Prep Baseball Report

VHSL 2019 Class 6 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 6 Region C.

Region C is the home to the defending Class 6 State Champions, West Springfield. The Spartans are also the Region C champs, having defeated District Rival Lake Braddock in the Regional final and State semis after falling to the Bruins three times earlier in the season. The Bruins were the Patriot District champions and made their first State Tournament trip since reaching the semifinals in 2013 in the old AAA.

This Region tournament is one of a handful that sets its tournament up based on District finish as opposed to power points. The top four teams from each of the three Districts advance to the Region. There are two exceptions to that, one is Potomac, which will play its regular season schedule in the Cardinal District but will shift down to 5a for Region D tournament play, therefore not participating in this Region tournament, so the Cardinal District's top seed could actually be the second place team. The other exception is Justice (formerly JEB Stuart), which plays its regular season and District Tournaments in the Class 5 National District, and then if they finish in the top four in their District, they advance to the Region C tournament and pushing the bracket from 12 to 13 teams. In an interesting tidbit, the Gunston District teams combined to go 0-4 in the Region C tournament in 2018.


Top Prospects in the Region

Name School Class Position Commitment
Diego Barrett Hylton 2021 SS/RHP
Griffin Boone Forest Park 2020 SS  
Jimmy Curley West Potomac 2019 RHP High Point
Magnus Ellerts Woodbridge 2019 RHP Harford CC
Nicholas Ericsson Hylton 2019 C VCU
Adam Fischer West Potomac 2020 LHP  
Ryley Johnson Colgan 2020 OF East Carolina
Dean Kampschror Justice 2021 LHP Virginia
Lyle Miller-Green
Lake Braddock 2019 RHP George Mason
Ethan Rothstein Robinson 2019 C James Madison
Tyler Rulapaugh West Potomac 2019 RHP George Mason
Michael Weidinger Lake Braddock 2021 LHP


2019 Region C Districts

Cardinal Gunston Patriot National
Colgan Annandale Fairfax Justice
Forest Park Hayfield Lake Braddock  
Freedom (Woodbridge) Mount Vernon Robinson  
Gar-Field T.C. Williams South County  
Hylton West Potomac West Springfield  
Potomac**   W.T. Woodson  

*Italicized teams played in a 2018 Region C tournament
**Potomac will play in 5a Region C for the Postseason

Cardinal District

The Sharks qualified for their first Region tournament berth in the school's second year of competition and advanced to the quarterfinals before Lake Braddock brought their season to a close. They defeated some tough opponents throughout the season and will lose some pieces to graduation, including Matthew Kane, Nick Fontana, and two-way player Ethan Laird (Shenandoah). Despite those losses, the Sharks are poised to build off of their 2018 success, in large part thanks to the return of the their best player, junior outfielder Ryley Johnson (East Carolina). Johnson covers a ton of ground in center and has had his power potential start to manifest to go with his game-changing speed on the bases. Manning a role in the middle infield should be speedy senior Connor Cropp as well this spring. Losing Laird from the rotation is a blow, but the Sharks do bring back senior Brady Carter as well as junior Jared Dingus, both of whom had strong 2018 seasons and could form a good 1-2 punch. Junior Jackson Horton (Ferrum) may be a player who contributes in a larger role this spring.

Forest Park
The Bruins won the Cardinal District in 2018, and entered the Region tournament as a top seed. They advanced to the semifinals with a win over Stuart before Lake Braddock abruptly ended their season one win short of a State tournament berth. The Bruins will lose Robbie Stoss and Joseph Cofer (Wilson) from their lineup due to graduation. Stoss' graduation is also a blow to the rotation as is the departure of Tommy Wells. Back this spring for the Bruins will be senior catcher Andrew Frye as well as junior shortstop Griffin Boone. Sophomore Nathan Williams was able to crack the lineup as a freshman and could be a more important piece to Forest Park's success this spring.

Freedom (Woodbridge)
The Eagles won a game in 2018, the first time that they have won a game since 2015. On top of that, the Eagles were competitive in more games last year than they have been in recent history. Hopefully they can build on that success and string a few wins together in 2019.

