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Mill Creek takes possession of first place after win over North

SUWANEE -- Mill Creek and North Gwinnett battled for nine innings and through a 90-minute weather delay to decide which team would take over first place in baseball's Region 7-AAAAAA.

After the dust settled and clouds moved away, Mill Creek pulled out a 4-3 win and now sits alone in the top spot in the region.

Mill Creek (15-6, 9-1) won it in the top of the ninth when pinch runner Will Zimmer scored the eventual winning run on a wild pitch.

Zimmer was running for Tyler Boldt, who had singled with one out to start the rally.

Zimmer moved to second on a fielder's choice and to third on a pass ball.

North (16-6, 8-2) didn't go quietly in the bottom of the ninth as the Bulldogs put runners on first and second with two outs, but Cody Pugh came on to strike out Danny Sanchez to preserve the win for Mill Creek.

"It was a crazy game with all kinds of things going on," said Mill Creek head coach Doug Jones. "We had the lightning delay and then just a lot of plays and calls that were unusual. But we kept battling and found a way to win a big game. And our pitchers were just sensational tonight to keep us in it. Just a great win against a very good team (in North)."

Mill Creek grabbed the early lead with a run in the top of the first when Brandon Harmon led off with a single and came around to score on a fielder's choice by Bryan Hudson.

Meanwhile, Shane Seckinger was cruising right along on the mound for Mill Creek as the senior right-hander held North hitless through four innings.

Mill Creek also pushed its lead out to 3-0 in the top of the fifth when Harmon launched a two-out, two-run homer over the fence in center field with Austin Geist aboard.

Harmon led Mill Creek by going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.

But North finally got to Seckinger in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs to make it 3-2.

Three straight one-out singles got things going for North and Blake Sangster delivered a two-out, two-run single to score Alex Hartz and Danny Sanchez.

North finally tied it at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth on Sanchez's RBI infield single.

Sanchez went 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Bulldogs.

North had a great chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh when the Bulldogs loaded the bases, but Andrew Hostetter came on in relief of Seckinger and got a groundout to third to send the contest to extra innings.

Seckinger finished with 10 strikeouts while allowing only six hits.

Hostetter picked up the win and worked into the ninth inning when Cody Pugh came in to pick up the save by getting

The Bulldogs threatened to win it in the eighth, but Hostetter got two strikeouts in the inning -- the third and final one with the bases loaded and two outs to keep Mill Creek alive.