Game On: Region I Baseball Semifinal Breakdown; York, Tabb and Jamestown All in the Hunt for State Tourney Berth

May 31st, 2011 by Will Armbruster

GameOnWill

The Bay Rivers District has made a name for itself as one of the most competitive baseball districts in the state. That supposition has proven especially true this year, with three of the four remaining teams left in the Region I tournament members of the BRD.

So no matter how it plays out, at least one team from the area will be heading to next week’s state tournament.

But if York (19-4) beats Powhatan (21-1) tomorrow afternoon, both Region I berths into the state tournament will go to BRD teams since the Jamestown/Tabb winner will land the other.

Here’s a breakdown of tomorrow’s Region I semifinal round. Both games are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the home field of the higher seed. The winners from both games will earn berths into the state tournament, which begins next Tuesday.

York (19-4) @ Powhatan (21-1)

York coach Rusty Ingram is well aware of how dangerous Powhatan’s lineup can be. The Indians, who won a state title in 2008 and reached the state quarterfinals last year, are averaging over 15 runs a game this season led by outfielder and Southside District Player of the Year Tyler Allen. The Indians placed seven others on the All-District first team as well.

“You’ve got to hit the ball to stay with Powhatan,” Ingram said after Monday’s 12-0 win over Park View in the quarterfinals. “Their pitching isn’t overpowering, but they can put a lot of points on the board.” That was obvious after Powhatan crushed Eastern View 17-4  on Monday.

But York also sports an explosive offense highlighted by Nic Futrell, Ryan Hendrickson and Tim Kelly who have all had monster years at the plate. And T.J. Rinoski has been exceptional in the lead-off spot scoring over 30 runs this season.

So….we can expect a slugfest.

But it could be York’s pitching duo of Rinoski (8-2) and Kelly who decides the outcome.

Rinoski, whose ERA is a shade under 2.50, has been at his best in big games this year like the Falcons’ first-place showdown with Tabb a few weeks ago when he gave up one run on a solo homer from Bay Rivers Player of the Year Patrick Corbett. Kelly, who as a junior has already signed to pitch at Virginia Tech, has been lights out.

Jamestown (15-7) @ Tabb (16-7-1)

The Eagles are hungry to earn their first-ever berth to the regional tournament, and they may just have the talent this year to do so. Since Tommy Vitaletti and Tim Geiling swapped positions in the lineup – Vitaletti moved to third and Geiling up to lead-off – and Brink Ambler’s return a little over a month ago, Jamestown has been on a roll offensively. And when ace Kyle Majette (8-1) – who returned to pitch four and a-third quality innings on Monday after missing the entire district tournament because of illness – and J.T. Castner are dialed in on the mound, they’re virtually impossible to beat.

The Tigers did shu tout the Eagles 4-0 in the beginning of the season and carry some momentum after winning the Bay Rivers District tournament championship as the five seed last week. But they’ll need more production than the two runs they got on Monday when they beat Southampton in 10 innings. Division I signees Patrick Corbett (Coastal Carolina) and Jared Lyons (Liberty) will both likely see time on the hill. Lyons will probably get the start since he only pitched three innings to Corbett’s seven on Monday.  Tabb will need a Division I-type effort from their two aces to contain Jamestown’s hot bats.

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