Prep Baseball Report

2019 VHSL Class 3 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 3.

2018 saw Spotsylvania capture the State Championship, defeating preseason favorite and Region D champion Abingdon to bring the crown home and cap off of what was a stellar season and build off of their 2017 State Runners-up performance. While Spotsy won the State Title, rival Brentsville was the Region B champ and reached the State semifinals themselves. Winning Region A was Hopewell and the Region C champion was Fluvanna County. Also making State Tournament appearances in 2018 were York, Western Albemarle, and Northside.


Top Prospects in Class 3

Name School Class Position Commitment
Zalen Akers Christiansburg 2019 1B King
Brian Baker Spotsylvania 2019 RHP Washington (MD)
Alexander Balisteri Rockbridge County 2020 SS
Tanner Barrs Abingdon 2019 1B/RHP Radford
Sam Beard Brentsville 2019 C
Aidan Brown Staunton River 2021 OF
Hunter Brown Brookville 2020 3B  
Grayson Bush Monticello 2020 SS  
Jalen Buster Cave Spring 2020 SS Radford
Haden Crowder Colonial Heights 2019 OF Chowan
Chase Davis Brookville 2020 2B
Jake DeLisi Brentsville 2019 SS/RHP King
Vincent DiMauro Brentsville 2020 RHP  
Jake Dudley Culpeper 2019 RHP/3B Harford CC
Brock Duff Brookville 2021 RHP
Kyle Fields Rustburg 2022 RHP
Nathan Fink Western Albemarle 2022 RHP Virginia
Connor Fuhrman Lord Botetourt 2022 OF South Carolina
Nick Funk Stauntaon River 2019 C Concord
Sean Gibbons Hidden Valley 2020 LHP Longwood
Jared Glinski Brookville 2020 C/OF
Nick Griffin Turner Ashby 2020 RHP  
Nicholas Hess Colonial Heights 2021 RHP/1B  
Billy Hoad Brentsville 2019 3B Wilson College
Sam Horn James Monroe 2019 1B/RHP Shenandoah
Garret Huffman Rockbridge County 2021 3B/RHP
Carter Johnson Southampton 2019 3B Randolph-Macon
Ricky Jones Hopewell 2019 OF Richmond
Ethan Ketron Abingdon 2021 LHP/OF
Eli Lam Spotswood 2019 SS/RHP  
Nathaniel Mack Tabb 2020 RHP  
Reilly Owen William Monroe 2019 RHP/OF  
Caleb Pritchard Cave Spring 2019 C UVA-Wise
Jonathan Sexton William Monroe 2019 C  
Alex Seymour Brentsville 2019 LHP/OF Fairmont State
Tristan Shoemaker Fort Defiance 2021 RHP/SS Virginia
Bryce Suters Broadway 2021 SS James Madison
Bryce Turner Broadway 2019 2B  
Andrew Ward Fluvanna County 2020 LHP  
Kevin Ward Fluvanna County 2020 RHP  
Nicholas Willard York 2020 RHP Liberty
Eric Williams Culpeper 2020 3B/RHP
Grant Wilson Cave Spring 2019 3B Radford


Region A

Colonial Heights Hopewell
Lakeland New Kent
Norcom Park View-South Hill
Petersburg Phoebus
Southampton Tabb
Booker T. Washington York

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

Region A is an all-in Region that uses power points to seed a 12 team tournament. The top four seeds get byes into the quarterfinals. The spread of these teams across multiple Districts necessitates the use of power points instead of District finish, especially since most of these schools are in Districts with larger schools.


Region B

Northwestern Other
Brentsville Armstrong
Culpeper Jefferson (Richmond)
Manassas Park John Marshall
William Monroe James Monroe
Skyline Spotsylvania
Warren County George Wythe (Richmond)

*Italicized teams played in a 2018 Region B Tournament

Region B will take its twelve teams and set up an eight team Region tournament. It will use power points to seed that tournament, with the top eight teams making the bracket. Power points will be calculated in the following manner, seven points for a win, eight for a win against a larger class school. Teams get three points for a loss and four points for a loss to a larger school.


