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High school baseball: North Hall hitting its stride entering region bye with 9-0 win over White County
North Hall's Jaret Bales slides into home to score a run against White County during the game on Friday, March 26 at Cottrell Field in Gainesville. - photo by Nathan Berg

North Hall coach Trevor Flow’s vision for the Trojans baseball team is starting to take form. 

North Hall claimed a series victory over White County Friday evening, the third straight series win to start the region schedule. Friday’s 9-0 drubbing of the visiting Warriors was what Flow referred to afterwards as “one of the most complete games we’ve played.”

“That was a better offensive approach,” Flow said. “I thought (starting pitcher) Hunter Brooks, that’s only his second start of the year, and I thought he threw the ball extremely well. Our defense played out of their minds. Just a combination, the full combination of the game. We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m proud of them. They did a really good job.”

Brooks allowed just three hits in six innings pitched, striking out two. Offensively, North Hall (13-4, 8-1 Region 7-3A) did much of its work in a 7-run fourth inning during which the Trojans saw eight consecutive batters reach base safely. Tate Brooks, Jay Johnson, Jace Bowen, Eli Reece and Luke Erickson all recorded RBIs to help put North Hall up big, and the Trojans coasted to the victory from there. 

Flow said the win was a culmination of a lot of little things North Hall has been working to improve upon. 

Earlier in the week, during a 4-1 loss to White County on Monday, Flow said his players were often trying to do too much with their at-bats, rather than making the smartest situational plays. 

“I challenged them to not try to do more than what the game gives you,” he said. “We talked about all week hitting the ball to the middle back side. Letting the ball travel. Just stop trying to do so much.”

The message got through to the Trojans, who took full advantage of nearly every at-bat on Friday. 

This week’s series was also North Hall’s first opportunity to fight back from an 0-1 series hole this year, and the Trojans responded exactly how Flow had hoped. 

Battling back from Monday’s loss, North Hall shut out the Warriors on Wednesday and Friday to win the series.

“I kind of challenged them and said this is what it would feel like to be down 0-1 in a playoff series,” Flow said. “So what do we do in responding to get that next win to take it to the third game and really compete for that. So that helped us.” 

The improved play comes at a good time for the Trojans. 

North Hall will have its region bye next week, and will take on North Oconee, the top-ranked 4A team on Tuesday. 

Following that, the Trojans will go up against Cherokee Bluff starting the week of April 5 in a series that could determine the winner of Region 7-3A.