Prep Baseball Report

2019 VHSL Class 2 Preview

John Nolan
Virginia Scouting Director & Managing Editor

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Welcome to our 2019 VHSL Previews. In each preview, we will give you a brief recap of the 2018 season along with the breakdown of each Region and what the rules are to qualify for postseason play under the current alignment. We will also highlight the top prospects in each Classification, as well as some teams to watch during the 2019 season. We continue our VHSL Previews for the 2019 season by taking a look at Class 2.

2018 saw Page County finish off a 28-1 campaign to capture the Class 2 State Championship, defeating perennial contender Virginia in the Title Game. Virginia was the Region D Champion, while Goochland won Region A and Chatham captured the Region C championship in 2018. Joining the four champions in the State Tournament were Maggie Walker, Stuart's Draft, Appomattox County, and Tazewell.


Top Prospects in VHSL Class 2

Name School Class Position Commitment
Matthew Buchanan Lebanon 2021 OF/LHP Virginia
Jonathan Compton Gate City 2020 C  
Isaih Dailey Prince Edward 2020 OF VMI
Jordan Dixon Virginia 2019 RHP King
Michael Dailey Prince Edward 2022 OF
Leighton Dunford Fort Chiswell 2020 3B
Willie Havens Amelia 2019 C Elon
Mason McDowell Wilson Memorial 2022 SS
Jay Nesson George Mason 2019 OF/RHP Washington College (MD)
Conner Phillips Radford 2020 RHP  
AJ Potojecki Chatham 2019 RHP Longwood
Zachary Potts Goochland 2019 RHP Lynchburg
Cole Rigney Gretna 2019 C Liberty
Preston Steele Lebanon 2021 SS Virginia Tech
TR Williams Page County 2021 LHP Virginia Tech


2019 Region A

James River Other Districts
Amelia County Arcadia
Bluestone Bruton
Buckingham County Greensville
Goochland King William
Nottoway Nandua
Prince Edward Poquoson
Randolph-Henry Maggie Walker

***All teams played in a 2018 Region A Tournament

 Region A is an all-in Region. Power points will be used to rank teams from 1-14, and then those rankings will be used to fill out a traditional sixteen team bracket. The top two seeds in the Region will get the benefit of a bye into the quarterfinals. The tournament also crosses at before the semifinals, which allowed Maggie Walker and Goochland to avoid each other in the semifinals in 2018.


2019 Region B

Bull Run Shenandoah
Central (Woodstock) Buffalo Gap
Clarke County East Rockingham
Madison County Robert E. Lee
George Mason Luray
Strasburg Page County
  Stuart's Draft
  Wilson Memorial

***Italicized teams played in a 2018 Region B Tournament

Region B will be an eight team tournament with four representatives from each of the two districts that make up the Region, the Bull Run District and the Shenandoah District. Teams will be paired off for the tournament as they had been under older VHSL playoff systems to seed the bracket. For example, the Shenandoah District top seed will host the Bull Run District's fourth seed in the quarterfinals.

2019 Region C

Dogwood Three Rivers Other
Appomattox Floyd County Buckingham County
Chatham Giles Fort Chiswell
Dan River Glenvar Martinsville
Gretna James River (B)  
Nelson County Radford  

***All teams played in a 2018 Region C Tournament

Region C is an all-in Region, which means that all thirteen members of Region C will make the tournament. The regular season will be used to seed teams 1-13 based on power points, and then those seeds will be used to fill out a traditional sixteen team bracket. The top three teams will get the benefit of a bye into the quarterfinals.

2019 Region D

Mountain 7 Southwest
John Battle Graham
Central-Wise Grayson County
Gate City Lebanon
Lee County Marion Senior
Ridgeview Richlands
Union Tazewell

***Italicized teams played in a 2018 Region D Tournament

Region D is made up of twelve schools from the Mountain 7 and the Southwest Districts. Each District sends four teams to the eight team Region, and they will pair off for seeding based on District finish. For example, the Mountain 7 top seed will face the Southwest fourth seed and the Mountain 7 second seed will face the Southwest third seed in the Region quarterfinals.


Teams to Watch in 2019

Appomattox County
The Raiders were the Region C runners-up in 2018 and went 16-3 against teams that are not Chatham. The Raiders have lost ace and All-Region two-way player Hunter Mohr (Bridgewater) to graduation.

The Cavaliers won the Region C championship in 2018 and reached the State Semifinals. They are set up to be in the mix again this spring with return of ace AJ Potojecki (Longwood) and fellow All-State player Graham Dalton also back. Potojecki and Page's TR Williams are the top two pitcher in Class 2, and Potojecki gives Chatham a chance to win against anyone.

