Bears beat First Flight

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, April 27, 2010

AHOSKIE – Hertford County broke open a tie game with four runs in the bottom of the fourth as they knocked off First Flight High School 9-7 here Tuesday night.

The four-run explosion helped the Bears improve to 6-2 in Northeastern Coastal Conference play.

First Flight opened the scoring with a single mark in the top of the first frame thanks to a Jordan Rhodes RBI-single.

The Bears responded with two in the home half of the first inning.

Tyler Burden walked and stole second before coming around to score on a Daniel Merritt RBI-double to right. Merritt went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Tyler Pryor RBI-fielder’s choice to give HCHS a 2-1 lead.

The Nighthawks plated two runs in the second on a two-run double by Brian Wooldridge and led 3-2 heading into the third. They added another pair in the third thanks to a Corey Byrum RBI-fielder’s choice and a Rhodes RBI-single as they took a 5-2 lead.

Hertford County, however, roared back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the third.

Merritt singled to right before Brandon Warren reached on a fielder’s choice. Pryor singled to left and then Mitchell Godwin walked to load the bases. Warren scored when Bobby Merritt was hit by a pitch for an RBI. Courtesy runner Brandon Nichols then scored on a Tucker Warren RBI-single to right. Godwin scored when Burden drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 5-all.

The Bears took the lead for good with four runs in the bottom of the fourth frame.

Daniel Merritt and Pryor drew back-to-back walks and both advanced on a wild pitch. Merritt scored on a Godwin sacrifice fly and Nichols, again serving as a courtesy runner, went to third. Bobby Merritt then singled.

Tucker Warren hit a three-run homerun to left field to give Hertford County a 9-5 advantage.

The Nighthawks plated their final two marks in the sixth inning thanks to an HCHS error.

In the top of the seventh stanza, First Flight had a runner on second with one out, but two strikeouts ended the game.

Pryor pitched four and one-third innings for the Bears, picking up the win while allowing six runs on 10 hits. He struck out three as he raised his record to 5-2.

Brandon Warren tossed the final two and two-thirds of an inning for his second save of the season. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out four.

Hertford County had nine hits, led by Tucker Warren’s three hits and four RBIs. Daniel Merritt and Pryor had two hits each.

“The bottom of our lineup really came through for us tonight,” said HCHS Head Coach Chris Towell. “Our goal was for Tyler Pryor to give us four and one-third innings and he did. Brandon Warren came in as a reliever and was his usual self. I was proud of our effort tonight.”

Hertford County improved to 13-5 overall and will remain in conference play as they host Northeastern Friday at 7 p.m.