Prep Baseball Report

2024 VHSL 6A Season Preview: Region B


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PBR Virginia/DC

 

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For the last few years, Region B has been an odd combination of top-heavy and deep, all at the same time. Recent powerhouses Colgan and Freedom (South Riding) are here as well as a group of traditionally strong programs in Battlefield, Colonial Forge, Forest Park, Mountain View, Patriot, and Woodbridge, as well as newcomer and upstart Gainesville. This Region Tournament has a chance to be one of the most wide-open in Class 6 this year, with the Cardinal and Cedar Run Districts sending just three teams each to it, and the Commonwealth contributing two. 

VHSL 6A Region B Preview:

Battlefield

2023 Record: 13-7

The Bobcats are coming off of a 2023 season that saw them finish second in the Cedar Run District and reach the Region Tournament with a team that was a mix of long-time starters mixed with some youth. Gone from that roster are JP Williams (George Mason), Carson Cho (Coast Guard), Cooper Harris (Frederick CC), and Joey Swekosky (Marymount). Look for Battlefield to go through a youth movement this spring, with junior lefty Sam Michel (Duke) poised to step forward as the latest lefthanded ace to roll through Battlefield. Sophomore Garrett Camp started last year at third and should again be a key piece in the infield and lineup as well as an option on the mound. Camp was the first part of an absurdly talented young core that will push for playing time this spring and for the next three to four years, not the least of which includes freshmen Teagan Leach (Virginia Tech), Chase Colangelo (Virginia Tech), Yogi Colangelo (Virginia Tech), Nico Moritz-Toledo (Virginia Tech), and Luke Raflo. The Bobcats could show a lot of inexperience early as the season gets going, depending on how the lineup shakes out, but they have a chance to be a very scary team in May depending on how quickly that freshman class emerges. Battlefield is a juggernaut in the making this spring, and will be interesting follow as a result.



Sam Michel

Class of 2025 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: LHP
  • High School: Battlefield
    State: VA
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 170lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L





Colgan

2023 Record: 24-3 *Lost in VHSL 6A State Semifinals*

The Sharks ended an outstanding season by again coming up just short on State Semifinal day in 2023, surrendering a three-run lead in the sixth inning to fall to the eventual champs, James Madison. Colgan was decimated by graduation with the departures of Jae'dan Carter (Dayton), Brett Renfrow (Virginia Tech), Matthew Westley (Virginia Tech), Christian Abney, Caden Colangelo, Marsden Zajac, and Ian McMillen (Alderson Broadus). The departures of Renfrow, Westley, and Abney will also decimate the rotation as the bulk of Colgan's innings have departed. Lastly, Colgan also loses head coach Mike Colangelo from the dugout, as he stepped down with his eldest son's graduation. A few players who do return off of good years, who will form the core of this Colgan offense and defense, are junior shortstop and 2023 breakout player Julius Bagnerise (George Mason) as well as  Tyler Bassett (Longwood) and fellow senior Vinnie Natale (Pittsburgh-Johnstown). Senior Braedan Cooch (USC-Upstate) should move into a significant role on the mound this spring and keep an eye on freshman Gavin Knox (Virginia Tech), who is the kind of arm who could force his way into the rotation. Colgan won't be the powerhouse this spring that it has been for the last few years, but don't count them out to defend their Cardinal District crown and make another State Tournament trip.



Julius Bagnerise

Class of 2025 / SS

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: SS
    Secondary Position: 2B
  • High School: Colgan
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stars
  • Height: 5-8
    Weight: 149.3lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R




Tyler Bassett

Class of 2024 / 3B

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: 3B
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Colgan
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stars 17u Sisk
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R






Colonial Forge

2023 Record: 17-8 *Lost in Regional semifinals*

Forge fell to the defending State Champs, Freedom, in the Region semifinals. The Eagles were also decimated by graduation. A few major losses from last year include centerfielder Zach Colangelo (Longwood), Aidan Walker, and rightfielder and lefthanded pitcher Zyhir Hope (North Carolina). Hope was drafted in July and signed by the Cubs, and has since been traded to the Dodgers. Cameron Biller (Mt. St. Mary's) and Tyler Woodring are two seniors that should be at the front of the pack for key contributors in 2024. There are some questions that will need to be answered in order for Forge to challenge for the regional title again.



Cameron Biller

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Colonial Forge
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stafford Diamonds
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 150lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R





Forest Park

2023 Record: 16-6-1

Forest Park had some losses from their 2023 roster, but were not his nearly as hard as a few other programs within the region. They return a few upperclassmen like Solomon Belle and Caleb Darrah that should help lead the way. Marco and Miguel Smith are now juniors, along with Matthew Pokorak and Bobby Campbell. Two sophomore names to know are Landon Ludington and Will Frye. Ludington and Frye could have a chance to make an impact in the lineup sooner rather than later.

