www.charlestondailymail.com Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Derek Redd: How much does the NFL emphasize character? http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509648 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509648 Mon, 4 May 2015 23:09:51 -0400 By Derek Redd CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Doc Holliday's interest in last weekend's NFL draft was two-fold. Of course, the Marshall football coach wanted to see if any of his players would get picked, and that wish was fulfilled Saturday when the New England Patriots took cornerback Darryl Roberts in the seventh round.

But he also was curious about the draft spot of several other prospects, guys who entered the draft sporting a red character flag or two ... or more.

"The NFL is talking about how they take so much character into consideration," Holliday said last Thursday at the Daily Mail's draft event at Recovery Sports Grill. "When I talk to our football team, the last thing I tell them every time they walk off the football field is every decision you make has consequences. I'm anxious to see in this draft whether some of the decisions some of these so-called top-10 players have made don't have consequences.

"For a guy like me that sits there and tells those kids every day after practice, and a guy that has all the issues in the world gets drafted as a top-five pick, that makes our job harder."

His first test case didn't take long to appear.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was the top quarterback in the draft and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, owners of the first overall pick, needed one. Researching his history wasn't difficult. It was splashed across most major news outlets.

There were the questionable choices, like when he was stopped by police while shooting at squirrels with a BB gun on a Tallahassee bike trail. And when a Burger King employee called police to complain he was taking soda from the fountain in ketchup cups without paying. And when he left a local supermarket with a pound of crab legs without paying. And when he was suspended for last season's Clemson game after standing on a student union table and shouting a vulgar phrase.

And then there was a much more serious accusation, that he sexually assaulted a classmate in 2012. The State Attorney declined to prosecute, citing a lack of evidence, and the university cleared him of violating the student code of conduct. His accuser has filed a civil suit against him.

Scouts Inc., a scouting service partnered with ESPN, rates football traits for top players from 1 to 5, 5 being the lowest. It rated Winston's intangibles a 4, citing much of what you read above. The Bucs wasted little time in picking Winston.

Winston's rating might have been bad, but Washington cornerback Marcus Peters' was worse. Scouts Inc. gave him a 5 in intangibles. He was suspended from working out with the Huskies for a month last offseason. He drew a personal foul for headbutting an Eastern Washington player and was suspended for Washington's game versus Illinois for arguing with coaches over that penalty. He showed up late to meetings prior to the Stanford game and missed a practice before the UCLA game and finally was kicked off the team.

The Kansas City Chiefs took him with the 18th overall pick.

Holliday specifically mentioned Missouri defensive end Shane Ray, who was cited for midsemeanor marijuana possession during a traffic stop just three days before the draft. Ray wasn't smoking it and wasn't impaired - which was why he was able to drive away and wasn't taken into custody - but the act of just having an illegal substance so close to the most important day of his football career is a head-scratcher.

The Denver Broncos traded up to the No. 23 spot to draft him.

"The NFL, they talk out of both sides of their mouths," Holliday said Thursday. "They talk about wanting to draft character guys and how important that character is and all that, and then they turn around and the first player picked has all these issues."

To be fair, there were plenty of high character players rewarded for their attitude. Everyone at Oregon raved about quarterback Marcus Mariota's class, and the Tennessee Titans took him with the second overall pick. West Virginia receiver Kevin White worked his way from obscurity to the top of the draft, as the Chicago Bears took him with the seventh overall pick.

And some players' issues severely damaged their draft prospects. Scouts Inc. rated Nebraska linebacker Randy Gregory its 18th overall prospect. He tested positive for marijuana at the NFL scouting combine and fell to the second round and the Dallas Cowboys with the 60th overall pick. LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins was Scouts Inc.'s No. 22 overall prospect. He was scheduled to meet with Baton Rouge, La., police in connection with the shooting death of a 29-year-old pregnant woman. Police did not consider him a suspect, but the situation still left him undrafted.

It's the same in the league already. There are players like Ray Rice and Greg Hardy. Aaron Hernandez spent three seasons as a New England Patriots tight end. He'll spend the rest of his life in prison, convicted of first-degree murder. Yet there also are players like Troy Polamalu, whose charitable contributions have helped children, veterans and those in American Samoa. There's Peyton Manning, who did so much for the children's hospital at St. Vincent in Indianapolis, it was named after him in 2007.

Yet what the draft often shows is that, at its root, the NFL is a business. Coaches and front office personnel are trying to keep their jobs. Winning ensures those jobs remain safe. So some of those folks will covet the reward of a top-flight player rather than run away from low-rung character. Sometimes the gamble pays off. Sometimes it blows up in a team's face.

For college coaches like Holliday, it makes it that much tougher to prove that poor actions always have dire consequences.

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South Charleston takes first game from GW in softball sectionals http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509652 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509652 Mon, 4 May 2015 23:08:30 -0400 By Michael Dailey CHARLESTON, W.Va. - With the high school softball postseason underway, South Charleston and George Washington are still trying to fine-tune the mental aspects of their respective games.

George Washington (6-13) is still trying to build confidence throughout a lineup that features five freshmen and three sophomores, while the Black Eagles (22-9) continue to work to develop the killer instinct that coach Annette Olenchick knows her team needs to make a deep postseason run.

On Monday evening, it was South Charleston that won the mental game, as well as the one on the diamond.

South Charleston sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning and 11 more in the second to cruise to a five-inning, 15-1 home win in the first game of the best-of-three Class AAA Region 3, Section 3 tournament.

The teams will square off again at 6 p.m. Tuesday in South Charleston, where a Black Eagles win will secure the sectional title. A George Washington win will force a winner-take-all game three on Wednesday.

"We need to put it away tomorrow, but one of the things we've had a hard time with is having a killer instinct," Olenchick said. "We've got to get that killer instinct and a lot of that is having a winning attitude. We talked to them about it, so hopefully they'll come out and do it tomorrow."

That instinct was alive and well in the Black Eagles from the outset Monday, as they plated eight runs in the first inning and followed that up with seven more in the second.

Olivia Orcutt-Lazo, Jazmine Martin, Kelly Knuckles, Emily Bostic and Amanda McDonald each knocked in runs in the first, with Orcutt-Lazo, Knuckles, Kiersten Landers, Morgan Larch and Lindsey Burdette adding second inning runs batted in.

The first eight batters for SC in the first inning either attempted to or did bunt, resulting in four hits, two GW errors and two groundouts.

Olenchick was pleased with the quick start given a pair of lopsided wins over the Patriots in the regular season.

"As a coach, you're always worried," Olenchick said. "This is a new season and that's what I told the team when we were done playing last Saturday. The second season started today and everybody is 0-0. The regular season doesn't really matter now and now everything counts. Hopefully we learned lessons in the regular season and we'll be OK in the postseason.

"We made some changes and really all season I've experimented here and there to see what we needed to do once we got to the postseason. You've got to have things set when you the regular season is over and I like where we are."

Junior pitcher Amanda McDonald (19-6) worked all five innings for the Black Eagles, allowing five hits and striking out 10.

Alena Harper and Olivia Cochran paced GW with two hits apiece. Cochran plated the Patriots' only run with a third inning RBI single that scored Alex Salerno.

George Washington didn't help itself in the first three innings, with three errors in the first, a single boot in the second, and two more miscues in the third inning.

For third-year GW coach Gwynne Flatley, it was a repeat of what she's seen nearly all season.

"Just errors, that's it," said Flatley of the slow start. "Just routine plays ... catches and throws that we practice over and over again everyday and they just couldn't make it happen. I think there were a little bit of nerves coming in.

"It's all in our heads and it's been like that all season. They're all so young and they're playing these varsity teams and it just gets in their heads. Once they calmed down and concentrated on making the routine plays, they were fine."

GW's starting lineup includes five freshmen and three sophomores.

Flatley hopes that her team will learn from Monday's early inning woes.

"We told them to look at the score, but let's work on the things that might help us tomorrow and come in tomorrow with the momentum that we gained in the last few innings," she said. "We just need to leave today behind us and come in and play hard tomorrow."

