Nationals Arm Race

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High School Baseball starting up…

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logo via vhsl.org, the Virginia High School League.

logo via vhsl.org, the Virginia High School League.

There may have been nearly a foot of snow on the ground a week ago, and it may be scheduled to snow yet again tomorrow (Friday 3/20/15), but prep baseball kicks off this week in the DC metro area.

Baseball America posted their pre-season top 50 High School rankings in mid February, since the southern/warm states can start playing a ton earlier than us northern states (there are schools in Texas who have already played 10-12 games).  The only DC-area school noted is my alma mater James Madison HS in Vienna, ranked 27th to start by BA.  Which I can’t quite believe, even as a homer fan, based on who they have returning and who they have being recruited for Div 1 schools right now (they do have the returning all-Met John DeFazio, one of just a handful of returning Junior all-Mets from last year).  But hey, that’s why they play the games, right?

(post publishing note: the WP’s first top 10 on 3/26/15 has Madison #1 with the expected local powerhouses populating the top 10).

Other National HS team ranking sites for reference:

  • Baseball America: 2/24/15 pre-season rankings and their 3/10/15 rankings early into the National seasons.
  • USA today; too early yet for rankings but home page at http://usatodayhss.com/
  • Maxpreps.com: at this link, constantly updating.  Per their pre-season top-100 list, local teams getting recognition early include both 5-A finalists from last year Freeman and Hickory, 6-A Richmond power Cosby, Madison at #51, and defending Maryland 3-A champ Reservoir at #77.
  • PerfectGame.org: top 50 ranks: unclear if they have updated this for the new season yet, but this is the permalink.  They mention only Hickory and Battlefield.
  • (if you are aware of other ranking sites, please let me know).

Madison’s season (and a lot of other local HS teams) kicks off on Friday March 20th against defending 5-A north champion Stone Bridge.  A juicy match-up; basically the two best regular season teams from the area last year face off to start the new season.  Too bad its likely to get snowed out and maybe not even rescheduled.  Battlefield looks like it could be quite good this year as chronicled in this InsideNova.com article.  Otherwise it is hard to predict how the 2015 season may run.

Madison finished 21-3 last year and surprisingly lost in the regional semi finals, while Stone Bridge finished the year 22-2 and made it to the state semi finals despite losing ace Jacob (J.B.) Bukauskas prior to the playoffs (Bukauskas passed up on being a possible 1st round pick and is now in UNC’s rotation as a freshman, already seemingly moving from being their Sunday to their Saturday starter).  Lets hope if they don’t play tomorrow that they at least get to re-schedule the game.

Can’t wait for another season of prep baseball to track.  Local draft/marquee player post coming soon.


Local Baseball Resources that I use constantly: this is my typical list of resources that I’ll tag onto all HS posts

National High School Baseball Ranking Lists: once they start publishing, i’ll include direct links here.  See above links for what’s available this early in the season.

Local Prep Resources:

 

Written by Todd Boss

March 19th, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Posted in Local Baseball

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Nationals Arm Race Best Stories for 2014; Happy New Year!

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With little baseball news to report on this week, and clearly with us tired of arguing about Danny Espinosa :-), here’s a quick recap of the year in stories on this blog.  From each month, I’ve grabbed a couple of the more interesting or unique posts I did, with thoughts and follow-on.

(Here’s 2013’s review as well, to see how far we have or have not evolved…)

Jan 2014:

Feb 2014

  • The Phillies are purposely sabotaging college player eligibility; a shockingly petty story at the time; it has more or less faded after nothing much happened after the 2014 draft.
  • Ranking Baseball’s General Managers: it was hard to do then, and after this off-season’s GM shuffle its even harder to do now.  Looking back, I ranked Sabean #11; his team has only won 3 of the last 7 World Series.  I ranked Daniels 4th, Cherington 6th and both their teams finished in last place in 2014.  I had Wren 8th and he was fired before 2014 even ended.  Tough ranking to really do well.

Mar 2014

Apr 2014

  • Qualifying Offers; are they working?  Short answer: I don’t think so.  We’ll revisit this topic once the last two guys with Q.O.s sign this off-season (Shields and Scherzer).
  • Law trashes Williams and their handling of Harper: Law posts in late April the same criticisms of Williams we had all year; bullpen management, lineup construction, handling of vets versus youngsters.  Your 2014 manager of the year!  Still incredibly bitter about the Zimmermann yanking in the NLDS (see below).

May 2014

  • TJ Surgery epidemic: upbringing, showcases and mechanics.  I eventually published a second post with a ton of TJ material for those interested in deep dives into the topic.
  • DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report; for some reason I really got into following the local high school baseball tournaments in 2014.  I definitely will do this again in 2015.  Even though these local baseball posts don’t get much commenting (nothing to really argue about I guess), I feel like there’s almost nobody else out there doing the same work.

June 2014

July 2014

Aug 2014; a job switch made the pickings and postings a bit light in Aug and Sept of 2014.

Sept 2014

  • Rotation Reviews of your 2014 Playoff Teams; I didn’t get enough time to do the typical playoff team analysis I do; i missed out on roster construction this year, one of my favorite posts to do.  We’ll hope for more time next year.

Oct 2014

  • Would you have pulled Zimmermann?  A classic second-guessing blog post, questioning a manager move that back fired.  I wish I had a time-stamped video of my reaction at the moment of the event so that people would know I wasn’t back-seat driving.  Still irked about this, still convinced this changed the course of the post-season.
  • World Series Pitching Matchups & Predictions (that you should laugh at); I finish off an abhorrent prediction season with an equally bad (and eventually wrong) WS prediction.
  • Nats Payroll Projections for 2015: where we hear the bad news … that we’re close to $150M on a team where $135M was “beyond the budget” for 2014…

Nov 2014

Dec 2014

I only posted 130 posts this year, down significantly from 2013 (237 posts).  But I feel like we have a ton more commentary now.  There were 75 comments on the Detwiler post earlier this month!  That’s great.  I’m glad we have a great place to discuss and argue about stuff.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading in 2014.

Written by Todd Boss

December 31st, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

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thanksgiving_turkeybaseball via bloguin.com

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers!

I am thankful for lots of things that are more important than arguing about rule-5 draftees and theoretical Nats trades: family and friends, good health, and the means to keep my family warm and fed.

But I’m also thankful for the great outlet for our little niche discussions, and I’m thankful for the great set of regular readers here who provide great commentary.  When I look back on some of the comment sections in the blog i’m amazed when I see 50 or 60 follow-ups, each providing thoughtful comments and making this the first page I generally bring up each day, to see who else has commented.

So go get some turkey, watch some football, and spend time with loved ones.

ps: this is my 800th post!  That’s a lot of baseball :-)

Written by Todd Boss

November 27th, 2014 at 9:49 am

Posted in Non-Baseball

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Baseball’s Off-Season Calendar of Events

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Welcome to the off-season.  Here’s data pulled from my 2014-15 off-season calendar, available in spreadsheet form on the Links to the right-hand side of the blog.

I don’t know all the exact dates right now (some of the events slightly move from year to year), and I havn’t dug up the exact dates for the 2015 events yet, but these are good approximations.  In the google doc, the approximated dates are color coded.

We’re into the very critical time period immediately following the end of the World Series, and we’re already seeing player decisions.  Stay tuned!