Solomon Belle

Class of 2024 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Forest Park
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Dirtbags Platinum
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Freedom (South Riding)  

2023 Record: 23-4 *Lost in VHSL 6A State Semifinals*

The 2022 State Champions made a return to the Final Four in 2023 and were the Region Champs, but came short of repeating in a tight game against Westfield. They lost their trio of Power 5 arms to graduation with the departures of Ryan Marohn (NC State), Luke Proehl (Virginia Tech), and Mason Butash (Penn State). They do bring a lot of pieces back in the lineup, including the number one prospect in the VA/DC 2024 Class, centerfielder Griffin Burkholder (West Virginia). The Eagles also bring back seven regular position player starters from last year's squad, including Justin Lanouette (Randolph-Macon), Shawn Arneja (Dickinson), Kyle Ausgotharp (Shippensburg), and Edwin Sanchez (Sienna). On the mound, Ryan Pugh (Virginia Tech) will slide into the top spot and compete for Pitcher of the Year. Lefty Liam Thyen could be a big X-factor for the Eagles in the rotation this spring as Freedom looks to continue its dominance of the Cedar Run District and make another State Tournament trip.



Griffin Burkholder

Class of 2024 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: OF
  • High School: Freedom
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Dirtbags National
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 199.7lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Ryan Pugh

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
  • High School: Freedom (South Riding)
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stars
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 185lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R





Gainesville

2023 Record: 10-12 

The Cardinals begin their third season of existence with a lot of promise to the roster. They did watch their first senior class graduate last spring and saw the departures of Colin Miller (Shenandoah) and Aden Ritenour (Shepherd). Despite those losses, this group has a chance to push for a District Championship this spring. There is a ton of depth on the mound with senior Lucas Marrero (Lynchburg) and well as juniors Ryan Petro and Caden Merritt (VMI) all potential guys who could anchor a rotation. Merritt does it on the mound and at the plate, where he is the centerpiece to the offense for Gainesville and should be in the mix for District Player of the Year this spring. The offense will be filled out around Merritt with juniors Ben Ackerman, and JW Kohlmeyer and sophomore outfielders Ian Fournier and Aaron Ritenour could very easily join Merritt in giving Gainesville one of the best two-way outfields in the Region this spring. Last year we tabbed Gainesville as a Dark Horse in the District, this year the expectation is that the Cardinals will challenge Freedom, Patriot, and Battlefield for first in the District and be a threat to make a run in the Region Tournament.



Caden Merritt

Class of 2025 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Gainesville
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stars Showcase 16U - Devitt
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 183lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Ryan Petro

Class of 2025 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Gainesville
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stars Showcase Baseball Devitt
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 165lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L





Aaron Ritenour

Class of 2026 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2026
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Gainesville
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Virginia Stars
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 205lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R





Mountain View (Stafford)

2023 Record: 11-9

Making the move up to Class 6 this season is Mountain View. They will have a tougher task ahead of them to make it out of the region and into the state tournament, but they have some returners that certainly put them in the hunt. Robert Chapman (Hampden-Sydney) and Hayden Rue are two seniors that are experienced pieces in the lineup. Rue may be the most explosive bat in the lineup, but he has two players closing that gap, with Caleb Ramsey (George Mason) and sophomore Weston Yount. Ramsey brings strength and athleticism to the lineup, while Yount brings an impressive hit tool from the left side and showcased that as a freshman on varsity in 2023. Ayden Albright (VMI) is another junior, like Ramsey, that brings some strength and athleticism to the outfield and offensive lineup. Isaac Munoz should factor in some bigger innings on the mound, along with sophomore Matthew McCauley. McCauley threw some big innings on varsity as a freshman and will look to get headed back in the right direction this spring.

Matthew McCauley

Class of 2026 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2026
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Mountain View (Stafford)
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Richmond Braves 2026 Platinum
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 215lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/L



Caleb Ramsey

Class of 2025 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Mountain View
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Richmond Braves Platinum 16u
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 200lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R



Weston Yount

Class of 2026 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2026
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Mountain View
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stars Baseball
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 171lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L


North Stafford  

2023 Record: 6-16

Also moving up to the Class 6 half of the Commonwealth District this spring is North Stafford. The Wolverines are coming off of a down 2023 as they reloaded, but there are some pieces on the roster and they will be a tough out this spring. While they do not necessarily have a frontline, shut down arm, they have some depth in upperclass arms like Casey Fletcher (Cairn). Fletcher gives opponents a different look and is an efficient strike thrower that can work deeper into games. He will be accompanied by Chase Krause (Bluefield), Charlie Zappa, Nathan Klepic, and Graham Ward on the mound. Lucas Schroeder should handle the catching duties behind the plate and most of those names from above will accompany him in the lineup. A pair of sophomores in Grady Zappa and Kameron Hanley could become big contributors for the Wolverines this season. 



