Prep Baseball Report

2024 Season Preview: VISAA Division II


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PBR Virginia/DC

   

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The VISAA Division II features seven teams from across the state. There was a shakeup in what has been the power struggle in VISAA DII between Highland and Greenbrier Christian, as Steward made an outstanding playoff run and ultimately brought home the title. Can Highland or Greenbrier Christian reclaim the throne, or will another sleeper (see Atlantic Shores) upset the hierarchy of Division II? See everything you need to know in the 2024 Season Preview below. 

VISAA Division II Previews:

Atlantic Shores Christian

2023 Record: 14-8 *Lost in the Division II State Quarterfinals*

Shores returns some of the best upperclass and underclass talent in Division II. Staff ace Patrick Dudley (South Carolina) is the headline arm for the Seahawks in ‘24, but they could have another emerging big arm with ECU commit Brett Beasley starting to carve his role out as a potential two-way talent. Transfer Ezekiel Medrano could provide some middle of the order power for Shores and be a solid compliment to Beasley, Ross Horne, and Dudley. Jake Armstrong can really go get it in the outfield and should be the anchor for that unit. A name to know for ASCS long term, or potentially short term, is Angelo Banks. Banks can defend in the dirt, is athletic, and has some two-way intrigue for a freshman.



Patrick Dudley

Class of 2025 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Atlantic Shores
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: TBT
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 195lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/L




Brett Beasley

Class of 2025 / SS

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: SS
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Atlantic Shores Christian
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Dirt Bags National
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 185lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Greenbrier Christian

2023 Record: 22-9 *VISAA Division II State Runner-Up*

The Gators came up just a little short in 2023, losing to Steward in the Division II State Championship game. GCA returns plenty of offensive firepower with the likes of Michael Urbaniak (Longwood), Payton Shipman (Delaware), Bubba Sawyer (UNC-G), Tucker Rupe, and Thomas Conrad (VMI). The Gators got a big addition with the transfer of Jackson Okonkwo (ODU). Okonkwo can provide some run production at the plate and also has a chance to be the front line arm for GCA. Coming into the spring, pitching depth and a front line arm were probably the two biggest questions we had for the Gators, but Okonkwo helps answer both of those questions.



Michael Urbaniak II

Class of 2024 / C

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: C
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Greenbrier Christian
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Canes North Scout
  • Height: 5-9
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R




Tucker Rupe

Class of 2025 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: LHP
  • High School: Greenbrier Christian
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Richmond Braves
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L

Highland School

2023 Record: 23-6 *Lost in Division II State Semifinals*

Highland had an up and down 2023 that included a big defeat of nationally ranked Oceanside Collegiate (SC). Shortly after that, the Hawks lost staff ace Brennen Card (William & Mary) for the year, but the left hander is back and ready to take Highland back to the top in 2024. In addition to Card, the Hawks should get big contributions from Stephen Christopher and Weston Lillard, both of whom are committed to Virginia Tech. Those three would be enough to push Highland to the top of the title contenders list, but when you add in a healthy Braedy Peck (Maryland), they have more talent depth on their staff than basically every other staff in the state. Oh, throw in Kehler Hamilton (Elon) on the back end of games to close the door. Gonna be a tough staff to beat. The offensive firepower is there to give that staff plenty of run support. The lineup is headlined by ECU commit Luke Craddock and accompanied by Hamilton, Joey Rogers (Coll. of Charleston), and a slew of uncommitted bats. Justin Summers, Brooks Graham, Danny Farrell, and Benjamin Cardone should be high follows this spring, as they will more than likely play big roles for the 2024 Highland Hawks.



Luke Craddock

Class of 2025 / 1B

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: 1B
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Highland School
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Dirtbags 16U National
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 225lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Kehler Hamilton

Class of 2024 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Highland School
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Dirtbags 17U National
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 210lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Nansemond-Suffolk

2023 Record: 19-6 *Lost in Division II State Semifinals*

The Saints will rely on the senior arms of Jackson Runyon (Virginia Tech), Carson Wetmore, and Matthew Elswick (Randolph-Macon) to carry the inning load on the mound. The lineup will need to overcome the losses of Jase Howell and Ty Howlett, but they have the speedy Preston Groves to potentially pace the offense on the bases and the bats of Gavin Angelillo and Hayden Jones (Peninsula CC) to drive in some runs. In order for NSA to compete for a title with the likes of Highland and GCA, the Saints will need to provide some run support for the pitching staff.



Jackson Runyon

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Richmond Braves Platinum
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 152lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Gavin Angelillo

Class of 2025 / C

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: C
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Richmond Braves
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 194.4lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

North Cross

2023 Record: 13-9 *Lost in Division II State Quarterfinals*

Ashton Shannon (1st Team) and Austin Thomas (2nd Team) both return from All-State years in 2023. Take those two and put them along side Tristan Lange and Hanchen Ou, the Raiders have the talent to make some noise in 2024. Lange is one of the best underclass arms in the state and has the stuff to compete with the top end teams. Shannon, a Hampden-Sydney commit, should provide the experience and talent to be a reliable arm for North Cross, but the Raiders will need to show they have enough offensive depth to challenge some of the top teams in DII.



Ashton Shannon

Class of 2024 / 3B

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: 3B
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: North Cross
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Dirtbags
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 205lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Steward School

2023 Record: 15-10 *VISAA Division II State Champions*

The defending VISAA DII State Champions lost seven players from the 2023 squad, including Michael Lewis and Nate Kumper. Lewis was the DII Player of the Year and Kumper almost single handedly carried the Spartans’ offense in the state title game. They will need to replace a large, large quantity of their innings on the mound, as well as replace multiple hitters in the top half of their lineup. Uncommitted juniors Brian Archer, Caden Proctor, and Cayden Diatelevi should be centerpieces in this lineup, but this Steward team will need to figure out where the big innings on the mound will come from.



Brian Archer

Class of 2025 / C

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: C
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Steward
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: MPH 101 2025 Dragum
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 185lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Cayden Diatelevi

Class of 2025 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Steward
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Dirtbags Prime VA
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 200lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Covenant School

2023 Record: 10-10 *Lost in Division II State Quarterfinals*

Covenant will need to rely on some underclass talent to go along with returning a pair of returning juniors. Jonathan Newton and Josh Wickersty will be the two returning upperclassmen for Covenant. Hudson Reese, Beau Bloxsom, Oden Erickson, and Evan Pariseau are four freshmen that have a chance to be contributors this spring for Covenant and should be players to watch down the road.