Bertie claims third

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ROANOKE – Bertie High School doubled their win total for the season in three games of the Big Southeastern Tournament.

The Falcons’ baseball team defeated Jamesville and Roanoke to finish third in the tourney after losing to First Flight, the top-ranked 2-A team in North Carolina.

“I think Saturday proved to our guys we can play with anybody if we come out and play,” Bertie baseball boss Randy Whitaker said.

The Falcons defeated Jamesville 4-2 after rallying for two runs in the fifth inning.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the fifth, Bertie got back-to-back singles from Charlie Castelloe and Travis Brady. Castelloe was erased at third on a fielder’s choice, but Brady scored on an O.J. Dobbin RBI-single.

Aaron Hoggard then gave the Falcons the lead with an RBI-single of his own, putting Bertie ahead 3-2.

Kyle Hughes added an insurance urn with a solo homerun in the sixth stanza that established the 4-2 final.

Bertie had scored in the top of the first when Dobbin singled, went to third on a Bowen base hit and scored when P.J. Schwab reached on a fielder’s choice.

Bowen tossed all seven innings on the mound for Bertie, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out 10 and walking just one.

Dobbin led the Falcons offensively with a 4-for-4 day that included a run scored and an RBI. Bowen was 3-for-4 for the afternoon while Hughes was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Castelloe was 2-for-3.

Hoggard was 1-for-4 for the Falcons with an RBI and Brady was 1-for-3.

“We were pleased to come away with a win on Saturday against a good Jamesville team,” Whitaker said. “We knew it meant facing First Flight again, but we gave them everything they wanted and made the play a whole game.”

Bertie advanced to the second round where they met First Flight for the second time after losing 13-0 in their first encounter. This time the Falcons were close (7-5) after four and a half innings, but let the game slip away as the Nighthawks won 12-6.

Hoggard had an excellent afternoon at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run scored and a homerun. Bryce Cullipher was also solid at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored, 3 RBIs and a homerun. Dobbin was 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI while Ethan Boller checked in at 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Hughes and Bowen were each 1-for-4.

Bo Ledford suffered the pitching loss, giving up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits. He walked two. Dakota Young pitched one inning, surrendering four runs on five hits. Cullipher pitched one inning, allowing no runs on one hit.

The Falcons bounced back Tuesday, getting a no-hitter from Jake Dunlow as they blanked Roanoke 10-0.

“I’m really pleased with the win,” Whitaker said. “We came out and picked up three quick runs, but then went through the motions for a little bit. After that, we came back and got it going again.

“Jake gave us a great performance on the mound,” he added. Bo did a good job behind the plate.”

Dunlow went all six innings, allowing no hits and just three walks while striking out 11.

Ledford and Bowen were each 2-for-4 offensively. Ledford had two RBIs and a run scored while Bowen had one RBI and a run scored.

Dobbin, Hughes, Cullipher, Brady, Boller and Cody White had one hit each.

“Hopefully going 2-1 in the tournament will give us some momentum as we head back into conference play,” Whitaker said.

The Falcons will take the rest of the week off before traveling to Edenton Tuesday night at 7 p.m.