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VHSL Region Preview: Class 4 Region B


John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

UG 6.20

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We continue our Region previews with a look at 4a Region B. Region B used to be a part of the 4a East under the VHSL alignment that was in effect from 2014-2017. Region B is primarily made up of schools in the Richmond area and along the I-95 corridor between Fredericksburg and Richmond. One other change to this Region is Patrick Henry's move from Class 5 down to Class 4 to join this Region. For pitching enthusiasts who like velocity, this Region will be a treat in 2018. An added bonus will be the number of quality hitters present to challenge those talented pitchers.

Hanover is the 800 pound guerrilla in this Region and has won a VHSL State Championship in 2013, 2014, and 2016. The Hawks reached the State Tournament in 2015 and 2017 as well. None of the other teams in this Region made a State Tournament appearance from 2013-2017, so that will change this year as at least one of them will earn a berth. On paper, Region B has an argument for being the deepest of any Regions this year in all of VHSL, with at least eight teams that have a legitimate chance to still be playing in June.

Teams in this Region are spread across five Districts, making it hard for District finish to determine their playoffs. Region B instead will do an all-in tournament, with all 13 schools making the Region tournament. Seeding will be based on power points. The top four teams in the draw will get a bye to the Region quarterfinals, and the bottom two teams will have the extra disadvantage of having to play each other just to get into the first round of the tournament.

 

Top Prospects in the Region

Name School Class Position Commitment
Jack Dragum Hanover 2018 RHP/SS Virginia
Camden Grimes Hanover 2018 3B Virginia Tech
Lliam Grubbs Louisa County 2018 RHP James Madison
Hunter Hart Patrick Henry (Ashland) 2018 3B William & Mary
Alex Kobersteen Courtland 2018 RHP George Washington
Will Lopez Hanover 2018 LHP VMI
Seth Mayberry Dinwiddie 2018 RHP Longwood
Tomas Sanchez Dinwiddie 2018 OF VCU
Tristan Snyder Louisa County 2018 LHP William & Mary
Zach Thomas Eastern View 2018 SS/RHP King
Michael Warley Hanover 2018 C Maryland Eastern Shore
Nick Zona Hanover 2018 RHP/SS James Madison

 


2018 Region B Districts

Battlefield Dominion Other
Caroline Huguenot Dinwiddie
Chancellor Midlothian Hanover
Courtland Monacan Louisa County
Eastern View
Patrick Henry (Ashland)
King George
Powhatan
     

*Italicized teams played in the 2017 4a East Region tournament

 

Teams to Watch Region B

Courtland
Courtland did not earn a Regional berth in 2017 but they will earn one in 2018 and are a dangerous team. Senior righty Alex Kobersteen (George Washington) has the potential to end up as the top arm in a Region stacked with good arms. At the very least, Kobersteen give the Cougars a chance to beat any opponent in the Region when he is on the mound. Keying the top of the batting order and playing the middle infield will be speedy senior middle infielder Garrett Howard.

Dinwiddie
The Generals reached the Region tournament in 2017 and came up one game short of a State Tournament berth, they are poised to again challenge Hanover for the Region B championship in 2018. Senior Seth Mayberry (Longwood) saw a velocity jump during the offseason that has turned him into a legitimate pro prospect this spring, with a big fastball and strikeout breaking ball. Fellow seniors Colton Cliborne and Zach Donovan will add veteran depth behind Mayberry in Dinwiddie's rotation. Senior Tomas Sanchez (VCU) will patrol the outfield and provide a dynamic power/speed combination in the middle of Dinwiddie's lineup. Senior shortstop Brian Sheeder (Lynchburg) adds experience in the infield and another veteran bat. A potential key to the season for the Generals could be freshman Jaron McNeil, who could provide major speed and another arm for Dinwiddie.

Eastern View
The Cyclones won Conference 19 in 2017 but lost key two-way player Ray Tricarico (Eastern Mennonite) to graduation. Despite that loss, Eastern View does bring back another key two-way talent in senior shortstop and pitcher Zach Thomas (King). To win the Battlefield District or go deep in the Region B tournament in 2018, the Cyclones will need some production from their junior and sophomore classes. Look for junior Daniel Jones to add some production on the mound and at the plate, and for sophomores Tillman Butler and Cooper Thomas to contribute as well.

Hanover
The Hawks were the State Runners-up in 2017, coming a few innings short of their fourth State Title in five years. Hanover will travel out of Virginia early in the season to participate in the National High School Invitational at the USA Baseball Complex in Carry, North Carolina. Hanover has a stacked group of seniors that, as per their usual, is deep and talented on the mound. Seniors Jack Dragum (Virginia) and Will Lopez (VMI) should top the Hawk rotation on the mound with fellow senior Nick Zona (James Madison) adding impact as well. Michael Warley (Maryland Eastern Shore) is back behind the plate and Cam Grimes (Virginia Tech) will add a power/speed combination to the top of the lineup. Dragum also has a quick bat with the ability to hit for high average and Zona could be a key wild card offensively, with outstanding speed and power potential that gives him some of the highest potential upside of this stacked group of hitters. While this senior core is enough to carry the Hawks deep into the Region tournament, the sophomores and juniors will be key to adding Hanover's fourth State Championship since 2013. Look for Will Bowles to be a key two-way depth contributor this spring.

Louisa County
Louisa narrowly missed the Region tournament in 2017 and lost a pair of key pieces to graduation in infielder Cale Agee (Roanoke) and pitcher John Reynolds (Randolph-Macon). Despite those losses the Lions will be a dangerous team in the Region B tournament because of the pitching that they will be able to turn to. Seniors Lliam Grubbs (James Madison) and Tristan Snyder (William & Mary) provide the kind of one-two punch that is capable of shutting down any offense in Virginia and fueling a playoff run.

Midlothian
The Trojans missed a Region berth in 2017 and graduated some important players such as OF Joey Doherty (Salisbury).  While those losses will impact the offense, Midlothian has some interesting pieces that could make them dangerous in the Region tournament on the mound. A deep pitching staff with left-hander Bryce Blackburn and hard throwing righty Camdton Furman  will be a formidable 1-2 punch on the mound.  Baylor Cumbea (Lynchburg) will pace the offense along with junior catcher Logan Smith and be on the lookout for Monacan transfer 2020 MIF Christian Chambers who could see a deep role within the team. A deep core return on both offense and pitching which could mean 2018 is the year the Trojans make a playoff run.

Patrick Henry
The Patriots were a member of 5A North in 2017 and missed qualifying for the Region tournament. Patrick Henry also lost important arm Ryan McEachern (King) to graduation. With his departure, look for junior righties Gabe Lassiter and Carter Plunkett to pick up innings. The lineup has some talent as well with senior infielder Hunter Hart (William & Mary) in the middle and junior outfielder Zak Plageman providing a lefthanded bat with upside.

Powhatan
Powhatan also missed a Region berth in 2017, but the Indians are a dark horse contender to compete for a State Tournament berth in 2018. They will have senior experience and depth on the mound in Nicholas Rini (Lackawanna CC) and Trenton Tiller (Hampden-Sydney). Sophomore Brandon Eike has a ton of upside and could be an impact third option on the mound as well. Offensively, Powhatan has one of the top offensive players in the state in senior catcher Logan Amiss (VCU) who should man the middle of the lineup and form a nice power combo from the left side with fellow senior Cody Willis,  who should also add some innings on the mound. Fellow seniors Hunter Hopkins and Brad Painter (Hampden-Sydney) also add veteran presence to the Indian lineup as well as provide solid defense on the infield. Keep an eye out for this deep senior laden roster to make some noise.