North Hall locked up one of the toughest regions in the 3A classification Monday night, dominating West Hall 14-2 to earn the No. 1 seed out of Region 7-3A.
The win guarantees the Trojans home field advantage in at least their first two playoff series in the Class 3A tournament, which kicks off at the end of April.
“I'm really proud of them,” North Hall coach Trevor Flow said of the accomplishment. “That was our first mark on our checklist, to win a region championship, and they did that.”
The Trojans got offensive production from virtually every member of the starting lineup, racking up 15 hits over the course of the game and getting 2 RBIs each from Bradford Puryear, Eli Reece and Jace Bowen and 1 RBI from Cooper Helton, Baker Dyer and Jaret Bales. Bales also got the start on the mound for North Hall, striking out four over six innings.
For West Hall, Braden Simms got the starting nod, spreading three strikeouts over five innings. Simms and Jackson Cooper were responsible for the Spartans’ pair of runs.
The Trojans got things started early Monday evening, racking up 6 runs in the top of the first inning that saw the first seven North Hall batters reach base consecutively with six straight hits and a walk.
“That was probably the most impressive inning that we've had in a long time,” Flow said. “They knew they were going to get challenged. Braden (Simms) is a good pitcher. But we took what was given, put the ball in play and good things happened.”
The Trojans added 3 more runs in the fourth inning to push the advantage to 9-0. West Hall fought back with a pair of scores in the bottom of the fifth, but it was never enough to even get within striking distance of the lead.
The victory is the 10th straight for North Hall, and the sixth consecutive outing in which the Trojans have scored at least 8 runs.
As the season winds to a close, North Hall remains one of the favorites to emerge as eventual champion out of the 3A classification. But with two games remaining on the regular season schedule, Flow said he’s simply focused on making sure the team continues to improve and take full advantage of the preparation time it still has left.
“All season we’ve talked about let's get 1% better daily,” he said. “That tune doesn't change.”