Prep Baseball Report

VHSL 3A 2017 Preview


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By John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director and Content Manager

Last week, we began our season previews by classification by taking a look at the smaller public schools. We began with VHSL 1A and VHSL 2A last week and we released our combined 1A/2A Rankings earlier this week. This week we start moving towards larger schools as we take a look at VHSL 3A. Next week look for our 4A preview and our combined 3A/4A Rankings.


The 3A Region playoffs in 2016 were marked by first round upsets as half of the eight top seeds were eliminated. In the East, Brentsville District dominated Spotslyvania and Colonial Heights needed ten innings to sneak by Tabb with senior ace Noah Murdock (Virginia) on the mound. In the West, Blacksburg narrowly beat Magna Vista and Staunton River outslugged heavily-favored Abingdon. In the other first round games, Turner Ashby and Rustburg won comfortably in the West, Poquoson needed a walk-off win in the ninth to defeat York and William Monroe got by Hopewell.

In the East Region semifinals, Poquoson picked up their second straight walk-off win as they knocked of Brentsville to earn their State Tournament berth. William Monroe blew out Colonial Heights to earn their State bid and Poquoson captured the 3A East Region Championship, picking up its third straight one run win.

In the West semifinals, Rustburg rallied to force extra innings before defeating Staunton River and Turner Asbhy blew out Blacksburg to earn their State Tournament spots and set up a Region Championship showdown that Turner Ashby won going away.

In the State Tournament, the Region Runners-up had their way in the semifinals as Rustburg defeated Poquoson and William Monroe shut out Turner Ashby. Rustburg won a tight Championship Game to capture the 3A Title.


PlayerS to watch IN 3A

Name Position School Class Commitment
Haydon Almond LHP Brookville 2018
Daniel Brooks SS Spotsylvania 2017 George Mason
Trey Campbell OF Riverside 2017 UNC-Asheville
Sebastian Cianelli SS Blacksburg 2017 King University
Adam Dofflemeyer LHP Spotswood 2017 King University
Derek Domecq LHP/OF Western Albemarle 2018
Jake Dudley RHP/3B Culpeper 2019  
Zack Eppard RHP Fort Defiance 2018  
Mark Evans SS York 2018  
Robert Ferreira RHP Riverside 2018  
Thomas Francisco SS Abingdon 2018 East Carolina
Austin Gault OF Poquoson 2018  
Logan Gibson RHP Fluvanna County 2017 Shenandoah
Wes Glass LHP Riverside 2018  
Will Harless C Abingdon 2017 Radford
Cade Hungate 3B Abingdon 2018 Florida State
Cole Jackson SS Poquoson 2017  
Gavin Kandrick C Skyline 2017 Roanoke
Joseph O'Brien LHP York 2019  
Daniel Ouderkirk RHP Spotswood 2018  
Ronald Payne LHP/OF William Monroe 2017 Randolph-Macon
Nathan Rebich LHP Spotswood 2017 King University
Brett Ritter RHP Skyline 2017  
Hunter Schmidt 3B Poquoson 2019  
Justin Showalter RHP Turner Ashby 2017 James Madison
Dillon Sisk LHP Skyline 2018  
Carson Stanely 3B/RHP Rustburg 2017  
James Steele LHP York 2018  
Will Stout RHP Christiansburg 2018  
Kaleb Stowe RHP Spotsylvania 2017 Charleston (WV)
Ryan Sukovich C Western Albemarle 2017  
Austin Vernon 1B Patrick County 2017 Ferrum
Cody Warner C Turner Ashby 2017 Virginia Military Institute
Joshua Whelan RHP Fort Defiance 2018  


Top 10 Prospects in 3a

  Name Position School Year Commitment
1. Cade Hungate 3B Abingdon 2018 Florida State
2. Daniel Ouderkirk RHP Spotswood 2018  
3. Thomas Francisco SS Abingdon 2018 East Carolina
4. Justin Showalter RHP Turner Ashby 2017 James Madison
5. Daniel Brooks SS Spotsylvania 2017 George Mason
6. Cody Warner C Turner Ashby 2017 Virginia Military Institute
7. Will Harless C Abingdon 2017 Radford
8. Trey Campbell OF Riverside 2017 UNC-Asheville
9. Mark Evans SS York 2018  
10. Hunter Schmidt 3B Poquoson 2019  


Teams in bold were 2016 Region Tournament teams. 2016 Conference Champions are denoted by Conference number next to their name (27).

