LOCUST GROVE — North Hall fell in deciding a Game 3 of their second-round series against Locust Grove by a score of 7-3 knocking them out of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
The Trojans led the entire game, but the Wildcats used their final at-bat to take control of the series for good.
Locust Grove took advantage of three North Hall errors in the seventh to avoid elimination.
North Hall chased Locust Grove starter Odlanier Rodrigues after just two innings.
The Trojans wasted no time scoring runs in the elimination game, using sacrifice flies from Drew Atha and Maddux Dill to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Atha sparkled on the mound for the majority of the night.
Until that fateful seventh inning, Atha’s lone blemish was a two-out double by Rodrigues that tied the game at 2-2 in the third inning.
Locust Grove wouldn’t have been in a situation to win the game in the final inning if not for freshman Nolan Crisp.
The young right-hander allowed zero earned runs on two hits in five innings of relief work to keep his team within striking distance.
North Hall regained the lead in the bottom of the third inning. After Rodrigues surrendered two hits to open the frame, Austin Adams came around to score on a passed ball with two outs.
Still, Crisp was able to limit the damage in the third inning and coasted through the North Hall lineup for the rest of the contest. No Trojan reached second base after the third inning.
Atha was the hard-luck loser, logging 6.1 innings with eight strikeouts.
Of the seven runs that scored while Atha was on the mound, only one was earned. Adams and Tabor Monegro led the North Hall offense with two hits apiece. Adams also scored two runs.