Prep Baseball Report

2019 VHSL Class 1 Preview

John Nolan
Virginia Scouting Director & Managing Editor

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Welcome to our 2019 VHSL Previews. In each preview, we will give you a brief recap of the 2018 season along with the breakdown of each Region and what the rules are to qualify for postseason play under the current alignment. We will also highlight the top prospects in each Classification, as well as some teams to watch during the 2019 season.

We begin our VHSL Previews for the 2019 season by taking a look at Class 1. 2018 saw Riverheads capture the Class 1 State Championship after also winning Region B to cap off a strong campaign from start to finish. Honaker finished the season as the State Runners-up and the Region D runners-up, having had a 16-game winning streak during 2018 that was snapped in the Region title game by Region D champ Patrick Henry (Glade Spring). Auburn returned to the State Tournament as the Region C runners-up coming off of their 2017 State Championship, but the Tigers did not advance past the State Quarterfinals in 2018. Galax won the Region C Championship in 2018 and Northumberland won Region A. Rounding out the 2018 State Tournament field was, West Point, who made a Cinderella run to win the Region A Championship after entering the tournament as the eleventh seed, as well as Lunenberg Central. Central made its run on the back of a senior class, eight of whom earned All-Region honors.


Top Prospects in VHSL Class 1

Name School Class Position Commitment
Mason Delane Colonial Beach 2019 RHP VCU
Braeson Fulton Riverheads 2020 C James Madison
Zachary Gonzalez West Point 2020 1B  
Brady Harris Auburn 2019 RHP/SS
Matthew Kleinfelter Lancaster 2019 RHP/3B James Madison
Avery Mabe George Wythe 2020 RHP Virginia
Brett Midkiff Rappahannock County 2019 RHP Mount St. Mary's
Grant Painter Riverheads 2020 SS James Madison
Jacob Watters Bland County 2019 RHP West Virginia
Christian Williams Mathews 2020 LHP Texas Christian

2019 Region A

Eastern Shore Northern Neck Tidewater Tri-Rivers
Chincoteague Colonial Beach Charles City Franklin
Northampton Essex King & Queen Surry County
  Lancaster Mathews Sussex Central
  Northumberland Middlesex Windsor
  Rappahannock West Point  
  Washington & Lee (Montross)    

***Participated in 2018 Region A Tournament

Region A uses power points to seed a twelve team tournament. Points will be awarded throughout the season and the top 12 teams will make the tournament, with the top four getting a bye in the the Region Quarterfinals.


2019 Region B

Altavista Appomattox Gov School
William Campbell Carver Career Academy
Central-Lunenberg Cumberland
Galileo Stonewall Jackson (Quicksburg)
Rappahannock County Riverheads

***Participated in 2018 Region B Tournament

Region B is using power points to seed an eight team Region tournament. Power points will be awarded for in the following manner, 7 for a win against a 1a school, 8 for a win against a 2a, and 9 for a win against a 3a. One point will be awarded for a loss to a 2a school and two points for a loss to a 3a school. All points will be totalled and then divided by the number of games a school played against VHSL opponents to calculate the final power point score. Games against out of state or private school opponents will not earn any points, nor will they count towards the total games number. 

2019 Region C

Mountain Empire Pioneer
Auburn Bath County
Bland County Covington
Galax Craig County
Rural Retreat Eastern Montgomery
George Wythe (Wytheville) Highland
  Parry McCluer

***Participated in 2018 Region C Tournament

The Region C Tournament will be an eight team bracket, with four representatives from each District. The teams will be paired off like they were in the old system, with the Mountain Empire top seed facing the Pioneer fourth seed, and so on, in the Region Quarterfinals.


2019 Region D

Black Diamond Cumberland Hogoheegee
Council J.I. Burton Chilhowie
Grundy Castlewood Patrick Henry (Glade Spring)
Honaker Eastside Holston
Hurley Patrick Henry (Rye Cove) Northwood
Twin Valley Twin Springs  
  Thomas Walker  

***Participated in 2018 Region D Tournament

Region D features fifteen teams from three Districts, the Black Diamond, Cumberland, and Hogoheegee. The Region tournament will take three teams from each District to seed a nine-team tournament. All of the one and two seeds begin play in the quarterfinals, two of the three seeds will have to play in to reach the quarterfinals.


Teams to Watch Class 1

The Tigers won the 2017 State Championship and returned to the State Tournament in 2018, but did not make it to Championship weekend. The Tigers have lost All-State outfielder Hunter Keith to graduation but will bring back All-State senior pitcher Keith Reed this spring as well as All-Region honorees Trevor Miles, Carter Keith, and Taylor Newcome.

Bland County
Bland made the Region C tournament in 2018 but did not advance to the State Tournament. The Bears will be an interesting team to track in 2019 as they have arguably the top overall prospect in Class 1 in senior pitcher and 2018 All-State designated hitter Jacob Watters (West Virginia)

Colonial Beach
The Drifters made a Region appearance in 2018 after missing the Region tournament in 2017. They were eliminated by eventual Region Champion Northumberland. The graduation of pitcher Connor Lutz will be a blow to their rotation, but the return of senior Mason Delane (VCU) gives Colonial Beach and All-Region player and one of the highest upside arms in all of Virginia.

The Dukes reached the Region B tournament in 2018 and were knocked out in the quarterfinals. Cumberland does bring back three All-Region performers in senior first baseman Tristan Stinson and junior outfielders Jason Cook and Cal Smith

Galax is the defending Region C champions, but suffered to loss of Region Player of the Year and All-State First-Team ace Jake Stuart as well as the graduation of All-Region honorees John Key Senior outfielder Cade Ashworth earned All-State honors and will return this spring for the Maroon Tide.

The Tigers improved on 2017, when they came up one win short of a State Tournament bid, by reaching the State Tournament in 2018 and eventually finishing as the State Runners-up. Honaker will be hurt by graduation this spring as the Tigers lose three All-State honorees in Blake Stinson, Hartley Hilton, and Chris Marshall. Honaker does return All-Region players in outfielder Chase Miller  and infielder Shawn Tiller

The Devils entered the 2018 Region A tournament as the seventh seed and saw their season end as they fell victim to tenth-seeded Rapahannock, which went on to knock of the two seed as well before falling. Lancaster should be a factor again in 2019, as they have the other player in the conversation for best overall prospect in Class 1 in senior RHP/3B Matthew Kleinfelter (James Madison)

The Indians are the defending Region A champions and will return senior All-State infielder Nick Bayse this spring as well All-Region honoree Collin Saunders as they look to return to the State Tournament.

The defending State Champions return five All-State players from their 2018 roster, including senior catcher Forrest Shuey, and juniors Elijah Dunlap, Michael Robinson, Braeson Fulton (James Madison), and Grant Painter (James Madison). That core in the 2020 class makes the Gladiators the early favorites to contend for another State Championship not just in 2019, but net spring as well.

West Point
The Pointers made the Region A tournament in 2018 as the eleventh seed but went on a run to earn a State Tournament trip. Back this spring will be senior pitcher Hunter Haden as well as senior double play combination Carter Upshaw and Walker Rowe. Rounding out a core of veteran returners will also be senior Noah Lawson


Braeson Fulton Riverheads 2020 C James Madison
Brett Midkiff Rappahannock County 2019 RHP  
Grant Painter Riverheads 2020 SS James Madison