RINGGOLD — For the first time this postseason, the North Hall Trojans baseball team is coming home. And it could not have come at a better time.
The Trojans advanced to the state semifinals after sweeping No. 3 ranked Ringgold in a 3A quarterfinal doubleheader on Thursday in Ringgold.
Long-tenured Trojans coach Trent Mongero said he watched his three-seed North Hall squad play two complete games against the top seed out of the Region 6. The Trojans booked its ticket back to Jody Davis Field with a 4-2 win in Game 1, before sweeping the nightcap, 6-5.
North Hall (25-11) will host upstart Calhoun in Wednesday’s semifinal round. The Yellow Jackets defeated Lovett, 2-0, in Thursday’s deciding game three.
When the Trojans suit up for the beginning stages of this best-of-three series with four-seed Calhoun, it would be their first game played at Jody Davis Field in nearly a month — 30 days to be exact.
“There’s no place like home. We love Jody Davis Field, and we’re excited to be able to get two more games, at least two more games at home next week,” Mongero said.
"We play very well at home, so we’re gonna see if we can keep this ball rolling and we’re gonna compete our rear ends off, and see what happens.”
Ringgold (29-8) held leads in each of its games, but the pitching of North Hall’s Reese Olson, followed by one horrific defensive inning from Ringgold granted the Trojans the edge in Game 1. Dylan Lavender added his second webgem snag at the warning track, during which he rammed his entire body into the wall at full speed. Mongero called it a huge momentum play for the visitors in a 4-2 win in Game 1.
However, the longtime coach couldn’t single out the performance of one player in the statement win on the road.
“We played two complete ballgames,” Mongero said. “We got tremendous pitching from Reese in Game 1, he set the tone. We hit the ball down the lineup, put pressure on them with small ball at times, and we played great-great defense.”
In Game 2, John Mark Montgomery had a-run triple. Jackson Latty had a double that plated a run for the Trojans.
In the opener, Olson had five strikeouts while only allowing two runs and four hits. Lavender was 2 for 3 at the plate and drove in a run.