CLEVELAND - One look at the flagpole told White County senior Luke Crumley all he needed to know on Monday.
The wind was whipping out toward center field, and the hitters would have a distinct advantage.
So when Stephen Mason connected on a home run over the center field wall on the game's first pitch, it didn't shake Crumley's confidence.
"That wind was blowing hard and straight out to center field," Crumley said. "I had a feeling there were going to be some home runs (Monday).
Even though Crumley was tagged for four solo home runs, he racked up 14 strikeouts on the mound, which was good enough to earn a 9-6 complete-game victory. It marked Crumley's first decision of the season.
With the win, White County (12-3, 11-3 Region 8-AAA) moved into a for first place in the region, along with earning a season sweep of the Red Elephants (13-3, 11-3).
However, with 10 games remaining in region play, things are far from settled.
"This one was big because it also gives them the tiebreaker on us now, but there's still 10 games left for all of us," Gainesville coach Jeremy Kemp said. "We still have a long way to go in the season."
Leading 7-4 in the top of the sixth inning, Crumley was pushed to the brink when he gave up back-to-back solo home runs to Gainesville's Will Maddox and Ryan Griffith, but settled down to end the inning on a strikeout, stranding two runners on base.
The Red Elephants finished the game with four home runs, including Hunter Anglin's solo shot to open the fourth inning. Anglin finished 3 for 3.
"I threw good the majority of the game, but left some up in the strike zone and they hit those hard," Crumley said.
After going hitless against Franklin County on Saturday, there was no shortage of offense for White County. The Warriors had three home runs and finished with seven hits.
No hit was bigger in the game than David Sosebee's grand slam in the fourth inning that gave the Warriors a 7-4 lead. Dylan Lee and Montana Saine set the table for Sosebee by reaching on walks, then Hayden Cummins (2 for 3, two runs scored) reached when he was hit by a pitch with a full count.
Sosebee got a fastball on the first pitch and sent it flying over the team's indoor hitting facility beyond the left-field fence.
"I figured he was going to throw a first-pitch fastball since he'd done that a lot earlier in the game," Sosebee said. "It was nice to have a grand slam, but I couldn't have done it if the guys in front of me didn't get on base."
Cummins, White County's leadoff hitter, padded the Warriors' lead in the bottom of the sixth inning with his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot.
Gainesville starting pitcher David Gonzalez did a good job keeping White County off the board early in the game.
Along with the hitting of Mason (2 for 4, two runs scored) he also was the beneficiary of a pair of nice diving stops from third baseman Anglin that kept Warriors runners off the bases.
Trailing 3-0, White County tied the score with two outs in the bottom of the third inning on a three-run home run by Adam Hooper.
Before Hooper stepped to the plate, Cummins reached base with a single under the outstretched glove of Anglin. He stayed in scoring position when he avoided a rundown on a pick-off move.
Hooper finished the game with three hits for the Warriors, who play host to Johnson at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Cleveland.
Gainesville visits Monroe Area at 5:55 p.m. on Friday.