North Pitt’s sixth-inning rally downs Bertie

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, March 13, 2018

BETHEL – North Pitt High School rallied with four runs in the sixth inning and went on to down Bertie 8-5 here Thursday, sending the Falcons to their second loss in a row on the young season.

The battery of Scoop Hoggard pitching and Alden Cottle as his backstop combined for five hits over five innings before giving way to the Falcons bullpen that failed to hold the lead.

Cottle and Caleb Damo went 2-for-4 for Bertie with Cottle driving in a pair of runs. Trenton White, Hoggard, and Jarrett Burden got the Falcons’ other hits.

“I thought Scoop was outstanding on the mound and Alden did a really nice job behind the plate,” said Bertie coach Bobby Harmon. “Offensively we did enough to win the game but our defense let us down again.  North Pitt did a really good job of capitalizing on our errors.”

Bertie struck first, scoring when White reached on an error, stole second, and scored on Cottle’s one-out double to deep left field. Bertie led 1-0 after a half inning.

The Falcons tacked on two more in the top of the third.  White again reached on an error and scored all the way from first base on an RBI single by Cottle. Bertie’s other run, also unearned, came on Burden’s RBI single to right field.  The Falcons were in command with a 3-0 lead after two-and-a-half.

North Pitt got on the scoreboard with a single run in the bottom of the third, then went ahead 4-3 in the fifth when two runs scored on a base hit, and the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

But Bertie struck back to re-take the lead in the top of the sixth.  Nate Cheeseboro reached on an error, and then scored when White legged out a triple down the left field line all the way into the corner. White put the Falcons back in the lead when he scored as Jared Speight reached on an error.  It was now 5-4 Bertie after five-and-a-half innings of baseball.

Harmon then went to the pen in the bottom of the sixth.  The Falcons got the first two outs, then surrendered four runs on three hits and an error.  Bertie then went down in order in the top of the seventh.

“We have to find a way to win these close games instead of finding ways to lose them,” sighed Harmon.

Bertie (1-3) is back in Pitt County at Ayden-Grifton tomorrow (Wed) before back-to-back home dates in Windsor with first Gates County, then Northside-Pinetown on Thursday and Friday, respectively.