Too Early Spring Previews: 757 Teams 6-10


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 Too Early Spring Preview, as we dive into some of the top teams in the 757/Beach area. 

6. Ocean Lakes Dolphins 

With newcomer Blake Dickerson (Virginia Tech), Ocean Lakes will have a chance to win any game they play. Dickerson is a shut down arm and he will have the likes of Max Kuhle (JMU), Peter Philips, and Nate Chown to accompany him on the mound. Senior Trevor Selph (EMU) will more than likely handle the catching duties. The Dolphins will have to replace one of the best bats in the state in 2021, Carson DeMartini who may have a chance to make big offensive contributions at Virginia Tech in his freshman year. If they can scratch together some offense Ocean Lakes will be hard to beat in 2022.

7. Lafayette Rams 

Look no further than #1 player in the VA/DC 2022 class as the primary reason as to why Lafayette has a chance to be back on top in June. Luke Hanson (UVA) is the best positional draft prospect and arguably the best overall draft prospect in the state. Hanson's physicality and athleticism that he offers on the offensive and defensive side are great, but at the high school level his ability to shut down opposing offenses from the mound are what could propel the Rams over the top. Kevin Cole is more than likely the number two arm for Lafayette and plays shortstop when Hanson is on the mound. Cole, Tristan Hiestand, and Price Whitaker will be likely contributors at the plate. How deep of a run can the Rams make? I think that will be dependent upon how well the staff can manage the days that Hanson is not on the mound, as well as whether they can score enough on those days.

8. Western Branch Bruins 

Hunter Johnson (Randolph-Macon) and Harrison Didawick (UVA) will provide some firepower in the top of the Bruins lineup, but there are some other questions that the Bruins will need to figure out if they want to get back on top, a place they have been plenty of times. On the mound the losses of Roberto Velasquez (Bryant & Stratton) and Kyle Hardy (Western Carolina) are big, but if the Bruins can figure out how to replace those innings they will once again be in the conversation in late May.

9. Walsingham Academy 

The Trojans lost their VISAA D3 State Player of the Year in Lincoln Lubsen (Randolph-Macon). Lubsen carried a lot of weight for the Trojans at the plate and on the mound so he will leave big shoes to fill. Jacob Miller-Bopp (Hampden-Sydney), Trey Christman, and Cody Christman bring back a wealth of experience, but will need help from the Trojans' supporting cast. Look for names like Donnie Evans (Hampden-Sydney) and super sophomore's Luke Harlow, Ayden Evans, Davis Neighbor, and Will Wyles to contribute in big ways if Walsingham hopes to make it four VISAA titles in a row.

 

10. Hickory Hawks 

The return of Cooper Newell and Bobby Loper on the mound are enough in itself to warrant the Hawks to be in consideration for teams to watch in 2022. Newell, a JMU commit, has a chance to be a frontline arm and Loper came on strong late in the year. Austin Jones, Spencer Sigmon (Bridgewater), and Jacob Smith (UVA-Wise) will more than likely pace the Hickory offense, but will need some help from others after the losses of Zackary Chadwell (High Point), Johnny Pascale, and Thomas Watermolen.