Too Early Spring Previews: 757 Top 5

Jason Burton
PBR Virginia/DC Scouting Coordinator

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As we slowly creep towards the end of 2021, the anticipation and excitement for another high school baseball season rises. 
Today, we roll out our second installment of the 757 Too Early Spring Preview. In this edition we will uncover our Beach area Top 5 teams. 

1. Nansemond River Warriors 

With the departures of speedy centerfielder and leadoff hitter Cam Pittman (Radford), as well as pitcher/third baseman Gavin Gregory the Warriors will have some run production to replace. They return some important pieces in the lineup with the likes of Grayson Fitzwater (VMI), Ayden Stuffel (CNU), Aden Judge, and Chase Magrisi. Lastly, the Warriors bring back one of the best players, especially positional player, in the 757, Clay Grady (Virginia Tech). Grady is a sparkplug for that offense and a lockdown defender at shortstop. Newly added 2023 Cameron Johnson will also add a big bat to the potent offense. Staff ace Ayden Stuffel gets the ball in the big games, but who will fill the other important innings for the Warriors. If they can get some solid outings from their secondary arms, look for Nansemond River to once again be at the top of their district and region.

2. Cape Henry Collegiate Dolphins 

One of the youngest teams in the state in 2021 will be a year older in 2022. Cape Henry may still be looking for that frontline, shutdown arm, but the experience that the young staff gained last spring will no doubt help. Offensively the Dolphins return one of the top power bats in the area in Kenneth Schaedel (Georgia Tech), as well as Parker Wight who had a breakout spring as a freshman last season. Cape has plenty of depth positionally with the likes of a healthy Yoon Chae, Andrew Hart, Harper Cox (UVA), Josh Holland, Garrison Wight, Macaddin Dye, Cooper Angilly, and Tanner Schaedel. The pitching will be the key as the Dolphins should not have trouble scoring runs.

3. Greenbrier Christian Gators 

The Gators will need to replace the leadership and production of James McGrady (Western Carolina) and Ethan Ott (UNC-Pembroke). Fortunately for GCA they have the return of a fully healthy senior leader in Austin Younce (VCU) and staff ace Bailey Matela (ODU). Matela will be accompanied by Dominic Angrisani who filled some big innings for the Gators as a sophomore and will look to expand on that this spring. Gavin Whitehurst is probably one of the top uncommitted bats in the state and along with Austin Younce, the Gator offense has plenty of pop in the middle of that order. New addition Bubba Sawyer (UVA) will add speed to the lineup, as well as a reliable defender to replace McGrady at shortstop.

4. First Colonial Patriots 

With only one look at the Patriots last spring, they appear to not only have talent on the roster, but are a well coached group. Jerry Barnes III (William & Mary) is the catalyst in the Patriot offense, as well as the defensive leader behind the plate. William Wian (Randolph-Macon) should once again anchor the First Colonial staff and will be accompanied on the mound by Ryan Northup (Mary Washington) and company. The Patriot offense lost left handed power bat Ryan Peterson (VMI), but have talent and ability to once again make a run.

5. Maury Commodores 

Maury suffered some huge losses from their 2021 campaign. Antwan Walton (ODU) and Kennedy Jones (UNC-G) graduated. Alvin "Tre" Keels and TayShaun Walton (Miami) have transferred to IMG Academy. Those four losses have left some big voids for Maury, especially on the offensive side. A healthy Cullen McKay (UVA) gives the Commodores one of the most electric arms in the state and fellow seniors Matthew Phillips (USC-Upstate) and Ashton McGarity could throw some valuable innings. The area that Phillips will more than likely contribute the most at is at the plate. The big left handed bat of Phillips will be joined by the emerging 2023 power left handed bat of Brian Jones in the lineup.