Bertie edges HCHS
AHOSKIE – Brent Bowen and Bo Ledford combined to pitch a four-hitter Friday as Bertie High School edged rival Hertford County 6-4.
The Falcons opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning.
Sophomore Zeek Williams singled on the infield, went to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on an Ethan Boller bunt single. O.J. Dobbin plated Williams on a sacrifice fly which also advanced Boller to second. After taking third on a wild pitch, Boller scored on a Bowen sacrifice fly.
The Falcons added another mark in the top of the fourth frame. Ledford doubled to left and scored on a Charlie Castelloe RBI-single to right.
HCHS responded in the home half of the fourth. Richard Burns had a bunt single and went to second on an Edward Joyner groundout. He scored on a Tyler Pryor RBI-single to right, trimming the Bertie lead to 3-1.
The Falcons added a run in the fifth inning. Bowen singled to right to start the inning. Aaron Hoggard then laced an RBI-double to left which scored Dakota Young, a courtesy runner for Bowen.
Hertford County again answered, scoring a run in the home half of the inning. After Kirk Davenport drew a walk, his courtesy runner, Justin Pritchard, stole second. Burns’ single sent Pritchard to third and the latter scored when Joyner reached on an error, leaving Bertie ahead 4-2.
The Falcons continued adding runs one at the time, getting another across the plate in the sixth.
Bryce Cullipher reached on an error, stole second and scored when Dobbin got aboard on a two-base error, giving Bertie a 5-2 edge.
The Bears came back with two runs of their own in the sixth stanza.
Corey Saunders drew a walk and Brandon Warren followed with an infield single. Both runners advanced on a Grayson Toms groundout and then scored when Davenport reached on an error, leaving the Falcons ahead 5-4.
Bertie got another run in the seventh when Hoggard delivered a one-run shot over the left field wall.
The Bears went down in order in the seventh, allowing Bertie to claim the 6-4 win.
Bowen tossed five innings for the win and save. He tossed the first four, gave way to Ledford for two innings and then came back to close out the game in the seventh. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out six. Ledford pitched two innings. Warren went all seven for the Bears.
Bertie beat out 12 hits for the evening. Bowen, Hoggard, Castelloe and P.J. Schwab each had two hits. Burns led the Bears with two hits.
“We are thankful to come away with a win,” Falcon mentor Randy Whitaker said. “We knew it was going to be a battle.
“Brent pitched a great game,” he added. “This will give us momentum for the state playoffs which we will have this week to prepare for.”
HCHS baseball boss Chris Towell said, “They made the plays when they needed to. We were going against one of the best pitchers in the conference.
“We are young,” he added. “We lose just one senior (Corey Saunders), so we have a lot to look forward to.”
Bertie finished the regular season 8-15 overall and 4-8 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference. They will host James B. Hunt High School at 7 p.m. Friday in the first round of the 3-A playoffs.
The Bears finish the 2008 campaign 3-17 overall and 0-12 in the league.