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Prep baseball: Wolverines put Trojans season in jeopardy
North Hall shortstop K.J. McAllister reaches for West Forsyth High’s (14) on a steal attempt during the first inning of Thursday afternoon’s game with North Hall High at the West Forsyth High baseball field.


North Hall coach Trent Mongero talks about the loss.

CUMMING North Hall’s baseball team didn’t want to resort to cheering for another team in order to qualify for the playoffs. However, that is what it has come to for the Trojans (16-10, 13-9 Region 7-AAA) after falling to West Forsyth 13-3 in six innings Thursday night in Cumming.

North Hall must have White County (14-11, 12-9) lose to West Hall (7-18, 6-15) tonight in order to qualify for the playoffs. The Trojans controlled their own playoff destiny entering the final regular season game, but the Wolverines sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs in the first inning to put a wrinkle in North Hall’s plans.

"Our team wasn’t ready to play today, and I take the blame for that," North Hall coach Trent Mongero said. "With the magnitude of this game, we should have shown that we wanted it seeing we controlled our own destiny to get in the playoffs."

The game started much better than it ended for the Trojans. Josh Haymore and K.J. McAllister each had singles to start the game for the Trojans. Jackson Coker followed with an RBI double to score Haymore, and Davis Partrick legged out an infield single to score McAllister.

That’s when West Forsyth (11-14, 10-12) took control of the game.

Trailing 2-0, Chris Arnett, Jared Horowitz, Michael Moch, Olivia Leguutt, Reese Patton, Ross Fowler and Chris Rubessa strung together seven singles in the bottom of the first. H. Ron Davidson followed with a grand slam for West Forsyth in the No. 8 spot in the order to highlight the big inning.

"We knew it was going to put us in a bind with our pitching playing three games in four days this week," Mongero added. "We just don’t have a lot of depth in our pitching rotation now."

Josh Wright, a senior, pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief for the Trojans and only allowed one earned run. He had pitched seven innings earlier this week in a complete-game victory over Johnson.

"Josh has been a battler for us all year and competed hard," Mongero said. "He said he’d be able to go about four innings (Thursday), and he gave us a chance.

"We just couldn’t come back."

Haymore and Partrick each finished with two hits for the Trojans. Coker and Mark Fuller each added one hit for North Hall.

Horowitz (3-for-4, three runs scored), Moch (3-for-4, two runs) and Patton (2-for-3 with a walk) led the Wolverines offensively.

North Hall’s regular season is now complete. West Forsyth plays host to St. Francis at 5:30 today in Cumming.