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Terriers can earn share of BRD title with a win Friday

Seth Hodges fires across the diamond for an out.
PHOTO BY BILLY POWELL
Byrd senior Josh Hilliard pitches against Hidden Valley Saturday.
PHOTO BY BILLY POWELL

The William Byrd baseball team can tie for the Blue Ridge District regular season title with a win over Staunton River at Walthall Park Friday night.

Byrd can tie for the title, but they can’t win it outright. The Terriers, Lord Botetourt and Northside all have two district losses heading into Friday night. Since LB plays at Northside, one of the two will win. So, if Byrd can beat Staunton River the Terriers will tie the LB-Northside winner for the regular season crown.

If that happens, the LB-Northside winner would be the top seed for the Blue Ridge District Tournament. The BRD tournament will have a play-in game next Tuesday, with the semifinals and finals at William Byrd on May 17 and 18.

Byrd would like to have some momentum going into the tournament and a win over Staunton River on Friday would go a long way. A nice crowd is anticipated as it will be a jayvee-varsity doubleheader against a neighboring rival. The jayvee game will start at 4:30 pm with the varsity to follow.

Tonight is also “Senior Night” and “Rec Night.” Seniors Josh Hilliard, Caleb Carawan, Bryce Mullen and Bryce Ellis will be honored prior to the game, and all boys in a rec. shirt will be admitted for free.

The Terriers come into the game with a chance to finish the regular season at .500 after an 0-4 start. Byrd is 9-10 after winning at William Fleming Tuesday, 18-1. The Terriers had 15 hits in the game, including four triples. Dylan Hatfield, Tyler Dean, Hunter Meador and Mullen all tripled.

“Hatfield tripled in the first inning and I congratulated him on being the team leader in triples,” said coach Neil Zimmerman. “By the end of the game it was a four-way tie. All four were missles.”

Hatfield, Mullen, Ellis Ethan Spraker and Seth Hodges had two hits each for the Terriers and Hodges and Hatfield had three runs batted in each. Logan Baker pitched the first three innings for the win and Bryce Boothe pitched the final two. Boothe, who missed most of the season with a shoulder injury, threw pain free.

“He looked good,” said Zimmerman. “He struck out four in two innings.”

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Byrdmen, who dropped home games on consecutive days last weekend. Byrd lost to Franklin County, 6-2, on Friday and then fell to Hidden Valley, 8-1, on Saturday afternoon. Zimmerman used four pitchers in both games as the bats went silent. Both Friday runs came on fielders’ choices and the Terriers had just three hits against Hidden Valley.

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