Date Event
9/28/2014 Last day of regular season
9/30/2014 Beginning of 2014 Post season (NL WC game)
9/30/2014 End of Year BBWAA award ballots due (prior to beginning of post season)
10/20/2014 Sporting News Comeback Players of the Year AL and NL
10/20/2014 Sporting News Rookies of the Year AL and NL
10/21/2014 Sporting News Managers of the Year AL and NL
10/22/2014 Sporting News All Star Teams of the year
10/23/2014 Sporting News Player of the Year, MLB
10/23/2014 Gold Glove finalists announced
10/24/2014 Roberto Clemente Award given
10/25/2014 Hank Aaron Awards given
Oct 28th, 2014 Fielding Bible Awards given
10/30/14 Hall of Fame “Veterans Committee” releases ballot.
10/29/2014 Last actual day of 2014 World Series; official end of 2014 season
10/30/2014 (WS end + 1) MLB Coaches contracts expire
10/30/14 (WS end + 1) MLB announces nominees for GIBBYs
10/30/14 (WS end + 1) Official start of FA period (8am CST the day after the last game of the WS)
11/1/14 (WS end + 3) Team and player options must be decided three days after the end of the World Series.
11/3/2014 (WS end + 5) Clubs have to re-set their 40-man rosters, moving all 60-day DL players back to active.
11/3/2014 (WS end + 5) 5pm: Deadline to make Qualifying offers for your own FAs (average of top 125 salaries or $15.3M for 2014).  5 days after end of WS
11/3/2014 (WS end + 5) End of “Quiet Period.”  Teams have “exclusive” negotiating rights with their own free agents during this period.
11/3/2014 (WS end + 5) 5 days after WS ends: Free agent filing period and exclusive negotiating window ends at 12:01 a.m. ET. Free agents can sign with any team.
11/3/2014 (WS end + 5) Free Agency granted to all eligible Minor League free agents (5 days after the end of the WS).  Eligibility done on service time; 6 years ML service for college draftees or 7 years ML service for HS draftees or free agents under the age of 18.
11/4/2014 Rawlings AL & NL Gold Glove Announcements
Nov 5th 2014 MLB Comeback Players of the Year AL and NL
Nov 4th, 2014 MLBPA announces “Players Choice” awards: Player of the year, Comeback Player of the year, etc
Nov 5th, 2014 BBWAA Award Nominees announced on MLB networks
Nov 6th, 2014 Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards
Nov 7th, 2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards, given by MLB to best defensive player on each club.
11/10/14 – 11/13/14 GM Meetings, Phoenix, AZ for 2014
11/10/14 (WS end + 12) 12 Days after WS ends: Players must accept or reject Qualifying Options
11/12/14 – 11/18/14 NPB Japan World Series
Nov 11th, 2014 Sporting News Executive of the Year announced
11/10/2014 AL, NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards
11/11/2014 AL and NL Manager of the Year
11/12/2014 AL and NL Cy Young
Nov 13-14th, 2014 Owner Meetings, ?? Location for 2014
11/13/2014 AL and NL Most Valuable Player
11/19/2014 Day to file reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels.  In other words, Last day to add players to 40-man to protect them from the Rule5 Draft
Nov 26th, 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot for 2014 class officially released
Nov ?, 2014 Rolaids Relief Man Announced
12/2/14 Midnight: Deadline for teams to Tender contracts to arbitration eligible players and/or unsigned players.  If not tendered, those players immediately become free agents.   This is the non-tender deadline for arbitration eligible players
Dec 3rd, 2014 Baseball America announces its Executive of the Year
Dec 5th, 2014 Last date to request outright waivers to assign player prior to Rule 5 Draft
12/8/14 – 12/11/14 Winter Meetings, San Diego, CA
12/8/14 Hall of Fame “Golden Era” (1947-1972) vote announced, San diego
Dec 9th, 2014 Last date to outright a player prior to Rule 5 Draft
Dec 9th, 2014 Hall of Fame “Veterans Committee” officially announces the results of its voting
Dec 9th, 2014 MLB announces winners of 21 “GIBBY” awards (greatness in Baseball yearly awards)
Dec 10th, 2014 J.G. Taylor Spink Award voting results announced
12/11/2014 Rule 5 Draft.  Occurs at Winter meetings
Dec 13th, 2014 MLB Balloting results announced for Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting
Dec 31st, 2014 Deadline for BBWAA ballots for Hall of Fame voting.
Jan 8th, 2015 Hall of Fame BBWAA voting announced; the Hall of Fame class of 2015
1/13/2015 Salary arbitration filing Date
1/16/2015 Salary arbitration figures exchanged (1pm)
2/1/15 – 2/21/15 Salary arbitration hearings (actual hearing date per player picked at random), Phoenix AZ
Feb 13th, 2015 Nats Mandatory Spring Training reporting date for Pitchers, Catchers, Injured players
Feb 20th, 2015 Mandatory Spring Training reporting date for position players
Feb 28th, 2015 First Spring Training Game for the Nats
Mar 2-11th, 2015 Contracts of unsigned players who are not yet eligible for Arbitration may be renewed
March 13th, 2015 Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days.
March 27th, 2015 Deadline to request unconditional release waivers without having to pay the player’s full salary or $100k bonus for certain types of veterans
March 31st, 2015 2015 Season Opener; Opening Day 2015; active rosters must be reduced to 25 players and 40-man rosters must be established
4/5/2015 Opening Night 2015: Teams tbd
4/6/2015 Nats Opening Day 2015

Written by Todd Boss

October 30th, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Baseball in General

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Babe Ruth, American Legion and other youth league Updates

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Continuing my coverage this year of youth baseball.  We covered the local High School tournaments and Little League tournaments so far.  We talked about all the local area draft prospects ahead of the draft.   I have a draft post covering the multitude of College Wood Bat leagues, but since those leagues are almost over I may just save it for next year.  Now lets try to bridge the gap between little league and high school.

The youth landscape in baseball has changed a ton since I was a kid in Northern Virginia.  It used to be simple:

  • you’d play Little League until  you were 12
  • then you’d play Babe Ruth til you were 15
  • then if you were good enough you’d play HS ball in the spring and you’d play American Legion in the summers.  But you could always play “Senior” Babe Ruth from the time you were 16-18.
  • and that was it.  If you weren’t playing some other sport there was always “fall ball” at each age level, but the above were the leagues that “counted.”

Now a days, I’m not even sure what is going on with youth baseball.  We all know about the wide growth of travel baseball, which has essentially destroyed Babe Ruth at its older levels (thanks to the siphoning off of any one talented enough to pitch).  But now apparently there’s a whole slew of leagues i’m not familiar with:

  • “Major60″ and “Major70″ distinctions for 11 and 12 year olds
  • Modifications to the classic “little league” rules to try to capture those kids they’re losing to travel teams
  • Pony League baseball (more prevalent in southern virginia; is there even a northern virginia league?)
  • Cal Ripken youth leagues, which I guess is a division of Babe Ruth for youngsters
  • Travel teams; do they even have “leagues?”  Or do they just go to tournaments?

Back in the day, when Babe Ruth had no competition for the youngest teens, winning the 13-year old and/or the 13-15 year old Babe Ruth tournaments still meant something.  Likewise, American Legion was essentially a hand-picked/all-star team of your hometown high schools.  Now, I’m not so sure.  How is American Legion faring, considering that big-time travel teams now have all the major prep prospects out there?   As far back as 2005, there were stories in the Washington Post about how Legion ball was badly suffering.  It seems to me now that Legion ball is struggling just like senior Babe Ruth ball.

That being said, I did go looking for district and state results for the leagues I grew up knowing.  We reveiwed Little League’s local and state tournaments, so here’s the subsequent state results for Babe Ruth and other amateur youth leagues:

American Legion’s district tournaments are complete; the state tournament kicks off on 7/28/14 from the great Fireman’s Field in Purcellville.  Your 8 teams in the Virginia American Legion state tournament are from Roanoke #3, hosts Leesburg #34, Stafford #290, Williamsburg #39, Albemarle #74, West End (Richmond) #361, Big Island (outside of Lynchburg) #217 and lastly my “home post” of 180, Vienna.  Editor Update: Here’s the tourney results: Vienna Post 180 went two and out, losing to Albemarle and then Williamsburg (by forfeit of all things) to end their involvement in the tournament.   Albemarle breezed through the state tournament, winning 4 straight to win the State title.  Big Island fought through the loser’s bracket to

Cal Ripken Leagues (not to be confused with the Cal Ripken Collegiate league, nor “Ripken Baseball,” a for-profit academy run by the Ripken brothers) have all finished their state tourneys as well, and most of those state champs are already deep into their regional tournaments.

