10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

State Baseball Tournament Begins


State baseball preview

The 2011 high school baseball state tournament begins Thursday in Charleston at Appalachian Power Park.

Things get underway with the small schools. The Class A semifinals will begin at 4:30 Thursday afternoon with Wheeling Central taking on Valley Fayette. Moorefield and Charleston Catholic will square off a half an hour after the conclusion of the first game.

On Friday, the Class AA and Class AAA semifinals will take place with the Class AAA games in the morning.

The Class AAA field is full of schools that regularly play in the state tournament. First it will be Fairmont Senior against Greenbrier East. The Polar Bears have been to the state title game four times since 2003, but have yet to win a state championship game.

While Fairmont Senior tries to get back to the championship game, Nitro embarks on its title defense with a matchup against baseball powerhouse Jefferson led by legendary coach John Lowry, Sr., who has amassed more than 1,100 wins and nine state championships in three decades of coaching. Last year Nitro beat Bridgeport in the title game. Jefferson won its last state baseball championship in 2007 when the Cougars beat Woodrow Wilson.

The Nitro-Jefferson game is interesting on many fronts, but perhaps most interesting is that it’s the first ever matchup between the two schools in the baseball state tournament.

The Class AA games finish up semi-final Friday with Magnolia and Wyoming East in the 5 p.m. game followed by defending state champs Braxton County going against Chapmanville.

Click here for the complete tournament brackets.


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