Roberts pitches shutout

Published 9:30 am Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Davie varsity baseball team’s season has been defined by strong pitching and an anemic offense.

The pitching success remained the same last week. Unfortunately for the War Eagles, so did the offensive story as Davie won 3-0 over Glenn and lost 4-2 to Southeast Guilford.

Both were nonconference games. Davie resumed Central Piedmont Conference play this week as the regular season comes to a close.

After wasting a strong performance from Carson Whisenhunt in a 2-0 loss to Ledford, Tyler Roberts prolonged the great work on the mound in the home win over Glenn on April 19.

Roberts hurled a four-hitter with two walks, and he went the distance in a mere 71 pitches.

“He averaged 10 pitches an inning. Wow,” coach Bobby Byerly said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of that.”

Roberts faced 24 batters and enjoyed his first complete game of the season. His numbers during back-to-back winning starts are superb: 13 innings, 11 hits, three runs. He improved to 4-3 and dropped his ERA to 2.93.

“And he did it all with one eye,” Byerly said as Roberts went to work with red eye. “He couldn’t even hardly open (the red eye). That’s why we didn’t let him hit. I said: ‘I can’t put you in there to hit with one eye.’ He said: ‘I can see the mitt.’ I said: ‘Just make sure on a comebacker that you catch the middle one.’”

The War Eagles were held to two hits for the third time this year. They had two in a 4-1 loss at West Forsyth and two in a 1-0, eight-inning win over Mt. Tabor. Three pitchers kept their bats quiet in this one, but Davie found a way to scratch out three runs.

In the second inning, Cody Hendrix walked with one out. Courtesy runner Garrett Chandler advanced to second on a ground out and scored on Guy Brunelli’s opposite-field single between short and third.

Davie pushed across two runs in the fourth, with one coming on Hendrix’s ground-ball single to left, which plated Beau Byerly. It was the second and final hit for Davie against three Bobcat pitchers.

“We broke out the two-hit barrage,” said Byerly, who didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “The (offensive) positive is we made do with what little base runners we had.”

Pitching and defense did the heavy lifting as Davie (9-10) recorded its fourth shutout and prevailed for the fifth time when scoring three runs or less. The Bobcats’ third loss in a row dropped them to 11-9.

With two on in the second, Roberts and shortstop Chris Reynolds turned a 1-6-3 double play. Following a single in the fifth, third baseman Landon Bandy and second baseman Cody Smith turned a 5-4-3 DP. Following a hit in the sixth, Reynolds and Smith turned a 6-4-3 DP.

“We made great plays behind (Roberts),” Byerly said. “Defensively – knock on wood – we’ve been pretty steady all year. We’ve had a couple hiccups like all teams do, but for the most part, you don’t win 3-0 and lose 2-0 if you’re not playing good defensively.”

Reynolds put the cherry on top, closing the game by going to a knee on a grounder up the middle, spinning and throwing out the batter/runner. While Reynolds was money in the field, he was unlucky at the plate.

“Chris was top notch (at short),” Byerly said. “He hit three lasers right at somebody. He continues to square up everything.”

One of the most improved players in the program might be Bandy, who has answered a preseason question mark at the hot corner.

“He Carney Lansford’ed it,” Byerly said of the 5-4-3 double play. “Lansford was my favorite. Never heard a word out of him. Just Mr. Consistent. Landon’s done a great job – absolutely great job. You can’t ask for anymore than he’s done.”


In a 4-2 loss at Southeast Guilford on April 20, Davie’s offense offered a tease in the form of a two-run first.

Reynolds opened the game with a single. Whisenhunt and Bandy drew two-out walks. Then Roberts gave Davie a 2-0 lead with a single.

But Davie would only manage four more hits as its season average fell to .214. It is averaging 5.4 hits and 2.7 runs. The War Eagles have a chance for a .500 regular season because their pitching staff has a 3.05 ERA while allowing 6.1 hits and 4.1 runs per game.

It marked the third time Davie went down even though it held the opponent to four or fewer runs.

“It was a broken record,” Byerly said. “We didn’t come up with timely hits.”

Although he walked five and hit two batters, Whisenhunt threw a five-hitter over 5 2/3 innings. He saw his record fall to 4-4 despite a 2.34 ERA. Bandy struck out the only batter he faced in three pitches.

Roberts’ two-run single to right had Davie feeling good in the early going.

“He’s come on a little bit lately,” Byerly said. “He had better at-bats. I’m glad for him, being a senior.”

The Falcons answered right back with two in the bottom of the first. Two hit batters and a walk led to a RBI single and sac fly.

“Carson had a shaky start,” Byerly said. “But after that, he settled in. If we come up with a timely hit here or there, it would be a completely different game.”

The Falcons (17-3 overall) found just enough offense, scratching out a tiebreaking run in the fifth and an insurance tally in the sixth, to push their winning streak to 11. They are 8-0 in the Metro 4-A Conference. Davie slipped to 9-11 overall.

“They’re a really sound team,” Byerly said. “They’ve got some athletes, especially at the top of their order.”

Davie had chances down the stretch. In the sixth, Whisenhunt singled and advanced on a Bandy bunt. But back-to-back ground outs kept the deficit 3-2.

In the sixth, Smith singled with one out and Byerly walked with two outs. A strikeout ended it.

Notes: Reynolds went 2 for 3 to bump his average to .377, a whopping 163 points above the team mark. … Hendrix (1-4), Whisenhunt (1-2), Roberts (1-3) and Smith (1-3) had one hit each. … Byerly is second with a .315 average. No one else is hitting over .240.