The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Latest Sports

April 15, 2014

Who needs the beach?

Fayetteville’s annual Spring Break Wood Bat Classic starts today, runs through Saturday

The word seems to be getting out about the Spring Break Wood Bat Classic.

Fayetteville’s annual tournament, now in its fourth season, does more than give teams a chance at a time machine-type of experience with the wood bat. With so many teams making the seven-hour trip to Myrtle Beach for a guarantee of baseball in warm weather, Fayetteville’s week-long event provides a less expensive alternative.

The tournament is scheduled to be played at Huse Memorial Park in Fayetteville, but the threat of poor weather could move today’s games to Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley.

This year, the competition has taken a step up.

There are three Class AAA teams in Oak Hill, Greenbrier East and Riverside. Class AA No. 5 Wyoming East and Liberty, which slipped from the top 10 this week but is still receiving votes in the West Virginia Sports Writers Poll, will be there. So, too, will Nicholas County, which continues its year-long athletics success to the diamond, and a seemingly improved Summers County.

“We’ve gotten some interest from some good teams,” Fayetteville coach Dan Poland said. “We added Oak Hill (late last week) and Riverside about two weeks ago. In the future we hope to get teams like Buffalo and Man in. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Then, of course, there are the host Pirates, who went into Monday with a 10-7 record. It’s been a little difficult trying to peg the Pirates, who are dominating teams they should — 15-5 over Van twice, 13-0 over Meadow Bridge — and getting beat handily by those who are stronger — 17-2 to Virginia power Richlands, 14-2 to Class AA No. 2 Independence, 9-0 to Wyoming East.

But Fayetteville also won at Class A No. 10 Man 13-6. It was only the second loss of the season for the Hillbillies, who beat No. 2 Valley in Smithers two weeks ago.

The Pirates are a rarity in that they have played 17 games in another soggy spring. Six of those were played last week, which was taxing on the Fayetteville arms.

“We have some young guys who are doing well and we have some older guys who have stepped up to the plate,” Poland said. “Our pitching is very tired now (after the six games), but we have played excellent defense behind them. We’ve had some games where we have faced good pitchers and they have shut us down. (Josh) Zeboskey at Wyoming East, and we had some good at-bats versus Druw (Bowen) at Valley but he is just phenomenal.”

Freshman Will Denton is 3-1 with a save for the Pirates, while another freshman, Dalton Dempsey, is hitting .312 and playing well at shortstop.

Seniors Will Dooley (outfield) and Jake Alton (second base) are also playing well on defense, while first baseman James Criss and catcher Jake Cogar are both batting over .300 with 10 runs driven in. Sophomore Troy Farrell has been the classic utilityman, playing six different positions, and has logged over 20 innings on the mound.

The tournament gets under way today. The championship will be decided Saturday.

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072514 Loomis The Greenbrier impresses Payton, Loomis

    When a deal was finalized on March 13 to bring the New Orleans Saints to The Greenbrier for three weeks of summer camp, Saints officials never doubted that the facility would be ready a little more than four months later for the first practice. INCLUDES VIDEO.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 1 Hess Former Mountain Lions playing well at Open

    In sports like basketball or football, home field advantage can be the ultimate difference maker. The same can be said in golf.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 2 Westfall Evans leads the field on rainy day at W.Va. Open

    The wind picked up, the rain started to fall and the scores were low at second round of the 81st West Virginia Open. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp