FLOWERY BRANCH — Jaret Bales pitched a four-hitter and struck out eight to lead North Hall to a 4-0 win over Cherokee Bluff on Monday in the opening game of a huge Region 7-3A series.
The win for Class 3A No. 2 North Hall (15-4, 9-1 Region 7-3A) kept the Trojans in first place while the fifth-ranked Bears (15-6, 7-3 Region 7-3A) dropped into fourth place behind West Hall (17-6, 10-3 Region 7-3A) and White County (15-6, 10-3 Region 7-3A) after the Warriors beat the Spartans 7-3 on Monday.
The Trojans scored a run in the first off Bears starter Clay Tyas, who went four-plus innings. But they touched up Tyas for two more in a three-run fifth.
Bales and Jace Bowen each drove in one run and they got a pair of runs off wild pitches.
Tate Brooks, Eli Reece, and Luke Erickson each had one hits for North Hall.
Dylan Kautz, Ben Jenkins, Lucas Tritt, and Jacob Vokal had hits for Cherokee Bluff.
The two teams will head to Cottrell Field on Wednesday for the second game of their series.
WHITE COUNTY 7,
WEST HALL 3
The Warriors helped their region standing with the win over West Hall on Monday.
White County jumped out to a 2-0 lead and added three more in the fourth and two in the sixth to beat West Hall.
The victory lifts the Warriors into a tie for second place with the Spartans in the Region 7-3A standings.
J Ben Haynes, who smacked a two-run homer in the first inning, drove in three runs on a 1-for-4 day at the plate for the Warriors.
Kyle Murphy was 1-for-3 with two RBIs to pace the Spartans, including a homer in the sixth inning to cut the lead, 5-3.
The two will play again on Wednesday at West Hall.
FLOWERY BRANCH 16-12,
EAST HALL 1-3
No. 5 Flowery Branch rolled to a pair of wins over East Hall on Monday in Region 8-4A action.
With the victories the Falcons (16-6, 7-4 Region 8-4A) remained in third place behind No. 1 North Oconee and No. 8 Jefferson. Branch and East Hall will close out their series on Wednesday at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex.
In Game 1, Austin Hatcher and Darren Schultz combined on a three-hitter in the five inning win for the Falcons.
The game was tied at 1-1 after the first inning but the Falcons exploded for 12 runs in the second and third to blow it open.
Branch pounded out 12 hits, led by Baxley O'Brien, who was 3-for-3 with an RBI. Nick Linkowski had two hits and two RBI and Connor Larson, Aaron Attaway, Kaleb Freeman, and Austin Bourrie all had a hit and two RBI for the Falcons.
Mike Parker, Luke England, and Gavin Morters each had one hit for East Hall.
In the second game, Kaleb Freeman, Chase Hammock, and Tristan Browning allowed just four hits total for Branch.
The Falcons opened with three runs in the first inning and led 7-1 in the fourth.
The Falcons again tallied 12 hits as Freeman, who also got the win, also had a pair of doubles and four RBI to lead the Falcons offense. Larson and Linkowski both had two hits as well.
Parker had two hits for East Hall. Christian McCullough drove in a pair of runs for the Vikings.
AREA BASEBALL SCORES FOR Monday, April 5
Commerce 2, Towns County 1*
Dawson County 7, Gilmer 2*
Flowery Branch 16-12, East Hall 1-3*
Forsyth Central 11, Gainesville 6*
Jefferson 3, North Oconee 3 (8 inn)*
North Hall 4, Cherokee Bluff 0*
White County 7, West Hall 3*
AREA BASEBALL SCHEDULE FOR Tuesday, April 6
Habersham Central at Franklin County, 5 p.m.
Johnson at Greenbrier (DH), 11 a.m.*
Loganville at Jackson County, 1 p.m.*
Oconee County at Banks County
Towns County at Lake Oconee Academy, 5:30 p.m.*
(* -- denotes region contest)