Seven-run inning lifts Bears

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, March 14, 2012

AHOSKIE – Hertford County broke open a close game with seven runs in the home half of the fourth and topped Edenton 9-5 here Tuesday.

The win for the Bears was their fourth overall and gave them a 1-0 mark inside the Northeastern Coastal Conference.

HCHS started the scoring with a single run in the bottom of the first frame.

Marvin Harrell singled to right, stole second and scored on an Ackerman Grace RBI-single.

Edenton tied the game in the top of the third, but the Bears rallied for a run in the bottom of the same inning to retake the lead. That run came on a solo homer by Tyler Burden.

Still holding that one-run advantage, the Bears broke the game open in the fourth frame when they plated seven runs.

Ryan Weaver walked and Brock Merritt was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and then scored on a single by Eric Ortiz. The Aces, however, erased Ortiz at second.

Brandon Terry then drew a walk and Brandon Staton, who came in as a pinch runner, stole second. Burden and Harrell then drew back-to-back free passes to load the bases.

Grace delivered a two-run single to left before Tucker Warren drew a base on balls to reload the sacks. Harrell scored on a Weaver single and then Grace came home on an error during that play. Warren took third during the play and scored on a wild pitch to give the Bears a comfortable 9-1 lead after four frames.

Edenton rallied to score four runs in the sixth on an Austin Lilley two-run double and a Tyler Winslow two-run single as they closed the gap to four.

In the top of the seventh, the Aces drew a leadoff walk, but didn’t score.

Burden pitched five innings for the Bears allowing one run on one hit. He struck out 11 in the victory. Harrell tossed the final two innings, allowing four runs on three hits and striking out two.

Hertford County recorded seven hits led by Grace who had three hits and three RBIs.

“This is a great start for us in conference play,” Bears skipper Chris Towell said. “Tyler did a great job on the mound for us for five innings.

“We took advantage of their mistakes,” he added. “It was a total team effort.”

Burden agreed the team made the difference.

“The boys backed me up with good defense,” he said. “We got key hits when we needed them. Marvin came in and did a great job finishing the game. I felt like I could hit the spots.”

The Bears will be back in action today (Thursday) when they play at KIPP Pride at 4:30 p.m. They travel to Northeastern High School Friday for their second league game. First pitch for that contest is 7 p.m.