Casey Fletcher

Class of 2024 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: North Stafford
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Richmond Braves 17U American
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 170lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L



Graham Ward

Class of 2025 / 3B

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: 3B
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: North Stafford
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Richmond Braves Platinum
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Osbourn

2023 Record: 5-15

Back this season is sophomore Ethan Hudson, who has made a big jump during the offseason and will give the Eagles a chance against any opponent when he is on the mound. Senior lefty Aidan Kiefer (Bard) will also add some very good depth on the mound alongside Hudson, giving the Eagles a pair of strong arms. Offensively, the lineup will feature those two as well as senior Brayden Weeks (Ferrum).

Ethan Hudson

Class of 2026 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2026
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Osbourn City
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Stars 2026 Marucci
  • Height: 5-9
    Weight: 170lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R





Osbourn Park

2023 Record: 9-9

The Yellow Jackets lost Keith Davis (Wagner), Zachary Durick (Norwich), Vic Nardone (Paul D Camp CC), and Dylan Gaston (New River CC) to graduation. The 2024 team will be led by senior Toby Rhodes (Virginia Wesleyan), who returns to the heart of the order. A trio of junior pitchers will make OP dangerous this spring as lefties Chase Allen, Luke Shearin, and righty Eli Laughman return to the team. Allen threw some big innings last year and Laughman served as a two player who could come out of the pen. Allen has a chance to take a big jump forward and be the kind of arm that can completely shut an opposing offense down single-handedly. If Osbourn Park can produce consistent offense against the powers in the Cedar Run, they can challenge for one of the Region berths this spring.

Chase Allen

Class of 2025 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Osbourn Park
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Virginia Stars
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 195lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L




Toby Rhodes

Class of 2024 / C

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: C
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Osbourn Park
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Snyder Bucks
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Patriot

2023 Record: 18-6

The Pioneers are coming off of a third-place finish in the Cedar Run and a Region semifinal trip before losing a tight game and an upset bid to Colgan. Patriot's pitching rotation was decimated by graduation with the departures of Jordan Capuano (UNC Wilmington), Jakob Foster (Mt. St. Mary's), and Nathan Bassett (Virginia). Offensively and defensively, the departure of Caleb Ramey (Winthrop) will hurt, but two 2025s that had breakout seasons, centerfielder Grady Lenahan (East Carolina) and shortstop Dominic Tilden, will be back at the core of the offense this spring along with senior thumper Luke Pierce (Allegheny) and senior Remington Lee. Lenahan has game changing speed and all-fields home run power and Tilden is also a big middle infielder with a power hitting frame. On the mound, senior lefties Matthew Bishop (Bridgewater) and Brady Page (Richard Bland) as well as Hutson Hendrix and junior Evan Foster to fill the graduated innings. Offense should not be an issue for Patriot this spring, and if they get some quality work on the mound, they will stay near the top of the Cedar Run and be a factor in the Region this spring.



Matthew Bishop

Class of 2024 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Patriot
    State: VA
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 195lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/L



Grady Lenahan

Class of 2025 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: 2B
  • High School: Patriot
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Canes
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Dominic Tilden

Class of 2025 / SS

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: SS
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Patriot
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Canes
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 172lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R





Woodbridge 

2023 Record: 15-9

The Vikings finished a resurgent 2023 second the Cardinal District standings before closing the season with a pair of tough losses to Forest Park in the District Tournament and to Patriot in the Region Tournament. The story for Woodbridge last spring was the emergence of junior righthander Aiden Ellerts, which earily mirrored his older brother's junior season a while back. Now a senior, Ellerts will top the rotation with a big fastball and a hammer of a breaking ball, and he is a strikeout machine. The bulk of Woodbridge's key players last spring aside from Ellerts were sophomores, and they will be back with a wealth of experience for their junior seasons this spring. Super toolsy shortstop Caelan Goodwin-Slater, a defensive wizard last spring, will man the middle again and contribute on the mound as well. Also back on the infield will be junior Ethan Jackson and returning behind the dish is two-way junior catcher Kory Barbier. Woodbridge will likely have the best veteran arm in the Cardinal District this spring to go with a solid defense. If those returning bats can produce more consistently in those tight hard-fought games against Colgan and the top teams from the Cedar Run, Woodbridge will challenge for a Cardinal District Championship and be a threat in the Region.



Aiden Ellerts

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Woodbridge
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Metro Senators
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R




Caelan Goodwin-Slater

Class of 2025 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: SS
  • High School: Woodbridge
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Competitive Edge 2025
  • Height: 5-11
    Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R