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Herbert Hoover looks to make school history, win another softball title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509654 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509654 Mon, 4 May 2015 23:06:27 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - With postseason play starting Tuesday for the Herbert Hoover softball team, the Huskies are not only hoping to defend their Class AA state championship from 2014, but also to set a few school records.

"So far, only one senior class at Hoover has got 100 wins, and that was the baseball team last season," Hoover coach Missy Smith said. "We are at 92 or 93. This senior class is looking to cement their place in Hoover history and be the all-time winningest class in a spring sport."

No Hoover spring sport has won back-to-back state championships, either. In order to win eight games and hit that 100-win milestone, Hoover must survive at least long enough to reach regional play, when teams can add games to their schedule to fill in off days between sectional finals and regional finals. Those regional championship games are scheduled for May 21.

The senior class includes four four-year starters in Allison Rager - the 2014 state Player of the Year - along with Zoey Carte, Caroline Thornburg, and Kati Angle. Shawna Lane, who did not play last year but is among the team's leaders in home runs and batting average, is also a senior.

The first opportunity for Hoover (17-4) to reach that feat begins with sectional play opening up on Tuesday against either Clay County or Nicholas County in a double-elimination tournament at Clay. The Panthers and Grizzlies face each other first before the top-seeded Huskies learn their initial opponent.

The Huskies appear to be huge favorites to advance and reach regionals after dismantling both teams throughout the regular season. Hoover defeated Nicholas County 11-0 and 8-0 while easily disposing of Clay County 20-0 and 24-1.

Still, Smith isn't taking anything for granted.

"We are trying to take it one game at a time," Smith said. "Everyone is fighting for their lives and nobody wants to go home. You can't look past anyone. This is my 12th season and we have beat teams handily in the the regular season but lost in the post-season."

If Hoover advances the road gets much tougher. The Class AA regionals will present a likely matchup with Sissonville (19-5) in the semifinal and likely Wayne (17-4) or Chapmanville (12-7) in the final.

Smith is also wary of Poca, who takes on Sissonville in the Region 4, Section 2 tournament. Region 4 has produced the last three state champions in Class AA (Wayne in 2012 and 2013) and seven of the last 10 champions have come from the region.

"Region 4's record speaks for itself," Smith said. "It's the toughest region in the state. There is no easy road. The depth is great. It's a shame only one gets to go to the state tournament when four or five other good teams are sitting at home."

Of Hoover's four losses on the season, two came against Sissonville and Chapmanville. The Huskies also needed five runs in the seventh inning to upend the Indians 7-6 and have a pair of one run wins over Scott (6-5 and 1-0).

Hoover heads into the post-season playing well, having won 15 in a row prior to losing to Cabell Midland 4-0 last Friday. That was the only loss of the season with Rager in the lineup after the senior missed the first four games to injury. The Huskies were 1-3 without Rager in the lineup.

Smith hopes her team's solid play of late carries over into the postseason, leading to a repeat state title.

"It gives us a lot of confidence but in the postseason, you throw the regular season out of the window," Smith said. "Hopefully they will continue to step up. We won the (school's) first state title in softball history. We are hoping to be the first spring sport team to defend their title."

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Ripley tops Nitro in MSAC baseball semifinals http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509659 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509659 Mon, 4 May 2015 23:02:26 -0400 By Rich Stevens HURRICANE, W.Va. - If Nitro senior pitcher Kip Brewer never faces the Ripley bats again, it'll be too soon.

The Vikings continued their dominance of the Wildcats' No. 1 starter, scoring four runs in the first two innings en route to a 4-3 victory in the Mountain State Athletic Conference semifinals on Monday at Lola Meeks Memorial Field.

Ripley (20-5) advances to the MSAC title game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday against defending conference champion Hurricane.

The Vikings are 2-0 this season against Nitro with both victories against Brewer.

"I don't think it's just us and Brewer," said Ripley senior Trevor Tucker, who had a single, double and two RBI. "We're a team that runs off competition. We got on them early and we got on them late. That's what it takes."

Nitro (16-5) - the top-ranked Class AAA team in the Daily Mail Prep Baseball Poll - made it interesting when Matt Jewell hit a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh, forcing Ripley starter Easton Berry out of the game. However, relief pitcher Luke Layhew induced Eddie Flores to pop out to second base, securing the victory.

The lack of offense is beginning to sound like a broken record for Nitro coach Steve Pritchard, who credited Ripley starter Easton Berry for his performance, but added that it doesn't matter who is pitching.

"We haven't hit 69 (mph), we didn't hit 90 (mph) at the beach," Pritchard said. "We haven't hit anything in between. Their kid did an excellent job, he battled, he found his curveball. But, on my end, I've seen the same thing for 21 games. If you make errors, we score runs. If you don't make any errors, we don't score. It's time for us to be responsible for our bats. Our job as coaches is to give them the opportunity to be the best they can be, and after that, it's up to them."

For third-ranked Ripley, the top three hitters in the order were 5-for-6 with three doubles and two RBI in the first two innings when the Vikings grabbed a 4-1 lead.

Brewer settled in shortly thereafter, facing one batter over the minimum for the last four innings. The only hit he surrendered after the second was a leadoff single for Lane Casto in the sixth.

Nitro, meanwhile, received a double from Jacob Bradley, who eventually scored on an Andrew Stone fielder's choice. In the first, Nitro had the bases loaded on three Berry walks, but couldn't score. Eddie Flores singled in the third and Matt Harrison singled in the seventh before Jewell's homer. Nitro had four hits - one each in the second and third, and two in the seventh.

Berry finished with six strikeouts and five walks.

Ripley coach Shane Casto said it's the result of his team having three left-handed pitchers on its staff, giving his hitters plenty of looks against southpaws.

"We have three lefty starters," Casto said of Berry, Jared Bumpus and Logan McCoy. "They throw BP to our guys. Our philosophy is to go to the plate, we're going to swing the bats. We struck out looking two or three times, but we go up there to swing the bats."

In Tuesday's MSAC consolation game, Cabell Midland meets Region 4 foe Nitro at 5 p.m.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail.

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Brock's two HRs lead Hurricane in MSAC baseball semis http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509660 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509660 Mon, 4 May 2015 23:01:04 -0400 By Rich Stevens HURRICANE, W.Va. - Senior catcher Tate Brock has taken it upon himself to carry the bulk of the load for the Hurricane High School baseball team.

As a result, the Redskins are on the brink of winning their fourth Mountain State Athletic Conference championships in the last five seasons.

Brock continued his torrid hitting in Monday's MSAC semifinals, finishing with a single, double, two home runs and six RBI to lead the top-seeded Redskins to a 12-5 victory over Class AAA Region 4 nemesis Cabell Midland (10-13) at Lola Meeks Memorial Field.

Hurricane (19-4) advances to Tuesday's MSAC title game at approximately 7 p.m. against Ripley.

"As I'm seeing the ball well, I'm trying to stay back and not get jumpy, just work the other way up the middle," said Brock, a West Virginia University recruit. "It's really about seeing the ball, hitting the ball."

Senior shortstop Trey Dawson struggled midway through the season when his batting average tumbled to .243 and fellow senior and North Carolina commit J.T. Rogoszewski has not batted since April 17 - a span of nine games - when he had one plate appearance against George Washington before taking a line drive to his right wrist.

Enter Brock, who has hit safely in eight of those nine games with three home runs, 19 RBI, 10 walks and just two strikeouts.

On Monday, he had a run-scoring double in the first, a two-run single in the second, a solo homer to straight away center field in the fifth and a two-run home run that hit the scoreboard in the seventh.

"He's been solid game in and game out," Hurricane coach Brian Sutphin said. "I think he's getting better. I think the guys in front of him have done a good job. He looks like the game has come to him."

The Redskins, the fourth-ranked Class AAA team in the Daily Mail Prep Baseball Poll, are rounding into form with their 10th consecutive victory.

They also have welcomed the return of Dawson's bat. The Louisiana State University commitment was 4-for-4 against the Knights, pushing his average 40 points to .373.

Hurricane trailed 5-2 entering the bottom of the second inning when it scored six runs on five hits and one Cabell Midland error. Garrett Gress opened the inning with a single, followed by a Chandler Kelley double and a Jack Johnston run-scoring single. After an error and walk, Brock singled in two runs.

