GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — Oneida went into Friday's Class A baseball sectional against North Greene knowing a formidable opponent awaited in the state's fourth-ranked team.
But perhaps the ninth-ranked Indians didn't realize just how formidable.
Junior southpaw Troy Hall pitched a no-hitter, completely shutting down the bats of an Oneida team that was collectively batting .331 on the season, as North Greene won 7-0 to advance to next week's state tournament in Murfreesboro.
Hall, who entered the game with a season ERA of 0.48, struck out 14 of the 27 batters he faced, and allowed the Indians just six base-runners all night.
The closest Oneida got to a hit, in fact, was a shortstop error that boarded Cole West in the top of the third. West's hard-hit ground ball was mishandled by the North Greene defender, allowing West safely into first.
Matt Williams reached base twice after being hit by pitches, while Colby Jeffers was also hit by a pitch. Tanner Sexton and Lukas Phillips reached base on balls.
Oneida twice stranded runners in scoring position. In the third inning, Williams was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch, then advanced to third on the error that got West aboard. But the inning ended on a strikeout, stranding the runners on the corners.
Oneida would not get two men on again until the sixth inning, when Sexton walked and Jeffers was hit by a pitch. The inning again ended on a strikeout.
In the end, though, those runs would not have changed the outcome. Hall struck out the last four batters he faced.
North Greene, meanwhile, recorded 10 hits and managed enough offense to slowly pull away.
A lead-off single by Zach O'Neal in the bottom of the third led to the game's first run, scored on an RBI single by Zane Britton. Britton would likewise score to give North Greene a 2-0 lead.
Will West led off with a double in the bottom of the fourth, scoring on an RBI single by O'Neal.
In the fourth, Hall reached base after being hit by a pitch, and a courtesy runner scored on a sacrifice RBI by West., while an RBI double by Zak Potter scored Brett Bolton.
Hall's sacrifice RBI in the sixth scored Britton, giving North Green its seventh and final run.
North Greene, which advances to the state tournament for the second time in three seasons, will play in Murfreesboro on Tuesday.
Despite the disappointing end to the season, Oneida notched a place in school history by winning the program's first-ever back-to-back district titles, and advanced to the substate for the first time since 1982.
While Friday's game was the last for four seniors in the Indians' starting lineup, including Cole West, Caleb Lee, Colby Jeffers and Jordan Terry, coach Shawn West made it clear last week that he expects to be in contention for the District 4-A championship for a fourth consecutive season in 2015.
"I expect to be right here again next year," West said after his Indians defeated Oakdale in the district championship game May 8.
Returning for Oneida will be Williams, along with middle infielders Bryant Harper at second base and Tanner Sexton at shortstop. Caleb Jeffers, who played catcher most of the season before shifting around in the postseason, will be just a sophomore in 2015, while center fielder Cage West will be a junior. Designated hitter Lukas Phillips returns as well.