Northern advances to state finals

Northern 12, Smyrna 8

ATHENS, GA (WTVM) - Connor O'Neal hit two three-run home runs to lead Northern to a 12-8 come-from-behind win over Smyrna on Thursday night at the Georgia Little League state tournament in Athens.

The win puts Northern in the finals versus Peachtree City American.

Smyrna built a 7-1 lead before O'Neal went to work. His first three-run homer cut Smyrna's lead to 7-5. The second blast came in the fourth inning and gave Northern the lead for good at 9-8. Chandler Blanton and Joey Bialoncik also homered in the seven-run fourth that gave Northern the win.

Now comes a chance for payback against the team that handed them their one loss in the tournament. Peachtree City American beat Northern 12-2 last Sunday to drop them into the losers bracket. First pitch on Friday is set for 6 pm ET at Holland Park Youth Sports Complex.

A win by Northern would force a deciding, winner-take-all game on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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