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Thursday October 21st, 2021 9:17PM

Baseball: North Hall, Chestatee, Bluff, Branch all get opening wins

By AccessWDUN Staff
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GAINESVILLE — North Hall rallied with a pair of runs late to knock off Mt. Paran on Wednesday in both teams’ 2021 season openers at Cottrell Field.

The Trojans jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the second, powered by a two-run double from Hudson Barrett.

But the Lions (0-2) answered with two runs in the third and two more in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead.

North Hall (1-0) tied the game in the fifth when Bradford Puryear scored on a double-play grounder with the bases loaded and no one out. The Trojans got the eventual game-winner in the sixth when Jace Bowen drove in Cooper Helton with an RBI ground out.

Eli Reece started for North Hall and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out three. Jaret Bales got the save pitching the seventh allowing just one walk and striking out one. 

Baker Dyer had two hits to lead the North Hall offense. Puryear, Bales, and Tate Brooks all had one hit for the Trojans.


CHESTATEE 5,
HABERSHAM CENTRAL 3

The War Eagles also had to rally from behind in taking a win over the Raiders in their opener.

Chestatee got things going in the first when Nick McKoy scored on a Hunter Fouche grounded out. The War Eagles made it 2-0 in the second on a Nathan Bull single scoring Asa Smith.

Habersham, however, answered with three runs in the third to grab the lead.

But the War Eagles retook the lead for good with two runs in the fourth inning and added a run in the sixth.

Levi Stowers started the game for Chestatee going three innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out three. But Bryan Cantrell earned the win for Chestatee tossing three innings in relief, allowing no runs on one hit and striking out three. Hunter Potzner got the final three outs to earn the save for the War Eagles.


CHEROKEE BLUFF 10,
JOHNSON 0

The Bears used an 8-run fifth inning to invoke the Mercy rule in both teams’ opener at Bears Field.

Run-scoring singles from Clay Tyas and Bryce England, an error on a ball put in play by Reece Chambers, and an RBI double by Jacob Vokal provided the big blows for Cherokee Bluff in the fifth.

Chandler Shope took the win for Cherokee Bluff tossing five innings, allowing no runs on no hits while fanning striking out eight and walking one.

But the game was just 2-0 going into the fifth as Johnson starter Peyton Lavergne battled a tough Bears lineup. Lavergne went four innings giving up two hits and four runs, only two earned, with 8 strikeouts. 

But the Knights bullpen could not hold off the Bears offense as Tristan Nguyen and Cole Farmer were roughed up for six runs, just three earned, in just two-thirds of an inning.

The two teams will finish a home-and-home series on Thursday at Johnson.


FLOWERY BRANCH 3,
HEBRON CHRISTIAN 1

Connor Larson drove in the eventual game-winning run in the sixth as the Falcons finally opened their season at home.

Kaleb Freeman also had an RBI double for Flowery Branch (1-0).

Max Wagner got the win on the mound for the Falcons.

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