Jonesboro took advantage of two costly Mountain Home errors in the first inning, and the Ricemen went on to post their second Zone 2 victory of the day at two different locations Saturday.
The Ricemen plated four runs in the first inning and used a strong pitching performance by Grant Johnson to take an 8-0 victory over Lockeroom in American Legion Baseball action at Lester White Field at Cooper Park.
Lockeroom — now 19-10 overall and 4-2 in Zone 2 play — returns to Zone 2 action at 2 p.m. Sunday at Batesville.
Jonesboro — which had defeated the Batesville Highwaymen 11-0 in five innings at Batesville earlier on Saturday before traveling to Mountain Home — improved to 24-10 overall and 6-0 in zone play, remaining in first place in Zone 2.
Both teams have two zone games remaining before the district tournament comes to Cooper Park on Friday. Lockeroom also travels to Paragould for a make-up game on Monday.
Jonesboro’s Reed Fischbacher singled, and Dillon Groves was hit by a pitch to start the first inning. Kollin Stone reached on the first Lockeroom error of the frame, loading the bases with no outs.
After a strikeout, Trey Hall drew a walk to drive in the first run, and Tyler Cole followed with a lineout to second base. Lockeroom tried to double off Groves at third, but the throw went awry, allowing a pair of runners to score, making it 3-0.
After Austin Bethune singled, he attempted to steal second, and Hall scampered home on the throw to second base, scoring the Ricemen’s fourth run.
Mountain Home’s Matt Robbins and Kyle Stephens each had hits in the second inning, but Jonesboro’s Johnson got out of the inning with a strikeout.
Jonesboro scored once more in the fifth on its second double steal of the game, and it was once again Hall who scored, making it 5-0.
The Ricemen tacked on one more in the sixth. Nash Thomas and Tucker Hydrick each singled, Fischbacher beat out a bunt for a hit to load the bases, and Jonesboro scored a run on a passed ball to make it 6-0.
Jonesboro capped the victory with two runs in the seventh. Hall doubled to center and scored a run, and Cole was hit by a pitch and scored a run, stretching the lead to 8-0.
Johnson earned the victory on the mound, striking out five and scattering four hits over a complete game. Stephens took the loss, allowing 10 hits, six runs — three earned — and one walk over 51/3 innings. Hayden Hall pitched the final 12/3 innings for Lockeroom, allowing two runs and two hits.
Hall went 3 for 3 with an RBI to lead Jonesboro at the plate, while Hydrick was 3 for 4 with an RBI, Cole was 2 for 3 and Fischbacher was 2 for 5.
Sky-Lar Culver, Brody Ninemire, Robbins and Stephens had one hit apiece for Lockeroom.
For local sports updates, follow Neal Denton on Twitter @BBSportsNeal and Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/BBSportsNeal