The Knights wouldn't score again, getting one runner to third after the second inning against Hurricane relief pitchers Johnston and Rogoszewski, who pitched the last three innings.

Cabell Midland had just two hits from the third to the seventh inning and committed three errors in the seventh, helping the Redskins scored their 12th run.

"It's like we're one step forward, two steps back," Midland coach Tracy Brumfield said. "We think we're over something, then boom, it blows up in your face again. We got the lead, then they got a couple runs and our kids got down a little bit. Even at 5-2 I think we lost our edge."

The Knights will return at 5 p.m. on Tuesday against Nitro.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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Baseball roundup: St. Albans beats GW for seventh-place in MSAC http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509661 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509661 Mon, 4 May 2015 22:58:46 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - St. Albans beat Class AAA No. 7 George Washington 12-9 on Monday in the Mountain State Athletic Conference seventh-place game, a contest that featured a combined 21 runs and 22 hits between the Red Dragons and Patriots.

The Red Dragons (15-10) did most of their damage in the third inning, scoring nine runs, with the big blow coming on a grand slam home run by Hunter Chandler. Also for St. Albans, Gavin Nidy had three of the 12 hits, and Bobby Grishaber had two RBI.

In a losing effort for GW (12-9), Josh Petit drove in three runs, Garrett Vogelbach had three of the 10 hits, while Clayton Anderson and Jeff Wong both had two RBI apiece as well.

Charleston Catholic 5, Man 2 - In a tie game, the Irish scored the last three runs, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth, to pull away and earn the home victory over the Hillbillies.

David Hamilton had a pair of hits for Catholic (12-11) as did Alex Belcher, who also had two RBI. Also for the Irish, Sam and Luke McKown each drove in a run apiece while Dominic Marsico and Jordan Covelli combined to limit Man, the number two team in the Daily Mail statewide poll, to just four hits.

South Charleston 12, Huntington 1 - The fifth-seeded Black Eagles scored 12 runs on 14 hits, including a six-run second inning and a four-run fourth inning, to cruise past No. 6 seed Huntington at home in a MSAC placement game.

Isaiah Moss, Michael Lore, Jonathan Pauley and Zachary Wright each had two RBI with a single run driven in by Antonio Brown and Trevor Sampson for SC while starting pitcher Jared Hill struck out seven. In the loss, Patrick Wagner picked up a double as one of only two hits for the Highlanders.

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Greensboro tops Power 7-3 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509662 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509662 Mon, 4 May 2015 22:51:04 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Tied at two, the West Virginia Power allowed four runs in the bottom of the third inning and that was the difference in the game in Greensboro's 7-3 victory at home

Monday evening at NewBridge Bank Park in South Atlantic League action.

In the decisive third inning, the Grasshoppers (12-12) scored on RBI singles from K.J. Woods and Brian Schales, a Rodrigo Vigil sacrifice fly, and a wild pitch. Justin Twine had four hits for Greensboro and Arturo Rodriguez had two RBI.

For the Power (14-10), Cole Tucker, Pablo Reyes, and Jordan Luplow all had one RBI apeice. Reyes had three of the team's six hits. Dovydas Neverauskas took the loss, only pitching three innings while giving up seven hit and six runs.

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Kanawha Valley prep softball leaders http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509683 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509683 Mon, 4 May 2015 20:51:43 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Team records

W L Pct.

Hurricane 28 2 .933

Buffalo 23 5 .821

Herbert Hoover 17 4 .809

Sissonville 19 5 .791

South Charleston 21 9 .700

Riverside 18 9 .667

Winfield 16 11 .592

Charleston Catholic 12 9 .571

Poca 10 17 .370

Nitro 5 9 .357

George Washington 6 12 .333

St. Albans 2 13 .133

Capital 0 13 .000

Hitting

Batting average

(Minimum 30 at-bats or 2 at-bats per team game)

Name, school H AB Avg

Ali Burdette, Buffalo 39 59 .667

Kierstin Landers, SC 52 94 .553

Alexee Haynes, Sissonville 35 64 .547

Katie Adams, Hurricane 40 80 .500

Madison Casto, Hurricane 51 102 .500

Casey Skeens, Poca 36 73 .493

Chase Christy, Buffalo 36 74 .486

Katie Legg, Winfield 32 66 .485

Olivia Orcutt-Lazo, SC 43 94 .457

Jazmine Martin, SC 37 82 .451

Elise Peden, Catholic 24 55 .436

Maddie Hebb, Hurricane 36 83 .434

Kendall Carson, Catholic 23 53 .433

Gracie Donato, Riverside 33 77 .429

Jayme Bailey, Hurricane 39 92 .424

Cassi Sargent, Hurricane 36 86 .419

Amber Null, Hurricane 38 93 .409

Courtney Rogers, Hurricane 37 91 .407

Riley Whitng, GW 15 37 .405

Paige Scruggs, Hurricane 33 82 .402

Shawna Lane, Hoover 24 60 .400

Courtney Allen, Buffalo 34 87 .391

Olivia Dunn, Buffalo 31 80 .388

Taylor Legg, Sissonville 27 71 .380

Kati Angle, Hoover 22 58 .379

Tori Green, GW 14 37 .378

Kelly Knuckles, SC 30 80 .375

Emily Moore, Winfield 25 67 .373

Jordan Bell, GW 16 43 .372

Allie Persily, Catholic 24 65 .369

Brooke Persinger, Buffalo 25 68 .368

Talia Corbett, Catholic 18 49 .367

Amanda McDonald, SC 25 69 .362

Madison Bowles, Hoover 22 61 .361

Emily Davis, Hurricane 30 83 .361

Hanna Pullen, Riverside 24 67 .358

Olivia Cochran, GW 12 34 .353

Zoey Carte, Hoover 19 54 .352

Ally Cavender, Catholic 18 51 .352

RBI

39: Bailey, Hurricane

38: Burdette, Buffalo

37: Sargent, Hurricane

34: Rogers, Hurricane

33: Hebb, Hurricane

32: Orcutt-Lazo, SC

30: Haynes, Sissonville

29: Bowles, Hoover

27: Donato, Riverside; Moore, Winfield

26: Adams, Hurricane

25: Knuckles, SC; Null, Hurricane

24: Christy, Buffalo; Pullen, Riverside

23: Kendal Marshall, Riverside

22: Carson, Catholic; Landers, SC; Allison Rager, Hoover

21: Davis, Hurricane; Legg, Winfield

20: Chelsea Diegert, Riverside; Reagan Johnson, Sissonville; Martin, SC; Scruggs, Hurricane

Home runs

8: Bailey, Hurricane

7: Landers, SC; Moore, Winfield

6: Burdette, Buffalo; Kenna Markham, Winfield; Rogers, Hurricane

5: Bowles, Hoover; Lane, Hoover

4: Haynes, Sissonville; Hebb, Hurricane; Pullen, Riverside

3: Donato, Riverside; Knuckles, SC; Sargent, Hurricane; Scruggs, Hurricane

2: Adams, Hurricane; Emily Bostic, SC; Christy, Buffalo; Null, Hurricane

1: Allen, Buffalo; Kennedy Buckley, Riverside; Davis, Hurricane; Katelyn Linville, Sissonville; Marshall, Riverside; Orcutt-Lazo, SC; Morgan Peters, Riverside; Karli Pinkerton, Sissonville; Summer Randolph, Poca; Skeens, Poca; Cali Smith, Buffalo; Tori Ward, Poca

Triples

10: Orcutt-Lazo, SC

5: Bailey, Hurricane

4: Marshall, Riverside

3: Abbey Jordan, Sissonville; Landers, SC

2: Bostic, SC; Casto, Hurricane; Diegert, Riverside; Haynes, Sissonville; Hebb, Hurricane; Linville, Sissonville; Martin, SC; Natalie Miskofsky, Winfield; Peden, Catholic

