clear
Saturday May 23rd, 2015 1:50AM

Baseball: DeLong gets first varsity win as Trojans pound West Hall, 10-2

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
GAINESVILLE -- North Hall may not have the offensive thunder of seasons past, but the Trojans are still plenty dangerous.

North Hall used four straight RBI hits in a five-run fifth inning to blow open a close game en route to a 10-2 win over West Hall Friday at Jody Davis Field in the first major skirmish in Region 7-AAA.

Both teams came into the contest tied with Buford atop the region standings. North Hall (5-3, 3-0 Region 7-AAA) has now won four straight after a slow start to the season. The two teams will meet again Monday at West Hall in the back-half of the home-and-home series.

It's the third straight game of 10 or more runs for the Trojans, who scored just 11 total runs in their three losses. They have yet to go deep in the 2014 season, but, they also had seven stolen bases -- three by Andrew Smith -- to constantly put pressure on the West Hall pitchers.

"We're getting some confidence at the plate," North Hall coach Trent Mongero said. "We have some guys that can hit home runs but they're staying within themselves and just going with the pitch. But we have several guys with speed and try to use that to our advantage. It's a big part of our game."

While the offense was touching up three West Hall pitchers, reliever Josh Hammond stymied the Spartans (6-2, 2-1) who cut a 5-0 lead to 5-2 and had the tying run at the plate in the fifth. Hammond retired the first four batters he faced and got a game-ending double play to save the win for senior Brandon DeLong, the first of his high school career.

"It was something else. Really exciting," DeLong said. "I was nervous at first but I knew the guys were behind me. I just tried to throw strikes and get outs."

"Brandon did an excellent job for not having ever started a game at this level," Mongero said. "We got him an inning of work (Thursday night) to shake some of the nerves. It was a big lift for us with our top pitcher still not available."

In the first, DeLong retired the first two Spartans but surrendered back-to-back singles to Cameron Johnson and Brian Newman. He got out of the inning inducing a groundout by Cam Warner.

The Trojans responded in the bottom of the first. Smith led off with a walk, stole second, and scored on a one-out single by Micah Strickland. Stephen Murray knocked in Strickland, who stole second and then moved to third on a wild pitch, on a RBI groundout for a 2-0 lead.

North Hall added three runs in the bottom of the second taking advantage of two West Hall errors and chased West Hall starter Michael Cronic. Fowler Brooks walked and later scored on an error on a grounder by McCoy Savage. Taber Mongero reached on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Strickland, and Smith walked and scored on a two-out single by Lincoln Hewett for a 5-0 lead.

West Hall got on the board in the third when Lincoln Stubbs singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and later scored on a RBI groundout by Johnson to trail 5-1.

DeLong settled down after that retiring five Spartans in a row at one stretch. Cam Warner relieved Cronic in the second for West Hall and allowed just one hit in three innings but was charged with two runs .

The Spartans continued to chip away. Zack Collins walked to start the fifth, moved to second on a Jacob Taylor single, and after a wild pitch moved him to third, he scored on a safety squeeze by Stubbs to trim the lead to 5-2, knocking DeLong from the game. Johnson would sacrifice Taylor and English to second and third but Hammond struck out Newman to end the threat.

The Trojans answered in the bottom of the fifth getting one-out back-to-back walks from Drew Coker and Brooks, chasing Warner for Collins, and a groundout by Hammond moved them to second and third with two outs. North Hall battered Collins with two outs.

Mongero stroked a slicing double to left scoring two runs, Smith followed with a bad-hop infield single scoring Mongero, Savage singled scoring Smith, and Strickland double to left scoring Savage for a 10-2 lead.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 4 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 4 months ago )
Sports
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 4 months ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 4 months ago )
High School Sports
VIDEO: Wolves could care less about rankings -- they want a ring
Seniors Joey Bart, Jake Higginbotham, Connor Bennett, and Keyton Gibson aren’t worried about expectations at this point in the season. They know first hand expectations usually are worth about as much as it cost you to listen to them...
5:00PM ( 15 hours from now )
How do you measure clutch? Gainesville baseball provides the metric
In three straight postseasons, Gainesville baseball players watched in agony as -- at the crucial moment -- the other team made the play.
4:59PM ( 15 hours from now )
Battle-tested Dragons ready to pull off another road win in championship series
Forget “Mad Max,” Jefferson baseball might as well be re-making its own movie of similar vein this spring -- starring as themselves in “The Road Warrior(s).”
11:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
James leads Cavs to 94-82 win over Hawks, 2-0 series lead
LeBron James scored 30 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers took total command of the Eastern Conference final even without injured star Kyrie Irving, routing the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 on Friday night for a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Ohio.
11:02PM ( 2 hours ago )
Braun powers Brewers to easy win over Braves
Ryan Braun homered and drove in four runs, four Milwaukee pitchers combined to hold Atlanta to three hits, and the Brewers beat the Braves 11-0 on Friday night.
10:57PM ( 2 hours ago )