Despite a sluggish night, North Hall’s baseball program can still lock up the Region 7-3A championship.
However, it’s going to take some help after dropping both games of a doubleheader against Fannin County 12-1 and 9-2 on Friday at Jody Davis Field.
“I think we beat ourselves in a lot of areas,” North Hall coach Trevor Flow said. “But I would rather have that now in a playoff atmosphere than it actually happen in the playoffs. That’s a really, really good baseball team over there, and I think we had three earned runs the entire day today. We didn’t make the plays in the field. We gave them extra chances. And when you do that against a really good baseball team, you end up walking away the way we felt tonight.”
The Rebels finished the night with three home runs, including a grand slam by Hunter Gray in Game 2.
With region play complete for the Trojans (14-11, 13-5 Region 7-3A), they need East Hall to beat Fannin County (18-6, 11-4) in 2 of 3 games next week to go into state with the No. 1 seed. If not, North Hall will still open the playoffs at home with the No. 2 seed.
Against Fannin County, North Hall scored its lone run of the opening game on a bases-loaded balk in the first inning, but managed just two more hits the rest of the contest. Fannin County had more luck at the plate, batting in three runs in the second inning, three in the fifth, and capping things off with a three-run homer from winning pitcher Carson Beavers in the top of the seventh.
Things began better for the Trojans in the second game, with Wes Tadman pitching a couple of no-hit innings to start things off, but Gray’s grand slam in the third inning derailed North Hall’s hope of salvaging a win on the night.
Fannin County’s Chandler Kendall launched a two-run shot over the centerfield wall in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 7-0.
After the losses, Flow kept the message to the team upbeat. With state playoffs looming, he emphasized the importance of learning from the positives of Friday night’s games and leaving the negatives in the past.
“It’s like I told the guys,” Flow said. “It might not seem like it right now, but we learned a lot of things and we actually got better for where we want to go in the playoffs. We didn’t play well, but you’re not always going to play well in this game. It’s going to bite you a lot of times.”