Doubles

13: Sargent, Hurricane

12: Burdette, Buffalo; Hebb, Hurricane; Legg, Winfield

11: Haynes, Sissonville; Null, Hurricane; Rager, Hoover

9: Donato, Riverside; Dunn, Buffalo; Scruggs, Hurricane

8: Allen, Buffalo; Carson, Catholic; Marshall, Riverside

7: Adams, Hurricane; Angle, Hoover; Casto, Hurricane; Christy, Buffalo; Lane, Hoover; Orcutt-Lazo, SC

6: Taylor Bonnett, Poca; Diegert, Riverside; Houck, Winfield; Knuckles, SC; Lauren Pauley, Riverside; Pullen, Riverside; Ward, Poca

5: Kelly Bare, SC; Lindsey Burdette, SC; Johnson, Sissonville; Peden, Catholic

Stolen bases

31: Skeens, Poca

17: Landers, SC

15: Burdette, Buffalo

13: Alyssa Sparks, Riverside

12: Allen, Buffalo; Katelyn Rasanke, Buffalo; Smith, Buffalo

11: Kailey Garten, Riverside

10: Bailey Tucker, Buffalo

8: Casto, Hurricane; Pinkerton, Sissonville

7: Kayla Carney, Riverside; Dunn, Buffalo; Orcutt-Lazo, SC

6: Bell, GW; Diegert, Riverside; Linville, Sissonville; Martin, SC

5: Carte, Hoover

Pitching

Wins

17-0: Burdette, Buffalo

15-2: Rogers, Hurricane

14-1: Rager, Hoover

14-6: McDonald, SC

12-9: Corbett, Catholic

10-3: Kendal Parkins, Sissonville

9-0: Davis, Hurricane

7-2: Haynes, Sissonville

7-3: Donato, Riverside

6-2: Landers, SC

6-3: Abbie Short, Winfield

6-5: Allen, Buffalo; Pauley, Riverside

5-3: Cartney Schoolcraft, Winfield

5-1: Pullen, Riverside

ERA

0.25: Burdette, Buffalo

0.72: Rager, Hoover

1.35: Donato, Riverside

1.47: Rogers, Hurricane

1.50: Davis, Hurricane

2.03: Parkins, Sissonville

2.09: Schoolcraft, Winfield

2.19: Pullen, Riverside

2.29: Haynes, Sissonville

2.74: Allen, Buffalo

3.12: Short, Winfield

3.39: Pauley, Riverside

Strikeouts

166: McDonald, SC

163: Burdette, Buffalo

111: Rager, Hoover

107: Corbett, Catholic

73: Rogers, Hurricane

72: Haynes, Sissonville

69: Ward, Poca

67: Green, GW

63: Landers, SC

60: Davis, Hurricane

59: Schoolcraft, Winfield

58: Parkins, Sissonville

54: Donato, Riverside; Pauley, Riverside

44: Allen, Buffalo

42: Moore, Winfield

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University of Charleston softball team makes NCAA tournament field http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509697 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509697 Mon, 4 May 2015 18:31:29 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The University of Charleston softball team received its first-ever selection to the NCAA Division II tournament, which begins this week. The 64-team field was announced Monday morning.

Charleston last participated in a postseason tournament as an NAIA affiliate in 1993.

The Golden Eagles (36-12) are seeded fourth in the Atlantic Region and will play in a four-team, double-elimination group at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field starting this Friday. California (Pa.) is the region host as the top seed, and UC will play fifth-seeded Gannon on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Cal is 35-10 and will take on eighth seed Saint Augustine (20-12) on Friday at 1 p.m.

The Mountain East’s West Virginia Wesleyan is the Atlantic Region’s No. 2 seed and will also host. Wesleyan (35-8) will face seventh seed Seton Hill (31-13-1) in the first round. The other matchup at Wesleyan will be No. 3 West Chester (41-14) and No. 6 Concord (33-17).

Teams that advance past this weekend will participate in the NCAA Super Regional starting May 15.

 

Division II Atlantic Region bracket

at California University of Pennsylvania, Lilley Field

(double elimination)

Friday

Game 1 — (1) California (Pa.) vs. (8) Saint Augustine’s, 1 p.m.

Game 2 — (4) Charleston (W.Va.) vs. (5) Gannon, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday

Game 3 — Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 10:30 a.m.

Game 4 — Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 1 p.m.

Game 5 — Winner of Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 10

Game 6 — Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5, 1 p.m.

Game 7 — Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6, 3:30 p.m.

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WVU football player arrested on burglary charge http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509698 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509698 Mon, 4 May 2015 18:31:21 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - A West Virginia University offensive lineman was arrested Sunday on a felony burglary charge.

According to the North Central Regional Jail, Russell Haughton-James was brought to the facility at 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Haughton-James, 22, is from Plantation, Fla. WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen released short statement on the arrest.

"I have been made aware of the situation," he said. "I am gathering the facts at this time and will to continue to monitor. I have no further comment at this time"

A fifth-year senior, Haughton-James played 12 games last season as a reserve, seeing action as an extra lineman in power formations and on special teams. He started the Mountaineers' spring game.

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WVU baseball coach Mazey suspended 2 games http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509699 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509699 Mon, 4 May 2015 18:30:48 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University head baseball coach, Randy Mazey has been suspended for two games per NCAA Baseball Playing Rule 2-26, A.R. 7 (prolonged arguing or unsportsmanlike conduct following an ejection), following his ejection after the third inning of Sunday's game against TCU.

Mazey will miss WVU's game at Virginia Tech on Tuesday, May 5, and the series opener at Oklahoma State on Friday, May 8. Assistant coach Derek Matlock will serve as WVU's acting head coach in Mazey's absence.

"I would like to apologize to our administration, players and fans for my actions on Sunday afternoon in the TCU game," Mazey said. "We value good sportsmanship, but my emotions got the best of me when I disagreed with the ruling on the field. I look forward to being back with my team on Saturday and I will work hard to make sure that this is not an issue in the future."

West Virginia will have no further comment regarding the suspension.

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Prep Baseball Poll: Class AAA close at the top http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509753 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150504/DM03/150509753 Mon, 4 May 2015 12:47:05 -0400 By Tom Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston Daily Mail Prep Baseball Poll for the week of May 4, 2015.

Class AAA (first-place votes in parenthesis)

Team Record Points Last Week

1. Nitro (3) 16-4 56 1

2. Jefferson (1) 24-2 54 2

3. Ripley (1) 19-5 53 3

4. Hurricane (1) 18-4 47 4

5. Logan 18-3 32 6

6. South Charleston 17-6 28 7

7. George Washington 12-8 25 5

8. Huntington 15-8 16 8

9. Washington 16-8 10 9

10. Brooke 11-11 5 NR

Also receiving votes: Wheeling Park, Hampshire, St. Albans, Spring Valley, Point Pleasant.

Class AA (first-place votes in parenthesis)

Team Record Points Last Week

1. Bridgeport (5) 12-1 59 1

2. Chapmanville (1) 14-3 55 2

3. PikeView 17-3 48 3

4. East Fairmont 18-6 41 4

5. Wayne 14-8 35 5

6. Independence 14-6 32 6

7. Sissonville 15-8 17 7

8. Fairmont Senior 7-7 15 8

9. Braxton County 10-6 12 9

10. Lincoln 11-6 7 10

Also receiving votes: Liberty (Raleigh), North Marion, Summers County, Scott.

Class A (first-place votes in parenthesis)

Team Points Last Week

1. Notre Dame (5) 13-8 59 1

2. Man (1) 12-10 52 2

3. St. Marys 17-6 41 3

4. Pendleton County 12-4 32 7

5. Paden City 14-4 30 t5

6. Charleston Catholic 11-11 28 t5

7. Buffalo 16-9 27 4

8. Bishop Donahue 9-4 25 8

9. Moorefield 10-5 15 9

10. Wahama 16-3 9 10

Also receiving votes: Parkersburg Catholic, South Harrison, Greater Beckley Christian, Clay-Battelle.

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Riverside baseball has 'bulldog' in Wilkinson http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509786 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509786 Sun, 3 May 2015 21:47:17 -0400 By Michael Dailey CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Riverside senior lefthander Brady Wilkinson wasn't always a strikeout pitcher.

