by Jesse Skiles
SUMMERSVILLE -- Chris Lake fired a five-hit shutout leading Robert C. Byrd to a 4-0 sectional victory over Nicholas County Monday night.
The Eagles hold a 1-0 in the best-of-three series which will resume today at 6 p.m. at Frank Loria Memorial Field in Clarksburg.
Robert C. Byrd utilized a balanced offense that included four different players enjoying multi-hit games -- Jake Toth, John Dolan, Lake and Tyler Wanstreet.
Lake was also the beneficiary of some solid RCB defense.
The Eagles turned two double plays, including a sharp 1-6-3 twin killing to end the contest.
"This was a total team effort tonight," RCB coach Scott Robey said. "We put the bat on the ball in key situations, played solid defense and got an excellent game out of Chris on the mound."
Nicholas starter Brandon Waters struck out five Eagles in his first trip through the lineup. But the second time through, RCB began to solve the Grizzly ace.
Toth scored the game's first run in the top of the third, singling and later scoring on an RBI-single by Dolan. Wanstreet extended the lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth, doubling down the leftfield line scoring Lake and Lewis.
An insurance run was provided in the seventh when Toth doubled and later scored on a single by Andrew Shreves.
"It seems like we have a different group coming through for us each game," Robey said. "At Philip Barbour it was the bottom of the lineup and today it was the middle of the lineup.
"We are playing with a lot of confidence at this point, but we need to keep our focus and keep it going."
Robey was speaking of a lineup including three-through-seven going a combined eight-of-18 in the contest.
On three different occasions, Nicholas put two men on base but the rallies were either put down by double plays or timely Lake strikeouts.
The Eagles can attain their 20th victory with a win tonight, as they now stand 19-7. Nicholas, which fell to 12-12, needs a win to avert a losing season.