North Hall has developed a reputation for come-from-behind victories. Eight times this season the Trojans have found themselves trailing in the first inning, only to turn their fortunes around.
However, none of those wins came against David Sosebee of White County.
The Warriors gave Sosebee an early lead and he took it from there, dominating the Trojans' lineup on the way to a 4-1 White County victory Friday at Jody Davis Field.
Sosebee struck out the first six batters he faced, carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and had a momentum-killing pickoff in the sixth inning to guide White County to a key Region 8-AAA victory.
The senior, who is signed with the University of Georgia, pitched all seven innings, striking out 10 and giving up one run on three hits and two walks.
"I just had to get the game started out right," said Sosebee, who put the Warriors back on the winning track after they lost to Lumpkin County in eight innings on Monday. "This was a big win and we needed this game coming off a loss. We're starting to play everyone (in the region) a second time, so this was a good win."
His performance outshined that of North Hall sophomore Preston Graham, who also pitched a complete game, striking out four and giving up four runs on six hits and five walks, three of which were intentional to Warriors No. 3 hitter Luke Crumley, also a Georgia signee.
"I give credit where credit is due, (Sosebee) did a fantastic job," Graham said. "Hats off to him, but I just went out there and tried to do my thing and not worry about what he was doing."
The Warriors (11-2, 10-2) currently hold a top four position in the league required to qualify for the state playoffs along with the Trojans (11-4, 10-3), who on Thursday beat Johnson 22-7 in five innings.
"Coming off a win, it kind of hurts but it's always good to have a little sour taste in our mouth of losing to a big team like that so we can come out Monday and get a big win," Graham said.
White County gave Sosebee all the run support he would need in the first inning, plating two runs on an RBI double from Luke Crumley and a fielder's choice by Bo Medlock, which scored Sosebee.
The Warriors struck again in the third on Adam Hooper's RBI double. Hooper made the Trojans pay for intentionally walking Crumley to get to Hooper, who smacked a line drive that reached the wall, allowing leadoff hitter Hayden Cummins to score his second run of the game.
"It was definitely important we score runs for (Sosebee) early," Warriors coach John Brown said. "We didn't do that very well the other night against Lumpkin, but we came out and scored some runs and gave him enough. He was getting all his strikes and all his pitches over, and he's really tough when he does that."
White County added insurance in the sixth on Dylan Lee's sacrifice fly, which scored Crumley, who again reached base on an intentional walk.
Graham kept the Trojans in the game with admirable damage control, stranding six runners in scoring position. In the seventh, he induced a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
He also retired the side in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
"Preston is a really good pitcher," Sosebee said. "We had to battle and battle to get those four runs."
North Hall had chances to chip away at the lead. In the third inning, Sosebee issued back-to-back walks with two outs before getting Whit Bowen to ground out. Griffin Olson broke up Sosebee's no-hitter in the fifth and scored on Graham's RBI single.
Bowen reached on a single to lead off the sixth, but Sosebee picked him off the next batter and didn't allow another runner.
"I thought it was a superior high school pitching performance," Trojans coach Trent Mongero said of Sosebee. "That was probably in the top 10 I've seen the last 20 years as far as his control and command, so you've got to give them credit right there.
"Our guys, we're looking forward to getting back on the field Monday. This is one ball game, a long way to go and right now you can't get too down or up with any game you play. You've got to keep that even keel and I like our approach. I think we'll come out ready to play."
NOTES: Neither team committed an error. ... In the sixth inning, Medlock hit a foul ball that shattered a light, sending debris onto the crowd in the stands below. No one was hurt. Medlock later doubled in the at-bat.