Too Early Spring Previews: West Top 5


Jason Burton
PBR Virginia/DC Scouting Coordinator

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As we slowly creep towards the end of 2021, the anticipation and excitement for another high school baseball season rises. 
Today we roll out our third installment of the Too Early Spring Preview, as we dive into some of the top teams from the western portion of the state. 

1. Miller School Mavericks 

Miller School lost a big bat in the top of the order in 2022 Nathan Fink. Fink left for IMG Academy, but Miller School still has more than enough offense in the order. The Mavericks return seniors Landon Abrahamson (Dayton), Henry Cooke (Virginia Tech), Jacob Exum (Virginia Tech), Laken Tignor (Patrick Henry CC), and Timothy Brooks (JMU). Brooks, who has made some big jumps in the last twelve months, will more than likely serve as staff ace and will be accompanied by fellow seniors Thomas Reilly and Jacob Exum. 2023's Noah Murray (Duke) and Patrick Rakes will bring additional offensive firepower to an already stout lineup. Look for the Mavericks to once again challenge for a VISAA State Championship.

 

2. Liberty Christian Bulldogs 

The Bulldogs return some pivotal pieces from a very good 2021 squad. The leadership and offensive firepower from the likes of Tanner Thomas (Longwood), Logan Duff (Randolph-Macon), John Simmons (Liberty), and Andrew Burns (Liberty) should provide plenty of run support for an already solid pitching staff. LCA will have to replace Brock Duff (UVA-Wise), who had an outstanding spring in 2021. In addition to the loss of Duff the Bulldogs will have to replace Will Thomas and Nathan Tucker, but with pieces like Sullivan Holmes (Liberty), Ben Blondino (King), and Benjamin Blair (Liberty) they have more than enough depth on the mound to make another run at a state title.

3. Jefferson Forest Cavaliers 

After the losses of Connor Maggi (Gardner-Webb), Domenic Rowlands (King), and Spencer Williams (Gardner-Webb) the Cavaliers will have some valuable innings to replace on the mound. However, they have some young talented arms in the stable that will allow them to compete in every game. 2023’s Luke Gouldthorpe and Sam Bell (UMBC) are one best 2023 duos in the state. Add in East Tennessee State commit Peyton Smith and they have a chance to be really good on the mound. The offense should be led by seniors Evan Mace (Lynchburg) and Sully Tibbs (Radford). If Tibbs and Mace can get some help scoring runs, Jefferson Forest has the arm talent to compete with anyone.

4. Chatham Cavaliers 

Chatham suffered some big losses with the departures of Matt Arnold and Christian Lancaster, who both went on to play at Hampden-Sydney College. Arnold and Lancaster made significant contributions on the mound and at the plate. Cam Satterfield (Patrick Henry CC), Carrington Aaron (Virginia Tech), and Jake Moore (Liberty) return, as they will once again bolster a powerful offensive lineup. I think the biggest question that will need to be answered in the spring is who will throw those valuable innings that Lancaster and Arnold threw last year.

5. Lord Botetourt Cavaliers 

There are few teams where you can say their offense alone has a chance to propel them deep into the playoffs, but Lord Botetourt may be one of those. Seniors Connor Fuhrman (South Carolina), Owen Prince (VMI), and Nate Prince (Roanoke) are three very strong offensive pieces to have to account for as an opposing team. If the Cavaliers’ staff can throw strikes and play defense behind their arms, look for LB in June.