C.J. Ricker/MetroNews

Herbert Hoover won the 2013 state championship with a couple of dramatic wins, including a walk-off over Independence in the semifinals.

CLENDENIN, W.Va. — Herbert Hoover needed plenty of dramatics to win the 2013 Class AA baseball championship as the Huskies used a walk-off win over Independence in the state semifinals and then rallied late to beat Fairmont Senior in the title game.

“It was just exciting, with good kids who had a great work ethic – that’s something that’s rare in today,” said head coach Brian Young. “These kids never quit and that’s a good quality that they have. We’re hoping to continue with that this year, so it was definitely a good thing for our program.

“The state tournament games were fun-filled with a lot of excitement and ups and downs,” Young continued. “But they just continued to play and it was very exciting.”

The Huskies lost four starters (in all, six seniors) from last year’s state championship team, most notably Marshall signee Corey Bird who hit .495 for the Huskies last year.

More: Hedgesville senior-heavy in defense of first baseball title

“With Corey, you lost a lot, and then overall we lost three hitters who hit right at .450,” Young said. “That’s going to be hard to replace – Austin Thomas led the team in hits and Ryan Shamblin had a lot of RBIs. There was a lot to replace, but we had a good group of seniors stepping in this year who have played since they were sophomores.”

C.J. Ricker/MetroNews

Herbert Hoover’s Tristan Fields is part of a core group back for the Huskies in 2014.

One of those players with even more on his shoulders this year is first-team all-state senior Tristan Fields. He hit .409 last year, while picking up seven wins, to go along with a 2.21 ERA on the mound.

“He has great ability and has the potential to go on and play at the next level,” Young said. “He’s a good pitcher, but also just a good baseball player all-around – he could be a good outfielder at the next level. He has the ability, the drive and the work ethic, so he has a good shot of going on to play (at the next level).”

Senior Cody Bowen returned as well this season for the Huskies – another player who hit above .400 last year, as he also produced 34 RBIs. On the mound, Bowen went 7-1 with a 1.58 ERA in 2013.

“He and Tristan both were our workhorses on the mound last year,” Young said. “Bowen has picked up right where he left off and he’s a big bat for us as well.”

Hunter White, Scooter Farmer and Shaun Dotson all return as well for the Huskies, giving Young’s club a solid core to build off of this season.

Early on, the Huskies have certainly looked like an early favorite again in Class AA as the bats have been rolling for Hoover. Through their first seven wins, the Huskies averaged 10 runs per contest.

“That’s one thing our kids pride themselves on, they work on a lot of that on their own,” Young said. “We have a good group of parents who continue to work with these kids. It seems like early they always come in seeing the ball well. We started out that way last year and it’s so much like we just picked up right where we left off.”

Hoover, out of Region 4 in Class AA, is matched up with Nicholas County and Clay County in its section. Sissonville, Poca, Scott, Chapmanville, Tolsia, Wayne and Mingo Central all reside in the region as well.

“It’ll be tough again as always,” Young said. “Chapmanville has a lot of pitching back and they’re going to be good quality. Poca will be good this year, they were good last year and didn’t lose much. Our region is tough and it seems like whomever goes on, they have a shot to go to the state tournament and give it a good run at the title.”

2014 Baseball Schedule

canceled  H  CLAY COUNTY  
03/21/14 07:00PM  H  WINFIELD 8W
03/22/14 01:00PM  H  CLAY COUNTY 8W
03/24/14 04:30PM  A  WAYNE 6W
canceled  A  SISSONVILLE  
03/27/14 05:00PM  H  NICHOLAS COUNTY 13W
03/28/14 06:30PM  H  MINGO CENTRAL 14W
03/31/14 06:30PM  A  POCA 8W
04/01/14 07:00PM  H  SISSONVILLE 13W
10  04/02/14 07:00PM  H  RIPLEY 73L
11  04/04/14 04:00PM  H  NORTH MARION  
12  04/04/14 07:00PM  H  NORTH MARION  
13  04/05/14 12:00PM  H  TOLSIA  
14  04/05/14 02:00PM  H  TOLSIA  
15  04/07/14 06:30PM  H  POCA  
16  04/10/14 06:00PM  H  SCOTT  
17  04/11/14 07:00PM  A  POINT PLEASANT  
18  04/14/14 07:00PM  H  CHAPMANVILLE  
19  04/15/14 07:00PM  A  MINGO CENTRAL  
20  04/16/14 07:00PM  H  WAYNE  
21  04/17/14 06:00PM  H  CHARLESTON CATHOLIC  
22  04/22/14 05:00PM  A  NICHOLAS COUNTY  
23  04/23/14 07:00PM  A  RIPLEY  
24  04/26/14 01:00PM  H  LIBERTY (RALEIGH)  
25  04/26/14 03:00PM  H  LIBERTY (RALEIGH)  
26  04/29/14 05:00PM  A  CLAY COUNTY  
27  04/30/14 05:00PM  A  BRAXTON COUNTY  
28  05/01/14 07:00PM  H  POINT PLEASANT  
29  05/05/14 06:00PM  A  SCOTT  
30  05/06/14 07:00PM  H  BRAXTON COUNTY  
31  05/07/14 06:00PM  A  CHARLESTON CATHOLIC  
32  05/08/14 07:00PM  A  WINFIELD  
33  05/09/14 07:00PM  A  CHAPMANVILLE  
 wins: 7   lost: 1   ties: 0

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