Rising through the ranks from Little League and middle school, Wilkinson didn't really stand out as a power pitcher.

"I've always been told to throw to contact, but in the past couple of years I've been able to get enough on my off-speed pitches and my fastball to where I'm just able to locate and keep the ball from hitters," Wilkinson said. "I'm just able to get it past them sometimes. I just try to do what I do best and luckily I've been able to get it done."

Wilkinson was third amongst Kanawha and Putnam County pitchers last season with 81 strikeouts in 60 innings, and he's already blown past that strikeout total this season.

Wilkinson (5-1) leads area pitchers with 86 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. He has surrendered 21 hits and sports an earned-run average of 2.01. Wilkinson has allowed 22 runs overall and 13 earned runs in eight starts.

"He's the guy that we can count on every time he goes out there," first-year Riverside coach Cody Peters said of Wilkinson. "He's going to be a bulldog, he's going to pound the zone and make pitches and he's going to just battle and battle and battle.

"He just works hard on the mound. He goes out there and he doesn't complain, he's got great composure and he just goes out there and works."

Wilkinson attributes some of that composure to the experience of pitching in last year's Class AAA state title game. Wilkinson took the loss against Hurricane in that game, but the lessons learned in that contest have proved invaluable this season.

"It was amazing," Wilkinson said. "We made history here at the school. Just to be in that environment and look up at the crowd and just to hear everybody there was amazing. We had so much community support. I just loved it.

"Now I know there's nothing to worry about really. We've been in that pressure moment and now I'm just throwing."

The Warriors made a late-season push last season and Wilkinson sees that same potential in this year's team, which has struggled with consistency in compiling a 9-14 mark.

"It seems like we just can't put it all together at one time," Wilkinson said. "Some games we pitch well and play good defensively and we won't score more than two or three runs. Then some games we'll be stroking the ball and we'll have a couple of errors in the field that gives the other team that extra kick.

"Also, when we get deep in the game and we're down a couple of runs, we seem to give up and just lay back a little bit. We just need to keep fighting back because I know we can."

The Warriors may be on the right track having gone 3-1 last week with wins over Woodrow Wilson, Charleston Catholic and No. 7 South Charleston. The loss came against Spring Valley.

Wilkinson earned the wins against Woodrow (seven innings, 11 strikeouts, two walks, zero runs) and South Charleston (5 1/3IP, seven strikeouts, four walks, three runs).

The seven strikeouts against South Charleston were a season low for Wilkinson, who struck out a season-high 20 batters against Winfield.

"He has that effect on the team," Peters said of Wilkinson. "When he's out there the guys feel like they're going to win. That's something we need to work on with the rest of the guys so that they will bring that same intensity, but Brady definitely brings that to the team."

Wilkinson, whose fastball reaches the low to mid 80s, has added a slider to his repertoire this season to go along with a changeup and curveball.

"I really like to throw my slider this year," Wilkinson said. "I just learned to throw it this year. Last year I relied on my curveball more, but I'm just able to place it (slider) well. It kind of gives the hitter a fastball look, but it cuts inside, so it keeps them off-balance a little more."

Peters believes that Wilkinson's mental makeup may be his best asset.

"He's been in big spots, so his composure is great," Peters said. "If he gives up a hit, he responds and comes back and attacks the next guy. He doesn't get rattled.

"He can throw any pitch at any count. He has confidence in every pitch he throws and that allows him to challenge people. His off-speed stuff is really good, so he's really got it all."

Wilkinson has also been solid at the plate for the Warriors, where he mans the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

Wilkinson is batting a team-best .347 and is tied with two others for the team lead in doubles (three). Wilkinson, who bats from the right side of the plate, also has the team's only two triples and three of the team's four homers, with a team-best 20 RBI.

"He's a great teammate," Peters said. "He's not a vocal guy but he brings intensity at the plate where he hits in the three spot for us, so we know that anywhere he's at, he brings it.

"He always brings his best and that kind of stuff is contagious."

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WVU's Glowinski gets 'best birthday present' with NFL draft call http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509787 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509787 Sun, 3 May 2015 21:39:46 -0400 By Derek Redd CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As far as birthday presents go, it's no surprise where being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks ranks on West Virginia University offensive lineman Mark Glowinski's list.

"That's the best birthday present you can ask for," he said.

That gift came a day early for Glowinski, who turned 23 on Sunday. The Seahawks took him in the fourth round with the 134th overall pick Saturday, the final day of the NFL draft. The lineman was one of four players from West Virginia's Football Bowl Subdivision schools taken Saturday. WVU defensive end Shaq Riddick was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round with the 158th overall pick. The Cincinnati Bengals took WVU receiver Mario Alford in the seventh round with the 238th overall pick, and the New England Patriots took Marshall corner Darryl Roberts in the seventh round with the 247th overall pick.

Those four join WVU receiver Kevin White, a first-rounder the Chicago Bears took with the seventh overall pick.

Glowinski started all 25 games he played for WVU after two seasons at Lackawanna College, the same junior college that produced White. He was an all-Big 12 pick last season. He'll join the defending NFC champions, who re-signed running back Marshawn Lynch to a three-year, $31-million deal in March.

Blocking for a back the caliber of Lynch is right up Glowinski's alley.

"Man, it's everything you can ask for," he said, "especially since I've always been with teams in a running scheme up to this last season. In high school, we probably ran for about 90 percent of the time. In Lackawanna, we ran a lot. To have a back that great and a hard-nosed guy like that, that's somebody I want to block for."

Riddick made his one season with the Mountaineers count. He was a graduate transfer from Gardner-Webb University and wanted to prove himself in jumping from the Football Championship Subdivision to power five football.

In that single season, Riddick led WVU with seven sacks and recorded 11 tackles for a loss. Big 12 coaches named him newcomer of the year, and he also was named conference defensive newcomer of the year.

The Cardinals needed pass rushing help, and Riddick will try to provide that help for the team he wanted to join more than any other.

"I loved everything about it," he said. "I loved the scheme, I loved the coaches, I loved the nutrition program they have, the weight room, the strength coaches, the philosophy that they hold, the mentality of the coaches. It seemed like a perfect fit for me."

Alford wants to help the Bengals in more than one category. Not only did the slot receiver lead WVU and tie for first in the Big 12 with 11 touchdown catches, he also became the fourth player in program history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in one season. He was an FWAA first-team all-American kick returner.

His speed may be his calling card - Alford's NFL scouting combine 40-yard dash time of 4.43 seconds paled in comparison to the 4.32-second and 4.27-second runs at WVU's pro day - but he said he can provide more than just fast feet.

"I'm also a great football player, too, not just because I have speed," he said. "I've got great hands and my ball skills are great. I'm a legit football player."

Roberts' selection marked the fifth straight season that a Thundering Herd player was picked in the NFL draft. That's the longest streak since at least one Herd player was taken from 2000-05. He'll join receiver Aaron Dobson on the Patriots. New England picked Dobson in the second round of the 2013 draft.

Roberts was named to the 2014 all-Conference USA first team after breaking up 17 passes and intercepting another. He also finished fifth on the team in tackles with 75 total, adding 3.5 tackles for a loss. Roberts rebounded from snubs from college all-star games and the combine to gain plenty of buzz after running a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.

"All you can ask for is a chance and a shot to just go do what you love to do," Roberts told reporters after he was drafted. "I'm just honored that they even took a chance on me to come to New England and play."

Several WVU and Marshall players signed rookie free agent contracts following the draft. Marshall's group included tight end Eric Frohnapfel (San Diego Chargers), center Chris Jasperse (Cincinnati Bengals), linebacker Neville Hewitt (Miami Dolphins) and defensive lineman James Rouse (Houston Texans). For WVU, offensive lineman Quinton Spain (Tennessee Titans) and running back Dreamius Smith (San Diego Chargers) both signed free agent deals.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

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Chuck McGill: Observations, trends from the NFL draft http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509789 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509789 Sun, 3 May 2015 21:36:56 -0400 By Chuck McGill CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In the hours before the NFL draft commenced last Thursday, three Daily Mail sportswriters interviewed local football folks at Recovery Sports Grill in downtown Charleston.