I have no information on Pony League baseball, other than what’s on their incredibly confusing website.  Pony baseball has more divisions than … well something with a lot of divisions.  My pun-making ability failed me here.


I have no idea if there’s even organized leagues for these multitude of travel teams.  I know there’s an official Northern Virginia Travel League, but nowhere on this site can i find something like a “schedule” or “standings.”  Do these teams just exist to go play weekend tournaments?   The locally based EvoShield Canes “schedule” is just a list of tournaments they’re playing in.   So what do these teams do the rest of the time?  Don’t they play regular games?

I dunno.  My kid is too young to force me to know all these things yet.  Hell, he may not even play baseball.  Are there readers out there who can fill me in?  Is it even worth tracking these all-star results anymore, thanks to the complete dilution of talent?

Feedback welcome/encouraged.

Written by Todd Boss

July 29th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Local Baseball

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Local Little League Results: DC/MD/VA States

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littleleaguelogo

We reviewed the local Little League All Star results for the District tournaments in Northern Virginia and Maryland in mid July.  Here’s a review of how the three local state tournaments went.

Maryland and DC’s champions move on to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Little League Regional, comprised of DC,MD,PA,NJ,NY and DE, and this year held in Bristol Connecticut.  Virginia’s champion moves on to compete in the Southeast Little League Regional, comprised of VA,WV,NC,SC,TN,GA,FL and AL, and this year is being held in Warner Roberts, Georgia (outside of Macon).

Virginia

Virginia State Little League is divided into 16 districts, four of which are local to the DC area.

Local representatives Great Falls, West Springfield American, SYA West (Centreville/Clifton) and Loudoun South headed to the Virginia State Little League tournament this year is in Bridgewater, which ran between 7/17/14 and 7/22/14.   Here’s how our local representatives fared (Pool play results here and the knockout rounds here).  The 16 district champions were divided into four “pools,” and the two best teams from each pool advance to a knockout round.

  • Great Falls: Came in 2nd in Pool A and was waxed by SYA West 11-1 en route, and indicator of just how strong SYA is this year.  Advanced to knockout round.
  • West Springfield American: Allowed just two runs in three pool games to win Pool B and advance to the knockout round.
  • SYA West: Allowed 4 runs in 3 pool games (including wins over Great Falls and Loudoun South) to win Pool A and advance to the knockout round.
  • Loudoun South: Unfortunate to be grouped in with powerhouses SYA and Great Falls; eliminated in Pool play.

In the State quarters, the three remaining Northern Virginia teams advanced along with defending state champs Tuckahoe.   In the state semis on 7/21/14, SYA handled West Springfield easly and Tuckahoe eased by Great Falls, likely pitting the two best teams in the state together in the final.  In the State final,Tuckahoe repeated as state champs with a 5-2 victory over SYA.

Virginia State Champion: Tuckahoe American (Richmond)

Links to past Virginia State little League champs: its only up to 2011.  Great Falls was your 2012 champ and Tuckahoe in Richmond was 2013.


Maryland

Maryland is divided into 8 districts (though only 7 of them compete in the State Tournament; read below for the DC “district 3″).   Links to the district results are here.

Maryland’s state tournament finished over the 7/19/14 weekend; West Salisbury came out of the loser’s bracket to sweep Sharpsburg in the state final.

Maryland State Champion: West Salisbury


DC

As a reminder, despite being just a “district” within Maryland, DC’s champion is treated like a state champ and heads directly into the regionals at the “major little league” level.

DC’s playoffs finished up on 7/22/14.   As expected, the two dominant programs in the city (Capitol City and Northwest Washington) met for the title (though they both had to work to get there), which was won on 7/22/14 by Northwest 5-2.

DC “State” Champ: Northwest Washington

 


Congrats to Tuckahoe, West Salisbury and NW Washington as our three local state champs, heading off to regional play.  Lets hope for a local representative in Williamsport this year.

Written by Todd Boss

July 24th, 2014 at 9:55 am

Posted in Local Baseball

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Local Little League District Tournament Results MD/VA

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littleleaguelogo

We covered college and high school this season, and I have a summer ball post in the works.  Might as well close the loop on local amateur baseball and talk a bit about Little League :-)

Little League district all-star tournaments are finished up in MD and VA.  Here’s some quick results to the local leagues:

Northern Virginia

Virginia State Little League is divided into 16 districts, several of which are local to the DC area:

  • District 4: Representing areas north of I-66 US Route 50 from the DC line all the way out to Loudoun County.  Includes powerhouse local programs from Vienna, McLean and Great Falls.   The tournament pool play was held the first week of July.  Both McLean teams, Great falls and Vienna National advanced to the District Semis.   There, McLean American squeaked by McLean National 3-2 while Great Falls destroyed Vienna National 11-1.  In the final, Great Falls outlasted McLean American 9-4.   District ChampGreat Falls (2012 Virginia champ)
  • District 9: Representing Springfield and Woodbridge areas.  Tournament results are here.  In the knockout rounds, West Springfield American came through the losers bracket to beat Fort Hunt Little League.  District Champ: West Springfield American (2005 Virginia State Champ)
  • District 10: Representing Fairfax County areas south of I-66, including Fairfax, Annandale, Manassas, Chantilly.  Tournament pool play results here.  Both teams from Southwestern Youth (Centreville) and Chantilly advanced to the knockout rounds.  In the final matchup of the two SYA leagues,
    SYA West continued their dominance winning the district 10.2   District ChampSouthwestern Youth West (SYA East was the 2007 and 2010 VA champ)
  • District 16: Representing Loudoun and Fauquier counties.  Tournament bracket here.    District Champ: Loudoun South Little League, who outlasted Dulles Little League American in the final.

Local representatives Great Falls, West Springfield American, SYA West and Loudoun South head to the Virginia State Little League tournament this year is in Bridgewater, starting on July 17th, with a lot of history between them.  Four State championships in the last decade to be exact.  The tournament pits the winners of all 16 Virginia districts.

Links to past Virginia State little League champs: its only up to 2011.  Great Falls was your 2012 champ and Tuckahoe in Richmod was 2013.  Tuckahoe American will be back in the state tourney to defend its title.


Maryland

Maryland is divided into 8 districts (though only 7 of them compete in the State Tournament; read below for the DC “district 3″).   Links to the district results are here.

  • District 1: Hagerstown and Northwest Maryland.  District champ: Sharpsburg (just south of Hagerstown)
  • District 2: Frederick area.  District champ: Frederick National.
  • District 4: Howard County and South Baltimore: District Champ: Arbutus
  • District 5: Elkton/Rising Sun.  District Champ: Elkton Community
  • District 6: Eastern Shore (Denton, Easton, etc).  District champ: Easton
  • District 7: Mostly Southern Maryland but also including the massive Bethesda Little League.  District Champ: Hughesville
  • District 8: Eastern Shore (Berlin, Salisbury).  District Champ: West Salisbury

Maryland’s state tournament started over the 7/11/14 weekend; we’ll cover that in the State review in the next post.


DC

Little League baseball in the District historically has been a mess.  The website unpage.org has done a great job of capturing the history of little league baseball in the district, which was competitive for years but which completely dried up in the mid 1980s.  By the mid 90s though, a rebirth had occurred with DC’s dominant Capitol City league also capturing the Maryland state title.

Washington DC has 6 leagues; two of them are competitive (Northwest and Capitol City) and the others struggle (Capitol Hill, Banniker City, Satchel Paige and Southern).  It encompasses just one “district” within Maryland’s structure but for the 11/12 year olds, DC’s winner is treated like a state champ and is entered directly into the Regional tournament.   Either Capitol City or Northwest has won the city title every year a tournament has been held.  No DC team has ever advanced further than the Mid-Atlantic regional semi finals.

DC’s playoffs are underway and finish up on 7/22/14.  We’ll cover them in the state round up.