Region C

Jefferson Seminole Valley
Fluvanna County Brookville Broadway
Monticello Heritage (Lynchburg) Fort Defiance
Western Albemarle Liberty (Bedford) Rockbridge County
  Rustburg Spotswood
    Turner Ashby

*Italicized teams played in a 2018 Region C Tournament

Region C will have an eight team Region tournament going forward. The Valley District sends three teams and the Jefferson and Seminole District send two each to the Region. The eighth team is an at-large team from any of the Districts, determined by power points. 

Region D

Abingdon Alleghany
Cave Spring Christiansburg
Hidden Valley Lord Botetourt
Magna Vista Northside
Patrick County Staunton River

*Italicized teams played in a 2018 Region D Tournament

Region D is an eight team Region with teams spread out over multiple Districts. A power point system will be used to seed the eight-team Region tournament.


Teams to Watch in 2019

The loaded Falcons finally got over the hump in 2018 and reached the State Tournament as the Region D champion. They reached the State Championship game before falling in extra innings to Spotsylvania. With the end of the campaign, Abingdon lost a ton of talent, including Kevin Christy (East Tennessee State), Cade Hungate (Florida State), and new Virginia all-time hits leader, Thomas Francisco (East Carolina), to graduation. Abingdon will still have some talent on the mound in 2019 as they do bring back First Team All-State arm Tanner Barrs (Radford) as well as talented sophomore Ethan Ketron.

The Tigers won the Region B Championship in 2018, defeating Spotsylvania in that game. A week later, Spotsy flipped the script on the Tigers, rallying to beat them in extra innings in the State Semifinals. Brentsville loses All-State two-way contributor Mason Posey (George Mason) and fellow All-State performer Garrett Cornell (King) to graduation, but the Tigers are going to be loaded because pretty much everyone else is back in 2019. Senior Sam Beard will be back behind the plate and Jake DeLisi (King) will be back at shortstop with fellow senior Billy Hoad (Wilson) will also be on the infield. DeLisi will join a junior Vincent DiMauro in what has a chance to be a deep rotation. Senior Alex Seymour (Fairmont State) offers some power in the middle of the lineup as well as being a lefty that can help out on the mound.

The Bees made the Region C tournament in 2018 but were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Western Albemarle. They lose lefty Haydon Almond to graduation, but have a talented young core that will make them a sleeper to compete for a State Tournament berth in 2019. Juniors Jared Glinski, Hunter Brown, and Chase Davis form a potentially strong core to the lineup and sophomore Brock Duff has a chance to develop into an ace.

Cave Spring
The Knights reached the Region D semifinals in 2018, but fell to Northside and came up just short of a State Tournament bid. Cave Spring has some talent on the roster which will give the Knights the chance to get over the hump and into the State Tournament in 2019. The lineup will feature seniors Caleb Pritchard (UVA-Wise) and Grant Wilson (Radford) as well as junior Jalen Buster (Radford). Senior pitcher Connor Lewis is back to bring experience to the rotation as well.

Christiansburg reached the Region D tournament in 2018 but ran into the buzzsaw that was Abingdon's offense in the first round, ending their run. Senior first baseman and pitcher Zalen Akers (King) will be back for the Blue Demons this spring as well as fellow All-District players Brady Kirtner and Reagan Harris

Colonial Heights
Colonial Heights lost a slugfest to eventual Region A champ Hopewell in the 2018 Region quarterfinals, bringing their season to a close. The Colonials have lost All-State infielder Brandon Pond (Lynchburg) to graduation, but they do bring back All-State outfielder Haden Crowder (Chowan) and have an interesting sophomore arm in Nicholas Hess who could begin to see an impact.

Fluvanna County
The Flucos won the Region C championship and advanced to the State Championship in 2018, andd a big key to their season was the emergence on the mound of brother aces LHP Andrew Ward and RHP Kevin Ward. That duo will be back to play their junior year this spring and will also be rejoined by 2018 All-State player Jacob Critzer. With that talent back, Fluvanna is easily among the preseason favorites in Region C in 2019.

The Blue Devils won the Region A championship in 2018 but were eliminated in the State Quarterfinals by eventual champion Spotsylvania. Hopewell got a spectacular season from centerfielder Ricky Jones (Richmond), who will be back in centerfield for his senior season this spring. Also back will be staff ace and Region Pitcher of the Year Brendan McComber as well as All-Region honoree Ryan Johnson who will provide thump again in the middle of the Blue Devil lineup. 

