CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Regional High School baseball team is just two wins away from winning the Class AA state championship.
They’ve done it before.
Just three years ago.
They hope to do it again this weekend.
The Tigers, 29-6 and ranked No. 4 in the state in Class AA, will get their chance as Chapmanville opens the 2A state tournament on Friday at 5 p.m. against Bridgeport (30-6) at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park.
The second game in the four-team state tournament field is set for 7:45 p.m. on Friday as last year’s Class AA state runner-up Fairmont Senior (22-7) takes on Independence (26-7).
The two semifinal winners advance to Saturday’s Class AA state championship game, which has a scheduled first pitch at 4 p.m. The Class A final is Saturday morning at 10, while the Triple-A state title game is set for 1 p.m.
Chapmanville will have their hands full with Bridgeport, a tradition-rich program which has a 13-4 mark over its last 17 games heading into the state tournament.
The Indians advanced to state with last Friday’s 8-0 victory over Petersburg in the regional championship game. Bridgeport had earlier advanced with a 5-0 regional win over Philip Barbour.
Bridgeport’s only losses this season have been to Class AAA state tourney team Wheeling Park (8-7 and 6-3), 3A Morgantown (4-2), Class A state tourney team Clarksburg Notre Dame (2-1), 3A Jefferson (8-5) and Robert C. Byrd (11-9).
“It’s definitely a tough field,” Chapmanville coach Eric Ellis said. “All four teams are capable of winning it. It’s exciting to be there and exciting to have the opportunity. Bridgeport is a really good team. They have good speed all through their batting order. You’re going to be pretty good if you win 30 games. If we throw strikes and play defense like we have through most of the season we think that we’ll be right there with a shot to win.”
Ellis and his coaching staff went to Bridgeport last Friday to scout the Indians and watched as BHS won its regional and advanced to the state tourney.
“They are really good,” Ellis said. “We saw them play last Friday and with talking with a few of the coaches I think that there are a lot of similarities between these two teams. I think that it’s a pretty even matchup. Both teams can score runs. Both teams pitch well and play defense well. It’s just going to come down to who plays better on Friday is going to win the game.”
Chapmanville has a rich baseball tradition as well, taking Class AA state titles in 1987 and 1997 under former head coach Ted Ellis and longtime assistant Danny Godby.
Like Bridgeport, Chapmanville has a strong tradition in Little League and that often carries over to the high school level years later.
“A lot of these kids played against each other in Little League and in the state tournaments,” Eric Ellis said. “Of course, now they have grown a lot more and are bigger and stronger kids. It’s going to be a tough game but we are looking forward to it.”
The Tigers are also carrying the Cardinal Conference banner in Charleston.
Chapmanville defeated Cardinal foe Poca, 2-1, in last week’s Class AA Region 4 championship game at CRHS’ Ted Ellis Field. The Dots had advanced with an 8-6 upset win over Class AA No. 1-ranked and league foe Herbert Hoover in the other regional semifinal game.
In fact, this marks the ninth straight year in which at least one team from the Cardinal Conference has made it to the state baseball tournament. During those nine years, a total of 14 league teams competed in the four-team Class AA field — including five different schools. Four of those won state titles — Herbert Hoover (2007 and 2013), Chapmanville (2011) and Logan (2008) when the Wildcats were a Class AA team and Cardinal Conference member from 2003-08.
Wayne, another traditional power in West Virginia prep baseball, won a state title back in 1995. Chapmanville defeated Wayne 7-1 in the regional semis on Memorial Day.
Chapmanville, which won a 7-4 state tourney tune-up game on Monday night at Class A state tourney bound and county rival Man, has brought a complete game to the table this season.
Whether it be pitching, offensive run production or defense, the Tigers have been solid in all phases of the game.
Chapmanville has two top pitchers in junior right-hander Tristan Thompson and junior lefty Trey Dalton. Thompson is 5-0 with a 3.08 ERA and pitched a two-hitter in the tough win over the Poca Dots in last week’s regional final. Dalton is 6-3 with a 2.44 ERA.
It’s expected either Thompson or Dalton will take to the mound to pitch against the Indians. With a Chapmanville win, the other could start in the finals.
Chapmanville also has other top pitchers such as senior Nick Brumfield (5-0, 4.24), freshman Chris Bailey (5-1, 1.77) and also Austin Ellis (4-2, 2.84).
CRHS second baseman William Copley (.441, 38 RBIs) leads the Chapmanville batting attack, followed by Bailey (.432, 27 RBIs) and seniors Brady Cox (.415, 24 RBIs) and Brent Bigley (.367, 28 RBIs).
The Indians are stacked as well.
Bridgeport’s top pitchers are Sammy Aloi (7-1, 53 Ks in 53 innings) and Logan Smith (5-2, 46 Ks in 43 2/3 innings).
The Indians are led in hitting by the trio of Hunter Fain (.432), A.C. Caldera (.418) and Tyler Skidmore (.418, 31 RBIs).
— Look for more on the Chapmanville-Bridgeport game in Friday’s sports and online at: www.loganbanner.com. In Thursday’s print editon, a preview of the Man High School baseball team’s state tourney game with St. Marys.
MAN — The Chapmanville Regional High School and Man High School baseball teams are both headed to the state tournament this week.
But the two Logan County rivals met on Monday night at Man in a tune-up game as the Tigers won 7-4 over the Hillbillies at Man’s Dr. Juan Nordelo Field.
Chapmanville improved to 29-6 on the season while Man fell to 19-12.
It was the third time the Tigers had beaten the Billies this season. Chapmanville also won 3-1 at Man and 10-0 at home over the Billies earlier in the baseball campaign.
In Monday’s game, CRHS plated two runs in the top of the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead. The Tigers then led 3-1 after two, 4-1 after three and 5-2 after four.
Man cut the deficit to 5-4 with two runs in the last half of the fifth before Chapmanville scored two in the top of the sixth.
The Tigers outhit Man 12-5. The Billies committed six errors in the game to three for Chapmanville.
Chris Bailey was the starting and winning pitcher for the Tigers. He was relieved by Austin Ellis in the third and Trey Dalton in the sixth.
Braden Griffin started for Man and was relieved by Mikle Scott Rowe in the second, Austin Cook in the fourth, Cameron Simpson in the fifth, Jake Adkins in the sixth and Austin Gent in the seventh.
William Copley was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBI for the Tigers. Brent Bigley went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Bailey was 2-for-3 with a double. Brady Cox was 2-for-4.
Noah Maynard led Man as he was 2-for-3 at the plate.
West Virginia State
At Appalachian Power Park, Charleston
Gilmer County (25-10) vs. Notre Dame (26-6), 4:30 p.m.
St. Marys (29-2) vs. Man (19-12), approximately 7:15 p.m.
Washington (23-4) vs. Hurricane (27-7), 10 a.m.
Riverside (19-10) vs. Wheeling Park (20-6), approximately 12:45 p.m.
Bridgeport (30-6) vs. Chapmanville (29-6), 5 p.m.
Fairmont Senior (22-7) vs. Independence (26-7), approximately 7:45 p.m.
Class A, 10 a.m.
Class AAA, approximately 1 p.m.
Class AA, approximately 4 p.m.