 

Written by Todd Boss

July 15th, 2014 at 10:04 am

Posted in Local Baseball

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Final 2014 Prep Baseball Update: Virginia States

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Prep tournament Baseball updates so far in 2014:

Now we’re to the last of the local state tournaments; the Virginia State finals, which took place this past weekend at various locations around the state.  The finalists in all Virginia regionals qualified for the “final four” in each classification.  Here’s what we’re looking at by Virginia classification (all VHSL conference and regional playoff brackets here, and the State playoffs ( final four brackets are here).

Before getting to the tournament results, it is of note that the Washington Post released its All-Met teams for the year, and most of the first and second team players have been mentioned in this blog here and there for their leadership on championship teams across the local region.  All Met player of the year should be no surprise: Jacob Bukauskus, who was also one of three local players named to the Louisville Slugger All-American teams.  Bukauskas, Cody Morris of the Maryland 3-A champion Reservoir and WCAC/DCSAA champion St. John’s A.J. Lee were named to the first and/or second all-american teams.  Other local accolades announced: the 5-A North All-Region team.


Virginia State Tournament Finals

In each state semi-final each regional winner plays the runner-up from the other regional.  These games are set for Friday June 13th with the state championships the following day (except when rain pushed games to sunday 6/15).  The 6-A and 5-A tournaments are being played in Northern Virginia (at Lake Braddock and Robinson).  4-A and 3-A is being played at Liberty University.   And 2-A/1-A is being played in Salem and at Radford University.


6-A State Finals

  • 6-A North: Winner Chantilly (17-7), runner-up McLean (15-11)
  • 6-A South: Winner Western Branch (24-2), runner-up Cosby (23-1)

6-A State Bracket.  My prediction was a 6-A South regional final rematch between Virginia’s two nationally recognized powers with Cosby getting revenge for their 6-A south regional loss.

6-A State Finals Results:  In the first 6-A semi, McLean pushed nationally ranked Western Branch but ended up losing 5-4.   In the second 6-A semi, Chantilly pulled off a stunner and beat Cosby 3-2, beating 32nd round pick and UNC commit Hunter Williams behind a complete game from Eason Recto (committed to Cornell).  In the 6/15 final, Chantilly once again punched above their weight and scared a tougher team, but in the end lost 6-4 to Western Branch.

6-A State champ: Western Branch (Chesapeake) with a 26-2 record on the season.


5-A State Finals

  • 5-A North: Winner Stone Bridge (23-1), runner-up Freedom-South Riding (13-13)
  • 5-A South: Winner Douglas Freeman (25-1), runner-up Hickory (17-7)

5-A State Bracket. My 5-A prediction was seeing Freeman riding roughshod over the Bukauskas-less Stone Bridge team in the final.

5-A State Finals Results: In one semi, Freeman pounded the over-matched Freedom team 7-0 while Hickory blitzed Stone Bridge 9-1 behind junior Connor Eason‘s gem (early UVA commit), setting up an all 5-A south final.  In the 6/15/14 5-A final, Hickory got revenge against Freeman and took their first state title by outlasting Freeman 6-4 in 10 innings.  Hickory, fyi, is the alma mater of Mets 3rd baseman David Wright and veteran utilityman Scott Sizemore.

5-A State champ: Hickory (Chesapeake) with an 19-7 record.


4-A State Finals

  • 4-A North: Winner Millbrook (23-1), runner-up Sherando (16-7)
  • 4-A South: Winner Hanover (19-2), runner-up Grafton (19-6)

4-A State Bracket: My 4-A Prediction: Hanover blitzes their way to a repeat state title over Winchester’s Millbrook squad and leaves people wondering if they could have won the larger classifications as well.  4-A Results: Sure enough, the two regional champions both advanced easily to the 4-A final, with Millbrook defeating Grafton 10-3 and Hanover defeating Sherando 6-2.  In the 6/14 final, Hanover’s Derek Casey made quick work of Millbrook, capping off an undefeated prep career (27-0) with Hanover winning its second consecutive state title 7-1.

4-A State champ: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond), 21-2 on the season


Virginia Smaller Classifications

  • 3-A: Regional Champs LoudounValley, Tunstall and runner-ups Poquoson, William Byrd.  Uneducated prediction: Loudoun Valley wins the title.  In the semis, Loudoun Valley squeaked by William Byrd 3-1, setting up a 3-A East rematch with Poquoson, who downed Tunstall.   In the final, Loudoun Valley won their first baseball title since 1972 with a 9-1 blitzing of regional foe Poquoson behind a complete game 4-hitter from Jack DeGroat.  Loudoun Valley finishes the year 25-3.
  • 2-A: Regional Champs Strasburg, Virginia High and runner-ups Madison County, Randolph-Henry.  Uneducated prediction: Strasburg wins the title.  Results: Virginia High advanced to the final behind a no-hitter from Austin Miles and a blitzing 12-0 over Madison County.  Meanwhile Strasburg advanced by beating Randolph-Henry 6-1. In the 2-A final, Virginia High won its first state title since 1966 by beating Strasburg 7-2.  Virginia High finishes the year 25-4.
  • 1-A: Regional Champs Northumberland, Honaker and runner-ups William Campbell, Auburn.  Uneducated prediction: Honaker wins the title.  Results: the two regional champs advanced easily to the state final, where Northumberland easily beat the previously undefeated Honaker 9-3 for the state title.  Northumberland finishes the year 23-2.

2014 Virginia State HS champs:

  • 6-A: Western Branch (Chesapeake) d Chantilly 6-4.
  • 5-A: Hickory (Chesapeake) d Douglas Freeman (Richmond) 6-4.
  • 4-A: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond) d Millbrook (Winchester) 7-1.
  • 3-A: Loudoun Valley (Purceville) d Poquoson (Newport News) 9-1.
  • 2-A: Virginia High (Bristol) d Strasburg 7-2.
  • 1-A: Northumberland (Patuxent River) d Honaker (South of Roanoke) 9-3

A good year for Chesapeake Schools, who took both the biggest classification titles.  Hanover out of Richmond “defends” its state title, though in the 4-A classification, leading many to wonder if they could have competed in the higher classifications.  The best performance by a local team remains Purceville’s Loudoun Valley, winning the state 3-A title.  With apologies of course to Chantilly, who surprised this observer by knocking off Cosby prior to pushing Western Branch despite hits un-lofty record.  I think its safe to say we’re all bummed that Bukauskas couldn’t finish out the year; I would have liked to have seen him against the two down-state 5-A powerhouses.


Recent Virginia AAA HS champs:

2013: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (committed to UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now attending UVA after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  DC Local teams Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then ran to a state championship.

2011: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports.

 


Maryland

See the previous posts for a full run-down on the Maryland regional and state tournaments, which ended 5/24/14.  Here’s your 2014 state champs in Maryland:

  • 4-A Champion: Chesapeake beat Sherwood 2-0.
  • 3-A Champion: Reservoir beat North Harford 2-0.
  • 2-A Champion: Southern beat Parkside 3-2.
  • 1-A Champion: Smithsburg blanked Sparrows Point 9-0

 


DC

See the previous post for a more complete run-down on the DCSAA tournament.  One last game remained for the DC public schools:


Private

All private leagues in the DC, VA and MD areas are complete at this point.  See previous posts in this series for more detail.

  • WCAC:  St. Johns over O’Connell.
  • IAC: St. Albans over Georgetown Prep
  • MAC: Flint Hill regular season champ.
  • VISAA: Division I:  Liberty Christian (Lynchburg) over Charlottesville’s St. Anne’s-Belfield.
  • MIAA: A-classification: Spalding  d Calvert Hall.  B-Classification: St. Mary’s d Annapolis Area Christian.  C-Classification: St. Johns d Chapelgate Christian

National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

  • Baseball America’s High School top 25 (5/20/14 ranking)
  • USA Today High School top 25 (5/25/14 rankings)
  • USA Today’s Virginia-only rankings (5/25/14)
  • MaxPreps top 25/top 50 lists (5/22/14), which has a hand-picked and a computer/power ranking list.

