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Bears fall in opener

FARMVILLE – The Jaguars broke open a 5-all game with three runs in the bottom of the fourth frame and went on to beat Hertford County High School 13-8 Friday afternoon.

The Bears opened the scoring with two runs in the top half of the first frame.

Richard Burns had an infield single and advanced to second on an error. He went to third on a wild pitch. Edward Joyner plated Burns on an RBI-single and then scored himself when Brandon Warren had a double to right-center.

Farmville Central tied the game with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

The Bears again edged ahead in the top of the second stanza. Amard Nichols was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Daniel Merritt drew a walk to put runners at first and second.

On a Travis Ellis fielder’s choice, Nichols moved to third. Ellis stole second and, on the play, Nichols raced home. Ellis then scored when Burns reached on a two-base error. HCHS led 4-2.

Farmville bounced back with three runs in the home half of the inning and led 5-4, but Hertford County tied the game in the top of the fourth frame.

Merritt walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an Ellis RBI-single that made it 5-all.

The Jaguars took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs. They added two more in the fifth to go ahead 10-5.

Hertford County scored their final three runs in the top of the sixth inning.

Ellis and Joyner had back-to-back singles and both advanced on a wild pitch. With two out, Warren walked to load the bases.

Mitchell Goodwin then laced a three-run double to right-center field. Donavan Vinson walked, but a strikeout ended the inning with the Bears trailing 10-8.

Farmville added three in the bottom of the sixth to establish the final score.

Joyner led the Bears with three of the team’s 10 hits. Ellis, Warren and Godwin added two each.

Warren tossed five innings for the Bears. He struck out seven. Tyler Pryor tossed the final two.

“We played hard and didn’t quite,” HCHS skipper Chris Towell said. “We battled back every inning. We hit the ball well, but didn’t get a timely hit.

“A play here or there and it could have been a different game,” he added. “It was our first game and we will look to improve.”