VHSL 5A South Region Preview



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By PBR VA/DC Staff


4A Bracket

A look at the Conference Champions:

Conference 9 top seed No. 12 Hickory did not actually win the Conference 9 championship, Indian River beat them in the championship game. The Hawks received the top seed for winning the regular season as Conference 9 is one of only a handful of conferences in Virginia that do that. Hickory has one of the most potent offenses in Virginia led by centerfielder Cody Schneider (Radford) and third baseman Mikey Polansky (Virginia Tech). The Hawks have been better on the mound down the stretch and have a chance to win any game that junior Hunter Gregory (Old Dominion) starts.

No. 21 Menchville won the Conference 10 championship and has been one of those teams that just finds ways to win all spring. Senior Jaret West has had one of the most successful careers in school history and gives his team a chance to win in every game. Senior Marvin Pryor (Brevard) is among the leaders of a balanced offense that can score in a lot of different ways.

Conference 11 Champion Glen Allen has had an interesting year in 2016. The Jaguars won the 2015 4A State Championship and were rewarded with reclassification up to 5A. Glen Allen then finished in third place in the conference in the regular season. The Jaguars are powered primarily by their offense and have a younger pitching staff this spring, and that offense is led by Kyle Battle (Old Dominion) and Adam Collins (Norfolk State). The Jaguars have gotten good pitching at times this spring, but the key to their success is ultimately their offense, and Glen Allen won the Conference 11 Championship game 13-3 over top seed Mills Godwin.

No. 10 Prince George has been on a magical run this spring as the Royals have only lost once entering Region play. The Royals offense has been explosive all spring, scoring double digits regularly. The pitching and defense has also been very good as Prince George has only allowed more than three runs twice all spring, with their lone loss coming in a pitcher’s duel to Matoaca, a loss that they avenged in the Conference 12 Championship game.
 

Our Staff Picks:

John Nolan
Championship: Indian River defeats Prince George
Dark Horse: Indian River. The Warriors have proven all spring that they can shut down elite offenses, including 17 straight scoreless innings against Hickory, and good pitching usually wins in the playoffs.
Early Upset: Nansemond River defeats Hickory. The Warriors are one of the more talented teams in Virginia but were hurt early in the season by minor injuries to their top two arms. Look for senior Michael Blanchard (Old Dominion) to start this game and give his offense a chance to win.
Best Game on Paper: Glen Allen vs Hickory if you like offense. As the potential third game this week with limited available arms, these two teams could combine for thirty runs in this game. Hickory vs Indian River would be another good one, the first three matchups have been tight pitcher’s duels, a fourth with a State Tournament berth on the line certainly would as well.

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