Bears rebound, batter Panthers

Published 8:42 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

AHOSKIE – Eric Ortiz pitched five strong innings and the Bears pounded out a dozen hits as Hertford County broke a two-game conference losing streak and beat Pasquotank 7-2 in a Northeastern Coastal Conference baseball game here Tuesday night.

Following a scoreless first inning, Hertford County escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second inning before the Bears went to work putting three runs on the scoreboard.

Austin Hurdle opened with an infield single and advanced to second on an error on the play. Hurdle went to third when Ackerman Grace beat out a dropped third strike.  With runners on the corners Bears coach Chris Towell then called for the double-steal.  Grace was thrown out at second, but Hurdle scored with Hertford County’s first run of the game. Dylan Waterfield followed with an infield single and scored on a J.J. Gatling RBI double to right.  Gatling would come home on Ortiz’ run-scoring single, also to right field, and that made the score 3-0, Hertford County, after two innings of play.

Pasquotank got on the board in the top of the third on a David Henne RBI double.

The Bears answered back with four runs in the bottom of the inning.  Ryan Weaver doubled to left and went to third on a wild pitch.  Grace drew a base-on-balls and stole second to put both runners in scoring position.  Tyler Pope then walked to load the bases and the bases were cleared two pitches later on a Waterfield three-run triple into the gap in right centerfield.  Waterfield later scored the fourth run of the inning on a wild pitch for a 7-1 Bear lead after three.

Pasquotank got its final run of the night in the top of the fifth inning to trim the margin to five on a Henne RBI single.   The Panthers’ last gasp came with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh with two out, but a groundout ended the game.

Ortiz pitched five innings for the win allowing two runs on nine hits with four strikeouts.  Chris Adams pitched the final two scoreless innings giving up a hit and posting three strikeouts.

The Bears had 12 hits and were led by Waterfield who was 3-for-3 with 3 runs-batted-in.  Ortiz had two hits and one RBI.  Weaver had two hits while Gatling had a hit and an RBI.  Bryan Merritt, Brandon Terry, Hurdle and Grace had one hit apiece.

“Eric and Chris both did a good job for us,” said Towell.  “They threw strikes and came through for us tonight.  The defense made plays behind them and we hit the ball well and had the kind of effort we needed to have.”

Hertford County raises its record to 8-3 and an even 3-3 in league play.  After a non-conference game played Wednesday night against Lawrence Academy, the Bears will travel to First Flight for another league contest Friday night at 7  p.m.