Byrdmen struggle at the plate in loss to Staunton River

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Mitch Lyle takes a rip Thursday night. PHOTO BY BRIAN HOFFMAN

The William Byrd baseball team will play host to Northside Friday night in a key Blue Ridge District game. Byrd can use some wins after opening the season 1-4.

The Terriers were scheduled to play at William Fleming Wednesday, but results were too late for publication. That game was moved from Tuesday due to a wet field at Fleming.

Last week the Terriers moved their home game from Friday to Thursday with rain in the forecast, and Byrd dropped a 7-1 decision to neighboring Staunton River under the lights. Byrd scored a first inning run to take a 1-0 lead but that was all they could muster against Eagle hurler Nathan Cutler.

“He had the most velocity of anyone we faced this year,” said Byrd coach Neil Zimmerman.

Byrd opened the bottom of the first with a leadoff double by Jay Trail, who then moved to third on an infield hit by Grant Watson. Trail scored on Macon Hale’s fielders’ choice but the Terriers had just one hit after that, a chop single over the thirdbaseman’s head by Gehrig Spradlin.

Spradlin started on the mound for Byrd and hung tough through four innings before the Eagles put three on the board in the fifth. Bryce Boothe relieved in the fifth and gave up three more before Adam North pitched a scoreless seventh.

“When you only score one run you don’t have much margin for error,” said Zimmerman. “It you’re scoring runs you can get by with a couple mistakes, but when you don’t score you have to play an almost perfect game.”

Spradlin will start again on Friday against Northside. Next week Byrd will be at Alleghany on Tuesday and at Franklin County on Friday. Spring break follows, but the Terriers will play Hidden Valley on back-to-back days, at home on Friday, April 21, and at Hidden Valley on Saturday afternoon, April 22.