Dual no-hitter propels Bears

Published 11:27 am Friday, May 4, 2012

WINDSOR – Tyler Burden and Tucker Warren combined to pitch a no-hitter Thursday.

That dual effort led the Bears of Hertford County High School to a 13-1 Northeastern Coastal Conference victory over rival Bertie High.

The Bears opened the scoring with a single run in the top of the first frame.

Burden walked, stole second and went to third on a balk. He came around to score on an Eric Ortiz sacrifice fly.

Bertie answered in the home half of the same inning.

Javier Pagola reached on an error, but was erased at second when Alex Harmon hit into a fielder’s choice. Harmon moved to second on an Adam Cowand groundout and to third on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch sent Harmon home and left the game tied at 1-all.

That tie lasted until the third inning when the Bears plated four runs.

Burden and Ortiz each drew a walk and then pulled a double steal to put runners on second and third. Burden came home on a Warren RBI-single to left. Warren then stole second, and on the throw, Ortiz was able to steal home.

Warren scored on a Brock Merritt RBI-single to right. Darius Macklin was then hit by a pitch. On a Jahleel Fleetwood infield single, Brock Merritt scored on an error to make it 5-1.

HCHS added two more in the top of the fourth frame.

Burden drew a walk and then Brandon Terry was hit by a pitch. Bryan Merritt, a courtesy runner for Terry, and Burden advanced on a  groundout. Burden then scored on a Ryan Weaver RBI-single and Bryan Merritt raced home on a Brock Merritt RBI-single.

The result was a 7-1 lead for the Bears.

Hertford County’s final six runs came in the top of the fifth frame.

With two out, Burden singled to center and stole second. Burden then scored on an Ortiz RBI-single to left. Ortiz came home on a Terry RBI-single to left. Bryan Merritt, again a courtesy runner, went to second when Warren was hit by a pitch.

Weaver then had an infield single to load the bases. Brock Merritt then delivered a two-run single to right. He and Weaver advanced on the throw home and then both scored on a Clay Barmer two-run single that made it 13-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Pagola again reached on an error, but a groundout ended the game.

Burden pitched four innings for the Bears, allowing one run and no hits while striking out seven. Warren tossed the final inning, allowing no runs and no hits.

The Bears have 11 hits and are led by Brock Merritt’s three hits and four RBIs. Weaver had two hits. Burden had one hit, but scored four times.

“We played really well this week with three wins,” HCHS baseball boss Chris Towell said. “Tyler pitched a great game for us. A couple of guys got key hits with two out. The whole team played hard tonight.”

Bertie High School baseball coach Randy Whitaker said his team improved during the year.

“I am proud of the way Alex Harmon pitched,” he said. “We didn’t get a lot of wins this year, but we showed improvement from the beginning of the season to the end. The team gained a lot of experience.”

Bertie finished the season 2-20 and 1-11 in the league.

Hertford County winds up the regular season at 15-5 overall and 9-3. They also earned a North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoff berth. The playoffs will begin May 11.