FLOWERY BRANCH — Cherokee Bluff had nine errors, which led to 13 unearned runs, as the Bears were routed 16-3 in six innings by Greater Atlanta Christian Tuesday to open a key Region 7-3A series for both teams.
The two teams came in tied for third place. The Spartans (11-9-1, 7-6 Region 7-3A) will play host to the Bears (12-11, 6-7 Region 7-3A) on Wednesday and the teams will return to Cherokee Bluff on Friday.
The Bears led 2-0 after the first inning but GAC scored five in the second to grab the lead. Cherokee Bluff cut it to 5-3 with a run in the second but the Spartans blew it open with two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, and six more in the sixth.
Dylan Kautz had two hits for the Bears. Tino Mukuno and Jackson Kemp each had a hit and an RBI and Brody Beal had a hit for Cherokee Bluff.
In a virtual must-win for Gainesville, the Falcons roughed up a pair of Red Elephant pitchers for 10 hits in a six-inning win at Ivey-Watson Field.
Gainesville (8-15, 3-7 Region 8-6A) now faces a must-win on Wednesday against the Falcons (9-14, 4-6 Region 8-6A) or be elminated from postseason contention for the first time in 14 seasons.
The game was tied after two innings with Dacula scoring an unearned run in the first and the Red Elephants getting a solo home run from Harris Bell in the second. The Falcons began to pull away with two runs in the third, one in the fourth, and three in the fifth for a 7-1 lead.
Ganesville answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI double from Grady Vardeman and a RBI single from Seth White to get within 7-3. They could get no closer, however.
Dacula exploded for six runs in the sixth to invoke the Mercy Rule as the Falcons turned a double play in the bottom of the sixth to snuff out a potential Gainesville rally.
Bell also had a double to go with his home run while Eudy Medina, Riley White, Vardeman, Corbin Lindsay, and White all had one hit for Gainesville.
BLESSED TRINITY 15,
WEST HALL 0
The top-ranked Titans used an 11-run first inning en rout to a victory in three innings.
West Hall had just two hits, one each by Tyler Maynard and Braden Simms.
The two teams will meet again on Wednesday at Spartans Fied in Oakwood.