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Monday February 24th, 2020 4:09AM

Baseball: North Hall, Jefferson, Buford could wrap up region titles as season hits stretch drive

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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Several region champions could be determined after this week in what should be one of the better prep baseball weeks of the season.

North Hall in Region 7-3A, Jefferson in Region 8-4A, and Buford in Region 8-5A all could wrap up region titles with still more than a week to go in the regular season. Meanwhile, Region 8-2A wraps up its region schedule this week with two huge series that should decide things..

In Region 8-2A, Rabun County has won three straight to climb into first place. The Wildcats (8-11, 7-2 Region 8-2A) lead Elbert County (16-7, 7-3) by just one-half game and the two teams split a pair of games during the season. The Wildcats can claim the title with a win over Banks County on Tuesday and a sweep of Social Circle on Friday. Banks County (11-12, 5-4) is clinging to fourth place by one game over Oglethorpe County (11-11, 4-5) and the two teams will close out their region schedules with a doubleheader on Saturday in Lexington.

In Region 7-3A, North Hall (17-3, 12-0 Region 7-3A) leads Greater Atlanta Christian (15-7, 9-3) by three games and the two teams open a three-game series on Monday at Jody Davis Field. The Trojans can claim the title with two wins. Fannin County (13-10, 8-7), Dawson (10-12, 6-6), and East Hall (10-11, 5-7) all are fighting for the final two spots. East Hall and Dawson County open a huge three-game series in Dawsonville on Monday with the loser of that series likely is out of any playoff contention.

Jefferson also has a chance if not wrap up the title certainly to clinch no worse than second place in Region 8-4A. The Dragons (14-7, 7-2 Region 8-4A) lead Stephens County, St. Pius, and North Oconee all by two games. Jefferson and St. Pius open a three-game series in Atlanta on Monday. A sweep for the Dragons, who already own series wins over Stephens County and North Oconee, would give them the region title.

In Region 8-5A, Buford (16-9, 6-0 Region 8-5A) leads defending state champion Loganville (16-6, 5-1) by a game and Flowery Branch (11-12, 4-2) by two games. The Wolves have a pair of games against the Falcons and one against Loganville this week and can put themselves within a game of clinching next week if they can sweep all three. The Falcons are still alive for the title if they can win out in region play and get some help.

In Region 7-4A, West Hall (16-4, 6-0 Region 7-4A) is tied with Blessed Trinity (22-2, 6-0) atop the standings and opens a huge three-game series with defending Class 4A state champion Marist (6-15, 3-3) in Atlanta on Tuesday. The two teams return to Oakwood on Friday for a doubleheader. The Spartans can claim no worse than second place with a series win and could put themselves in line for a possible region title as they close out the season against Blessed Trinity next week.

(Check below for the complete schedule of area baseball teams.)

BASEBALL SCHEDULE FOR WEEK OF April 9 — April 14
(First pitch times are 5:55 p.m. unless otherwise noted.)
(Games listed by time and in alphabetical order by visiting team.)

Monday, April 9
Athens Christian at Lakeview Academy, 4:30 p.m.*
Buford at Flowery Branch*
East Hall at Dawson County*
Gainesville at Dacula*
Greater Atlanta Christian at North Hall*
Jefferson at St. Pius*
Johnson at Cedar Shoals*
Lanier at Habersham Central*

Tuesday, April 10
Riverside Military at Prince Avenue, 5:30 p.m.*
Rabun County at Banks County*
Blessed Trinity at Chestatee*
Morgan County at East Jackson*
Union County at Fannin County*
West Hall at Marist*
White County vs. Lumpkin County at UNG

Wednesday, April 11
Hebron Christian at Riverside Military, 5:15 p.m.*
Cedar Shoals at Johnson*
Dacula at Gainesville*
Dawson County at East Hall*
Flowery Branch at Buford*
Habersham Central at Lanier*
North Hall at Greater Atlanta Christian*
St. Pius at Jefferson*

Thursday, April 12
George Walton at Lakeview Academy, 4:30 p.m.*

Friday, April 13
Commerce at Tallulah Falls, 4:30 p.m.*
Lakeview Academy at Lumpkin County (DH), 5 p.m.
Chestatee at Blessed Trinity (DH), 5 p.m.*
East Jackson at Morgan County (DH), 5 p.m.*
Fannin County at Union County (DH), 5 p.m.*
Jackson County at Hart County (DH), 5 p.m.*
Marist at West Hall (DH), 5 p.m.*
Rabun County at Social Circle (DH), 5 p.m.*
Buford at Loganville*
Clarke Central at Flowery Branch*
East Hall at Dawson County*
Gainesville at Dacula*
Greater Atlanta Christian at North Hall*
Jefferson at St. Pius*
Lanier at Habersham Central*
Walnut Grove at Johnson*

Saturday, April 14
Banks County at Oglethorpe County (DH), 10 a.m.*
White County at Franklin County, 11 a.m.

* -- Region contest

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