Resources:

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports.
  • The Connection family of newspapers has a sports section that is rarely updated, but it does do some coverage.
  • MaxPreps.com also has some non-paywall HS information that comes in handy too.
  • Nvdaily.com (Strasburg) has some results for some of the teams in the smaller conferences/outskirts of DC, generally in the Strasburg area.
  • WinchesterStar (Winchester) has results for Winchester teams but its pay-only.
  • The Daily Progress (Culpeper local paper) also has some scores for schools in its areas.
  • Fredericksburg.com has some local coverage of Fredericksburg and Woodbridge teams.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.  They also have their own top-10 rankings for area teams.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section (and here’s the updated Baltimore top-20, akin to the AllMetSports top-10 list).
  • I use perfectgame.org to look up high-end HS prospects.
  • VHSL’s and MPSSAA home pages for playoff brackets and updates for VA and MD respectively.

Prep Baseball Update: Virginia Regionals

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Here’s the next big update on the state of High School baseball in the area.  We previously talked about Maryland Regionals and Virginia regular season play wrapping up, then we posted after Maryland states and Virginia conference play had mostly finished up.  In these posts we also covered some private school tournaments and the DC tourneys as much as we could.

Now we’re through the Virginia regional tournaments and its time to check in.  The state semi-finals are set in all six divisions.  Lets recap the regionals.


Virginia

There’s been little national recognition of any of Northern Virginia’s powerhouses (Madison, Stone Bridge, Hylton, Osbourn Park or Battlefield) in any of the national high school rankings this year, but schools in Richmond and Norfolk have taken turns cycling in and out of the various top 25/top 50 lists.

At some point or another, Cosby HS (Midlothian, in the western Richmond suburbs), Woodside (Newport News), Douglas Freeman (Richmond), Western Branch (Chesapeake), Hickory (Chesapeake) and Great Bridge (Chesapeake) have all gotten national attention from the various national ranking lists in 2014.  It will be interesting to see how the Northern Virginia powers match up with these southern schools in the state tournament.  But, thanks to the re-classifications of schools we aren’t going to get the big-time match-ups we wanted to see in states.  Cosby, Western Branch, and Woodside are 6-A schools, while Freeman, Great Bridge, and Hickory are 5-A schools.  Last year’s AAA state champ Hanover is a 4-A school now and will face pretty light competition while returning its ace Derek Casey (UVA commit) from last year’s state champ. All these aformentioned teams have qualified for the regional tournaments, so we may get some juicy match-ups between northern Virginia powerhouses and the nationally-recognized southern Virginia schools in the State playoffs.  Only the regional champ and finalist qualify to the state final four.

With apologies to the smaller schools, we’re going to mostly focus on the 6-A and 5-A playoffs here.  All conference, regional and state brackets here at VHSL’s site.  Records listed for teams are as they were heading INTO the game being described, not afterwards.


6-A North Regionals Playoff Bracket is here.  Here were your qualifiers:

  • Concorde: Oakton (regular season and tourney champ), Chantilly, Westfield, Herndon
  • Liberty: Madison (regular season and tourney champ), Langley, Washington & Lee, McLean
  • Potomac: West Springfield (regular season and tourney champ), West Potomac, South County, Annandale
  • Cedar Run: Osbourn Park (regular season champ), Battlefield (tourney champ), Patriot, Osbourn

Regional schedule is: first round 5/30/14, quarters 6/2/14, semis 6/4/14 and final 6/6/14, each game at the higher seed’s home field.

In the 6-A North Regional first round on 5/30/14, two Conference champions were upset and the power of the Cedar Run teams was put into question.  Annandale upset Osbourn Park and McLean upset Oakton behind a 1-hitter from Va Tech commit Joey Sullivan.  Meanwhile Patriot was blasted by West Potomac 8-2.  Cedar Run’s lone winner was Battlefield, where 3rd round pick Nick Wells (College of Charleston commit, featured here in Allmetsports as a potential 3rd-4th rounder) threw a 4-hit shutout to beat South County.  The other two #1 seeds survived (Madison getting by Herndon 6-3 and West Springfield pounding Osbourn 15-3).   The rest of the regional quarter finalists slate was filled by Langley and Chantilly (a 10-0 winner over hapless Washington & Lee).

In the 6-A North Regional Quarter finals on 6/2/14, Chantilly blanked Annandale 4-0, West Springfield handled Langley 5-2 and Madison squeaked by West Potomac 7-6 in a 12-inning thriller.  However it was the last quarterfinal that gave the biggest surprise: little known McLean and its .500 record got into the regional tournament by virtue of a big upset in the conference tournament, and continued its upsetting ways, beating a well-regarded Battlefield team 7-5.

In the 6-A north regional semis, Chantilly (15-7) upset West Springfield (15-5) 4-1 behind a big night from their ace Easton Recto.  Meanwhile, conference foes McLean (14-10) and Madison (21-2) squared off for the 3rd time this season, and McLean scored the unlikely upset 5-1 behind senior Ace and Va Tech bound Joey Sullivan‘s masterful pitching.  Madison had swept the season series against McLean by a combined score of 19-4, but McLean came up big once again.  I guess it is safe to say that Madison’s record was overstating its quality.

6-A North regional final: Chantilly (16-7) destroyed McLean (15-10) by the score of 12-0 in a pretty unlikely final.   Chantilly batted around in the first inning and never looked back.  Neither team had *ever* won a regional baseball crown, and McLean has *never* made a state baseball tournament prior to this year. Quite a turnaround from a team that (by conference seed) shouldn’t have even been in the regionals.


6-A South Regional Playoff Bracket is here.  Unlike the 6-A north, just the conference finalists qualified.  Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 1/Coastal: Grandby (regular season champ), First Colonial (tourney champ)
  • Conference 2/Monitor-Merrimac: Western Branch (regular season and tourney champs), Woodside
  • Conference 3: Cosby (regular season champ), James River
  • Conference 4: Hylton (regular season and tourney champ), Riverbend

Regional schedule is: Western Branch vs First Colonial, Grandby-Woodside, Cosby-Riverbend and Hylton-James River.  In the 6/2/14 quarter finals, all four conference champions advanced (a slight surprise to this witness, who thought that Woodside was a bit better, and who thought that Hylton may have had a hard time with their southern virginia opponents.  Western Branch beat First Colonial 6-1, Grandby beat Woodside 2-1, Hylton beat James River 9-0 behind a shutout from Sewanee-bound Austin Magestro, and Cosby beat Riverbend 7-2).

In the 6-A south regional semis, Western Branch (22-2) blanked Grandby (18-4 record) by the score of 6-0, while the undefeated Cosby (22-0) blitzed Woodbridge powerhouse Hylton (19-2) by the score of 11-6.  We expected a Cosby-Western Branch matchup and we got it.

6-A South regional final: Western Branch (23-2) blitzed Cosby (23-0) by the score of 8-1 in a matchup of nationally recognized power houses.  I fully expect to see this rematch in the state final in a week’s time, given the weakness of the 6-A North teams.


5-A North Regional: Regional playoff bracket is here.   Here were your qualifiers (not all conference contributed equal numbers of teams)

  • Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall (regular season and tourney champ), Edison, Stuart , Lee
  • Conference 14: Stone Bridge (regular season and tourney champ), Freedom – South Riding, Tuscarora
  • Conference 15: Potomac (regular season and tourney champ), North Stafford, Brooke Point
  • Conference 16: Halifax (regular season champ), Patrick Henry – Ashland (tournament champ)

Regional schedule is: first round/play-in 5/30/14, quarters 6/2/14, semis 6/4/14 and final 6/6/14, each game at the higher seed’s home field.

In the 5-A North Regional first/play-in round on 5/30/14, Patrick Henry – Ashland, North Stafford, Freedom-South Riding and Edison all earned the right to play conference champions in the regional quarter finals.  North Stafford destroyed Stuart 10-0 and faces regional favorite Stone Bridge in what could be an interesting quarter final.  Marshall faces the unknown Patrick Henry, while Potomac likely will not be challenged by Freedom.