Dan River
The 2017 State Champions reached the Region C semifinals in 2018, but were not able to return to the State Tournament to defend their title. All-Region outfielder Jackson Lancaster will be back this spring as the Wildcats look to return to the State Tournament.

East Rockingham
East Rockingham made the Region B tournament in 2018 and saw their season come to an end at the hands of rival and eventual State Champion, Page County. Seven starters come back in 2019 including Dalton Jefferson, Isaac Kisling, Tanner Kisling, and Nick Jenkins.

Fort Chiswell
The Pioneers transitioned effectively to Class 2, reaching the Region C semifinals before Chatham ended their season. The Pioneers will lose Chance Davis (Concord) to graduation, but do return junior Leighton Dunford who earned All-Region honors on the mound and also adds some thump in the lineup.

George Mason
The Mustangs made the Region B tournament in 2018 but unfortunately drew Page County in the first round, falling in a tight game to the eventual State Champions. Back this spring for one final season will be senior outfielder and ace Jay Nesson (Washington College-MD) and joining him will be senior shortstop Aidan Clark. Sophomore Peter Villa will see his role on the mound increase and senior Johnny Asel will be a key to how successful the Mustangs will be in 2019.

The Bulldogs captured the Region A championship in 2018, earning their second straight Region title and third straight State Tournament appearance. Goochland loses All-State performers Wyatt Murray and John King along with a large 2018 class, but will have senior Zachary Potts (Lynchburg) to build their rotation around this spring.

King William
The Cavaliers entered the Region A tournament as the 2-seed on their side of the bracket, but fell in the quarterfinals to Maggie Walker, marking the second year in a row that a strong regular season ended early at the hands of a team that ended up going to States. King William lost All-State performer Ryan Huffman  to graduation but brings back All-State bats Landon Smith and Kolbe Jorgenson as they try to advance to June in 2019.

The Pioneers had a strong season in 2018 with a young team and are poised to be a team on the rise this spring and a dark horse State Title contender. Sophomore lefty Matthew Buchanan (Virginia) is back after earning All-Region honors as a freshman. Also earning All-Region honors last year and returning in 2019 for Lebanon will be junior outfielder Logan Smith, sophomore middle infielders Anthony Houchins and Preston Steele (Virginia Tech), and senior Cole Stoops. A young ace plus a returning offensive core that has performed in the past is a recipe for success this spring for Lebanon.

Maggie Walker
The Governors finished 2018 as the Region A runners-up and returned to the State Tournament after missing it in 2017. The 2016 State Champs routinely have a tough time in the regular season in the Colonial District, with six 5a schools and two 3a schools making up the bulk of their schedule. The Governors had losing record during the regular season, but the power points from that tough schedule as well as a sweep of Deep Run earned them the 3-seed on their side of the bracket, and they were able to advance to the State Tournament. The Governors graduated All-Region performers Cole Ragone and Jackson Downs.

Page County
The 2018 State Champions haven't lost since mid-March. The Panthers should be strong again as they bring back the reigning Class 2 State Player of the Year, sophomore lefty TR Williams (Virginia Tech). Also back will be some of their top hitters from 2018 in junior Tristan Gordon and junior Noah Hammer. The Panthers did graduate some key pieces in All-State performers Tristan Eppard and Josh Good as well as other key bat Jake Day. The loss of Eppard removes half of Page's innings from 2018, look for Caleb Hilliard to have the first opportunity to fill the second spot in the rotation after finishing 2018 third in innings. As long as Williams is a part of the Page County team, they will be an early favorite for a State Championship.

Prince Edward
The Eagles came up one game short of earning a State Tournament bid with a young team in 2018. Look for them to be in the mix again late in the season in 2019 as they return their top bat in junior Isaih Dailey (VMI) and a core of juniors who had strong seasons last year playing together. Freshman Michael Dailey has the potential to help out as well.

Stuart's Draft
The Cougars had a banner first week of the 2018 season, beating eventual State Champions Riverheads, who they eventually beat three times, and Page County, giving them the honor of being the only team that beat the Panthers in 2018. Stuart's Draft should be back in the mix again in 2019 with the return of All-State player Easton Martin.

The Bulldogs went to the State Tournament in 2018 after just missing it in 2017. The main key to their success last season was senior ace Sidney Willis, who has departed via graduation. Also graduating was All-Region outfielder Austin Horne. Tazewell does return All-Region honoree Austin Parker to their lineup as they look to return to the State Tournament in 2019.

2018 saw return to normalcy in Class 2 as the Bearcats made it back to the State Tournament, making their fourth trip in the last five years, and their fourth Region championship in that span. The Bearcats will lose All-State performer Bobby Medley to graduation, but bring back All-State senior Justin Lewis as well as All-Region honorees in senior ace Jordan Dixon (King) and senior outfielder Jaime Lathrop.



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