HOMER — Elbert County handed Banks County its first Region 8-2A loss of the season with a 4-0 win on Tuesday in the first game of a three-game showdown for the region title.
The sixth-ranked Blue Devils (21-5, 9-1 Region 8-4A) also moved into a tie for first with the eighth-ranked Leopards (17-7, 9-1 Region 8-4A).
Nolan Hill pitched a solid game for Banks County, going 6 1/3 innings allowing six hits and walking two while fanning two batters. Only two of the four runs were earned as he tried to navigate around three big errors.
But Elbert took a 1-0 in the first on a lead-off single from Landen Ingram, who advanced to third on a pair of passed balls and scored on a ground out.
The Leopards tried to answer right back when Cade Herrin singled and stole second with no outs. But he was left stranded after two strikeouts and a line out.
The Blue Devils’ Caden Brown retired 13 straight Banks County batters into the fifth before Hill broke the string with a one out walk. But he could get no further.
Meanwhile, the Elbert County offense plated two more in the fourth on a hit batter with the bases loaded and an error for a 3-0 lead. A Caden Brown RBI single in the fifth pushed the lead to 4-0.
Herrin singled again in the sixth but was left stranded and a double play in the seventh ended the Leopards comeback chances.
Clay Angel had one hit for the Leopards.
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Friday in Elberton that will decide the region title. The Leopards will have to sweep to grab the region crown.