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High school baseball: North Hall heats up late in comeback win over Cherokee Bluff
The Trojans cemented a series win over the Bears with the victory
North Hall's Bradford Puryear watches his hit during a game against Cherokee Bluff on Wednesday, April 7 at Cottrell Field in Gainesville. - photo by Nathan Berg

The North Hall bats got hot at just the right time Wednesday evening against Cherokee Bluff.

Though they trailed by a couple of runs going into the bottom of the fifth inning at Lynn Cottrell Field, the Trojans rattled off six runs in the fifth and sixth frames to earn a come-from-behind, 8-6 win over the visiting Bears.

The victory also clinches the series for North Hall (16-4, 10-1 Region 7-3A) after the Trojans beat Cherokee Bluff (15-7, 7-4 Region 7-3A) 4-0 on Monday.

“That was probably the most proud I’ve been of them, simply because they did not give up at any time,” North Hall coach Trevor Flow said. “I think their competitive spirit and what they did is probably the most complete game, especially battling back. The energy in the dugout was incredible. I’m just super proud of them.”

The Trojans did the majority of their damage in a five-run sixth inning that saw Hudson Barrett, Jay Johnson, Jace Bowen, Jaret Bales and Bradford Puryear all drive in runners to reclaim the lead for good.

Cherokee Bluff had carried much of the momentum in the game prior to that point, starting with Bryce England’s two-run home run in the top of the first inning that immediately put the Bears out in front. North Hall drew back even with runs in the bottom of the first and third innings, but the stalemate was short lived.

England and Ben Jenkins combined to bring in another pair of runs for Cherokee Bluff in the top of the fifth inning that put the Bears up 4-2.

“I always try to get the heartbeat of the team and kind of feel what’s going on,” Flow said. “And with those guys in that situation, I just felt like they were good. They were saying OK, we’re going to go battle. And that’s what they did.”

Johnson got things started with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, and North Hall piled on five more scores in the sixth to go on top 8-4 going into the final frame.

Cherokee Bluff did not go down quietly, loading the bases to start the top of the seventh inning and bringing in a pair of runs to cut the deficit to just two runs.

But North Hall’s Baker Dyer checked in on the mound with only one out remaining and threw three consecutive strikes to end the game.

Up next, Cherokee Bluff hosts North Hall on Friday for the final game of the region series.

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