Jakob Elrod stood tall in the batter's box and waited on his pitch. When it arrived, the Sale Creek senior did not miss.
Elrod barreled an outside curveball over the fence in right-center field for a three-run homer to break open Thursday's 11-1 home victory over Meigs County, a game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule.
Moments later, Camden Penny smacked a home run to dead center for back-to-back blasts for Class 1A's red-hot Panthers, who improved to 7-1-1 this season with the win against a Class 2A opponent.
"That was insane," said Elrod, who drove in six runs to give him 16 RBIs in a promising season. "Camden and I have been playing together since we were really little. We had always talked about hitting back-to-back home runs, and that was such an awesome moment."
Penny drove in four runs and had a triple as he, Elrod and Justin Griffin all had three-hit days for Sale Creek. Drew Hillian and Garret Pickett added two hits each for the Panthers, who spent time late Wednesday night working in the batting cages.
"We won a district championship last year and proved a lot of people wrong," Penny said. "We came back even hungrier and stronger. Everyone is stepping up one through nine (in the batting order), and we believe in ourselves. It's time people start taking Sale Creek baseball as a real threat."
Panthers pitcher Brayden Grimes earned the win, limiting damage over three innings, while Penny and Elrod closed the door on the mound for coach Jimmy Pierce's team.
Meigs County (4-1) started the game's scoring in the third inning on Logan Carroll's single that drove in Payton Armour, who along with teammate Connor Mason had two hits.
That was it for the Tigers, though, as the Panthers took over at the plate in what they hope is a trend.
"This is huge for us to see our team and school be successful in this sport," Sale Creek senior catcher Drew Hillian said. "I like our nine over anyone's. We have chemistry, and this group has been able to change the culture here. It's a complete team. No one is selfish. We all do it for Sale Creek."
Silverdale Baptist 14, Walker Valley 5: Brett Rogers homered and drove in four runs as he and Turner Junkins sparked the undefeated Seahawks (7-0) with three hits each. Bryson Cline doubled and drove in two runs, and Sebastian Hanks and Junkins combined for eight strikeouts and 4 1/3 innings on the mound.
McCallie 15, Sequatchie County 2: Carter Hewitt went 3-for-3 with two homers, a double and five RBIs for the Blue Tornado. Hudson Calhoun drove in three runs for McCallie.
McCallie 3, Rhea County 2: Winning pitcher Austin Breedlove threw four no-hit innings and struck out nine in a pitchers' duel as both sides had only four hits.
Chattanooga Christian 6, Arts & Sciences 4: Isaiah McKenzie hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the bottom of the sixth, and Cooper Kay drove in two runs for the Chargers. Will Henderson pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and two walks.
Ringgold 10, LaFayette 0: The Tigers (7-9, 4-1 GHSA Region 6-AAA) won their fourth consecutive region game as Robbie Bates allowed three hits and fanned 10 batters in 5 1/3 innings. Ross Norman was 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs, Conner Christopher had two doubles among his three hits and drove in two runs, and Sebastian Haggard had two hits and two RBIs for Ringgold.
Gordon Lee 10, Armuchee 0: The Trojans improved to 4-0 in Region 6-A public as Bo Rhudy hit a grand slam and earned the pitching win with five scoreless innings and nine strikeouts. Garren Ramey had two hits and an RBI and scored twice, and Holt Roberts two hits and two RBIs for the winners.
LFO 4, East Hamilton 0: Tanner Mantooth allowed one hit and struck out seven batters in six innings, and Will Carroll and Jacob Gregg each hit homers to power Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (8-7) past a Tennessee foe.
Rockmart 9, Coahulla Creek 4: Trevor Caldwell hit a pair of homers and Hunter Atkins drove in three runs to lead Rockmart, while Ben Glines had two hits and an RBI for the Colts.
Ooltewah 15, Howard 4: Jaycee Holt had a field day, going 4-for-4 with five RBIs, two triples and four stolen bases for the Lady Owls, who also got a home run from Alexis Poling. Howard's Amir Williams also homered.
McMinn County 17, Lenoir City 2: Sadie Brazzell drove in four runs and struck out nine in five innings to collect the pitching win.
Cleveland 6, Walker Valley 4: Lily O'Bryan doubled, homered and drove in three runs for the Lady Blue Raiders, who had 11 hits in the victory. O'Bryan also struck out eight while pitching a complete game. Madilyn Kidd homered twice and drove in all four runs for Walker Valley.
McCallie 7, Sidwell Friends 0: The No. 1 nationally ranked Blue Tornado took down the No. 10 team in the nation from Washington, D.C. McCallie won all six singles matches and three doubles matches. Collin Tuttle earned a thrilling comeback singles victory, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (4), and Tuttle and Will Leathers won 8-2 in doubles.
Roundup reports compiled by Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.