CHAPMANVILLE — It’s payback time.
That’s how the Chapmanville Regional High School baseball team feels as it prepares itself for this week’s best-of-three game Class AA sectional series with the rival Scott Skyhawks.
Chapmanville (24-5) is scheduled to open section play against Scott (9-18) on Monday night at home at Chapmanville’s Ted Ellis Field. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
The Tigers hope to win the opener, then close out the Skyhawks on Tuesday night at Madison in another 6 p.m. game.
Should the two teams split, a decisive winner-take-all Game 3 would then be played on Wednesday night at Chapmanville.
The Tigers are hoping to regain the sectional title over Scott. Last year, it was an unceremonious end to the Chapmanville baseball season as the Tigers finished 22-9 and failed to get out of their own section as Chapmanville was ousted two games to one to rival Scott in the sectional series.
The Tigers fell 9-8 in the finals to the Skyhawks at Madison in a sectional tourney which took 12 days to play after numerous rain delays and halts to action due to the WESTEST.
The Tigers lost to Scott 5-4 in last year’s sectional opener and then came back to win 9-5 at home over the Skyhawks to force a winner-take-all final.
On the heels of the 2011 Class AA state championship won by the Tigers and a 35-3 overall season and an appearance in the 2012 regional tourney, last year was a setback.
Chapmanville, though, returned many players this spring and came back stronger than ever. The Tigers showed the complete package this season with improved hitting from a year ago, good pitching and good defense.
It has all added up well as Chapmanville took a six-game winning streak heading into Friday night’s regular season finale against Herbert Hoover and into the sectional tourney this week.
Chapmanville has gone 11-3 over its last 14 games and swept the Skyhawks this season 3-0 and 10-1.
The Tigers are looking for more of the same this week in the sectional tourney.
Chapmanville is coached by 13th-year mentor Eric Ellis, who has a 297-121 record and a 71 winning percentage in the last dozen years.
Ellis led the Tigers to four straight sectional championships over Scott from 2009-12 after being shut out from 2003-08 when then Double-A Logan dominated the three-team section with Chapmanville and Scott. Ellis also led CRHS to a sectional title in 2002 in his first season at the helm.
He said records do not matter in post-season play. The favored Tigers still have to take care of Scott.
“Any time you play a rival it’s going to be a battle,” Ellis said. “They came on and had a really good year last year and they got us after we had won four years in a row. They deserved it last year and they outplayed us. We’ve got two of the three games here. You always want to win your sectional and see what you can do in regional play. We’re eager to get back at it this year.”
Heading into the finale against Hoover, the Tigers were riding a six-game winning streak. Chapmanville went to Mount View on Thursday and pounded the Golden Knights 21-3. CRHS has outscored its opponents 66-6 during the stretch.
The Skyhawks most rencently won 14-11 at Van on Wednesday night. Scott also won 10-6 at South Charleston on Tuesday.
The winner of the Chapmanville-Scott series moves on the following week to most likely play at Wayne in the Class AA regional semifinals on May 26. Wayne should have an easy time this week against struggling Tolsia in its sectional tourney. The regional final is then set for May 28.
Ellis said his team has played well all season.
“We’ve played pretty well most of the year,” he said. “We had a few games that we didn’t play very well and others we played really well but for the most part we have played pretty consistent throughout the entire season.”
The Tigers have played well in all facets of the game.
“We’ve been a pretty good all-around baseball team,” Ellis said. “We’ve pitched well and we’ve hit well. We had some games where we did some things better than others. Lately, the last two or three weeks, we’ve put it together and we’ve played good defense and we’ve hit well. It’s been a pretty complete team.”
Ellis said several of his players have stepped up.
“It’s been basically a team effort,” he said. “We’ve had 14 or 15 kids contribute a lot to this team. I don’t think that we’ve had any standout superstars but we’ve had a bunch of players jell together who have played well. It seems like every day it has been somebody different. One day it might be Tristan Thompson. Then the next day it’s William Copley. The next day it’s Brady Cox. Day in and day out it’s somebody different. I think that’s what has made us have such a good year.”
