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Bears edge Nash Central

ROCKY MOUNT – Grayson Toms came through with the heroics.

Toms delivered a two-out, two-run single in the top of the eighth as Hertford County High School edged Nash Central 8-7 Thursday night.

With two out in the top of the eighth, Mitchell Godwin and Pryor drew back-to-back walks. Monterio Hunter singled on the infield to load the bases and set the stage for Toms, who singled to score two runs.

Nash Central scored one run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Bears held on for the win.

“We got a great pitching effort from Tyler Pryor,” HCHS Head Coach Chris Towell said. “It was a sloppy field, but we played a great game for the conditions.

“We are headed in the right direction,” he added. “We hope to keep our momentum going this week.”

The Bears opened the scoring in the game with one run in the top of the second inning.

Godwin reached on an error, Pryor singled and Toms walked to load the bases. Travis Ellis was hit by a pitch to force in a run as the Bears edged ahead 1-0.

Nash responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game, but HCHS scored again in the top of the third.

Daniel Merritt reached on an error, Brandon Warren walked and Godwin singled to fill the sacks with Bears. Merritt raced home on a wild pitch to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth inning, Hertford County added three more runs.

Toms and Ellis had back-to-back singles and Richard Burns reached on an error as the Bears again loaded the bases. Toms and Ellis scored on a Merritt two-run single and then Burns scored on an Edward Joyner fielder’s choice as HCHS claimed a 5-1 lead.

Nash Central stayed close, however, as they scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to close the gap to 5-3.

In the top of the seventh, the Bears added another run. Hunter walked, stole second and scored on a Toms RBI-single as the Bears grabbed a 6-3 lead.

The game wasn’t over, however, as Nash Central sent three markers across the plate in the home half of the seventh to force extra frames.

Pryor pitched six innings for the win. Warren pitched one inning and Ellis pitched an inning for the save.

Overall, Hertford County collected 10 hits, led by Toms who was a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Ellis was 2-for-5 with one RBI and one stolen base.

The win evened the Bears’ overall record at 4-4. They will host Pasquotank County High School at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) and will then welcome Farmville at 5 p.m. Wednesday.