MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Tyler Consolidated enters the Class A state tournament with the No. 1 seed and with an extensive list of impressive performances throughout the year. The Silver Knights went 31-6 with Little Kanawha Conference Tournament and sectional tournament wins against Williamstown. Tyler also rallied from a four-run, seventh-inning deficit in the decisive regional game to earn their first state tourney berth.
“They’ve been in a lot of big situations,” said Tyler Consolidated head coach Rob Jones. “We went down to the Mingo Bay Classic in Myrtle Beach and we won that championship with 40 teams down there. Then we were able to defend our conference title. Then we won the sectional against Williamstown again. This team has been battle-tested.”
The Knights will face Petersburg in the opening semifinal. The Vikings are making their first state tournament appearance in 37 years. Petersburg heads to Charleston riding a seven-game win streak and they outscored their five playoff opponents, 45-10.
“They’re a pretty laid back group of kids that have a lot of fun,” said Petersburg head coach Mike Landis. “When kids like each other, you become a team. These kids rally around each other all the time.”
Charleston Catholic makes the short trip to GoMart Ballpark 52 weeks after winning the state title against Wahama. The Irish did so with a losing record for the year. Elevated expectations have been with the Irish throughout the 2023 season.
“This year’s team had much more confidence going into the season than last year’s team,” said Charleston Catholic head coach Will Bobinger. “Last year’s team was trying to understand their role. They were trying to figure out how they fit and how everything would play out. This year’s team came into the year with last year’s experience.”
Wahama is 5-0 in elimination games this year after losing early games in sectional and regional tournaments. The White Falcons are seeking their fifth state title and a sweep of the baseball and softball championships.
“The tradition we have had and the success we have had over the decades and through the years, there’s always that raised bar of expectations and getting to the state tournament and winning championships,” said Wahama head coach Billy Zuspan.