North Hall’s baseball team was boosted to an 11-1 run-rule victory over region foe Madison County Monday in Gainesville by a sophomore pitcher and junior first baseman.
The Trojans (7-4, 2-0 Region 8-AAAA) earned the first hit of the game, a leadoff single by Taber Mongero in the bottom of the first, and went on to score the final 11 runs of the contest.
North Hall pitcher Reese Olson put on a show on the mound, delivering the complete-game victory.
“He’s got a lot of potential,” said Trojans coach Trent Mongero. “He’s pitched extremely well for us every time out. He wants the ball in the big games. This was a big region game for us with the chance to win both games against Madison County, who’s a great opponent. He went after them like a bulldog. I’m very impressed. Great outing.”
The sophomore never saw more than five batters in an inning — the fifth — and pitched a maximum of 21 pitches in an inning — the third.
Overall, Olson tossed all six innings, gave up five hits, one run and hit one batter. He faced 23 batters, struck out six and didn’t walk anyone on 87 pitches.
“I’m just having fun and doing what I know to do,” Olson said. “I’ve got a great defense behind me and know they’ll make the plays.”
Olson said he felt good all night with “all my pitches working for me.”
Of the 23 batters the sophomore faced, he was able to get ahead in the count early by throwing first-pitch strikes to 12 of them.
At the plate, the Trojans went off on Madison County, totaling 13 hits and 10 RBIs in 26 at-bats.
Jackson Latty led the charge against the Red Raiders.
“He’s hot right now,” Mongero said of the junior. “He had the big double the other night at their place in extra innings.
Then, he made the diving catch to secure the game when they had the tying run on third with two outs. Then, he had big hits tonight. He’s hot right now, he’s worked extremely hard and he got rewarded for it tonight.”
With the Trojans down 1-0 in the third inning, Austin Adams started off the frame with a double. Drew Atha was then hit by a pitch before catcher Fowler Brooks was walked.
Coming to the plate with the bases loaded, Latty took an 0-1 curveball down the third base line, nearly tracing the chalk as it skipped across the ground and into the left field corner. Adams, Atha and courtesy runner John Mark Montgomery all crossed the plate as Latty ended up at third base with a three-run triple.
Three batters later, with one out on the board, Clark Hill laid down a bunt to score Latty.
Now, with a 4-1 lead, Latty stepped to the plate two innings later to lead off the frame.
The junior first baseman saw four pitches in the at-bat, but he drove the last one deep to left field, leaving Madison County left fielder Dylan Gentry tracing its path over the fence.
The solo shot marked his fourth RBI of the game and second run scored. He would come around to score again on a Maddux Dill double in the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch.
The home run also sparked another big inning for the Trojans as they went on to score five runs in the fifth, forcing a pair of pitching changes in the inning.
Dylan Lavender stepped to the plate after Latty touched home and took the first pitch he saw to left-center field. A missed catch by the center fielder resulted in Lavender reaching second base.
A stolen base and one-out single from Hill plated Lavender.
Wesley Smith moved Hill to third on a single four pitches later. Then, six pitches after that, Mongero delivered a two-run double.
Mongero came around to score on a single down the right field line from Adams.
The final two runs, which ultimately ended the contest, came in the sixth as Latty scored on Dill’s double.
Dill scored four batters later when, with the bases loaded, Montgomery took his first at-bat of the game and walked in the run.
Hill finished the game going 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Mongero ended up 2 for 4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored.
Adams was 2 for 4 as well with an RBI and a run scored. Smith finished 2 for 2 with a run scored.
The Trojan defense ended up with just one error on the night, the result of a missed pick-off attempt.
With the good defense, top-notch pitching performance and high-scoring offense, coach Mongero said the team was due for the showing, but they’re not done working.
“These are the things we have been working on,” said Mongero. “We’ve been playing good defense most of the year, that’s why we’ve been in the games when the offense is down. Every day, we’re plugging away. We’re nowhere close to being satisfied. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Next up, North Hall will host White County at 5:55 p.m. Wednesday.