The Indians made the Region tournament in 2018 and lost a close first-round matchup to Woodson, bringing a strong season for the program to an end with a 15-7 record. The Indians lost a major piece of their success to graduation with the departure of top arm and shortstop Marty Neal (Harford CC). The Indians do return four key pieces from last year's team this spring in starters Gavin Bassett, Drew Early, and Josh Robinson. Also back this spring looking to expand on his leadership role is Felix Perez. Some new faces to keep an eye on this spring for Gar-Field include Derrick Venable and Andrew Vasquez.

The Bulldogs are coming off of a down 2018 season that saw them relying on a lot of youth with the result being that they missed the Region tournament. The centerpiece of the Bulldog lineup and defensive anchor behind the plate, senior catcher Nicholas Ericsson (VCU), returns this spring to lead a still young, but more experienced team. Also stepping forward to a more important role along with Ericsson will be senior Kaileb Vanderveen. Some of the underclassmen who got a lot of run last year to keep an eye on include a pair of two-way talents in junior Ethan Marotske and sophomore Diego Barrett. A new face that could have an impact for Hylton this spring is senior Angeles Pierpoint

The Vikings advanced to the Region C tournament as the second seed from the Cardinal District and saw their season end earlier than they were hoping with an upset loss to Robinson in the first round. The Vikings lost some important pieces out of their lineup from a strong 2018 team with the graduation of outfielder Bryce Ross (Southern) as well as Hunter Steel. The Vikings have some big pieces coming back this year and are poised to compete. A big part of the storyline to the Vikings 2018 season was the emergence of Magnus Ellerts (Harford CC) and Jakobe Anderson (Patrick Henry CC). Ellerts had a breakout season on the mound and Anderson at the plate. Flanking Ellerts on the mound will again be fellow senior Jack Lamb (Bryant & Stratton). Also returning to the lineup with Anderson will be seniors Will Pope (Chesapeake JC) and Ian Briddell. Another returning starter to keep an eye on this spring as he will be relied upon more is sophomore infielder Eric Hiett.



The Atoms finished second in the Gunston District and were upset in the Region first round by Stuart, bringing their season to a close. The Atoms bring some key pieces back, led by senior centerfielder and table-setter Ethan Zimmerman as well as senior Alex Brennan, who will man third and provide pop in the middle of the lineup. Sophomore Danny Salisbury earned All-Region honors as a freshman and will return as Annandale's top arm and first basemen when not pitching.

The Hawks earned a Region bid in 2018 and were quickly eliminated by the eventual Region and State champs. Graduated from the 2018 team are two-way players Alejandro Rodriguez and Zach Askew. A key new piece for the Hawks in 2019 will be senior transfer and pitcher Logan Watts (Mary Washington). Returning pieces who earned playing time for Hayfield last spring include junior catcher Jonathan Woolsey and junior Sam Grazaino as well as sophomore Bryson Mitchell.

Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon had a challenging 2018 on and off the field and the Majors missed to Region tournament. They will look to rebound this spring and build off of some quality late season performances. Juniors Jake Coakley and Weston Roberts will be back in the lineup as well as sophomore Peter Dunn. Coakley is also likely back to be in the mix on the mound.

TC Williams
The Titans finished third in the District in 2018 and were knocked off in the first round of the Region tournament by Colgan. Back this spring will be key two-way piece Evan Waldner (CNU) as well as returning lineup contributors in senior Josh Goodrich and junior Nathan Keough.

West Potomac
The Wolverines delivered on the pre-season promise as the favorites the Gunston District, capturing a District title despite some off-the-field issues early in the season. The Wolverines ended their season how it began, with a loss to Woodson, falling in the Region quarterfinals. Gone from last year's team is the centerpiece from the lineup in Alec Roberts (Charlotte). The 2019 Wolverines will be loaded on the mound with a three-headed rotation of seniors Jimmy Curley (High Point), Tyler Rulapaugh (George Mason), and junior lefty Adam Fischer. Another option on the mound and returning to the lineup will be senior Jack Bachmore (Lynchburg), another senior returning who got significant playing time in 2018 is catcher Liam Airey. Junior Justin Bassett is also back and will likely return to the top half of the Wolverine lineup this spring.


Patriot District

The Rebels are coming off of a rough 2018 season that saw them transition from the Liberty District to the gauntlet that was the Patriot District last spring. They missed the Region tournament and will look to improve this spring with a team led by seniors Dylan Wilkinson (UMBC) and Bryce Johnson (Davis & Elkins).

