GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Despite graduating 13 players from last season's Final 4 team, North Hall did not appear to miss a beat in a 14-0, five-inning blowout win over rival White County at Lynn Cottrell Field on Tuesday in its season-opener.
Mills Lothridge got the win going four innings surrendering just one hit and two walks while fanning seven. Campbell Payton pitched the final inning allowing no hits or walks and striking out one.
A huge 11-run third inning blew open what was a close game early. Lothridge, Nathan Vermeer, Kenny Foudy, Kaleb Sexton, Andrew Hlavacek, and Ajay Jones all drove in runs in the inning.
North Hall (1-0) piled up 11 hits on the day against four White County pitchers scoring single runs in the first, second and fourth.
Mark Daniels started the game for White County (2-1) lasting two innings, giving up seven runs on six hits while striking out three in taking the loss.
Ryan Fowler had the Warriors only hit, a single in the third inning.
North Hall will play host to North Forsyth on Wednesday. White County will be back in action on Saturday hosting both Chestatee and Lakeside-Atlanta in a pair of games.
BUFORD 3 (8 inn)
The Wolves, who lost all nine position players and their top three pitchers from last season, looked solid despite losing in 8 innings to defending Class 7A champion Woodstock on the road.
Junior Georgia Tech-commit Nate Taylor allowed just one hit and one unearned run in two innings while striking out four in the start for Buford. Senior Luke Waller took the loss giving up two runs on two hits and a walk.
Buford (0-1) took the early lead in the second getting a bases loaded walk to senior Cole Taylor, who also had a double later in the game, and a RBI single from freshman Ayden Lockett in the inning. Woodstock answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning, and later tied the game with another unearned run in the fourth.
It stayed that way into the eighth when the Wolves grabbed a 3-2 lead on a pair of Woodstock errors. The Wolverines (3-1) answered with a lead-off walk, a line-drive double, and a walk-off single from Mark May driving in two runs.
Senior Tyler Dushane, junior Sam Humphrey, sophomore Cannon Goldin, and freshman Bubba Coleman all had one hit for Buford.
The Wolves next will play Class 5A Calhoun in their home opener on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.