Prep Baseball Report

VHSL 2019 Class 5 Region C 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 5, focusing on Region C. Region C is a Northern Virginia only Region, made up of the National District in Fairfax and the Potomac District in Loudoun.

A quirk in this Region is that Marshall and Stuart will play the regular season and National District tournament as though they are members of 5a, but they will jump to 6a Region tournaments instead of the Region C tournament.

Freedom (South Riding) won the Region A Championship in 2018, defeating 2017 State Champ Briar Woods in the Region Championship game. The Eagles had just moved up from Class 4 last year, so they made a pretty quick adjustment to the larger level of competition. Also in the Region are the 2015 State Champs, Stone Bridge.

The Region C tournament will be an eight tournament team, with three teams coming from the National District and five from the Potomac District. The fifth seed from the Potomac District will play the top seed from the Potomac, with the other three matchups in the quarterfinals being a National District team paired with a Potomac District team, based on seeding of District finish.


Top Prospects in the Region

Name School Class Position Commitment
Nathan Cmeyla Briar Woods 2020 C  
Casey Cook Freedom (South Riding) 2021 SS North Carolina
Nick Famiglietti Briar Woods 2020 3B  
Todd Hartmann Thomas Jefferson S&T 2019 LHP/OF Johns Hopkiins
Jaden Keuhner John Champe 2020 C  
Carson Mayfield Falls Church 2022 SS/RHP  
Zach Mazur Stone Bridge 2021 SS  
Paul Moore Stone Bridge 2019 OF Walter State CC
Drew Petit Briar Woods 2021 OF
Justin Rebok Broad Run 2020 RHP/OF  
Nate Savino Potomac Falls 2020 LHP Virginia 
Ben Williamson Freedom (South Riding) 2019 SS William & Mary

2019 Region C Districts

National Potomac
Thomas Edison Briar Woods
Falls Church Broad Run
Thomas Jefferson S&T John Champe
Lee (Fairfax) Freedom (South Riding)
Wakefield Potomac Falls
  Rock Ridge
Marshall** Stone Bridge
Stuart** Tuscarora

*Italicized teams played in the 2018 Region C tournament
**Play in National District during regular season and District Tournament, then move to Class 6 for Region play. These teams will be looked at in their respective Region Previews


Teams in Region C

Briar Woods
The 2017 State Champs returned to the State Tournament in 2018 as the Region Runners-up, but saw their season come to an end in the State Quarterfinals. The Falcons lost two more key pieces from their State Championship team with the graduations of a pair of All-State performers in ace lefty Wilson Ayers (Navy) and longtime catcher George Rosales (Fairleigh Dickinson). Also gone will be last year's surprise performer in outfielder Eric Falconer. That all being said, Briar Woods is going to be a in good shape in the lineup in 2019. Junior Nathan Cmeyla is coming off of a stellar season in the middle of the order and should move behind to plate with Rosales' departure. Also back in the lineup will be senior Aidan Willard as well as junior infielder Nick Famiglietti. Other faces that could add depth to the Falcon lineup behind that core will be junior infielder Chris Torre and speedy sophomore outfielder Drew Petit. The biggest question facing the Falcons this spring will be who emerges on the mound, and the Falcons will have to address that to make a third straight State Tournament this spring.

Broad Run
The Spartans missed a Region tournament berth in 2018 but did finish with a winning record. Most of their core players from the 2018 roster will return this spring as Broad Run, with a group of seniors forming the core of the lineup that will be built around physical outfielder Cameron Wayt and classmates Ryan Gorey and Ethan Snyder. Also back in the middle of the lineup will be junior infielder Quinn Stromberg. A key to last year's season was the emergence of a pair of young arms that proved ready to pitch at the varsity level. This season's team will rely on junior righty Justin Rebok and sophomore lefty Connor Hale to take the next in their development and give the Spartans a dangerous 1-2 punch on the mound with Snyder also being in the mix to contribute. Both Hale and Rebok contribute at the plate as well, and this group of returners makes Broad Run a team on the rise this spring.

John Champe
The Knights got off to a 3-3 start in 2018 and then things went downhill from there, leading Champe to miss the Region tournament. There is some talent on the Knight roster this spring, specifically offensive potential in the middle of the lineup as they look to bounce back. Senior Austin Gutierrez (Pitt-Johnstown) will be the centerpiece of the lineup. Look for him to be flanked by a pair of juniors with power potential in catcher Jaden Keuhner and corner infielder Logan Yi

The Eagles were the top Class 5 seed out of the National District in 2018 and saw their season end in the Region Quarterfinals. Edison brings back trio of seniors that will be keys to their success this spring. Gabe Fetzer will be the primary catcher with Jeffery Etter and Michael Plunkett providing two-way contributions. Junior Adam Wells will man first base while fellow junior Jack Durham is versatile and will help out in many ways. Junior Jacob Parker will be a new face in the outfield mix who could be a key to Edison's 2019 success.

