Tied 2-2 late in the sixth inning, things started for the Trojans in the 10-run frame with a first brace from senior Hunter Brooks.
Then second player Jon Jon Read put a bunt on the third base line which was waived.
Hudson Barrett returned to the mound and the ball was not handled cleanly by the Bears pitcher.
Then, senior Tate Brooks reached a base-laden grounder to make a shortstop.
The Cherokee Bluff outfielder started to throw to home plate for a forced out attempt, but went first with the pitch. After the delay, Brooks was able to slip safely to first base.
After going up 4-2, Trojans shortstop Jace Bowen produced a clutch at bat. After losing 1-2 in the count, he fouled on three pitches, back and forth down the left field line, and walked to score another run.
That set the table for Bales.
Once he saw a fastball in the zone, he connected on a commanding home run over the left field wall.
“It feels good, we were all trying to find energy and momentum there,” Bales said. “Hunter got that double and it was really just a spark for us. My adrenaline was pumping when I got up at home plate, but I found a way to calm myself down and drove the ball.
Bales, who pitched the first five innings on the mound for the Trojans, said he knew his club would take advantage of Cherokee Bluff’s mistakes with the game on the line.
Mostly a pivotal region game.
“We’ve always been good at the short game and that’s what helped us,” Bales said.
North Hall also charged in the fifth inning, which helped erase a 2-0 hole.
With the bases loaded, Bowen walked to bring home the first inning. Then Bales was hit by a pitch to bring home the second inning.
The first time North Hall loaded the bases came in the third inning when Tate Brooks reached and stole second and then third base, followed by walks from Ajay Jones and Bowen.
This rally took place empty with a pop-fly out to end the round.
Cherokee Bluff got in first with Caleb Piland’s two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning.
After that error, Bales settled on the mound and finished with five innings and allowed four hits and had seven strikeouts.
Next, Cherokee Bluff hosts North Hall Wednesday at Flowery Branch.