North Hall solidified its spot atop Region 7-3A Friday evening with an 8-2 victory over Cherokee Bluff that completed the three-game series sweep. For the second consecutive game, the Trojans fell behind early, and for the second time in a row they rallied back.
North Hall scored three runs each in the fourth and sixth innings, getting a pair of run-scoring doubles from Jaret Bales to cruise to its sixth consecutive win.
“I was really proud of how we responded,” North Hall coach Trevor Flow said. “I feel like (Cherokee Bluff is) a second-round playoff series to a certain extent. We fell behind again tonight, self inflicted, and they responded again. When I see those things, it let’s me know they’re growing up a little bit. I was really proud of that.”
Hunter Brooks got the start for the Trojans and struck out 11 over six innings, while giving up a pair of runs.
On offense, North Hall got three RBIs from Bales, and two from Bradford Puryear and one each from Tate Brooks and Jay Johnson.
Cherokee Bluff’s runs came off a balk in the first inning that brought Dylan Kautz home from third and an RBI double from Bryce England.
The Bears appeared poised to take a big early advantage when they advanced runners to second and third before North Hall had made a single out in the bottom of the first, but the situation only led to one run, and it didn’t take long for the Trojans to make it up.
A Brooks sacrifice fly and a Johnson single in the top of the second inning put North Hall up 2-1, and it would not give up the lead for the remainder of the game.
Back-to-back hits from Bales and Puryear in the fourth inning put three more runs on the board for the Trojans, and the same duo brought in two more runs in the sixth.
A wild pitch allowed Ajay Jones to steal home from third base to score North Hall’s final run of the night.
After the game, Flow said the series against the Bears served as excellent preparation for a potential deep playoff run.
“If you’re lucky enough to make the playoffs, they get better as you go,” he said. “So being able to compete against a really good baseball team is huge for us.”
Up next, North Hall hosts Dawson County, while Cherokee Bluff visits White County on Monday.