Hoover leads CHS baseball honorees

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Central High School’s historic 2018 season drew the attention of voting coaches when it came time to hand out awards, with the Chargers drawing nine regional accolades, three all-state honors and four all-district nods.

Senior pitcher Ethan Hoover was named the 2018 Region 1B Player of the Year.

He made the 2018 Virginia High School League Class 1 All-State First Team along with Chargers senior outfielder Nate Nowlin. Central senior first baseman Christian Hall made the all-state second team.

Hoover, Nowlin and Hall made the 2018 All-Region 1B First Team along with two teammates: senior middle infielder L.J. Watson and senior designated hitter Jeffrey Goodwin Jr.

Chargers named to the all-region second team included Goodwin, as a catcher, senior center fielder Noah Dunbar and sophomore pitcher Austin Hall.

Hoover and Nowlin were selected to the 2018 All-James River District First Team, and Christian Hall and Watson made the second team.

Looking at his team’s representation across all three levels of awards, Hoover said, “I think it means a lot to our school, especially, because our baseball team, pretty much all the guys (selected), before (them), our school was pretty much like 0-18 the two years before we got there. I think as a group, we did a great job of turning the school around as a baseball program and actually making a name for itself again, into the top of the region and into the states.”

This season, Central reached the regional title game and the state tournament for the first time since 1994.

The victory that clinched those achievements came against visiting William Campbell High School in the regional semifinals via a 4-2 final score.

Hoover considered his play on the mound in that game to be his strongest moment, helping lead to his Player of the Year honor.

“It was a big honor to get,” he said, noting he was surprised at first. “… I was very happy with myself for getting that award.”

The Chargers narrowly lost 1-0 in the regional title game to host Riverheads High School, the eventual state champion, but Hoover’s impact overshadowed that to draw the honor.

In 45.0 innings pitched this year, he went 6-3. He threw 66 strikeouts, allowed 46 hits, 12 walks and had an earned run average of 2.40.

In 62 at-bats on offense, he had a .338 batting average, a .468 slugging percentage, 26 RBIs, 21 hits, including nine doubles, and 11 runs scored.

Nowlin is an outfielder who served the Chargers well with his versatility, also playing second base, third base and pitcher. On defense, he logged 31 put outs.

In 62 at-bats on offense, he recorded a .403 batting average, a .536 on-base percentage and a .552 slugging percentage.

He produced 28 runs scored, 25 hits, including six doubles, a triple and a home run, 15 RBIs, and he drew 16 walks. He also had 20 stolen bases.

Christian Hall had 52 at-bats, registering a .365 batting average, a .604 slugging percentage and a .493 on-base percentage. He also had 19 hits, including 10 doubles and one home run, 13 RBIs, 21 runs scored, and he drew 14 walks.

He was also a key contributor as a pitcher, throwing for 52.1 innings. He had a record of 5-4, threw 41 strikeouts, allowed 46 hits and 17 walks and had an ERA of 2.48.

Goodwin had 56 at-bats this season, and he recorded a .375 batting average, a .485 on-base percentage and a .429 slugging percentage. He generated 21 hits, 19 RBIs, drew 11 walks and had only six strikeouts.

As a catcher, he threw out 1/3rd of steal attempts (11-of-33).

At the shortstop position, Watson registered 40 put outs.

On offense, he had 42 at-bats and finished with a .491 on-base percentage. He had 11 hits, 16 runs scored and drew 18 walks. He also had five stolen bases.