FLOWERY BRANCH — Cherokee Bluff captured the No. 2 seed in Region 7-3A with a 7-0 win over Gilmer on Friday at home
The Bears (20-9, 12-6 Region 7-3A) won their final five games, all in the region, to edge White County (19-10, 12-6 Region 7-3A) by virtue of winning their seasons 2-1.
Braxton Beal, Clay Tyas, and Chandler Shope scattered three hits and struck out 11 collectively.
Cherokee Bluff scored in all but one innings paced by Jacob Vokal, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI.
The Bears will play host to their first-ever home playoff series next week in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs.
FLOWERY BRANCH 13,
Class 4A sixth-ranked Flowery Branch used an eight-run second inning to rally from an early deficit in both teams’ regular season finale on Friday at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex.
However, with Madison County's 16-1 loss to North Oconee on Friday the War Eagles (16-14, 8-10 Region 8-4A) qualified for the upcoming state playoffs by virtue of their head-to-head series win over Madison County during the regular season. Chestatee will be the No. 4 seed.
Flowery Branch (22-7, 13-5 Region 8-4A) already had been locked into the No. 3 seed heading into Friday's action.
Four Falcons pitchers -- Jake Beaver, Darren Schultz, Aaron Attaway, Connor Larson -- scattered six hits and allowed just two runs.
Chestatee led 1-0 when Nick Turner drove in a run with a RBI groundout. But the Falcons grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the first on a pair of unearned runs.
In the big second inning, Kaleb Freeman stroked a two-run double and Connor Edwards added a two-run single as the Falcons ran out to a 10-1 lead.
Freeman had two doubles and three RBI and Edwards had two singles and three RBI to lead the Falcons offense. Kade Smallwood had two hits and one RBI and Jake Beaver, Baxley O'Brien, Mason Compton, Konner Gooch and Nick Linkowski all had one hit for Branch.
Nathan Bull had two hits to lead Chestatee. Mattox Miller, Bryan Cantrell, Levi Stowers, and Joshua Bull each had one hit for the War Eagles.
The War Eagles needed a win to qualify for the state playoffs but can still get in with a Madison County loss to North Oconee.
NORTH HALL 4,
WEST HALL 3
Class 3A No. 2 North Hall held off a furious West Hall rally to take a 4-3 win on both teams’ season finale at Spartans Field.
The Trojans led 1-0 after scoring an unearned run in the second. West Hall took a 2-1 lead in the third on a pair of unearned runs.
North Hall reclaimed the lead in the fifth on a bases loaded by Jaret Bales, a fielder’s choice RBI from Bradford Puryear, and an error for a 4-2 advantage.
The Spartans did not go away. They plated a run in the seventh on a North Hall error to cut it to 4-3 and had the winning run at the plate. But Baker Dyer got a ground ball out to end the game and preserve the win.
Both teams will be back in action next week in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.