The first of seven subjects was Doc Holliday, the head football coach at Marshall who has been in the college coaching profession since the late 1970s. He has seen plenty in those decades, and he has witnessed about everything associated with the NFL draft.

"You talk about the mistakes that are made in the draft," Holliday said, "those NFL guys sure make a lot of 'em."

Holliday then unfolded a few pieces of paper. He'd taken the time to jot down the names of the snubbed and unwanted. He read them one by one, names a common NFL fan would know, names that weren't ever called on draft day.

The final guest of the two-hour sports talk event was former South Charleston and Marshall standout Carl Lee, who played 11 seasons in the NFL and was selected for three Pro Bowls. He, like the Herd's Darryl Roberts, was a seventh round draft choice. It shouldn't be a surprise if, years from now, Roberts is still on an NFL roster and many of the 28 cornerbacks selected ahead of him are not.

The same goes for WVU receiver Mario Alford, also a seventh round draft pick. Alford led the Mountaineers in receiving touchdowns, more than first-round pick Kevin White, but was the 32nd of 33 receivers selected among the 258 draft picks.

It'll be years before those players, and the other late picks and undrafted free agents, prove NFL decision-makers right or wrong.

Here are a few more observations of the draft, which concluded Saturday night:

n The Big 12 Conference was a distance fifth among the power five conferences. The league had 25 players selected in seven rounds, trailing the Southeastern Conference (54), Atlantic Coast Conference (47), Pac-12 (39) and Big Ten (35). Even if the Big 12 added the draft picks from the American Athletic Conference (11), Mountain West (10) and Conference USA (six), the league still would've failed to match the mighty SEC.

n The Mountaineers had four selections: White, offensive lineman Mark Glowinski, defensive end Shaquille Riddick and Alford. That might not seem like a big haul, but it is a rarity in Morgantown. Since the NFL draft cut the number of rounds to seven in 1994, WVU has had four or more draft picks five times: 1996, 1999, 2000, 2011 and this year. The 2011 group, however, did not feature a first-round pick (all fourth round or later). The 2000 class was headlined by tight end Anthony Becht, a first-round pick of the New York Jets.

n If Marshall's Roberts plays a down in the NFL, he'll be the answer to a Holliday trivia question. Holliday, of course, has had his share of draft picks throughout a long career as an assistant and head coach. But his first three draft picks at Marshall - Lee Smith, Mario Harvey and Vinny Curry - were inherited players. Garrett Scott, selected last season, had his NFL career cut short before it began.

Roberts is a Holliday recruit, a 2-star prospect out of Lakeland, Fla., and would be the first Holliday-signed player to play an NFL down since he became a head coach.

n And, finally, watch out for the little guys. There were 33 receivers taken in the three-day draft, eight of whom are shorter than 6-feet tall. This is the way of the NFL.

Last year, six of the top 10 receivers in terms of receptions were 5-foot-11 or shorter. It was the same percentage for receiving yards, too, but if one delves deeper, nine of the top 16 receivers last season were 5-11 or shorter.

This is how the game is evolving.

In 1995, there were four players drafted that were 5-11 or shorter. Only two of the top 10 receivers in catches were that short, and one was the versatile Eric Metcalf. Ten years later, in 2005, again there were four draft picks 5-11 or shorter while four of the top 10 in receptions - Steve Smith, Derrick Mason, Santana Moss and Joey Galloway - were that small.

This bodes well in the coming years for a local product like Ryan Switzer, a two-time Kennedy Award winner and All-American at the University of North Carolina. The UNC athletics website lists Switzer at 5-10 and 185 pounds.

One of Switzer's workout partners, Duke's Jamison Crowder, was a fourth-round pick by the Washington Redskins. He is 5-8 and 185 pounds, and like Switzer contributed to an ACC program at receiver and in the return game.

Kansas State's Tyler Lockett, who torched the Mountaineers for 27 catches, 501 yards and five touchdowns in three Big 12 meetings, was a third-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks. He is 5-10 and 182 pounds.

There were another eight players listed at 6-0 who were drafted, meaning nearly half - 16 of 33 - of all receivers drafted this year aren't even 6-1, much less in the mold of a receiver like WVU's White.

The little guys might not be the first ones off the board on draft day, but the way the league is headed, they're the ones on top of the receiving leaderboards at the end of each season.

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Postseason begins for prep softball teams http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509790 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509790 Sun, 3 May 2015 21:33:08 -0400 By Derek Taylor CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Almost as quickly as its 2015 season began, prep softball begins postseason tournament play across the state Monday.

The shortest high school sports regular season - it lasts just 46 days before sectional play begins - will give way to a number of interesting storylines locally and statewide that will come to an apex with the state tournament May 27-28 at Jackson Park in Vienna.

One of the most noteworthy developments for the first week of the postseason is the location of the Class A Region 4, Section 4 tournament.

"They called me up and asked if I was all right with it being at Marshall," Buffalo coach Darrell Moore said, stifling a laugh.

The Bison (23-5) will await the loser of the tournament's opening game between St. Joseph and Charleston Catholic (7-3) on Wednesday evening in Huntington.

"St. Joe is the host and they made a couple calls and got the field," Moore said. "I'm not going to say no to that."

If nothing else, the tournament will give Bison senior pitcher Ali Burdette some time on her future home field. Burdette has signed to play for the Thundering Herd after graduating high school this spring.

Moore, who has led the Bison to four consecutive state championships and six overall, also gave his predictions on the rest of the Class A state tournament field that Buffalo is a heavy favorite to return to.

"I think Wheeling Central in Region 1 will be there," he said. "In Region 2 there could be a couple teams but I think it'll be South Harrison. Region 3 is tough to tell. I really like Man, but Sherman hits the ball real hard, harder than any team we've played, probably, except for Musselman."

Elsewhere, Class AAA Riverside enters sectional play with a legitimate chance to advance to regional play. Region 3, Section 4 will be played at Capital, with the Warriors (17-9) taking on Capital (0-12) in the opener at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The loser of that game will play top-seeded Ripley the next night and then, barring an upset, the Vikings (15-8) and Monday's winner will play a best-of-three series beginning Thursday. Ripley beat Riverside 7-0 in the teams' only regular-season meeting, on April 16 in Ripley.

Riverside has never reached the state tournament but along with Ripley, Section 3 favorite South Charleston (21-9) and former Class AA power Shady Spring (12-10) is one of only four teams in Region 3 with a winning record.

George Washington (6-12) and South Charleston begin their sectional best-of-three series at 6 p.m. Monday at South Charleston.

Elsewhere, defending Class AA state champion Herbert Hoover appears to be clicking on all cylinders, and is doing so without a dominant offensive presence by the reigning state Player of the Year. Allison Rager, also the 2014 Kanawha Valley Player of the Year, does not have enough at-bats (a minimum of two per game) to qualify for the Kanawha Valley leaders list, although she is hitting .385. Rager also has hit just one home run this season as compared to her total of 10 from a year ago.

Instead, a handful of Hoover players have shouldered the offensive burden in leading to a 17-3 record. Sophomore catcher Madison Bowles (.379, 5 HR, 29 RBI) and senior first baseman Shawna Lane (.400, 5 HR, 18 RBI) have provided the bulk of the pop in the Huskies' lineup. The team opens sectional play Tuesday against either Clay County or Nicholas County in Region 4, Section 1.

The Huskies' arch-rival, Sissonville (19-5), split a pair of games against Buffalo last week and opens its Region 4, Section 2 series at Poca (10-16) on Tuesday. Indians coach Nikki Gross said the final week of the regular season was little more than a tuneup for the Indians, who along with Hoover, Wayne and Chapmanville are a legitimate threat to emerge from the grueling region.

"This game is not going to mean anything insofar as what we need to be working at in sectionals," Gross said after Buffalo's Chase Christy hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning last Thursday to give the Bison a 6-5 win.

"That's why we picked up this game." Gross said. "We wanted to see good pitching tonight and so did they. I just rely on (freshman) Kendal (Parkins) a lot with pitching and sometimes things like this happen. This is one of those times where I'd rather it happen now than later on in the season."

