Byrd comes from behind three times to even season series with Spartans

Ethan Spraker rips one of his three hits against the Spartans. photo by Brian Hoffman

The William Byrd baseball team will be back in action this weekend after going eight days without a game. Byrd hasn’t played since beating Salem last Wednesday, March 27.

Isaac Fix kicks and fires in last week’s game with Salem.

The Terriers will be in Roanoke City to take on William Fleming in a Friday night game. Then, on Saturday, Byrd will be at Hidden Valley for a jayvee-varsity doubleheader with the jayvees at noon and the varsity to follow. Luke Taylor is scheduled to start on the mound against Fleming and Bryce Boothe is in line to start Saturday’s varsity game.
The Terriers are 3-2 after the win over Salem. Byrd came from behind three times for an 8-6 win over the Spartans at Walthall Park, splitting the season series with the defending Class 4 champion Spartans. It was a big win for Byrd a week after losing to the Spartans at Kiwanis Field.
“I thought we showed a lot of toughness, battling back several times,” said Byrd coach Neil Zimmerman. “I wasn’t real happy after the game because I didn’t think we played all that well, but once I thought about it I was pleased that we bounced back like that. It was really pretty awesome.”
Byrd trailed 1-0 after one inning, 3-1 after two and a half and 6-3 into the bottom of the fourth. However, they cut the lead to 6-4 in the fourth, then put three runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Isaac Fix doubled, Jacob Johnson had a big single and Salem committed two costly errors.
Ethan Spraker led Byrd’s offense with three hits. He just missed the cycle with a single, double and tripe after Zimmerman moved him to the top of the order.
“Ethan had been hitting ninth, and I saw him as a second leadoff man at that spot,” said Zimmerman. “I decided to shake up the lineup and moved him to the leadoff spot. He’s seeing the ball well right now.”
Johnson, who dropped from leadoff to number two in the order, had two hits and Boothe had an RBI for the Terriers.
Fix started the game on the mound and went three and a third innings before struggling with his control. Ironically, Isaac hadn’t walked a single batter before this game but he issued six free passes to the Spartans while allowing just two hits.
Junior Brian Sullivan relieved in the fourth and got out of a jam, then pitched two more strong innings. He allowed just one hit and one walk.
“We have a mix of about five or six guys who I consider middle relievers, and he hadn’t gotten a shot,” said Zimmerman. “The good thing about Brian is that he always throws strikes and keeps the ball down.”
Tyler Dean pitched the seventh and picked up his third save. Tyler has saved all three of Byrd’s wins.
After this weekend’s action the Terriers will host Staunton River next Tuesday, April 9, for a jayvee-varsity doubleheader beginning at 4:30 pm.

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