Prep Baseball Report

West Virginia State Tournament: Class AA Preview

By Greg Williams
West Virginia Director of Scouting

A total of 48 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 AA state champions for 2016.

Preseason Flashback:

First the bad, we fanned on Region 1 where we thought the top end pitching of East Fairmont and a senior heavy roster made the Bees the favorite heading into the 2016 campaign. We were wrong. And for the good, we nailed the other three region winners to finish with a .750 batting average in Class AA. CLICK HERE to view our complete 2016 preseason region previews.

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

Class AA

Braxton County (22-10),210,89/1461791735_braxton_county_eagles.gifThe Eagles have won one state title in school history and make the trek to Charleston with a junior laden roster. If Braxton County is to find a way to derail Bridgeport in their efforts to win a third state title in as many years it will likely fall square on the shoulders of junior left-hander Seth Backus who spun a 2-1 complete game win in the regional finals over Fairmont Senior.

Bridgeport (28-6),210,89/1395782859_bridgeport_indians.gifThe Indians graduated nine seniors from last year's state championship team and then had to deal with season ending injuries to Logan Smith and Jared Cleghorn. The pair fronted last year's pitching rotation and started the state semifinal and final games in 2015.

Senior Hunter Haddix, a Potomac State recruit, has gone 5-2 record with a 2.26 ERA. Haddix is the lone member of the pitching staff to have made an appearance in the 2015 state tournament. Juniors Gordon Swiger (6-0, 1.65 ERA) and Brine Takahashi (7-1, 2.45 ERA) have also emerged to give the Indians a solid core of arms heading back to Charleston.

The Indians as is their trademark, score runs in bunches led by junior catcher Drew Hefner hitting .421. A pair of seniors headed to WVU to play football, Elijah Drummond (.376, 35 RBIs) and Dante Bonamico (.366, 34 runs scored) have been staples in the lineup and outfielder Joseph Dodrill (.300, 40 runs scored) leads the team in runs scored. Dodrill will be headed to Potomac State next fall.

Wayne (23-10-1) right-hander Dakota McCloud has been a force at the front end of the Pioneers rotation and is likely to get the ball in the semifinal game. McCloud has punched out 82 hitters in 64.1 innings of work and comes into the state tournament with a 9-1 record.

Sophomore Cayden Ross has put up impressive numbers (.479, 37 RBI, 27 runs). Junior catcher Cody Noe (.462) and senior outfield Cody Stiltner (33 runs scored) will also be players to watch in Charleston.

PikeView (22-3) got its feet wet at the state tournament in 2015, advancing to that level for the first time. They return this time with a 1-2 punch on the mound as good as any of the 12 teams in the tournament. Senior Levi Nash, a University of Charleston signee, has gone 7-1 with a 1.16 ERA. The Panthers also benefited from the addition this year of Michael Rotenberry (8-0, 0.48) who transferred from Princeton for his senior season. Rotenberry is headed to West Virginia Tech next fall.

Seniors Keian Lee (.467, 32 RBI, 40 runs), Carter Shrewsbury (.439, 21 RBI, 40 runs) and Jon Clark (.419, 39 RBIs, 31 runs) return to the state tournament and lead the PikeView offense. Lee is a Bluefield State signee.

State Tourney schedule

Thursday, June 2 - Appalachian Power Park

Braxton County vs. Bridgeport (4:30pm)
Wayne vs. PikeView (7:30pm)

Saturday, June 4 - Appalachian Power Park

Class AA Championship Game - 10:00am

Upcoming Events

Showcase State Date Location
2016 Western PA Top Prospect Games (INVITE ONLY) WV Jun 14 Seton Hill University
Individual Player Evaluation (Year Round By Appointment) WV Jun 22 Keystone State Baseball Academy - Manheim, PA
2016 Eastern PA College Prospect Showcase WV Jun 28 Maplezone Sports Village (Aston, PA)
2016 Eastern PA Top Prospect Games (INVITE ONLY) WV Jul 19 La Salle University
2016 PBR Future Games powered by Under Armour (Pennsylvania Invite Only) WV Aug 4 Grand Park (IN)
2016 Western PA College Prospect Showcase WV Aug 18 Iron Horse Sports Complex (Windber, PA)
Team PBR (Invite Only) WV Aug 19 Pennsylvania