Hunter Sipe worked out of a seventh inning jam as the William Byrd baseball team held on to beat Lord Botetourt Tuesday. The Terriers took a 5-3 win over the Cavs in Vinton.
This was a tight game between two arch-rivals. LB led 2-1 when Byrd put a four-spot on the board in the bottom of the fifth. The Terriers loaded the bases with Evan Mullen at the plate, and he drilled a clean single to center. However, the ball was misplayed in center and rolled almost to the wall as three Terriers steamed around the bases to score.
Byrd held a 5-2 lead into the seventh with the bottom of the Cavalier order coming to bat, but the visitors were able to put runners on the corners with one out. A sacrifice fly made it 5-3 with Botetourt’s dangerous top of the order coming to bat with two outs. Leadoff man Nate Prince drilled a sinking liner to left that Byrd leftfielder Israel Hairston snagged knee-high to end the game.
Sipe went the distance on the mound, allowing just one earned run. He allowed six hits but didn’t walk a single batter.
“Lord Botetourt doesn’t strike out much,” said Byrd coach Jason Taylor. “Our plan was to pitch to contact and hope they didn’t hit it hard.”
Byrd catcher James Purcell continued his red hot start to the season with a home run to deep left center and a sacrifice fly that was caught a step in front of the fence. Through six games James is 13 for 23 at the plate for a .565 batting average and seven runs batted in. In addition to the home run the junior catcher also has three doubles.
Last Friday at Staunton River Byrd was leading 5-0 in the top of the third when the rains came, halting the game at that point. It will be picked up at that point when a date for the makeup game is decided.
This weekend the Terriers will be competing in a two-day baseball invitational in Kingsport, Tennessee. On Friday at 5:30 pm Byrd will take on Morristown East High School and on Saturday at noon the Terriers will take on Tennessee High. Both games will be played at Hunter Wright Stadium, the home of the minor league Kingsport Mets.
The Terriers will be back home next Wednesday, April 20, to host Bassett.