In the 5-A North Regional Quarter finals on 6/2/14, more surprising results.  Conference chaps Marshall, Stone Bridge and Halifax each advanced to the regional semis, but little known Freedom-South Riding pulled a monumental upset over a Potomac team that I thought could challenge for the regional title.

Just after the quarters, Stone Bridge got a huge piece of bad news when ace Jacob Bukauskas was shutdown due to elbow tendinitis.  Too bad for people who were hoping for one more shot to see him throw live.

In the 5-A North Semis, Stone Bridge (21-1) outslugged Marshall (14-6) by the score of 12-5, while Freedom-South Riding (12-12) upset conference 16 champion Halifax County (Unk record) by the score of 7-2.

5-A North regional final: Stone Bridge (22-1) eased by conference foe Freedom-South Riding (13-12) by the score of 2-1  in a Conference 14 rematch.  Stone Bridge had already beaten Freedom three times this season, each time the score got closer, so a 2-1 nail-biter wasn’t unexpected.  Stone Bridge showed how quality they are even without their Ace.


5-A South Regional: Playoff Bracket is here.  Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 9/Atlantic: Maury (regular season champ), Kellam (tourney champ) (Norfold/Va Beach)
  • Conference 10:  Great Bridge (regular season and tourney champ), Hickory (both teams from Chesapeake)
  • Conference 11: Douglas Freeman (regular season champ and tourney champ), Mills Goodwin (both teams in Richmond)
  • Conference 12: Matoaca (regular season champ and tourney champ, Prince George (Teams from Chesterfield and Petersburg, both in South Richmond)

The 5-A south regional faces a tough schedule; 3 games in 4 days starting on 6/3/14.  In the quarters, both Richmond teams advanced, with Freeman pounding Prince George 12-4 and Goodwin giving Matoaca just their second loss on the year in a 4-1 win.   Meanwhile the Tidewater quarters featured some interesting results, with Hickory blasting Maury 16-1 and Kellam upsetting Great Bridge 4-2.  Both Hickory and Kellam were the 2nd seeds out of their conference, and just one conference champion advanced out of the 5-A south quarters.

In the 5-A South Semis, Mills Godwin (18-5)  got another crack at Douglas Freeman (23-1) in a rematch of the Conference 11 final, but was crushed 9-1.  In the other regional semi, Hickory (16-6) outlasted Kellam (18-5) in a wild 11-10 game.

5-A South regional final: Douglas Freeman (24-1) beat Hickory (17-6) by the score of 6-4 with a 6-run sixth inning comeback.


Virginia Smaller Classifications:  Conference and Regional brackets available from VHSL’s site.

  • 4-A: One interesting note about the 4-A tournament is the fact that 2013 AAA state champion Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond) is now a 4-A school and is a clear 4-A state favorite right now.  They enter regionals with a 17-2 record.  Most of the 4-A regional-qualified schools closer to DC are based out of Winchester (Sherando, Millbrook) or Culpeper/Fredericksburg (Eastern View, Chancellor).  In the 4-A North semis, Conference 21 foes Sherando and Millbrook both advanced to force a 5th rematch on the year (Millbrook has won all four meetings).  In the 4-A South semis, Hanover and Grafton advanced.  In the 4-A North Regional finals, Milbrook beat Sherando for the fifth time this season 6-5, while in the 4-A south regional finals defending state champ Hanover handled Grafton 2-0.
  • 3-A: As with ther 4-A schools, the 3-A regional qualifiers close to DC area generally from the Culpeper area (Kettle Run, Culpeper, William Monroe) or points further remote, but Loudoun Valley HS (in Purceville) won the 3-A east and looks to be a state favorite.
  • 2-A: No DC-local schools (George Mason the only one) qualified for regionals.  Strasburg won the 2-A east regional and enters the state tournament with a 23-1 record.
  • 1-A: No DC-local schools are in the smallest 1-A classification.

Recent Virginia AAA HS champs:

2013: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (committed to UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now attending UVA after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then blitzed to a state championship.

2011: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports.

 


Maryland

See the previous post for a full run-down on the Maryland regional and state tournaments, which ended 5/24/14.

  • 4-A Champion: Chesapeake beat Sherwood 2-0.
  • 3-A Champion: Reservoir beat North Harford 2-0.  State final winning pitcher Cody Morris named Maryland Gatorade player of the year.
  • 2-A Champion: Southern beat Parkside 3-2.
  • 1-A Champion: Smithsburg blanked Sparrows Point 9-0

 


DC

See the previous post for a more complete run-down on the DCSAA tournament.  One last game remained for the DC public schools:


Private

Most all private leagues in the DC, VA and MD areas are complete at this point.  See previous posts in this series for more detail.

  • WCAC:  St. Johns over O’Connell.  St. Johns junior P/SS Nick Lee named DC Gatorade player of the year.
  • IAC: St. Albans over Georgetown Prep
  • MAC: Flint Hill regular season champ.
  • VISAA: Division I:  Liberty Christian (Lynchburg) over Charlottesville’s St. Anne’s-Belfield.
  • MIAA: A-classification: Spalding  d Calvert Hall.  B-Classification: St. Mary’s d Annapolis Area Christian.  C-Classification: St. Johns d Chapelgate Christian

National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

  • Baseball America’s High School top 25 (5/20/14 ranking and final HS top 50 ranking 6/3/14).  Cosby finishes at #12, Western Branch #28, Madison #40.
  • USA Today High School top 25 (6/5/14 rankings).  Freeman #21, but no mention of Cosby
  • USA Today’s Virginia-only rankings (5/25/14); these are very old and only have about 2/3s of the regular season listed.
  • MaxPreps top 25/top 50 lists (5/22/14), which has a hand-picked and a computer/power ranking list.  Cosby, Stone Bridge and Freeman mentioned.

Resources:

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports.
  • The Connection family of newspapers has a sports section that is rarely updated, but it does do some coverage.
  • MaxPreps.com also has some non-paywall HS information that comes in handy too.
  • Nvdaily.com (Strasburg/Winchester) has some results for some of the teams in the smaller conferences/outskirts of DC.
  • The Daily Progress (Culpeper local paper) also has some scores for schools in its areas.
  • Fredericksburg.com has some local coverage of Fredericksburg and Woodbridge teams.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.  They also have their own top-10 rankings for area teams.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section (and here’s the updated Baltimore top-20, akin to the AllMetSports top-10 list).
  • I use perfectgame.org to look up high-end HS prospects.
  • VHSL’s and MPSSAA home pages for playoff brackets and updates for VA and MD respectively.

Prep Baseball Update: Virginia Districts/Conferences, Maryland & DC States

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When we last checked in with Prep Baseball on 5/20/14, Maryland was through its regionals, the private schools were mostly done, DC was still finishing the regular season, and Virginia was just starting up its District (aka “Conference”) tournaments.  Lets see where we stand now after the Memorial Day weekend and a slew of tournament results.  I’m publishing this now that the entirety of the northern Virginia 6-A and 5-A conference tournamants are complete; some of the other conferences elsewhere in the state as well as the smaller divisions are still ongoing.  We’ll update those when we get to regional tournament results.  Red text marks locations where we’re missing results and/or results are pending because of future games.


Virginia

Virginia HS Baseball has been, for at least the past 50 years or so, divided up simply into AAA, AA and A divisions.  Hence for a long time you could state who was the “AAA State Champ” and it was basically the best team in the state (the odds of a AA school competing with a AAA school were slim).  Now, we have 6 different divisions; 6-A, 5-A, 4-A, down to 1-A.  I guess it could be worse: Florida has even more divisions (they go up to 8-A) and teams in 5-A and 6-A are often ranked higher than 8-A teams there.

So in 2014, we’ll have a six champions crowned and may have a tough time stating with certainly whose better, especially between the 6-A and 5-A schools that used to compete against each other for decades.  But so be it; on with the tournaments.

Important Virginia tourney links: Upcoming Schedule (VHSL site and VHSL Conference and Regional Playoff Brackets).

  • Regular Season ending: week of May 13-May 16th.
  • Virginia District Tournaments are scheduled from May 18th to May 27th or so.
  • Virginia Regionals: from May 30th to June 6th.
  • Virgina State Semis and finals: June 10-13th.