Falls Church
The Jaguars just missed a Region tournament berth in 2018, losing twice late in the season to fall out of the fhird spot from the National District. Falls Church brings back senior Cam Karicher (Barton College), who is versatile in the field and is the Jaguars' top arm and an important bat. The Jaguars also do get back their best bat in All-Region infielder Tanner James (Union). A pair of freshmen to keep an eye on who could have a big impact on the mound and in the lineup for Falls Church are Carson Mayfield and Aidan Cunningham

Freedom (South Riding)
Freedom is the defending Region champion and reached the State Semifinals in 2018. A deep group of senior bats are gone from the Eagle roster with the graduations of Jack Fitzgerald (George Mason), Kyle Schofield (Frederick CC), Will Schroeder (North Carolina), Kevin Chung (Lynchburg), and Cameron Peacher.  Also gone to graduation are two of their top three arms in Jonathan Fisher (CNU) and Michael Stopper. Thse losses will hurt but will not be devastating to the 2019 Eagles thanks to the emergence last spring of now-senior Ben Wroniwiecz as a strong option on the mound. Also back will be a strong middle infield contingent in senior Ben Williamson (William & Mary) and sophomore Casey Cook (North Carolina). The lineup should have depth around those two as well with the returns of senior catcher Drew Caroline (CNU) and senior Brandon Egress. Every spring for the better part of a decade, Freedom has been one of the most fundamentally sound teams in Northern Virginia at executing on offense and on defense. That factor combined with the talent back on this year's roster places the Eagles firmly in the mix to defend their Region title.

The Lancers did not qualify for the Region C tournament in 2018, but some key pieces will be back as they look to improve in 2019. Seniors Max Thompson and Jacob Hodges are back and versatile. Thompson and junior Connor Hogan will split the catching duties while also being key arms in the rotation. Junior Matthew Frye is also a versatile player who can contribute in many ways. Look for newcomers Austin Moussa, Joey Hodges, and Myles Pittman to impact the Lancers this spring as well.

Potomac Falls
The Panthers had a resurgent 2018 season with the a big part of that success being the dominant season that 2020 lefty and First Team All-State honoree Nate Savino (Virginia) had. Potomac Falls advanced to the Region semifinals and lost a heartbreaking 1-0 game to Freedom (South Riding) to narrowly miss a State Tournament trip. They are shaping up to be a team to watch in 2019, with Savino back on the bump and senior catcher Andrew Gerhart (Mary Washington) back behind the dish and as a key piece in the lineup. Shortstop will again be manned by junior Jack Campbell, who earned All-District recognition as a sophomore. A key piece to watch for Potomac Falls will be sophomore lefty Matt Weber, who brought some pop to the lineup as a freshman and will be able to contribute on the mound this spring as well. Weber could give Potomac Falls a dominant 1-2 punch, which would make them one of the favorites to come out of this Region.

Rock Ridge
The Phoenix advanced to the Region C tournament as the Potomac District fourth seed in 2018 and took down Edison in the quarterfinals before falling to rival Briar Woods in the semifinals, one game short of a State Tournament trip. Rock Ridge loses Xavier Jessie (Frostburg State) to graduation but does bring back senior infielder Josh Harbinson (Wake Tech CC). Other key pieces for the Phoenix in 2019 will be Brandon Clarke, Sam Davies, and Felix Carlson. Look for Gabe Rivera to be an important newcomer as Rock Ridge looks to make another deep tournament run in 2019.

Stone Bridge
The 2015 State Champs advanced to the Region tournament in 2018 and challenged eventual champ Freedom in the quarterfinals before their season came to an end in a walk off. The Bulldogs graduated their one-two punch on the mound with the departures of Matt House (Shenandoah) and Shane Gallahan. Both were key pieces in the top of the order, and also graduated is senior outfielder Brendan Hall (Washington Univ MO). The power from the middle of the lineup will be back with the return of senior thumper Paul Moore (Walters State CC). Look for talented sophomore shortstop Zach Mazur to possibly force his way into the lineup at some point this spring. Their are a trio of 2019s who could step into the vacant roles in the rotation in Brennan Speier, Lawson Calhoon, and Mitchell Colombo

Thomas Jefferson S&T
The Colonials made the Region tournament in 2018 before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Briar Woods. TJ brings back its top arm in senior lefty Todd Hartmann (Johns Hopkins) as well as senior shortstop Zach Hershey as they look to return to postseason play in 2019.

The Huskies surged down the stretch to finish 2018 with a .500 record but did not qualify for the Region C tournament. David Drummond (Shepherd) and Garrett Zendek (Mary Washington) depart the lineup via graduation as rotation loses Jonathan Lacy. One of the big storylines for the Huskies in 2018 was the offensive output that now-junior infielder Phaly Moravek put up. He will be the key to the offense, with speedy senior outfielder Becker Kaufman back in the lineup as well. Senior Alex Rebello contributed on the mound in 2018 and should see his role increase this spring.

The Warriors finished the 2018 season with a .500 record and advanced to the Region C tournament before falling in the Region quarterfinals. The Warriors bring back some key pieces in senior Alex Stamatopoulos, who hit .380 last spring. Also back is fellow senior Zach Bako, who led the team in RBIs and hit .330 while also leading the team with 70 innings and a 2.60 ERA and winning District Pitcher of the Year honors. With those pieces back, Wakefield is poised to return to the Region tournament in 2019.


More 2019 Previews