One of the most intriguing sectional matchups comes in Class AAA's Region 4, where upstart Winfield (16-11) plays a best-of-three at Point Pleasant (21-8) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Section 1. The Big Blacks beat the Generals three times this season, by scores of 9-1 (on March 28), 3-0 (April 17) and 9-6 (April 20). However, two of those Winfield losses came without senior Kenna Markham in the lineup. Markham broke a bone in her wrist early in the season but is now back in the lineup, hitting .555 (15 for 27) with six home runs in just 14 games.

The winner of that sectional will play either Logan, St. Albans or Nitro in a Region 4 semifinal on May 14. Logan, at 14-11, is the heavy favorite to win the Section 2 title, and lost at Point Pleasant last week, 6-0.

On the other side of the Class AAA Region 4 bracket Hurricane (28-2) is also a prohibitive favorite to advance as it plays host to a best-of-three sectional series against defending state champion Lincoln County (13-11) beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Redskins swept the season series from their rivals by scores of 5-2, 8-5, and 14-2, all without ever throwing pitching ace Courtney Rogers.

Almost the same scenario developed between the teams in 2014 before Lincoln County, which hosted the sectional last year, swept the Redskins out of the postseason in two games.

"This definitely gives us some momentum heading into sectionals," Hurricane senior second baseman and Campbell University signee Madison Casto said after the Redskins won the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship last Wednesday.

"It's our last chance as seniors to win this, and I definitely want it so bad," Casto said.

Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.taylor@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsreallyDT.

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WV State catcher Teddy Payne seeks the 'next level' http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509791 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509791 Sun, 3 May 2015 21:32:13 -0400 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia State University catcher Teddy Payne isn’t biting his nails or shaking in his cleats wondering what will happen when the Major League First-Year Player Draft arrives on June 8.

While the former Hurricane High School star was eligible to be chosen last year following his junior season, he wasn’t, but there isn’t any frustration.

His focus remains improving his game and his stock as the Mountain East Conference’s second regular season concluded with the Yellow Jackets completing a four-game weekend series sweep of rival University of Charleston with two Sunday wins at Appalachian Power Park.

In the first game, Payne had two singles, a run-scoring double and reached on an error as State claimed a 4-0 victory in the first game before earning a 3-0 victory in the nightcap. Former St. Albans star Josh Kiser had two singles and an RBI and Philip Mandt hit a two-run homer for State.

On defense, Payne stopped a runner from reaching third when he threw out former Winfield star Zach Gunter, who was attempting a steal. The ball was in the glove of Kiser, State’s third baseman, just as Gunter began his slide, evidence of his improved strength.

“I definitely improved my arm strength,” said Payne, who was the 2011 Daily Mail Kanawha Valley Player of the Year. “I’ve also been able to minimize the distance blocking the ball. I concentrate on the pitching staff and get them to work with me and feel comfortable with me. That’s one of the main things that gives us a lot of success.”

Payne is batting .344 with three home runs and 26 RBI for the Yellow Jackets (30-14, 30-10 MEC), who will enter Thursday’s MEC Tournament as the No. 2 seed. Payne also has walked 17 times and struck out just seven times in 128 at bats.

State is hitting .319 and its four-game sweep of the Golden Eagles (13-30, 9-27) gives it 10 victories in the last 11 games. The Yellow Jackets lost six of its first seven games and eight of its first 12.

“We only had one or two outdoor practices before we went (to Georgia to open the season),” Payne said. “We had some unfortunate errors against Georgia South and Shepherd. We just cleaned it up a lot, our defense has gotten better and as soon as we got outside more, we just took off.”

Payne was part of the 2014 MEC Tournament championship team in the final tournament of former coach Cal Bailey’s career. He hopes to conclude his college playing career with a conference championship and an opportunity to reach the Major Leagues.

He has been in contact with Colorado Rockies scout and former South Charleston star Daniel Carte, as well as Chicago Cubs scout Tim Adkins and Roger Dawson from the Baltimore Orioles. Charleston native Doug Simunic, who is manager for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Fargo, N.D.-based members of the American Association of Independent Baseball, has also shown interest in Payne.

“I’ll just play it out and see what happens,” Payne said. “I just want to play at the next level. If I get the chance, I can take off. I’ll just seize the opportunity and do whatever it takes to get there.”

If that doesn’t work out, as of next week Payne will have a chemistry degree to fall back on. That might be a last resort for the former All-State player, whose next option after playing, is coaching.

For now, he hopes to lead the Yellow Jackets to their second consecutive MEC Tournament championship.

 

n n n

 

THE UNIVERSITY of Charleston’s struggles continued against State, as the Golden Eagles ended the season with four consecutive losses and 20 defeats in their last 26 games.

“I think it depends on the day,” Charleston coach Lee Bradley said. “One day it’s the hitting, the next day it’s the pitching. It’s been frustrating considering the progress made in the fall and the early part of the winter.

“I’m not going to say this was going to be a breakout year, but I expected it to be very similar to what it was the last couple years.”

The Golden Eagles finished 22-24 in the MEC’s inaugural season last year and 16-27 in 2013, the final season of the West Virginia Conference.

“We’re looking for guys and we recruited and signed some guys that have the baseball look and want to play,” Bradley said.

Among the players who will join UC next season is St. Albans’ Mitchell Laton, who has six home runs as a senior for the Red Dragons this season.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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Ripley baseball enjoys banner season heading into MSAC tourney http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509792 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509792 Sun, 3 May 2015 21:30:52 -0400 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The Ripley High School baseball team came up one victory short of hosting the Mountain State Athletic Conference Tournament with Thursday's 4-2 loss to Huntington knocking fifth-year coach Shane Casto's team out of the top spot in the conference standings.

Although Hurricane will play host to the two-day, four-team tournament for the fourth consecutive year, the Vikings find themselves in a very good spot with a very young team.

The second-seeded Vikings (19-5, 9-2 MEC) will face third-seeded Nitro (16-4, 7-2) in Monday's late game approximately 30 minutes after No. 1 Hurricane (17-4, 9-1) faces No. 4 Cabell Midland (10-12, 5-4) in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. at Lola Meeks Memorial Field. The consolation and championship are set for 5 and 7 p.m. respectively on Tuesday.

"The good thing is, we're still in the top four and get a chance to play in a tournament atmosphere just before it counts," said Casto, a Ripley alumnus and assistant coach at the school for eight seasons. "I've said it numerous times. You have 32 scheduled glorified scrimmages. You would like to win them all, but they get you ready for when the games count."

Ripley - which is the third-ranked team in the Daily Mail Prep Baseball Poll - opened the season with four nondescript victories before a 6-5 decision over Hurricane, the first of five victories over teams currently ranked in the top 10. The others were at No. 6 Logan (9-5 on March 30), at No. 1 Nitro (4-2 on April 21) and at No. 5 George Washington (6-0 on April 28).

In the win over Hurricane, Ripley opened with two singles and a home run from Chris Jordan against Hurricane starter J.T. Rogoszewski, who hasn't given up a run in 22 2/3 innings since.

That proved to be a launching pad for a team that has three senior regulars and six juniors and sophomores in the starting lineup.

As freshmen the 11th-graders - shortstop Chris Jordan, OF-1B-P Luke Layhew and utility player Cody Pittenger - were part of a team that finished 10-21 and the 2014 Vikings who were 19-14.

"A lot of these juniors have 90 games or so under their belts," Casto said. "Two years ago when they were freshmen, it was a long and trying year. They really weren't ready for it, but we didn't have a choice, they were our best players. Instead of sticking their toes in to see how the cold the water is, they had to just jump right in ... just had to deal with it."

The pay off is that Ripley has a .389 team batting average led by four batters hitting .400 or better - sophomore catcher Anthony Jarvis (.494, 4 HR, 37 RBI), Jordan (.487, 3 HR, 26 RBI), senior centerfielder Trevor Tucker (.442) and senior Isaac Koontz (.418).

The Vikings also have a 1.99 team earned run average with only 63 walks in 158 1/3 innings.

They're preparing for the postseason in a winnable Region 3, Section 4 that includes Riverside and Capital, which have 10 wins between them.