Here are the Northern Virginia Conference champions, regular season and tournament.  Each team that makes a Conference quarter final qualifies for the Regional tournament.

6-A North Region (which roughly equates to the old “Northern Region”).

  • 6-A Conference 5/Concorde (playoff bracket): Oakton regular season champ.  In the playoffs, Oakton and #2 seed Chantilly got byes to the semis, while Centreville lost to Herndon 1-0 and Westfield handled Robinson 7-4 on 5/21/14 in big-school matchups (which if it were football would be each be Regional final quality).  In the 5/23/14 semis, Chantilly beat Herndon 7-3 and Oakton topped Westfield 4-1.  This sets up a #1/#2 final on 5/26/14; Chantilly (the 2nd seed) swept Oakton in the regular season so Oakton has its hands full.  However, Oakton persevered, topping Chantilly 5-1 behind Conference player of the year Tommy Lopez‘s pitching and hitting exploits.
  • 6-A Conference 6/Liberty (playoff bracket): Madison regular season champ.  In the playoffs, #2 seed South Lakes was upset by McLean (taking South Lakes out of the regional picture) paving the way for #3 seed Langley to return to the conference final (beating McLean in the semis).  There Langley meets Madison on 5/23/14, who shut-out #5 Washington & Lee in the conference semis behind 6 shut-out innings from conference Pitcher of the Year John DeFazio (a junior who threw a perfect game earlier this year).   Langley expects to throw conference Player of the year Jake McSteen in the final; McSteen is undefeated on the mound this year and is committed to Nebraska.  Madison swept Langley in the regular season but never faced McSteen. In the Conference Final at Madison on 5/23/14, Madison’s Nick Brady (heading to Princeton) threw 5 shutout innings and Madison got to McSteen for a 3-0 victory (insidenova.com story) This is Madison’s 3rd district/conference title in four years and they head into the Regional tournament as presumably the #1 overall seed and clear favorite.
  • 6-A Conference 7/Potomac (playoff bracket): West Springfield regular season champ.  In the playoffs Annandale took out perennail baseball power Lake Braddock in the quarters, while the seeds played true to form with South County facing West Potomac in the other conference semi.   In the conference semis West Potomac easily handled South County while West Springfield outlasted Annandale to setup a #1 vs #2 conference final on 5/23/14.  In the final, West Springfield beat West Potomac 8-5 to sweep the regular and tourney titles.
  • 6-A Conference 8/Cedar Run (playoff bracket): Osbourn Park regular season champ.  The playoffs went according to seed, with #1 Osbourn Park facing #2 Battlefield for the conference title.  Battlefield took out fellow PW powerhouse Patriot 4-0 behind a shutout from lefty senior Nick Wells (committed to College of Charleston) in the #2/#3 seed  conference semi matchup.  In the 5/23/14 final, Battlefield upset Osbourn Park 7-3.

6-A North Regional Qualifiers (in seed order).  Regional Playoff Bracket is here: the semi finalists from the four 6-A North conferences all qualify.  First round is Friday 5/30/14 at the higher seed’s home site.

  • Concorde: Oakton, Chantilly, Westfield, Herndon
  • Liberty: Madison, Langley, Washington & Lee, McLean
  • Potomac: West Springfield, West Potomac, South County, Annandale
  • Cedar Run: Osbourn Park, Battlefield, Patriot, Osbourn (went by regular season rankings not tourney)

Its hard not to say that Madison is your Region favorite; there’s not another All-Met top 10 ranked team here and Madison’s only local loss this year was to Stone Bridge’s Jacob Bukauskas.  But Madison has a tough road ahead: they face Herndon on 5/3014, then (likely) Patriot.  Meanwhile Oakton faces a tough 2nd round potential matchup with Battlefield; are teams from the Cedar Run conference  strong or weak?  Myquick Regional semis predictions would be Osbourn Park, West Springfield, Battlefield and Madison.

6-A South Region: which is mostly big-time schools in Richmond and the Virginia Beach area.  But there are just enough schools in Woodbridge proper to form a 6-A conference closer to DC with teams that are typically considered for All-Met rankings.

  • 6-A Conference 4(playoff bracket): Hylton (Woodbridge) regular season champ with a playoff bye.  In the quarters Forest Park (Woodbridge) beat Stafford 4-1, Gar-Field (Woodbridge) was pounded by #2 Colonial Forge (Stafford) 8-0, and Woodbridge lost to #3 Riverbend (Fredericksburg) 4-2.   In the 5/30/14 semis, Hylton beat Forest Park 3-0 and Riverbend upset Colonial Forge 5-1.  In the 5/31/14 final, Hylton scored in the bottom of the 7th to take the crown 2-1.
  • Other 6-A South conferences are slow to get started; the brackets are available (spotty) online at the above VHSL link).

Unlike the north regional, just the conference champs and semi-finalists qualified for


5-A North Region (which also roughly equates to schools from the old Northern Region, with the exception of Conference 16 … which includes schools all the way to South Boston).

  • 5-A Conference 13/Capitol  (playoff bracket): Marshall regular season champ.  In the playoffs, the seeds held mostly to form in the quarters, with Marshall beating Wakefield, #2 seed Edison pounding Falls Church, #3 Lee taking out Jefferson and #5 Stuart squeaking by Mount Vernon.  In the semis on 5/21/14 the #1 and #2 seeds advanced to the final, with Edison beating Lee and Marshall handling Stuart.   5/23/14 final: Marshall beat Edison 4-2 for their first district/conference championship in nearly 15 years.
  • 5-A Conference 14 (playoff bracket): Stone Bridge regular season champ.  Broad Run and Tuscarora won their quarters, making the semis Stone Bridge vs Broad Run in a battle of Ashburn high schools, and Freedom (South Riding) versus Tuscarora (Leesburg).    In the Semis 5/23/14 the seeds held true, with #1 Stone Bridge getting past Broad Run 3-0 and #2 Freedom taking out Tuscarora 5-0.  In the 5/27/14 final Stone Bridge squeaked by Freedom-SR 6-5.
  • 5-A Conference 15 (playoff bracket): Potomac (VA) regular season champ.   In the semis, Potomac (Dumfries) pounded Mountain View (Centreville)  while North Stafford handled Brooke Point in an all-Stafford semi.  Final on 5/27/14: Potomac blanked North Stafford 8-0 and looks like a force in the regional tournament.
  • 5-A Conference 16 (playoff bracket): Comprised of four schools far away from the DC area.  Halifax (South Boston) was the regular season champion, followed by Patrick Henry (Roanoke), Albemarle (Charlottesville), and Orange (north of Charlottesville, not quite to Culpeper).  Wow that’s a lot of driving for those schools to play district games.  In the 5/23/14 Halifax crushed Orange and Patrick Henry beat Albemarle, setting up a #1/#2 seed final in this small conference.  Patrick Henry upset Halifax 4-2 to take the conference final on memorial day, but the seedings went by regular season standings for the regional tournament.

5-A NorthRegional Qualifiers (in seed order): Regional playoff bracket is here.  Unlike in 6-A, only the top 3 seeds advanced in some of these conferences.  Maybe its based on the size of the conference.

  • Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall, Edison, Stuart , Lee
  • Conference 14: Stone Bridge, Freedom – South Riding, Tuscarora
  • Conference 15: Potomac, North Stafford, Brooke Point
  • Conference 16: Halifax, Patrick Henry

I’d say that your regional favorite was Stone Bridge on the back of Bukauskas, but Potomac has a strong lineup (8 college committed players) and the Southern Virginian schools are complete unknowns.  Lets hope Potomac and Stone Bridge are on opposite sides of the bracket.  The regional bracket was published 5/29/14 and it looks like the semis will play out as Marshall-Stone Bridge and Potomac-Halifax.  I’m predicting a Stone Bridge-Potomac final with Potomac taking it (depending on when Bukauskas pitches…)

5-A South Regional: Playoff bracket here.


