Chargers clinch state berth, to play for Region 1B title

Published 8:01 pm Thursday, May 31, 2018

Not since 1994 has a Central High School varsity baseball team played in the regional championship game, but it will happen tomorrow, and it will be followed by an appearance in the 2018 Virginia High School League Class 1 state tournament.

The No. 2 Chargers defeated visiting No. 3 William Campbell High School 4-2 in the Region 1B tournament semifinals Thursday to clinch a berth in the state tourney and set up their 2 p.m. Friday showdown with host No. 1 Riverheads High School in the regional title game.

“It’s a great accomplishment for the program, and this group of seniors has been working for three years to get to the regional championship and the state playoffs, so I couldn’t be happier for them,” Central Head Coach Michael Atkins said. “They’ve earned it, and I couldn’t be any prouder of them.”

Central, which is now 12-9, took a 4-0 lead Thursday before the Generals made it 4-2 in the fifth inning. Senior Ethan Hoover pitched into the sixth inning, and then senior Christian Hall closed out the contest for the win.

“We got through a big game today, a great competitor in William Campbell, a good-coached team,” Atkins said. “They played hard — you knew that was going to happen. We knew we had to hit the ball today, and I think we did a pretty good job of putting the ball in play and making contact. And Ethan did a great job of pitching today, and Christian did a great job of coming in, closing the game. They’ve been the mainstays for us for the last three years, so they’re sort of the anchor. When they’re on, everything else kind of evolves around them. But everybody made a contribution today, either in the field defensively or at the plate — just a great team win, great team effort.”