The wide-open 10-team region has had different champions the last four seasons - Riverside in 2014, Woodrow Wilson in 2013, Princeton in 2012 and Capital in 2011.

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LOGAN SENIOR Zach Minnick threw his first career no-hitter in a complete game on Friday with a 6-0 victory at George Washington.

The performance was a far cry from his only loss of the season, a 4-2 decision to Hurricane in the Ed Carter Memorial Tournament championship game at St. Albans' Loftis Field. Seven of the 13 hits Minnick surrendered this season have come against Hurricane, as well as all four of his runs and three of his 11 walks.

"I had a better feel for my off-speed than I did (against Hurricane)," Minnick said. "We started off early in the game using my off-speed which made me more confident as the game went on. Later in the game I could rely more on the fastball. My plan going into this game was to own the inside part of the plate."

The no-hitter gave Minnick a 5-1 record with a 0.70 earned run average and 73 strikeouts in 40 innings. He also had a double and a single in his only two official at bats, bringing his average to .508.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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Teays Valley's Hill impresses at her version of a state meet http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509793 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150503/DM03/150509793 Sun, 3 May 2015 21:28:07 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The annual track and field state meet, sponsored by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, looms weeks away yet one runner captured three individual state titles during the weekend as well as one unofficial, symbolic championship.

Teays Valley Christian senior Olivia Hill swept the distance events at the West Virginia Christian Athletics Tournament track and field state championship in Williamstown on Saturday, setting meet records in the 800-meter run, 1600 and 3200. Nearly as impressive was her unofficial state title in placing first and setting a meet record in the Class A 3200 at the Gazette/Friends of Coal Relays, held at Laidley Field on Friday.

"We're not part of the WVSSAC, so I can't run at the state meet or regionals or conferences, so this is kind of like the state meet and that's basically what it is for me," Hill said. "That's what I've been working towards for a while now."

Because Hill goes to school at Teays Valley Christian, which is not a member of the WVSSAC, she is ineligible to run in the organization's state meet. Hill, who also plays volleyball and basketball, started running competitively in the fall for the first time since eighth grade, and since she has collected accolades running against both private and public school athletes.

Hill competed in just two cross country races during the fall, but posted great results in each. She won her first-ever cross country race, the Hurricane Invitational, in 20:34 on Sept. 27. Two months later, Hill placed second in 18:38 running in the Senior Girls race of the Foot Locker South Regional held in Charlotte, N.C.

It didn't take long for colleges to take notice, as Charlotte offered Hill a partial scholarship, before Hill ultimately decided to sign Wednesday as a walk-on with West Virginia University.

This spring, Hill continued her running success, her track season culminating in the Gazette Relays and WVCAT championships. According to the best performances list at www.runwv.com, Hill's times in the 800, 1600 and 3200 would rank her as the fastest runner in either Class A or Class AA. Compared to times posted for girls AAA, Hill would be second (3200), third (1600) and seventh (800) in each respective event.

Her results have garnered a lot of attention, but they are far from shocking to Hill's track coach Aubrey Morris.

"I have to be honest, I'm not real surprised, because when I heard what she was doing this fall, and I have seen and heard what a hard worker she is, I'm not really surprised," Morris said. "When she sets her mind on something and she decides on a pace, she pretty much sticks with that."

Hill began the weekend Friday night by setting a new meet record in the Class A girls 3200 at the Gazette Relays. Hill finished in 11:09.65, nearly six seconds faster than the previous record held by Charleston Catholic's Sami Harris set in 2001.

On Saturday, Hill followed her impressive Gazette Relays win with three more records at the WVCAT meet, prevailing in the 800 (2:34.31), 1600 (5:33.56), 3200 (11:58.34).

Her results might indicate running comes easy to Hill, but she said there's a lot left for her to understand about the sport as she advances to the collegiate level.

"I'm still learning a lot," she said. "I'm learning that distance running is a lot more complex and difficult than I had ever thought it was.

"There's a lot of speed that goes into it and there's a lot of new things I'm learning about it. That makes it kind of overwhelming, but it's also what makes the sport, I think, so awesome that there are just so many things to it. I'll definitely keep learning more and I'm excited to do that as well."

 

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Putnam County's quartet of public high schools also impressed at the Gazette Relays.

Buffalo (Class A boys), Hurricane (Class AAA boys) and Winfield (Class AAA girls) won team titles, while Poca senior Christian Buckley set meet records in the discus and shot put, in leading the Dots to a third-place showing in Class AA boys.

The meet's other team champions included Doddridge County (Class A girls), Bridgeport (Class AA girls) and Roane County (Class AA boys).

The second-ranked Winfield girls edged the defending state champion Redskins by seven points for the team win. The Generals won with just two individual event victories, as senior Allie Perry won the pole vault and sophomore Carly Hinkle took the high jump.

Hurricane captured many event wins, but Winfield's accumulated finishes across the entire two-day meet netted more points. Redskins senior Abby Watson broke an 11-year meet record in the shot put with a winning toss of 44-04; Watson also won the discus. Hurricane sophomore Anna Gordon placed first in the 400 and 800, while teammates Audrey Barber (100 hurdles) and Lauren London (long jump), both seniors, also captured victories.

Also in girls AAA, George Washington sophomore Malika Houston won the 300 hurdles. Capital senior Peyton Panger, a WVU commit, entered with the state's top times in the 1600 and 3200, but placed second in each event behind Jefferson junior Abby Colbert.

In boys AAA, Jared Zickafoose (100) accounted for Hurricane's lone individual event win, as the Redskins edged runner-up Cabell Midland by eight points.

GW senior Will Walker recorded wins in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles for the third-place Patriots. GW's David Smith and Nick Peyatte finished one-two in the shot put.

Capital junior Tristan Slater set a meet record in winning the pole vault at 15-00.

Riverside's Darius Booker won the 200.

In boys AAA, Buckley, a University of Louisville commit, threw 60-05 in the shot, more than three feet past the previous record. His discus throw of 185-04 topped the former record by nearly 17 feet.

Poca's Chase Dotson provided points, too, in the throwing events, finishing second and third, respectively. Dots Hayden Webb and Trevor Landers finished one-two in the long jump.

Scott senior Zack Marcum, a University of Charleston signee, won the 200 and 300 hurdles, while fellow future UC runner Troy Fisher, of Roane County, took the 400 and 800.

Herbert Hoover's Bailey Aab won the high jump in girls AA.

Reigning Class A boys runner-up Buffalo knocked off Doddridge, the four-time defending state champs.

Bison senior Jordan Tucker set a meet record in the 100 (11.12 seconds) in winning the event, and he placed second in the 200. Teammate Hayden Harrison won the 3200 and placed second in the 1600, while Buffalo sophomore Ian Parsons won the 300 hurdles.

Charleston Catholic's Lia Preston won the 1600 as the Irish placed third in the Class A girls team standings.

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American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150502/DM03/150509845 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150502/DM03/150509845 Sat, 2 May 2015 19:25:57 -0400

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - American Pharoah won the 141st Kentucky Derby on Saturday, ridden by last year's Derby-winning jockey, Victor Espinoza.

The 5-2 favorite was in contention at the top of the stretch and pulled clear at the finish for his fifth win in six starts.

"He's been a special horse since I first rode him," said Espinoza, who now has three Derby wins.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert got his fourth Derby win, and also sent out third-place finisher Dortmund.

Firing Line was second.

The time was 2:03.02 for the 1 1/4 miles. The largest Derby crowd ever - 170,513 - looked on under sunny skies.

The four Derby wins ties Baffert with D. Wayne Lukas and Herbert "Derby Dick" Thompson for second on the all-time list.

"We were ready to rumble," Baffert said.

The race unfolded with Dortmund setting the pace and Firing Line tracking in second. American Pharoah sat comfortably in third.

Turning for home, American Pharoah angled outside of the other two and launched a rally for a one-length victory.

"Turning for home, I thought I got it. The other horse was right next to me. I couldn't just blow him away," Espinoza said.

American Pharoah paid $7.80, $5.80, $4.20.

Firing Line returned $8.40 and $5.40 while Dortmund paid $4.20 to show.

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