Four Kanawha Valley teams made the final turn on the road to the state tournament when the regional games began in West Virginia on Monday.
Hurricane and St. Albans (Class AAA), Herbert Hoover (AA) and Charleston Catholic (A) have all participated in regional best-of-three showdowns, with the winners taking place June 24-26 at the Appalachian Power Park in. the state tournament reached Charleston. These regional games were not over at the time of going to press.
In AAA, Hurricane (29-1) meets Cabell Midland (19-9) in Region 4 and St. Albans (23-7) meets Oak Hill (10-11) in Region 3. Hoover (18-12) battles Philip Barbour (19-9) in AA Region 2 and Catholic (22-9) messing with James Monroe (16-8) in Class A Region 3.
All four of these series started on Monday, three of them at 6 p.m., with SA-Oak Hill at 7. Hurricane, St. Albans and Catholic, as the higher seeds, will host their opening games while Hoover takes to the streets. In the second games on Tuesday, the home teams turn around so that the huskies get a game in Falling Rock.
If necessary, the third and decisive games return to the home fields of the higher seeds.
It’s easy to lose track of the number of times neighboring Hurricane and Midland have been locked up in a major game – either in the Mountain State Athletic Conference tournament or for post-season promotion.
They have met only once this season, however, with the Redskins claiming a 6-3 win on April 22nd.
“Now every time you get to that point it’s great with the two-out-of-three format,” said Hurricane coach Brian Sutphin. “You go out and get ready to play and there you go.
âOf course they have a good team and a good program. We look forward to the competition. Of course we know them and what kind of team they have. I think at this point all the pitchers have all thrown everyone into games and hitters have gotten a good number of at-bats, so it depends on who is playing better that day. ”
The Redskins are running a 28-game winning streak and have held 24 out of 30 opponents with three or fewer runs.
Hurricane comes into its series with six players hitting better than .375: Damian Witty (.560, 21 RBIs), Ethan Spolarich (.484, 27 RBIs), Cam Carney (.453), Joel Gardner (.443, 28 RBIs), Bryson Rigney (.416, 28 RBIs) and Luka Moore (.378, 36 RBIs).
The leading pitchers for the Redskins are Ismael Borrero (6-0, 1.52 ERA), Rigney (6-0, 1.27) and Gardner (5-0, 0.61).
St. Albans and Oak Hill also played only once this year, with the Red Dragons winning a 6-5 win on May 21.
Tyson Burke leads the St. Albans offense with a .495 batting average and 35 RBIs. He is followed by Drew Whitman (.486, 37 runs), Will Campbell (.410, 24 RBIs), Trent Short (.407, 30 RBIs), Garrett Comer (.367, 37 RBIs) and Carson McCoy (.352, 43. ). running).
SA can choose between the pitchers Campbell (7-1, 1.89), Comer (4-2, 3.41) or Burke (4-4).
Herbert Hoover hasn’t played against his regional opponent Philip Barbour and really had no chance of seeing the Colts this season.
âWe have an idea,â said Huskies trainer JR Oliver, âabout the stats we can find online andâ¦ articles and TV highlights. That helps us to find out a little bit about them, what they like to do and what their strengths are. ”
As for the strengths of his own team, Oliver said that Hoover went through some sort of transformation.
âWe started the season by hitting the ball and we relied heavily on our power hitters,â said Oliver, âand the guys who got on the base in front of them and scored a series of runs. Over the course of the season we have developed into a solid pitching team that throws a lot of punches, pitches until contact and our defense does the games because it is defensively clean.
âWe somehow found a way to win both ways. We have won some games with low goals where at the beginning of the season, when we got into a game with low goals, we didn’t do that well because we weren’t that strong defensively or maybe we didn’t throw the ball as well. In this respect, we are pleased that we have learned to win both. “
Tucker Purdy’s average of .421 leads Hoovers hitter, followed by Matthew Toops (.402, 23 RBIs), Jack Copenhaver (.400), Ryan Elkins (.373, 24 RBIs), Brayden Rollyson (.371) and Nick Grayam ( 22 RBIs). ).
Three huskies pitchers own a bushel of strikeouts, led by Ryan Beasley (5-3, 1.67, 64Ks), Will Bright (4-1, 3.98, 49Ks) and Toops (6-2, 2.50 , 47 Ks).
Oliver said his team’s slower than usual start could be due to athletes switching from other sports as winter and spring sports overlap this year due to COVID-19 changes in seasonal schedules.
âWe had some key players on the defensive,â said Oliver, âwho, for one reason or another, didn’t get that much preparation time because they came from basketball or other sports. Now that they have gotten into their reps they are more comfortable and we’ve been almost flawless in the last few games we’ve played, especially in the postseason. ”
Charleston Catholic have played two games against their regional opponents, resulting in wins of 10-4 and 12-2 against James Monroe.
The Irish have five hitters with .360 or better in their line-up, led by JW Armstrong (.438, 26 RBIs), Liam McGinley (.406), Jacob Hufford (.375, 44 runs), Thomas Rennie (.371, 32 .). RBIs) and Evan Sayre (.360, 27 RBIs). Michael Ferrell has run 22 races.
Hufford’s 10-1 pitching record, 65 strikeouts and 2.42 ERA make him the ace of the staff, and he’s backed by Sayre (5-1, 2.59) and Armstrong (4-0, 3.08).