The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

March 13, 2013

Mayhew ready for more fun

Warriors have key pieces back for run at repeat

BECKLEY — Ron “Chief” Mayhew is about to enter his 40th season as a high school baseball coach. It would be natural if names and years were to run together.

But when it comes to fun, nothing has ever topped the feeling he got to experience last June.

For the first time in 39 years, Mayhew finally knew what it meant to be a state champion. Wyoming East outlasted Herbert Hoover 1-0 in the Class AA state title game, capping a season that Mayhew will never forget.

“It was just tremendous fun,” he said. “What fun it was.

“Getting beat is fun, but not as much fun as winning. It’s like when you’re little and your buddy beats you. You don’t quit. You tee it up again tomorrow.”

Something about baseball brings out the kid in the Warriors’ veteran coach. But, as he said, it’s time to start all over again.

East returns several members of its championship team, but there are also key losses. Most notable is pitcher Travis McKinney, a first-team all-stater who went 10-3 with a 1.90 earned run average. He struck out 12 and didn’t allow an earned run in the Warriors’ 5-1 semifinal win over Liberty Harrison.

Also gone is right fielder Jarret Caldwell, who was East’s leadoff hitter. Caldwell made a diving catch to end a Hoover threat in the third inning of the title game.

Josh Zeboskey, who showed a lot of potential last season, transferred to Greenbrier East.

Big losses, indeed, but don’t feel sorry for the Warriors. There is plenty of talent coming back.

Pitcher Derek Thornton returns for his senior year. The right-hander limited the Huskies to four hits, struck out five and walked three in a complete game. He finished the season 10-2 with a 2.14 ERA.

“He is super,” Mayhew said of Thornton, a second-team all-stater. “He is a battler. You want him on the mound. He’s tough. He’s not like Nolan Ryan out there, but you want him out there.”

Other starters back for the Warriors are catcher Zach Whitten, left fielder Brian Lusk, third baseman Christian Hedinger, shortstop Austin Canada and first baseman Derek Laxton.

Among the players who gained experience last season include infielder/outfielder Jon Culicerto, who scored the lone run against Hoover, first baseman/left fielder Chase Presley and outfielders J.R. Haynes and Michael Browning.

East, which will begin the season Wednesday, March 20, at Liberty, will also rely on several new players to contribute.

As with most teams this time of year, the Warriors have been limited in their outside practice time.

“We got out (Monday) and hit some fly balls,” Mayhew said. “The infield was too soft to hit grounders. Except for running and throwing in the parking lot, it hasn’t been dry enough to be productive. But we’re prepared to play when we do get outside.”

— E-mail: gfauber@

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Herd lands ‘Other D’Antoni’

    Danny D’Antoni hasn’t been a West Virginia resident in nearly 40 years. That will soon change, and his family could not be happier.
    D’Antoni will be introduced as Marshall’s new head men’s basketball coach at a press conference at 2 p.m. today. Athletic director Mike Hamrick announced the hiring via Twitter Thursday afternoon.

    April 24, 2014

  • 042514 thompson Shady’s Thompson clearing hurdles with ease

    A fall while running hurdles can be a dangerous thing.
    Unless you’re Shady Spring’s Lyndsey Thompson.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • It’s time for spring cleaning inside my crowded cranium

    My head has been filled with more thoughts than a Hallmark store and more nuggets than a McDonald’s freezer in recent days, so I decided it was time to clear them out and get at least some of them in print.
    Here goes.

    April 24, 2014

  • Treadway Memorial wooden bat tournament begins today

    It’s time to break out the sticks in Coal City.
    The Jeff Treadway Memorial Wooden Bat Tournament will be held tonight and Saturday when the host team Independence, welcomes visitors Bluefield, Greenbrier West and James Monroe to Joe Goddard Field.

    April 24, 2014

  • Dan D’Antoni will be next Marshall men's basketball coach

    Dan D’Antoni will be named the new head men’s basketball coach at Marshall, a source with direct knowledge of the hiring confirmed to The Register-Herald on Thursday.

    April 24, 2014

  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 5 — safety

    My brothers in camo, I could not do this series on preparing for gobbler season without talking to you about the aspects of turkey hunting safety. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I have trouble calling myself an expert on anything. Unfortunately, however, I do have a lot of experience in this area.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042414 woodrow 2 Woodrow hangs on to knock off No. 5 Patriots

    What was supposed to be a pitchers duel turned into anything but Wednesday at Woodrow Wilson High School, but there was not shortage of drama in the Class AAA baseball showdown between No. 8 Woodrow Wilson and No. 5 George Washington.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Herd staffer completes Boston Marathon

    As Travis Epling watched the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings as they were unfolding, he couldn’t help feeling a connection.

    April 23, 2014

NCAA Hoops
AP Video