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Falcons prepare for playoffs

WINDSOR – Bertie High School is back.

The Falcons’ varsity baseball team is returning to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state baseball playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Bertie will host Wilson’s James B. Hunt High School tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. in the first round of the playoffs.

“They’re 15-9 and finished third in the Eastern Carolina Conference,” Bertie baseball boss Randy Whitaker said. “They are a good team and well-coached, but I believe we can win if we go out and play the way we’re capable of.”

The Falcons will start ace Brent Bowen (4-3) on the mound and will look to play solid defense behind him.

“We have to play defense,” Whitaker said. “That is the key for us. We have to hit a little better than we did last week also, but we definitely have to play defense.”

Whitaker said he had the opportunity to see Hunt play last week when they battled C.B. Aycock and felt they were similar to teams Bertie met during Northeastern Coastal Conference play.

“They’re a good mix of Northeastern and Currituck as far as what we’ve seen this year,” he said. “From watching them, they’re a lot like us. They’ll need to play defense as well.”

Whitaker also said he was hoping to have a good crowd at Bertie to support the Falcons during their first playoff appearance in nine years.

“Obviously, we would appreciate our fans and the community coming out to support us,” he said. “It’s always easier to play in front of a supportive home crowd.”

Those who are coming to the game will be asked to park in the student parking lot in front of Bertie High School due to maintenance work at the Falcons’ field house.

Admission for the game is $5. The only passes that will be accepted are North Carolina High School Athletic Association passes.