West Virginia State Tournament: Class AAA Preview



By Greg Williams
West Virginia Executive Director of Scouting

A total of 24 teams began regional play last week and 12 remain as the West Virginia state tournament prepares to kick off on Thursday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.  Today we preview the four teams that will compete for an opportunity to be crowned Class AAA state champions for 2017. 

+ CLICK HERE to view complete regional Tournament brackets leading to the state tournament

Class AAA 

Hurricane (29-7)

A regular participant at Power Park come late May and early June, the Redskins return after a one year hiatus.  A mid-season injury to staff ace Aaron Perry did not derail Hurricane.  The Kentucky recruit was hitting .628 at the time of his injury in addition to being dominant on the mound.  Senior Garrett Gress has picked up the slack nicely going 9-0 with 73 strikeouts in 60.1 innings of work while compiling a 0.81 ERA.  Logan McClure and Liam Bailey have also combined for an additional nine wins.  Nate Dunham (.417), Evan Dearing (.391), Noah Short (.388) and Bo Adkins (.382) have driven the offense while Noah Birthisel (3 HR, 38 RBI) leads the team in RBI.

Morgantown (21-8)

The Mohigans advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 1976 and effectively ended Wheeling Park's consecutive appearance streak in Charleston by topping the Patriots in two straight games for the Region 1 title. A roster that includes 12 seniors seems to get big contributions from different players on a game to game basis. Unlike most teams that advance to this level, Morgantown does not necessarily have a staff ace.  They have a number of arms they can turn to in the semifinals and will likely need to outscore Hurricane to advance.

St. Albans (30-9)

The Red Dragons return to the state tournament for the first time since 2004 after knocking off Greenbrier East in three games to win the Region 3 title.  A pitching staff that has accounted for 30 wins and a combined 2.10 ERA is led by sophomores Nick Loftis (9-1, 1 SV, 1.66 ERA, 75 K) and Jacob Carr (6-2, 1 SV, 1.93 ERA, 104 K).  Freshman Noah Cummings (.381, 2 HR, 38 RBI), sophomore Connor Fizer (.328, HR, 29 RBI), Carr (.340, 2 HR, 23 RBI) and Loftis (.330, 2 HR, 26 RBI) lead the Red Dragons offense.  St. Albans has advanced to this point with huge contributions from underclassmen and should be knocking on the door for a return trip to Charleston next year with much of their roster returning.

Washington (24-5)

The Patriots make just their second trip to the state tournament after disposing of Jefferson, the two-time defending AAA state champs in the section tournament, and disposing of Hedgesville in two games to win the Region 2 title.  Washington is arguably the hottest team in the state and have staff ace Jack Dubyak (8-1, 2 SV, 1.83 ERA, 39 K) well rested heading to Charleston. Craig Link (5-0, 2.73 ERA), Zachary Depoy (4-1, 3.66 ERA, 2 SV) and Nathan Kerr (4-1, 2.85 ERA, 54 K) are also viable options on the mound. Cameron Pine (.487, 34 RBI, 32 R), Dalton Jackson (.378, 22 RBI, 42 R) and Spencer Delawder (.380, 30 RBI, 20 R) lead an offense that has combined for a .318 team batting average.

State Tourney schedule

Friday, June 2 - Appalachian Power Park

Hurricane vs. Morgantown (10:00am)
St. Albans vs. Washington (1:00pm)

Saturday, June 3 - Appalachian Power Park

Class AAA Championship Game - 1:00PM

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