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Bertie bounces back

WINDSOR – Finally, the breaks went the way of the Falcons.

Bertie High School’s varsity baseball team had suffered through five losses, three of which came in extra innings or in the opposing team’s final at-bat.

Wednesday night, the Falcons won in their own final at-bat, using an Aaron Hoggard RBI to defeat SouthWest Edgecombe 10-9 and claim their first victory of the 2008 season.

“We battled back from a 7-0 deficit,” veteran BHS baseball boss Randy Whitaker said. “We were patient at the plate.”

The Cougars actually plated those even runs in the top of the first inning, to give them what would have seemed to be a comfortable advantage.

The Falcons began to scratch their way back into the game in the home half of the same inning, however, plating three runs to cut their deficit nearly in half.

Brent Bowen, P.J. Schwab and Jake Dunlow drew consecutive walks to load the bases for the Falcons. Kyle Hughes and Zeek Williams then drew a bases loaded walk to score the first run for the Falcons. O.J. Dobbin (a courtesy runner for Dunlow) scored on a wild pitch to trim the Bertie deficit to 7-3.

The Falcons then tied the game with four runs in the bottom of second stanza.

Bo Ledford reached on an error before Bowen singled on the infield and Schwab walked to load the bases.

Ledford scored on a wild pitch, but Ethan Boller drew a free pass to pack the sacks again.

Dunlow delivered an RBI-single to left before Charlie Castelloe and Travis Brady each drew bases-loaded walks to tie the game.

Bertie surged into the lead in the bottom of the third inning.

Boller and Dunlow drew back-to-back walks before Hughes had a single on the infield to load the bases. Williams drew another walk with the bases loaded as did Castelloe to give the Falcons a 9-7 advantage.

SouthWest tied the game in the top of the fourth frame with two runs.

Neither team was able to get another runner home until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Falcons scored the game-winner.

Ledford walked before Bowen reached on a fielder’s choice. After Schwab walked, both he and Bowen advanced don a wild pitch.

Hoggard then delivered a single to right to score the game-winning run.

Bertie had six hits in the game, but also used patience at the plate to draw 21 walks.

The Falcons used four pitchers: Williams, Dakota Young, Bryce Cullipher and Ledford, who went the final five innings for the win.

“I am happy for the team, but we are still leaving too many runners on base,” Whitaker said.

The Falcons (1-5) traveled to Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City last night (Friday). They will play at Pasquotank at 7 p.m. Tuesday.