By Sports Editor Brian Hoffman
The William Byrd baseball team won three games in seven days as the season heads down the stretch, and it’s a good time to get hot.
Byrd is in the mix for one of the 10 playoff spots in Region 3D. As of this week the third through 12th spots are very close, and two of those teams aren’t going to make it. Byrd could finish anywhere from third to 12th depending on how they do the rest of the regular season.
The Terriers have two more big games this week, as they were scheduled to host Hidden Valley on Wednesday and tonight, Thursday, Lord Botetourt will be in Vinton for a 5:30 pm game. The LB game was originally scheduled for Friday but moved up a day due to the threat of inclement weather.
After opening the season 3-6 the Terriers have battled back to .500 at 6-6. That streak started last Wednesday with a 7-3 win over Staunton River in a game that had been delayed by lightning the previous Friday. The game was resumed in the third inning with the score tied at 1-1 and Brogan Dent on the mound for Byrd. The sophomore lefty allowed just two more runs as Byrd rallied for a big win. Keller Spraker and Noah Thompson had three hits each and James Purcell had two and drove in two runs.
On Friday the Terriers played at Northside and came from behind for a 7-5 win. The Vikings touched Cooper Minnix for three first inning runs to take an early lead before Byrd rallied with a run in the third and four in the fourth to go up 5-3. They put two insurance runs on the board in the top of the sixth when Kam McKee homered over the fence and Jerrett Shepherd drilled a pinch-hit inside-the-park home run to the spacious centerfield area at Northside. Those runs proved to be big when the Vikings scored two in the bottom of the inning.
Blake Glover picked up the win in relief for Byrd. He went five and two-thirds innings and struck out four. In addition to the two homers Purcell had two more hits and Evan Mullen drove in two runs.
On Tuesday of this week the Terriers played host to William Fleming, which is all but a sure win. This time was no exception as Byrd won 16-0 in five innings. The Terriers scored six runs in the first inning after a dropped pop up would have ended the inning. They scored eight in the fourth to put it away.
Ethan Powell and Israel Hairston combined to no-hit the Colonels. Powell struck out 11 in four innings and Hairston struck out the side in the fifth as 14 of Fleming’s 15 outs came by strikeout.
Everyone on the Byrd team got in the game, including two boys called up from the jayvee team. Mullen drove in three when he tripled with the bases loaded in the first inning and 11 different Terriers had hits.
The rest of the week won’t be as easy, as the Terriers hope to turn things around against two teams that beat them on the road by one run. They lost to Hidden Valley, 10-9, and LB, 1-0, and if Byrd can beat those two at home this week it will go a long way toward their playoff hopes.