Hunter single lifts HCHS

Published 3:03 pm Thursday, April 16, 2009

JAMESVILLE – Longtime rivals locked horns in a semifinal battle here Monday night.

Hertford County High School edged archrival Bertie 4-3 to earn a berth in the finals of the Jamesville High School Eastern Tournament.

Monterio Hunter was the hero for the Bears, delivering the game-winner with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs.

With the game tied at three, Brandon Warren reached on an error in the bottom of the seventh. With two out, Warren advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then scored when Hunter pulled an outside pitch between short and third for an RBI-single.

Tyler Pryor pitched six innings for the Bears and allowed just three runs on four hits while striking out eight. Travis Ellis picked up the win by pitching the final inning, allowing no hits and no runs.

Bertie’s Dakota Young was nearly as good, allowing only five hits and four runs in six-and-two-thirds. He struck out 11.

“Both Tyler and Dakota did a great job on the mound,” said HCHS baseball boss Chris Towell. “They matched pitch for pitch. It was a great game all-around.

“You wouldn’t expect anything less from a Hertford County-Bertie game,” he said. “We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Monterio had a huge hit for us.”

The Falcons opened the scoring in the top of the first inning.

Young singled to right and stole second before scoring on an error on the play to give Bertie a 1-0 advantage.

In the top of the third with two out, Young singled to left and stole second. He went to third on a Kyle Hughes infield single. On an attempted double steal, Young was thrown out at the plate to end the threat.

In the bottom of the inning, the Bears scored a pair of runs. Ellis walked and went to second on a balk. He scored on a Richard Burns RBI-single to center. Burns then went to second on the throw home. He advanced to third on an Edward Joyner groundout and scored on a wild pitch to give HCHS a 2-1 lead.

The Falcons reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth frame.

Zeek Williams walked for Bertie and went to second on a wild pitch. Williams came around to score on a Bryce Cullipher RBI-single to left. Cullipher advanced to second on the throw home and then took third on an error. He scored on an RBI-groundout by Young to give Bertie a 3-2 lead.

Hertford County tied the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Ellis reached on an error and stole second before going to third on a sacrifice fly by Burns. Ellis scored on a Joyner sacrifice fly to leave the game knotted at three-all.

The Bears threatened in the bottom of the sixth stanza.

With two out, Grayson Toms drew a walk, Ellis was hit by a pitch and Burns received a base on balls to load the bases. A groundout ended the inning with the game still tied.

Hertford County had five hits, led by Hunter’s two singles. Joyner, Warren and Burns had a hit each. Bertie had four hits with Young recording two of them. Hughes and Cullipher had one hit each.

“We played hard,” said veteran Falcons’ skipper Randy Whitaker. “We didn’t execute in a couple of situation or it would have been a different game.

“It was a lot different from our last game against them (a 17-7HCHS win),” he added. “Dakota pitched a great game for us.”

Hertford County improved to 9-7 overall and was to meet First Flight in the championship game Wednesday at 7 p.m. Bertie dropped to 3-11.