The Vikings entered the Region D tournament as the last seed, and then proceeded to pull stunning upsets of Tunstall and Cave Spring to finish as the Region D championship game and earn a State Tournament bid in 2018. The 2019 roster will be gutted by graduation, the Vikings lose All-State arm Evan Parks as well as most of their starters as they will look to build back towards another postseason run.

Staunton River
Staunton River reached the Region D tournament in 2018 but was knocked out in the quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles should return to the Region in 2019 and have an experienced lineup that will make them dangerous. Senior catcher Nick Funk (Concord) is back to anchor the middle of the lineup where he will be joined by juniors Eddie Blake and Colin Bates. Outfielders Turner Crouch and Aidan Brown will provide speed at the top of the lineup and cover a lot of real estate for Staunton River. Blake will lead the pitching staff for a team that is going to score some runs this spring.

Rockbridge County
The Wildcats reached the Region C tournament an were eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual Region champion Fluvanna. Senior middle infielder and pitcher Bryce Patterson will back for his fourth year in the lineup. Talented junior Alex Balisteri earned All-Region honors as a sophomore and Matt Nicely will be back again behind the plate. Look for talented two-way sophomore Garret Huffman will have a chance to contribute this spring.

The 2017 State Runners-up got over the hump to capture the 2018 State Championship in extra innings, defeating Abingdon in the title game. The Knights will lose a handful of key pieces off their championship team, including All-State seniors Eugene Snyder (Gardner-Webb), Jonathan Rivard (Virginia Tech), and State Player of the Year Max Harper (VMI). Spotsy will still have senior All-State honoree Evan Croson back this year as well as senior pitcher Brian Baker (Washington-MD) as they mount their title defense.

Turner Ashby
The Knights were the top seed in the Region C tournament in 2018 but were upset in the Region semifinals by Western Albemarle, ending their State Title defense. TA also lost Waring Garber and Tanner Moyers (Ferrum) to graduation. That all being said, at the end of every year, Turner Ashby is always in the mix, having won the 2017 State Championship and been to the State Tournament in 2016, the Knights have a habit of developing outstanding arms, and junior Nick Griffin is poised to be the next one to come through the program.

Western Albemarle
The Warriors entered the 2018 Region C tournament as the four seed, and an upset of top-seeded Turner Ashby sent them to a runner-up finish in the Region tournament and earned them a State Tournament trip. The Warriors' pitching staff has been gutted this offseason, lost Derek Domecq (Radford) and Luke Tenuta (Virginia Tech-football) to graduation as well as Garrett Payne (NC State) and Jack Masloff (VCU) to private schools. These vacancies should leave an opening for talented freshman Nathan Fink (Virginia) to get a shot to contribute.

William Monroe
The 2016 State Runners-up saw their 2018 season end just one game short of another State tournament trip as they were knocked out in a tight game by eventual State Champion Spotsylvania. The Green Dragons should be a factor again late in the season this spring as they bring back senior All-State honoree Jonathan Sexton as well as senior pitcher Reilly Owen.

The Falcons were the Region A runners-up in 2018 and advanced to the State Tournament. York loses Mark Evans (Hampden-Sydney) to graduation but has the potential to be strong on the mound this spring with the return of senior lefty Joseph O'Brien who should pair with junior Nicholas Willard (Liberty) to give the Falcons a solid one-two punch.



More 2019 Previews


op 10 Prospects in the Region C

Name School Class Position Commitment
Haydon Almond Brookville 2018 LHP
Derek Domecq Western Albemarle 2018 LHP/OF Radford
Zach Eppard Fort Defiance 2018 RHP
Waring Garber Turner Ashby 2018 RHP  
Eli Lam Spotswood 2019 SS/RHP  
Austin Martin Rustburg 2018 RHP  
Jack Masloff Western Albemarle 2019 LHP
Tanner Moyers Turner Ashby 2018 2B Ferrum
Daniel Ouderkirk Spotswood 2018 RHP West Virginia
Josh Whelan Fort Defiance 2018 RHP WV Tech (Basketball)