Bears drop third straight

Published 12:25 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

AHOSKIE – Hertford County suffered its third straight baseball loss here Tuesday.

The Bears surrendered eight runs in the first inning and fell to First Flight High School 12-8.

The loss came despite a valiant comeback effort and a strong relief pitching performance from Tyler Pryor, who tossed the final three and two-thirds innings allowing no runs, no hits and striking out eight.

Following the First Flight outburst in the top of the first frame, Hertford County plated three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.

Tyler Burden started the inning with a single to left. He then stole second and third before Daniel Merritt was hit by a pitch. Brandon Warren came to the plate and hit a three-run homer to center, his sixth of the season. That closed the gap to 8-3.

The Nighthawks then added three more runs in the top of the third inning to surge ahead 11-3.

The Bears bounced back with two runs of their own in the home half of the third.

Merritt walked before Warren singled to center. Tucker Warren then reached on a fielder’s choice which erased Brandon Warren at second. Merritt scored on a Pryor RBI-single to left and Tucker Warren came around on a Bobby Merritt double to left-centerfield.

A strikeout ended the inning with Pryor on third, but the Bears were within 11-5.

The final run of the game for the visitors came in the top of the fourth when they took a 12-5 advantage.

In the bottom of the fourth frame, the Bears added another run.

Marvin Harrell doubled to left and moved to third on a groundout. After Brandon Warren walked, Harrell scored on a double steal to cut the lead to 12-6.

Hertford County came up with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth frame.

Tucker Warren was hit by a pitch before Pryor doubled to center. Warren and pinch runner Ryan Weaver both scored on a Bobby Merritt triple, but Merritt was thrown out at home on the play, leaving the Bears trailing 12-8.

In the bottom of the sixth, Burden had a bunt single and Harrell reached on an error with no outs. Burden was thrown out trying to steal third and then a pop out and a strikeout ended the threat.

Harrell pitched two and one-third innings and suffered the loss for the Bears. Burden tossed one inning and then Pryor closed out the game.

HCHS had 11 hits led by Bobby Merritt’s three hits that included three RBIs. Pryor added two hits and one RBI. Brandon Warren had two hits and three RBIs and Burden added two hits.

The  Hertford County offense was rounded out with a hit each from Brandon Staton and Harrell.

Hertford County dropped to 6-3 overall and 0-3 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference with the loss. Their next outing will be Tuesday when they travel to Pasquotank County High School. First pitch is 7 p.m.