The Lord Botetourt baseball team is red hot as the Cavaliers prepare to open Region 3D play on Memorial Day Monday. The Cavs will open at Cave Spring at 5 p.m. in a terrific opening round matchup.
LB comes into the tournament on a roll, winning the Blue Ridge District tournament last weekend after coming in as the fourth seed in the four-team field. Botetourt played at top-seeded William Byrd last Friday night and lit up the Terrier Field scoreboard for seven runs in the eighth inning to turn what had been a pitchers’ duel into a Cavalier rout.
Byrd scored first in the game with a run in the fourth inning, but the Cavaliers tied it up in the top of the fifth when Jakari Nicely singled, stole second and scored on a hit by Nathan Prince. Nathan was also pitching, and he completed six innings of one-run ball before Garrett Green relieved to start the bottom of the seventh, pitching a scoreless frame to send the game into extra innings.
That’s when Botetourt’s offense finally game to life. Nate Prince walked, Connor Fuhrman doubled down the left field line and Owen Prince walked to load the bases with no outs. Green then followed with a single to give LB the lead and that’s when the dam broke, as Andrew Claterbaugh and Noah Leonard doubled and Colin Sell laid down a bunt single to keep the merry-go-round going. By the time the third out was made LB had seven runs in the inning against three Byrd pitchers and Green had no trouble finishing out the bottom of the eighth for the win.
The victory put LB in Saturday’s championship game at Franklin County against the host Eagles, the second seed who defeated Northside, 16-6, in the other Friday semifinal. Botetourt led 4-1 when a lightning delay paused the action in Rocky Mount, but when the teams returned the Cavs upped their advantage to 6-1 and held on for a 6-3 win and the BRD tournament championship.
Noah Medley started on the mound and pitched five innings for the win, giving up just three hits against a solid Franklin County offense. Jack Vargo pitched the last two innings and was touched for two runs, one earned, to finish the job.
On offense Nate Prince remained hot with three hits, including a double. Claterbaugh and Leonard had two hits each as LB improved to 15-6 overall heading into the region tournament. The Cavaliers had won five in a row heading into Monday’s showdown with Cave Spring.
“We’ve been able to make the plays when we needed to,” said LB coach Todd Smith. “I hope we can continue to do so. We’re in a tough region.”