Nathan Hewell was every bit the stabilizing force for the North Hall baseball team Friday.
Trailing 9-8 in the second inning, Hewell, a senior, was the fifth pitcher to enter the game. Over the next 4 2/3 innings, he allowed only three hits and one earned run en route to a 16-11 win against Chestatee at Jody Davis Field.
“It feels great to win a game like this,” Hewell said. “We competed for seven innings and it was a total team effort.”
After North Hall (6-6, 3-3 Region 7-AAA) cycled quickly through four pitchers in less that two innings, Hewell stepped to the mound and kept the War Eagles off the bases, which helped snap a three-game losing streak.
In the top of the first inning, Chestatee (8-2, 3-2) scored seven runs on eight hits and a pair of North Hall fielding errors. North Hall quickly responded with eight runs in the bottom half of the inning and sent 12 batters to the plate in an inning that lasted an hour.
Trojans lead off hitter Whit Bowen was the main offensive catalyst with a 4-for-5 night at the plate. Trailing 7-0, Bowen reached base on a first-inning triple and scored on a passed ball. Before the first inning was over, Bowen would also drive in a run, which tied the score at 7-all.
“I was just having a good night at the plate,” Bowen said. “When I got up early, I was just trying to pump the rest of the team up.
“I was upset after that top-half of the first inning.”
However, Bowen’s biggest hit came in the sixth inning with a two-out RBI single and to give the Trojans a 12-11 lead. After’s Bowen’s RBI single, Chris Stevens was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
That set the stage for Jackson Coker’s grand slam that gave the Trojans a commanding 16-11 lead.
Stevens finished the game with three hits and reached base in all five plate appearances. Coker had a single, double, home run and five RBIs. Holdan Kellar was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks for North Hall.
“It feels great to win this game,” North Hall coach Trent Mongero said. “We were truly tested by a very good Chestatee team.”
After a quick start, it looked as if Chestatee was going to control the game. The War Eagles had five hits that drove in runs and also scored a pair of runs on North Hall errors. James Kibbler and Alex Moore each had RBI doubles in the first inning for Chestatee.
Zack Sisk, Ethan Stinchcomb and Scott Chewning added RBI singles for Chestatee in their first at bat.
Chewning, Stinchcomb and Corbin Smith each finished with two hits for the War Eagles. Kevin Clifford’s hard-hit single up the middle that drove in a run in the fourth was the only earned run that Hewell allowed. Jacob Brewster, North Hall’s sixth pitcher on the night, was credited with the win.
“We’re down but not out after losing this game,” Chestatee coach Wes Gentry said. “We’ll be ready to get back on the horse next week.”
North Hall visits Pickens at 5:55 p.m. on Monday in Jasper. Chestatee plays host to Lumpkin County at 5:55 p.m. Monday.