West Virginia State Tournament: Class AA Preview

By Greg Williams
West Virginia Executive Director of Scouting

A total of 24 teams began regional play last week and 12 remain as the West Virginia state tournament prepares to kick off on Thursday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.  Today we preview the four teams that will compete for an opportunity to be crowned Class AA state champions for 2017. 

+ CLICK HERE to view complete regional Tournament brackets leading to the state tournament

Class AA

Bridgeport (27-6)

Dynasty is a term that should not be used lighlty.  In this case, it fits. Bridgeport marches to Charleston in search of its 4th consecutive AA state title and appear to be hitting their stride at the right time.  The Indians got complete game winning efforts in the regionals from Gordon Swiger and Brayden Lesher and have several other pitchers capable of shutting down opposing hitters if needed.  University of Charleston recruit Drew HefnerJ.T. Harris and Lesher head a deep offensive lineup capable of scoring more than enough runs to allow pitchers to work with confidence.

James Monroe (17-11)

JM Mavs AthleticsThe Mavericks get the unenviable task of attempting to dethrone the three time defending champs in the semifinals.  James Monroe will likely hand the ball to Mikey Belcher (6-0, 2.45 ERA, 49 K) to try to cool off the Indians bats. Grant Mohler (5-4, 2.55 ERA, 43 K) is the only other pitcher on the staff to record more than two wins on the season.  Mohler (.449, 3 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI), Colton Bradley (.400, 26 RBI, 25 R) and Clay Havens (.338, 21 RBI, 21 R) are the top offensive threats for the Mavericks who are averaging seven runs per game on the season.

Wayne (30-3)

The Pioneers are no stranger to the state tournament.  After winning a 19th consecutive section title Wayne topped Logan on back-to-back days to capture the Region 4 title.  Cody Noe (8-0, 1.54, 58 K) and Dakota McCloud (7-2, 1.57, 85 K) have been one of the top 1-2 tandems on the mound of any team in the state this spring.  McCloud (.427, 9 2B, 6 HR, 40 RBI), Cayden Ross (.408, 7 2B, 36 RBI), Brad Sharp (.358, 24 RBI), Noe (.317, 9 2B, 2 HR, 26 RBI) and Jeremiah Milum (.320, 5 2B, 26 RBI) have led an offense that has produced an impressive 8.1 runs per game this season.

Weir (18-10)

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Chris Gillette stroked a bases loaded, two out, two strike single to win game three of the Region 1 tournament last week in walk-off fashion over Berkeley Springs. The Red Raiders got a complete game from Michael Mills and found just enough offense to win the deciding game.  Weir returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2005, a year in which they lost in the semifinal game.  The Red Raiders were making their second consecutive appearance in the state tournament that year having won the state title in 2004.

State Tourney schedule

Friday, June 2 - Appalachian Power Park

Bridgeport vs. James Monroe (5:00pm)
Wayne vs. Weir (8:00pm)

Saturday, June 3 - Appalachian Power Park

Class AA Championship Game - 4:00PM