Boyd true in the clutch

Published 8:57 pm Saturday, May 10, 2014

Go-to guy: King's Fork High School senior Truman Boyd has risen to prominence in pressure-packed situations, leading to his title of Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week. (Titus Mohler/Suffolk News-Herald)

Go-to guy: King’s Fork High School senior Truman Boyd has risen to prominence in pressure-packed situations, leading to his title of Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week. (Titus Mohler/Suffolk News-Herald)

Senior Truman Boyd was an undefined member of King’s Fork High School’s baseball team at the beginning of the year. Bulldogs head coach Pat Stafford knows how to define him now, though.

“To me, he’s really turned into kind of a big-game player for us, a guy to go to in a tight situation, pressure situation,” Stafford said.

Boyd proved this recently in his first appearance on a daunting stage — Harbor Park. He threw five strikeouts in a little more than three innings to earn the win as pitcher and drove in the winning run as a batter against Lakeland High School.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

His performance helped him win the designation as Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week.

“I’m really confident this year,” Boyd said. “I feel like I’m doing good.”

Stafford said going into this year, he did not even know if Boyd was going to play baseball. In his junior year, Boyd did not play, though he did play football.

But while football is the primary sport of many young athletes, Boyd has developed different priorities.

“He was interested in football, but I asked him to try baseball just because I do love baseball,” said his mother, Tarteskikar Boyd.

“I tried it out, and I fell in love with it,” he said.

Boyd said rather than putting a focus on football his junior year, he was really using the sport to get faster and more fit for baseball, which he has played since he was 11, while living in South Carolina.

He played little league there and continued with Bennett’s Creek Little League upon moving to Suffolk at age 14. He has since played for the Nansemond Pirates, a travel ball team, and for King’s Fork’s junior varsity team in the fall of his sophomore year.

Stafford said Boyd did not start the season as an everyday player, but as a reliever out of the bullpen. That all changed during a game against Oscar Smith High School.

“We ended up giving up five runs in the first inning, and we put him in in the second inning, and he completely shut Oscar Smith down,” Stafford said.

Since then, Boyd has gained more opportunities, with his offensive skills helping open another door.

“When he’s not on the mound now, he’s earned a starting spot at third base, too,” Stafford said.

Exhibiting some of the drive that has made him a natural leader on the team, Boyd cited what motivates him to play his best.

“Really, my teammates, my coaches, my mom, my dad, my little brothers and just looking up,” he said. Then referencing the location of this year’s high school state championship game, he said, “My goal is to go to (the College of William & Mary) and bring back a trophy.”

“He has really made his family really proud,” his mother said.