Before last week, William Byrd baseball coach Neil Zimmerman had never won a game at Staunton River High School. That’s now a thing of the past, as the Terriers beat the Golden Eagles 5-1 in Moneta last Friday.
“We didn’t play them when I was in school, and for the last for or five years they’ve had our number,” said Zimmerman. “When we had that 18-7 team they beat us three times.”
Staunton River had to be considered the favorite to win last week. The Eagles came in at 8-2 while Byrd was 5-7. Staunton River is tough to beat on their home field and a large crowd turned out, as usual, on a beautiful night for baseball.
“They’re tough to beat at home, and they always want to beat us,” said Zimmerman. “It’s a good rivalry.”
Byrd jumped on top with two runs in the top of the first inning and it could have been more as the Terriers loaded the bases with one out. Staunton River got one back on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning, but that was the only run the Eagles would score.
Freshman lefty Isaac Fix held River to one hit over five innings while striking out five. Then Tyler Dean came on to pitch two no-hit innings to seal the deal. While River only had one hit, Fix and Dean flirted with danger all night as they combined to walk 10, seven by Fix and three by Dean.
“You could say they scattered 10 walks,” said Zimmerman.
The Terriers put two more runs on the board in the third, then added an insurance run in the sixth. Jacob Johnson had two runs batted in, Dean had two hits and scored twice and Seth Hodges and Hunter Meador also drove in runs. Meader had a first inning double.
“I thought we were in control the whole game,” said Zimmerman.
With the win Byrd improves to one game below .500 at 6-7. The Terriers are 6-3 in their last nine games and 2-1 in Blue Ridge District games. They’ll play three more district games in the next six days, weather permitting.
Byrd was rained out of a home game with Lord Botetourt on Tuesday, and that will be made up today at Walthall Park if the sun shines and the field is dry. On Friday Byrd is at Northside and next Tuesday, May 1, the Vikings return the trip to Vinton.