Fayette County baseball teams will join those around the state as they enter postseason play Monday, weather permitting.
Seedings for Class AA Region 3, Section 1 are as follows:
1. Oak Hill
2. Wyoming East
Oak Hill (18-11) is the No. 1 overall seed in Region 3. Weather permitting, the Red Devils will play the winner of Monday's matchup pitting Liberty and Westside on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Oak Hill.
Oak Hill head coach Dan Poland says his team enters the postseason on the heels of a "weird week."
"We had kind of a tough week last week," he said. "We got walked off twice and we lost to Fayetteville.
"I think the kids (were) just tired."
The 29 games played puts the Red Devils among the teams with the highest number of games played in the state, Poland said. "Obviously, that's worn down on us."
Oak Hill recently had a few days with no games on the schedule and "we got to rest some pitchers."
"Our schedule's pretty brutal," Poland added. "We needed time to catch our breath.
"But I'm very pleased with our effort."
Top hitting leaders for the Red Devils include:
• Lane Jordan, .412 average, 40 hits, 12 doubles, one triple, 24 RBIs;
• Zane Wolfe, .350 average, 36 hits, five doubles, two triples, 16 RBIs, OBP .422;
• Ty Nelson, .337 average, 30 hits, seven doubles, 27 RBIs; and
• Bradley Lokant, .333 average, 30 hits, four doubles, 20 RBIs.
Top pitching stats include:
• Caleb Jones, 51 innings pitched, 63 strikeouts, 1.78 ERA;
• Lane Jordan, 30.2 innings pitched, 35 strikeouts, 1.59 ERA;
• Bradley Lokant, 35 innings pitched, 38 strikeouts, 4.8 ERA; and
• Zane Wolfe, 29.1 innings pitched, 45 strikeouts, 1.19 ERA.
• • •
Seedings for Class A Region 3, Section 1 are as follows:
1. Charleston Catholic
2. Midland Trail
4. Webster County
5. Pocahontas County
First-round matchups Monday include Richwood (0-10) at Midland Trail (17-10), Valley (3-16) at Fayetteville (11-8) and Pocahontas County (3-14) at Webster County (4-12).
On Tuesday, the Webster-Pocahontas winner travels to Charleston Catholic (21-8), the Fayetteville-Valley winner faces the Midland Trail-Richwood winner, and the Fayetteville-Valley loser plays the Midland Trail-Richwood loser.
"Our pitching's done well; we've been pretty deep on the mound," said Midland Trail head coach Matt Hanshew. "We've got some timely hits that we haven't gotten in the past.
"I gotta bunch of baseball kids, so that's been nice."
Hanshew says the attitude has shifted with the Patriots this spring. "This season we went into every game expecting to win," he said. "Every year, it's been a little different expectations.
"The first year, it was better pitching. Last year, we wanted to be competitive. This year, we expected to win."
"We've got two good seniors (who are) four-year starters (Nathan Hanshew and Colin Dempsey), and we've got some good freshmen (who have played above expectations)," he continued. "Chris Vines, this is the first year he's ever played, and he looks like he played his whole life in center field. Of course, we've got Cy Persinger and Travis Scarbrough on the mound. I'm tickled to death where we're at."
Midland Trail hasn't played Catholic this season, and Fayetteville beat the Patriots twice this year, including 14-3 late last week.
"It's a tough section," Hanshew said. "I think the top three seeds in the region were all out of this section. ... There's really no gimmes. Even with a 2 playing a 7, it's not a gimme."
The Midland Trail-Richwood winner plays the Fayetteville-Valley survivor on the second night.
Regarding his team's second seed, Hanshew said, "Our kids, they think they're pretty good, and I want them to think that. I think they feel like they can play with Fayetteville and they can play with Catholic.
"We started getting a little bit of love with the 2 seed, and we slipped into the top 10 (in a statewide poll) there toward the end of the season at 9. It's a little bit of confidence we've never had before."
Okey Skidmore's Fayetteville High squad enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Valley on Monday at 5 p.m.
"We're playing pretty good right now, (but) I'm scared to say that out loud," said Skidmore. "We're pretty much throwing strikes, and we've been in about every game of late."
Fayetteville lost twice to Charleston Catholic this season, by scores of 15-2 and 13-3. "We've got a block against them," Skidmore said of Catholic.
Fayetteville defeated Midland Trail 8-2 on March 28. This past week, the Pirates defeated the Patriots 14-3 to hike their record to 11-8.
According to Skidmore, the key to success will be "throwing strikes and putting the ball in play."
"Throwing strikes is everything," he stressed. "We like to play good defense with no stupid mistakes, but throwing strikes is the biggest key."
Following is a look at FHS statistical leaders as of April 28 games:
• Jordan Dempsey, .550 batting average, .639 on-base percentage, nine doubles, one triple, two home runs, 10 RBIs, 28 runs, 20 stolen bases;
• Hunter Rinehart, .480 batting average, .559 on-base percentage, six doubles, two triples, 21 RBIs, nine runs, six stolen bases;
• Logan Frantz, .400 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, 10 doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs, 12 runs, six stolen bases;
• Jeffrey McKnight, .392 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, two doubles, two RBIs, 11 runs, six stolen bases; and
• Max Holland, .300 batting average, .416 on-base percentage, one double, eight RBIs, 16 runs, 13 stolen bases.
"We're hitting here and there but it's starting to come again, so I'm pretty excited about it," said Skidmore.
• • •
In Class AAA Region 3, Section 2, No. 4 Princeton visits No. 1 Greenbrier East on Tuesday, and No. 3 Riverside visits No. 2 Woodrow Wilson, also on Tuesday. The games start at 6 p.m.
• • •
In a recent regular season game:
The Pirates dropped the narrow decision to the Raiders on May 1.
For Fayetteville, Hunter Rinehart was 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Also, Jordan Dempsey went 3-for-5 with three stolen bases and three runs, Nick Milam was 2-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs, and Seth McCarraher (double), Timmy Bell, Max Holland and Eli Selvey had a hit apiece.
Begley was 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs to pace Liberty.
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