By Sports editor Brian Hoffman
The high school baseball season finally opened for William Byrd last Friday and the Terriers had mixed results in their first two games. After shutting out Franklin County in Rocky Mount last Friday, 2-0, the Terriers were stunned in a 14-3 loss at Lord Botetourt on Tuesday.
Last Friday’s game was the first in nearly two years for Byrd baseball due to the coronavirus pandemic. They made it a memorable one on what should have been a combined no-hitter for seniors Isaac Fix and Luke Taylor. The only hit by the host Eagles came on a play that Byrd observers thought should have been ruled an error.
“It was a misplayed ball that should have been an out,” said Byrd coach Neil Zimmerman. “But they’re the home team, so their book is what counts.”
Fix started and pitched the first four innings before Taylor relieved. While the Eagles had trouble getting hits they had no lack of baserunners as Fix walked four, Taylor walked six and a Franklin batter also reached on catcher’s interference.
Byrd scored an unearned run after a dropped fly ball in the first inning, but it was still 1-0 through six frames and anyone’s game. The Terriers scored their second run, also unearned, in the top of the seventh and Taylor was able to close it out for a save with Fix getting the win. Byrd had five hits, two by Joey Johnson and one each by Taylor, Fix and Tyler Martin.
On Tuesday the Byrdmen were in Daleville for a match-up of two of the best teams in the Blue Ridge District. Byrd got off to a great start with three first inning runs, but after that the bats went silent and LB pounded three Terrier pitchers for three runs in the bottom of the first inning, three in the second and four runs each in the third and fourth before the game was ended by slaughter rule.
“We couldn’t throw our breaking ball for strikes,” said Zimmerman. “When we couldn’t command the curve we had to go to the fastball, and they don’t miss barrels.”
LB had two three run homers, one each by Carson Peggins and Conner Fuhrman. Byrd had six hits, including two by Seth Hodges, but the majority came in the first inning. Martin had a two-run single and Fix drove in the other run.
Hunter Sipe started and took the loss, and he was followed to the mound by Hodges and Martin with no more success.
Now 1-1, the Terriers will host William Fleming in a varsity doubleheader on Friday. It will be the home opener at Walthall Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 5:30 pm. Both games will be five inning affairs.
Next Tuesday, May 18, the Terriers are at Northside.