3A East 3A West
Armstrong Abingdon (32)
Booker T. Washington Alleghany
Brentsville District Blacksburg
Colonial Heights Broadway
Culpeper County Brookville
George Wythe-Richmond Cave Spring
Hopewell Christiansburg
I.C. Norcom Fluvanna County
James Monroe Fort Defiance
John Marshall Heritage-Lynchburg
Lakeland Hidden Valley
Manassas Park Liberty-Bedford
Park View-South Hill Magna Vista (31)
Petersburg Monticello
Phoebus Northside
Poquoson (25) Patrick County
Riverside Rockbridge County
Skyline Rustburg (30)
Spotsylvania (26) Staunton River
Southampton Spotswood
Tabb (27) Tunstall
Thomas Jefferson-Richmond Turner Asbhy (29)
Warhill Waynesboro
Warren County Western Albemarle
William Monroe (28)


Abingdon won Conference 32 and was probably the most talented team in 3A in 2016 aside from Turner Ashby. The Falcons return the bulk of their team this spring including an absurd offensive core of senior catcher Will Harless (Radford) and junior infielders Thomas Francisco (East Carolina) and Cade Hungate (Florida State). Add in the return of senior pitchers Seth Herndon and Drew White and the Falcons are easily one of the favorites to be celebrating in Salem on June 10.

Christiansburg could be a team that steps forward in 2017 after missing the 3A West playoffs in 2016. Righthanded pitcher Will Stout will give the Blue Demons a chance against just about any team in 3A.

Fort Defiance reached the 3A West tournament in 2016 and should be solid on the mound again this spring as juniors Joshua Whelan and Zack Eppard give the Indians the makings of what could be a strong one-two punch on the mound for the next two years.

Poquoson reached the State Tournament and won the 3A East Region in 2016. The Islanders always seem to be around at the end of the season and will have back some key pieces in All-State performers Cole Jackson and Austin Gault. Sophomore Hunter Schmidt has some of the most upside in 3A and how quickly he contributes could drive how far Poquoson goes this spring.

Riverside will enter its second year of competition this spring and the Rams should be a factor in late May as they will have one of the more dynamic two-way talents in 3A to lead their offense and contribute on the mound in senior Trey Campbell (UNC-Asheville). A strong Riverside sophomore and junior class were aided by the addition of righthander Robert Ferreira and catcher Aidan Koferl transferring in. Junior lefty Wes Glass has a lot of potential with his projectable frame.

Rustburg is the defending 3A State Champions and also won Conference 30 in 2016. The Devils bring back senior All-State honoree Carson Stanley as well as senior catcher Daegan Phillips as they look to repeat in 2017.

Spotswood will be looking to get back to the 3A West tournament in 2017 and the Trailblazers have what should be an interesting rotation that could carry them there this spring. 6-9 junior righty Daniel Ouderkirk cuts an imposing figure on the mound and is one of the top prospects in the class. Spotswood also has senior lefthanders Adam Dofflemeyer (King) and Nathan Rebich (King) to round out their rotation.

Spotsylvania won Conference 26 and advanced to the East Region tournament in 2016. The Knights will bring back All-State performer Daniel Brooks (George Mason) as well as fellow senior Kaleb Stowe (Charleston WV) as they look to return to the Region tournament and make a deeper run this spring.

Turner Ashby has lost plenty to graduation off of a stacked 2016 team that won the 3A West Region. The Knights look to return to the State Tournament this spring and will have senior righty Justin Showalter (James Madison) to bear a heavy load on the mound. Showalter will be paired with fellow senior battery mate Cody Warner (VMI).

Western Albemarle reached the 3A West tournament in 2016 despite an up and down spring that saw a handful of tight losses. Look for the Warriors to again be a factor in late May as they return talented two-way junior Derek Domecq as well as senior catcher Ryan Sukovich.

William Monroe reached the 2016 State Championship game and won Conference 28. The Dragons bring back major two-way contributor and First Team All-State honoree RJ Payne (Randolph-Macon), who will top their rotation and be the centerpiece of the lineup as Monroe looks to make another deep run this spring.

York made the Region tournament last year and lost two college-bound players to graduation. The Falcons have a talented young core though and could round into a dangerous team by the time the playoffs come around. Juniors Mark Evans and Dylan Dye should make a solid combo in the middle infield with both bringing some pop at the plate. Fellow junior lefthanded pitcher James Steele has some upside on the mound and sophomore lefty Joseph O’Brien does too.

Check back next week as preview VHSL 4A and the WCAC as well as release our 3A/4A Rankings and continue rolling out individual team previews.