Smaller Virginia Classifications: for years Northern Virginia didn’t have anything smaller than 6-A and 5-A schools (with apologies to George Mason HS in Falls Church); now the proliferation of newer high schools in Loudoun County has led to a slew of 4-A and 3-A schools.  They have to do some serious commuting though; most of their conference foes are significant distances west and south.  None of these schools are considered baseball powers in the same vein as the 5-A and 6-A schools above.

4-A North:

  • 4-A conference 21 (playoff bracket): Millbrook was the regular season champ, going 12-0 in conference.  In the qtrs on 5/23/14 Heritage (Leesburg) beat Park View (Sterling) 3-0, Dominion (Sterling), lost to Millbrook (Winchester) 9-0, Loudoun County (Leesburg) beat James Wood (Winchester) 5-4, and  Sherando (Stephens City, outside Winchester) blanked Woodgrove (Purceville, outside Leesburg) 6-0. In the 5/27/14 semis, Sherando beat Heritage 4-3 and Loudoun County was blanked by Millbrook 4-0.  In the 5/29/14 final, Milbrook beat Sherando for the fourth time this year 5-4.  

3-A East Region

  • 3-A Conference 27 (playoff bracket): Culpeper regular season champ.  Quarters 5/26/14 #4 Manassas Park lost to #5 Spotsylvania 2-0, #3 Brentsville crushed #6 James Monroe 10-0.  Semis 5/28/14, #1 Culpeper beat Spotsylvania 5-2, while the other semi #2 Kettle Run beat Brentsville. The #1/#2 Final is 5/31/14, won by Kettle Run in an upset 8-4.
  • 3-A Conference 28 (playoff bracket): Loudoun Valley regular season champ.  Quarters 5/26/14: #4 Skyline beat #5 Warren County 5-0 and #3 Central beat #6 John Champe  6-5.  In the 5/28/14 semis, #1 Loudoun Valley beat Skyline by the astounding score of 27-6, and #2 William Monroe beat Central 5-0.  In the Final on 5/30/14: Loudoun Valley pounded William Monroe 12-1.  Wow; that’s quite a conference tournament showing for Loudoun Valley.

2-A East Region

  • 2-A Conference 35 (playoff bracket): Strasburg was the regular season champ with just a single loss all year.  This conference is home to Falls Church’s George Mason HS, the smallest high school in the Northern Virginia area.  They were the #2 seed but were upset in the 1st round of the playoffs 6-5 by Madison County, ending their season.  Strasburg won the conference with ease and enters the regionals with a 20-1. record.

 


Maryland

The Maryland state semis were on 5/20/14 and the finals were at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen on Friday 5/23/14 and Saturday 5/24/14.  Links: MPSSAA home page.  Here’s how things turned out by classification:

  • 4-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps)
    • Semifinalists and regional champions were: repeat regional champion Elanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt), Sherwood (Sandy Spring/Olney), Gaithersburg and Baltimore’s #4 ranked Chesapeake (Pasadena, near Annapolis).
    • In the first state semi, Sherwood’s Matt Chanin (UMBC commit) threw a no-hitter and Sherwood blitzed Elanor Roosevelt 10-0.  In the other semi, Chesapeake blanked Gaithersburg 6-0 behind Chris Ruszin‘s shutout (Towson commit) as Gaithersburg committed 5 errors in the field.
    • In the state final on 5/23/14, Chesapeake’s Drew Spinnenweber (committed to the US Merchant Marine academy) threw a 13-k shutout to beat Sherwood 2-0.
  • 3-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps):
    • Semifinalists and regional champions were: La Plata, Baltimore #5 North Harford (Plysville, near PA border north of Baltimore), Thomas Johnson (Frederick) and Baltimore’s #2 ranked Reservoir (Fulton, near Columbia).
    • In the state semis, North Harford blitzed La Plata 8-2, and Reservoir similarly blitzed Thomas Johnson 12-4.
    • In the State final on 5/24/14, junior Cody Morris threw a 2-hitter and Reservoir beat North Harford 2-0.  Morris struck out 11 and dominated in the final; he’s just a junior but has already hit 94 in showcase events, was holding 92 in the state final and is an early commit to South Carolina.  He’ll be one to watch next year, to see if he can become a high-draft pick prospect.
  • 2-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps)
    • Semifinalists were: Poolsville, joined by Southern (in Harwood, south of Annapolis), Hereford (in Parkton, north of Baltimore on I-83) and Parkside (in Salisbury).
    • In the state semis, Poolsville’s great season came to an end in a 5-4 loss to Parkside.  Poolsville rallied from an early deficit, tied the game late to send it into extra-innings but gave up the winning run in the 9th.  Southern beat Hereford in the other semi.
    • In the state final on 5/24/14, Southern beat Parkside in a tight 3-2 affair to cap a surprising state title (they were just 16-9 on the season and at one point were 3 games under .500).
  • 1-A State Playoff Bracket (alt Bracket via maxpreps):
    • Semifinalists were: Maritime Academy (Baltimore), Sparrows Point (Baltimore), Smithsburg (outside of Hagerstown) and Cambridge-South Dorchester.
    • In the state semis, Sparrows Point beat Maritime Academy 24-0 (that’s not a typo; Sparrows Point won its regional final 24-1), and Smithsburg beat Cambridge-South Dorchester 4-3 (preventing Cambridge’s attempt to repeat as state titlists) to set-up a possibly lopsided state final.
    • In the state finals on 5/24/14, Smithsburg blanked Sparrows Point 9-0, the exact opposite result that I anticipated.

A quick list of past champions by division:

The Maryland public high school seasons are now complete.


DC Public Schools/DCIAA:

Wilson HS is the dominant team and has been for two decades; no surprise here who won the regular season league championship.  The 2014 DCIAA championship has yet to be scheduled (they usually wait for an open date at Nats park in early June: June 7th and 14th are candidates dates this year).

(In 2013, Wilson defeated Mckinley Tech 16-2 for the DCIAA championship).

DCSAA: DC State Athletic Association

The Inagural DCSAA “State” Baseball tournament for the District of Columbia kicked off on 5/20/14.   The “state” tournament is going on at the same time as the DCIAA regular season, making scheduling rather difficult for some teams (aka Wilson, who had four games in four days this past week!).   The field of 9 teams seems to be invite-only; it contains a cherry-picked list of DC schools, mostly private though with a couple of public schools.  And the schedule is awful; teams must play at least three games in four days (or four in five days if they are in the play-in game) in order to win this tournament.  The championship game took place on 5/24/14 at Nats park, so that’s quite a carrot.  #1 seed St. Johns seems likely to meet #2 seed (and fellow WCAC conference foe) Gonzaga for the title, but must go through DCIAA power Wilson to get there.

In the Quarters, the seeds mostly held to form with #1 St. Johns, #5 Wilson, #3 St. Albans and #2 Gonzaga all advanced.  In the semis on 5/23/14, St. Johns blanked a tired Wilson 4-0 and St. Albans upset Gonzaga 2-1 to setup a great grudge-match settling final between the champions of Washington’s two biggest private leagues.  In the final, St. Johns outlasted their IAC counterparts 6-3 in the season finale for both squads.

 


Private Leagues

Most all private leagues in the DC, VA and MD areas are complete at this point.  Here’s a list of winners per league:

 


Resources:

  • Thanks to the Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports.
  • The Connection family of newspapers has a sports section that is rarely updated, but it does do some coverage.
  • MaxPreps.com also has some non-paywall HS information that comes in handy too.
  • Nvdaily.com (Strasburg/Winchester) has some results for some of the teams in the smaller conferences/outskirts of DC.
  • The Daily Progress (Culpeper local paper) also has some scores for schools in its areas.
  • Fredericksburg.com has some local coverage.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section (and here’s the updated Baltimore top-20, akin to the AllMetSports top-10 list).
  • I use perfectgame.org to look up high-end HS prospects.
  • VHSL’s and MPSSAA home pages for playoff brackets and updates for VA and MD respectively.

If you have any other good sources for local prep baseball information, i’m all ears.