On the mound, Chapmanville has been led by ace pitcher Nick Brumfield, who signed recently with Division II Salem International University. Several other Tigers have added to the mix giving Chapmanville a solid rotation and bullpen.
“We’ve had five guys who have thrown a lot who we have leaned on,” Ellis said. “We’ve got Nick Brumfield, Trey Dalton, Tristan Thompson, Austin Ellis and Chris Bailey. Those five have thrown the majority of the innings and each of them have done a pretty good job for us this year. Of course, Nick, Trey and Tristan threw a lot for us last year and they’ve got that experience, so we are going to lean on those guys heading into the tournament this year.”
Chapmanville’s starting second baseman, William Copley, and center fielder Brock Dalton have hit well this spring for CRHS, Ellis said.
“The top part of our order has produced pretty much all season long with Tristan, Brock and Copley and with Brent Bigley and Chris Bailey behind them,” Coach Ellis said. “Copley has probably been our most consistent guy out of all of them. He’s been steady all year. He’s hit the ball hard.”
Ellis said his team is hungry heading into the post-season.
“Most of these kids played last year when we won 22 games. We’ve already topped that this year and we’ve played a much tougher schedule,” Ellis said. “The improvement has obviously been there but we’ve just been a lot more consistent. They’ve kind of grown up this year, too. Some things that might have rattled them last year hasn’t bothered them this year. They have hung tough and have continued to play. Going into the tournament we feel like we’ve got as good a shot as anybody.”
Herbert Hoover 6
Chapmanville scored a 7-6 win at home on Friday over over Class AA No. 1-ranked Herbert Hoover as Brady Cox singled to left in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in the game-winning run for the walk-off winner.
Chapmanville is 24-5 going into this week’s sectionals.
Brent Bigley was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and four RBI to lead the Tigers on Senior Night.
Austin Ellis was 3-for-4 with a double. Brock Dalton and William Copley also doubled. Copley was 2-for-4 while Dalton went 2-for-3.
Hunter White went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI and Cody Bowen added two hits for the Huskies (23-4).
The Tigers led 4-1 after three innings.
Hoover then scored five runs in the top of the fourth to grab a 6-4 lead before CRHS tied it with a two-spot in the last half of the frame.
The Tigers outhit the Huskies 13-8. Both teams committed three errors.
Nick Brumfield was the starting pitcher for Chapmanville. He was relieved by Chris Bailey in the fourth. Bailey was credited with the win.
2014 Chapmanville Regional
High School Baseball Schedule (24-5):
March 25: Tolsia, W 21-0
March 27: Mingo Central, W 14-0
March 27: Mount View, W 12-1
March 31: Belfry, Ky., W 10-4
April 1: at Man, W 3-1
April 2: Scott, W 3-0
April 5: at Sissonville, W 7-4
April 7: at Belfry, Ky., W 5-1, W 2-0
April 9: at Poca, W 17-6
April 11: Capital (Daffer Tourney), W 8-4
April 12: Wayne (Daffer Tourney), L 1-6
April 14: at Herbert Hoover, L 1-5
April 16: at Point Pleasant, W 13-7
April 17: Van, W 13-4, W 11-0
April 19: vs. Moorefield (at Man tournament), L 4-6
April 21: Sissonville, W 9-8
April 23: Tolsia, W 7-0 (forfeit)
April 25: at Hurricane (at Ed Carter Tournament at Hurricane), L 1-11
April 25: vs. St. Albans (at Ed Carter Tournament at Hurricane), W 18-10
April 26: vs. George Washington (at Ed Carter Tournament, St. Albans), L 8-9
April 29: at Scott, W 10-1
May 2: Poca, W 10-0
May 5: at Wayne, W 4-2
May 6: at Mingo Central, W 11-0
May 7: Man, W 10-0
May 8: at Mount View, W 21-3
May 9: Herbert Hoover, W 7-6
May 12: Scott (Class AA sectionals), 6 p.m.
May 13: at Scott (Class AA sectionals), 6 p.m.