By Christopher Johnson

The Byron Tigers boys baseball team has already won eight games this season and seem to be on the radar of those who set the Polls for baseball-faithful followers.

With a nearly-perfect opening to the 2022 spring campaign, a perfect start to conference play also finds itself very much in play. An early jump on the competition will pilot the Tigers to the top of the Big Northern in no time at this rate.

How the Tigers have been winning their matches through the early season is what is truly respectable, according to supporting statistics.

Baseball wins come from great starting pitching, responsive and anticipatory defense and a will to win, no matter what.

Every variable, outside of the sometimes non-identifiable “will” is notched on scorecards and ledgers and leverages decisions on whether a team is deemed “good” or “champion-class.”

With an 8-1 mark, good is the definition of Byron right now. The “how” they got there continues to support the relevantly-present “will to win” and seems to edge them towards potential championships in waiting. Coming back in games when it is needed is another very strong indicator.

In the season opener, two teams combined with talent were taken down as the Pecatonica-Durand Rivermen from the neighboring Northwest Upstate Illini Conference were sent sailing with a 9-3 setback.

Warren and Stockton brought their two schools of talented squads to compete for game two of the season on Monday, March 21.

Byron got the start it needed, keeping things in perspective and waited for the opportunity to strike. The Warhawks fell 4-1 as Byron moved to 2-0

Over the next four games, all wins for the Tigers, Byron outscored their opponents 44-3 and began their attack on the lead in the Big Northern.

It took a road game this past Tuesday for Byron’s offense to slow down. Yet, experiences gained through the first few games of the spring 2022 season kept the team focused.

North Boone was the host on Tuesday, April 5 and they found ways to keep the Tigers somewhat tamed. It wouldn’t last though.

Byron captured game one of the double-header contest by a 4-1 score and held off the Vikings through late innings comeback efforts to move the season mark to 7-0, with a 5-4 follow-up, remaining perfect in Big Northern battles.

On Saturday, April 9, the stretch that Byron had built to start the season undefeated was challenged and eventually overcome. Richmond-Burton proved to be too much to handle.

The Rockets moved to 8-3 on the season with the 7-3 favorable finding. Richmond-Burton remained in a second place tie in the Kishwaukee Valley Conference with an unblemished record.

The loss to Richmond-Burton on Saturday dropped the Tigers to 8-1 on the season but didn’t impact its Big Northern reading of 5-0.

This week’s first game for  Byron will be on the road and it is against one of the teams the Tigers know they have to dispatch to retain top-contention potential.

The Cogs were win-less at the start of this week’s action and had lost three straight in the Big Northern.

The away-and-home series opens at Genoa-Kingston on Thursday, April 14 and concludes in Byron on Monday, April 18, one day before the Tigers take it on the road to Rockford Lutheran for the start of another away-and-home series with the Crusaders.

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