh inning, pitching around the Cardinals' third error of the game.
Allen added one more strikeout in the last inning and faced just four batters to send Jonesboro home with the victory.
"My hats off to our pitcher," said Jonesboro head coach Raju Patel "Antonio did a great job out there. He shut them down. Defensively, we got into some tough situations, and that's something we have to work on."
The Cardinals don't have a whole lot of turn around time as they play a second-straight game today, this time at home against Mt. Zion.
Patel isn't worried about the quick return to the diamond.
"That's baseball; it's spring break and there's nothing else that I would rather be doing," Patel said.
Stockbridge swings back into action at home against Dutchtown on Wednesday.
The Tigers will be trying to win for the first time in almost a month when they beat Henry County.