Terriers slaughter Glenvar, play in Salem today
VINTON – The William Byrd baseball team will be in Salem today for a 5 pm game against an old rival, Salem High.
There was a day when this was one of the big games of the year. In his book “One Team, One Dream,” former Byrd pitcher Chris Manning tells a story about Byrd teammates urinating on a Salem hat the day before a big game against the Spartans. That surely would have . . . .ticked off. . . .the Spartans had they known.
“Back when I played I’d have rather died than lost to Salem,” said Byrd coach Chris Carr. “But they were in our district then, and that makes a big difference. Now, they’re just our second game of the season and we’re still shuffling our lineup.”
Don’t get Carr wrong, he still wants to win. But he wouldn’t rather die first.
“We always want to win every game, and certainly we want to beat Salem,” he said. “But I’m not going to risk one of our pitchers this early, in a non-district game, just to beat Salem.”
Carr is going to start Collin Hill, and that will make for an interesting scenario. Collin’s dad Sandy played for the Salem Pirates of the Carolina League as a Class A outfielder on that same field. Also, Collin’s older brother Chad is a freshman outfielder for Roanoke College, and they call Kiwanis Field home.
“I want to give Collin the start but he’ll be on a 50 pitch limit,” said Carr.
Salem will start lefty Zach Mineroldi, one of their top pitchers, making for an interesting matchup. The Spartans have started 0-2 with losses at Heritage Monday, 14-7, and home against Lord Botetourt Tuesday, 4-1.
Byrd got off to a good start with a 13-3 slaughter-rule win over Glenvar at Walthall Park on Monday. The Terriers lit up the Highlanders with four first inning runs, then put a five-spot on the board in the second. After that Byrd didn’t score again until the sixth, when they turned it back on to win by slaughter rule.
“We played really well in the first three innings and the sixth,” said Carr. “But after we got nine runs it was like we took a break and didn’t play hard anymore. Finally I had to get on them pretty good in the sixth inning, and they picked it up again. I shouldn’t have to yell at them to play hard. That bothers me.”
Easton Riggs pitched the first three and a third innings to pick up the win, and Sam Harron finished. Devin Cassity had three hits and scored three runs, Britton Chocklette had a home run and two more hits to drive in three, and Hill was three-for-four with two doubles and four runs batted in.
After tonight’s game at Kiwanis Field the Terriers will be at Cave Spring on Friday for a jayvee-varsity doubleheader, with the jayvees starting at 2 pm as the county schools are off.
Next Monday Byrd will play Glenvar again and it will be back at Patterson Stadium, as Glenvar’s field is still unplayable after redoing the infield during the off-season. This is also currently scheduled as a doubleheader with the varsity playing the second game.