VISAA Championship Weekend Preview



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By PBR VA/DC Staff

Thursday through Saturday this weekend, the VISAA will play its 2016 State semifinals and championships at Shepherd Stadium. We have received word that if the rain that is expected on Saturday occurs, the Championships will move to Sunday. We polled some of our staff for their predictions of the action this weekend:

Jon Kaufman:
Division I
Paul VI Catholic defeats Benedictine
Flint Hill defeats Collegiate
Championship: Paul VI defeats Flint Hill 

Division II
Greenbrier Christian defeats Miller School
Atlantic Shores defeats Steward
Championship: Greenbrier Christian defeats Atlantic Shores 

Division III
Southampton defeats North Cross
Isle of Wight defeats Alliance Christian
Championship: Southampton defeats Isle of Wight
 

John Nolan:
Division I
Paul VI Catholic defeats Benedictine
Collegiate defeats Flint Hill
Championship: Collegiate defeats Paul VI 

Division II
Greenbrier Christian defeats Miller School
Atlantic Shores defeats Steward
Championship: Greenbrier Christian defeats Atlantic Shores 

Division III
Southampton defeats North Cross
Alliance Christian defeats Isle of Wight
Championship: Southampton defeats Alliance Christian
 

Sammy Serrano:
Division I
Paul VI Catholic defeats Benedictine
Collegiate defeats Flint Hill
Championship: Collegiate defeats Paul VI 

Division II
Greenbrier Christian defeats Miller School
Atlantic Shores defeats Steward
Championship: Greenbrier Christian defeats Atlantic Shores 

Division III
Southampton defeats North Cross
Isle of Wight defeats Alliance Christian
Championship: Southampton defeats Isle of Wight

 

A look at the semifinal games:

Benedictine opened the season with a loss to Paul VI in March. Paul VI pitched by committee in the quarterfinals on Monday, and will have all three of its senior arms available for this game: Jack Cunningham (Boston College), Kevin Kelly (James Madison), or Timmy Newell (Immaculata). Junior Eli Ottinger threw a complete game for Benedictine on Monday, and will likely be unavailable for the Cadets.

Flint Hill won its quarterfinal behind a dominant performance on the mound by Khalil Lee (Liberty) on three days’ rest. Look for the Huskies to turn to their other senior ace, Robert Riddick (Virginia Tech) for the semifinals, with Lee available to close if necessary. Collegiate has been on an absolute tear since getting senior Will Allocca (Virginia) back from injury. Junior lefty Evan Justice (NC State) threw a complete game in the quarterfinals, so look for seniors Ben Greer (Washington & Lee) and David Angstadt (William & Mary) to tag team this game on the mound. Since Allocca’s return, he and Angstadt have formed one of the best middle of the lineup combinations in the state, helping power the Cougars to their eleven game winning streak.

On paper, the best game of the semifinals should be the rematch of last year’s Division II Championship game between Greenbrier Christian and Miller School. Both teams managed to win their quarterfinal game without using their aces, leaving Casey Williams (Liberty) as the likely starter for the Gators and Connor Gillispie (VCU) as the projected starter for the Mavericks. These teams faced off in late March, and Greenbrier won on a walk-off in the bottom of the eighth, 2-1.

The other Division II semifinal pits a pair of teams that pulled quarterfinal upsets to reach the semifinals. Steward snuck by Highland School and senior Justin Towles of Atlantic Shores shut out Nansemond Suffolk. Steward will likely turn to talented freshman lefty Carson Jones for the start, with Harrison Clifton and Logan Ransom available behind him. Steward has a veteran lineup that will be tough for the Seahawks to navigate. The Seahawks have been a streaky team all spring, winning their first fifteen games before dropping four in a row in late April. They ride a five game winning streak into the game and will likely turn to junior Jared Kercher on the mound. The Seahawk offense has been a strength all season, averaging nearly eight runs per game.

Southampton Academy is the defending Division III champion and only has three losses on the season, two to Division II opponents and the other in a home and home split with Isle of Wight. Southampton has only allowed more than three runs in a game six times this spring, including all three of their losses.

Alliance Christian and Isle of Wight have already met twice this season, with the Chargers winning both games by 5-4 scores. Alliance Christian has had an up and down spring and has a ton of athleticism, making this an interesting game between Metro Conference Rivals

 

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