Lake Braddock
The Bruins won the Patriot District in 2018, but then finished as the Region runners-up and a State semifinalist. The Bruins have been gutted by graduation with a massive 2018 class graduating. Gone are Matt Thomas (William & Mary), Rojo Prarie (William & Mary), Jack Darcy (Shepherd Football), Will Reid (Tufts), Ryan Baker (Emory & Henry), and Isaac Bowden (Grove City). The Bruins do bring back two key seniors in the lineup in shortstop Bobby Leitzel (Marymount), and two-way player Lyle Miller-Green (George Mason). Miller-Green is poised to have a healthy and dominant season at the top of the rotation after a strong summer and fall. The Bruins have already suffered a blow to this season's roster with sophomore catcher Grant Hartman starting the season unavailable. A player to watch in the rotation is sophomore lefty Michael Weidinger, who had a strong summer and could pitch himself into the rotation this spring. The Bruins have graduated big groups in the past and usually have plenty of talent to fill in.

The Rams returned home to the Patriot District in 2018 after spending about a decade in the Concord. They rode a strong core of seniors to Region tournament berth and advanced to the quarterfinals with an upset win over Woodbridge in the first round before their season came to an end. Gone off of last year's team is pitcher Hugh O'Hara (George Mason) as well as lineup pieces Peter Cocolis (Roanoke), Alex Lemery (Shenandoah), Jackson Russell (Washington & Jefferson), Cameron Price, and Jack Quinn. Some pieces do remain for the 2019 team, senior Ethan Rothstein (James Madison) will be back behind the dish, and junior Malik Kabra will be back after hitting his way into the middle of the lineup in 2018. Senior outfield Andrew Kanellis (Vassar) and senior pitcher Danny Checkosky (Roanoke) could step into bigger roles this spring for the Rams.

South County
The Stallions had a rough 2018 season and missed the Region tournament, getting off to a slow start and struggling to recover in a very deep Patriot District. Graduated from last year's team are top arm Jack Cone (William & Mary) as well as Austin McElligott (Marymount) and Kellum Stripling (CNU). The Stallions will look to bounce back in 2019 with key players for them being junior pitcher Tre Williams fellow junior and two-way player Tyler Gauthier. Look for sophomore infielder Max Bondurant to also be a key piece to South County's success this spring as well as watch for catcher Mike Robinson to be a key new face for the Stallions.

West Springfield
The defending State and Region Champs dropped their first three 2018 matchups to rival Lake Braddock, but they won the two in June that mattered the most to advance to the State Championship, where they blasted Western Branch to bring the title back to Fairfax. The Spartans lost a ton off of their Championship roster with the graduations of Jared Lyons (George Mason) and Calvin Pastel (Shenandoah), who formed West Springfield's one-two punch on the mound that carried them down the stretch. Also gone out of the lineup will be shortstop Brett Stallings (Frederick CC). Senior catcher David Giorgis and senior outfielder Alec Reilly (CNU) will be key returners in the lineup for the Spartans, and senior Jeffrey Beavers (Hampden-Sydney) could also be a potential new contributor as the Spartans look to fill holes caused by graduation. The biggest holes that will need to be filled will be on the mound, with sophomore Lucas Sorenson potentially being in the mix to contribute there at some point this spring.

The Cavaliers made the Region tournament in 2018 and made a bit of run, knocking off Gunston Disctrict champion West Potomac to reach the semifinals before West Springfield ended their season. Gone from that team are a number of key pieces in top arms Hunter Hoopes (UNC-Asheville) and Brett Clements as well as postion players Garrett Laraia (Cabrini)Pascal Roberts (Chowan)Brian Hennessey, and Chris Dudley. Woodson is going to have to turn the roster over this spring and the Cavaliers could become a threat in the District as the season progresses. Seniors Robbie Cahoon, Cal Hurlebaus, and Jacob Smith are all returning varsity players who could see their roles expand this spring, as are juniors Tyler Brocato, Sam Phelps, and John Schull.


National District

In their final season as Stuart, the Wolves advanced to the Region tournament after finishing fourth in the National District, and proceeded to advance to the quarterfinals with a blowout upset win over Annandale before their season ended. The Wolves bring back some key pieces this spring including senior shortstop Archer Rutledge as well senior utility player Quincy Wilkins and sophomore lefty Dean Kampschror (Virginia).



More 2019 Previews