High school teams hit the final stretch as state tournament heat up | High-school


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At Jefferson Forest, a defensive-minded baseball staff is in its initially condition match in seven decades. 

In Appomattox, the baseball and softball teams are on fireplace, buoyed by all-around robust engage in in every aspect of the activity. 

At E.C. Glass, a boys lacrosse crew faces a difficult exam this 7 days, but is solved to adhere to the match strategy that could guide them back again to the point out championships activity for the fifth straight time. 

And at Liberty Christian, a baseball squad that has endured several bruises is hoping to win its 2nd state championship in a 5-year span. 

Welcome to state event time, the ultimate week of the year when teams place it all on the line in research of trophies, rings and the glory of successful it all. 

Eight groups and three particular person tennis stars from Lynchburg and surrounding counties are continue to in the combine. 

In Appomattox, the softball group is going for its second straight condition title. But the baseball crew (20-1) has enjoyed remarkable good results as well. The Raiders have nine double-digit victories this season, and very last week scored a occur-from-guiding, wander-off get towards Chatham, 8-7, in the to notch a point out championship berth. They then spanked Alleghany 14- to claim the Location 2C championship. Now they will host Gate City in the Course 2 condition quarterfinal round at 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

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“Each and every team has its ups and downs, and we’ve undoubtedly experienced ours,” mentor Joe Caruso stated. “But these guys under no circumstances stop. They’re so resilient. They are together as a team. It’s been a blessing to coach them.”

It was do-or-die versus Dogwood District foe Chatham previous 7 days, and Caruso collected his club in the base of the seventh. The two teams had been buying and selling blows all sport. heading to its ultimate at-bat, Appomattox trailed 7-5. 

“We told the fellas, ‘If you can find a crew I would want to be down by two, it really is you fellas.’ And they responded.”

The Raiders are in the point out match for the 1st time considering the fact that 2019, mostly since they carry out properly in all sides of the video game. “Almost everything you want as a baseball mentor” was how Caruso described the gifted bunch.

The stats are off the charts. Leadoff hitter Trey Shrock, a catcher who can steal bases, is hitting approximately .460. Nate Dillon, in the 2nd place, is coming off a solid regional tournament and is also hitting above .400. Alex Caruso athletics a .420 typical and has 30 RBIs. Then you can find Hunter Garrett, who acquired the seventh-inning rally commenced in the regional semifinals and went 4 for 4 with seven RBIs in the area championship. 

At Jefferson Forest, the baseball group (20-4) faces Millbrook in the Class 4 point out quarterfinals Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Cavaliers confirmed resilience during regional engage in, winning 2-1 about Western Albemarle, 2- towards Orange County and 2-1 in opposition to Salem. Protection and lock-down pitching was the recipe for success in the standard year. Extra of the same was on display screen in 3 regional game titles. 

“Close game titles and we uncovered a way to earn,” coach Ryan Gilleland claimed. “I assume their self esteem is large.”

On Monday, senior Peyton Smith was named Location 4D player of the year, and Gilleland took property coach of the 12 months honors. 

Gilleland recalled Smith’s evolution as an upperclassman. The drop of his junior yr, soon after pitching for his vacation team all summer time, Smith approached his mentor. He claimed he imagined he was just a pitcher and couldn’t lead with the bat. 

“I mentioned, ‘Peyton, we never have individuals [types of players] in our program. We need to have you to strike,'” Gilleland mentioned. “And he seriously stepped up. His self-assurance swinging the bat has been a enormous component of our offense.”

At E.C. Glass, the boys lacrosse workforce (15-3) faces Mechanicsville-based mostly Atlee (16-2) in Wednesday’s Class 4 state semifinal match. The sport will be played at Glass and starts at 6:30 p.m. 

“We clearly get the job done to get to this stage each yr,” head coach Eddie Ranuska claimed. “We have a significant check ahead, so we are hunting ahead to it.”

The Hilltoppers won a 10-9 thriller over Western Albemarle on Saturday in the condition quarterfinals. It was “not our most effective overall performance,” Ranuska included. “We confronted a minor adversity, and we were equipped to conquer it.”

Atlee defeated Salem 21-11 in the point out quarterfinals and also won the Area 4A title 20-11 above Western Albemarle. 

“It really is gonna be 1 of all those games wherever we have to engage in four quarters and execute our plan,” Ranuska included. “But we know we have a extremely tricky opponent. … We know we’ve occur up with a plan that will set us in the finest position to gain. I think the boys want to depart it all on the discipline, but they’re not ready to end the period yet.”

LCA’s baseball staff (20-2) blanked Spotswood previous 7 days to acquire the Region 3C championship just after shutting out Rustburg in the area semifinals. The Bulldogs host Christiansburg at 6 p.m. Tuesday. 

Other teams nonetheless enjoying contain: Appomattox softball, which plays Tazewell Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Class 2 condition quarterfinals Jefferson Forest boys soccer, which travels to Tuscarora for a Course 4 quarterfinal recreation Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. Altavista ladies soccer, which travels to West Stage for Tuesday’s Course 1 quarterfinal at 6 p.m. and LCA girls soccer, which plays at Concealed Valley on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a Course 3 quarterfinal matchup. 

Also nevertheless playing: E.C. Glass tennis standout Spencer Knight, who will look in the Course 4 singles tournament at 10 a.m. Thursday at Huntington Park in Newport Information. LCA No. 1 singles participant Catherine Mowry performs at midday Friday in the Course 3 singles semifinals at Virginia Tech. She and doubles companion Carla Fernandez-Fournier choose the court docket in the Class 3 doubles semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday. 

By Harriet