Davie bids farewell to Rich Park

Published 9:33 am Thursday, May 4, 2017

For Davie’s varsity baseball team, it was supposed to be a good week as the War Eagles faced last-place Parkland twice, and everything went according to plan as Davie rolled up 11-1 and 10-0 wins.

The first meeting against Parkland on April 26 was a special occasion as the War Eagles bid farewell to Rick Park, their home for 61 years.

Carl Jacobs, who played on the first Davie team in 1957, was on hand.

“We recognized Sonny Kurfees and Ricky Lagle for running concessions,” coach Bobby Byerly said following an 11-1 win in five innings. “We brought them out on the field. We thanked Sonny for all his years, being Mr. Baseball of Davie County. Rustin (Harpe) and the (grounds) crew came out there. We recognized them for all their work on the field. Then we had former players come out.”

The War Eagles jumped Parkland’s starting pitcher for four runs in the bottom of the first, and they poured it on in the fourth (three runs) and fifth (four runs).

Guy Brunelli enjoyed the biggest offensive day, going 2 for 3 with a double, triple and five RBIs. He doubled the opposite way down the left-field line. He drove the triple to right-center. Just like that, he became the team’s RBI leader with nine.

“Both (hits) were with two strikes,” Byerly said. “He had a two-strike approach. He choked up, spread out and put the ball in play – and with authority. He said it was his first career triple. So he had a great game.”

Chris Reynolds was the other War Eagle with multiple hits, going 2 for 3 with two runs, two RBIs and two doubles. Davie got one hit from Cody Hendrix (1-3, double), Carson Whisenhunt (1-2, walk), Landon Bandy (1-3) and McKay Chamberlain (1-2, walk).

Parkland’s run was unearned against Whisenhunt, who pitched a one-hitter with no walks and 12 strikeouts in 79 pitches.


As expected in the rematch at Parkland two days later, several War Eagles enjoyed fruitful offensive days as Davie manhandled the home team 10-0.

Hendrix (3-4, double), Reynolds (2-5, double, triple) and Beau Byerly (2-4, double) had two-plus hits, and Tyler Roberts (1-3) and Cody Smith (1-1, three RBIs) launched their first home runs of the season. Davie also got one hit from Hite Merrifield (1-1, two runs, two steals), Whisenhunt (1-4, two RBIs), Bandy (1-4) and Chamberlain (1-4).

After hitting just four homers through 21 games, Davie clubbed half that many in one evening. Roberts hurled the shutout, throwing a two-hitter with one walk and 11 Ks. At 5-3, he tied Whisenhunt for the team lead in wins. Zach Hudspeth worked the seventh, striking out the side in order in 12 pitches.

Notes: After finishing second in the Central Piedmont Conference in 2016, the War Eagles slipped to fifth this year. West Forsyth, North Davidson and Reagan were tri-champs with 9-3 records. Tabor (7-5) was fourth, followed by Davie (6-6), Reynolds (2-10) and Parkland (0-12). … Davie is 11-11 overall. … Reynolds is leading the club in average (.391), runs (19), hits (27), triples (two), homers (two) and walks/hit by pitches (13). Reynolds and Hendrix lead with four doubles each.