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