Tim Hayes | Bristol Herald Courier
The NCAA baseball tournament becomes a family affair for the Hungate brothers of Abingdon, Virginia.
Freshman Chase Hungate will unleash spots for Virginia Commonwealth University, and junior Cade Hungate will do the same for the Liberty University Flames as the siblings are in rosters that have reached the field of 64.
Chase Hungate was the winning pitcher on Saturday as VCU earned a 10-7 win over rival Richmond in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Finals.
He didn’t concede a deserved run and knocked out three over 4 2/3 innings.
“I felt great the whole time,” Hungate told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Luckily… I had a great defense behind me. They could do plays. If you just go through each inning, you have to take out each one at a time and take out each batsman at a time and just do your thing.
Just a season away from leading Abingdon High School for the Region 3D title and a place in the State Finals, Hungate lies 6-4 and a 3.45 ERA in 19 relief games.
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The right-hander, who earned a spot on the A10 All-Tournament Team, has hit 42 outs and 12 walks in 57 1/3 innings and given up just one home run. The Rams meet Georgia in the first round on Friday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Cade Hungate is 2-0 with seven saves and a 4.24 ERA in 18 relief games for Liberty. The Flames play Oklahoma on Friday in Gainesville, Fla.
“They’ve had tremendous success here and I’m really proud to see them continue at a high level,” said Mark Francisco, Abingdon manager. “It’s a great opportunity for these two guys.”
Below are some of the more familiar faces from the national tournament:
>>> Virginia Tech batman Gavin Cross (Tennessee High) is a draft pick in July’s Major League Baseball amateur draft and before that he will be playing in his first NCAA tournament.
Cross hits a .318 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs and is one of 31 semifinalists for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award, presented annually to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
The Hokies host Wright State at 7 p.m. Friday
>>> Two Southwest Virginia pitchers will try to help the University of Virginia Cavaliers reach the College World Series.
Freshman left-hander Matthew Buchanan (Lebanon) is 3-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 17 appearances for the Cavaliers, while second right-hander Avery Mabe (George Wythe) is 0- with a save and a 3.97 ERA in seven relief games. 0 is
>>> Nick Ascue (JJ Kelly) is in his second season as Director of Baseball Operations at Georgia Tech.
>>> Shaddon Peavyhouse (Unicoi County) has a 3-3 record and a 4.97 ERA in 18 games for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
>>> Tyler Cannon, who played his high school ball at Pigeon Forge and the son of John Battle and Patrick Henry’s former baseball coach, Larry Cannon, is an assistant coach at Liberty.
>>> Left-handed pitcher Kaleb Meredith (University High), a freshman, is on the list of Tennessee front runners but has yet to appear in a game for the Volunteers. Former Gray, Tenn. resident Kirby Connell (3-0, 1.08 ERA) is one of the top relief pitchers for UT.
>>> Frank Catalanotto coached Hofstra to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title in his first season as head coach.
Catalanatto’s first two seasons as a professional player came in 1992 and 1993 with the Bristol Tigers of the Appalachian League. He eventually reached the majors and spent 14 seasons in the big leagues.
>>> Virginia Tech pitcher Drue Hackenberg and Virginia Commonwealth hurler Jack Masloff played for head coach Billy Wagner (Tazewell) at the Miller School.
Kirk Saarloos, Wagner’s former Houston Astros teammate, is the head coach at Texas Christian University.
>>> The LSU pitching trio consisting of Paul Gervase, Ty Floyd and Michael Fowler, Virginia pitcher Matthew Buchanan (Lebanon), UCLA catcher Tommy Beres and Mississippi pitcher Wes Burton played for the Bristol State Liners of the Appalachian League in 2021.
>>> Long Island pitcher Dominic Pieto and Virginia Commonwealth hurler Chase Hungate (Abingdon) will play for the Bristol State Liners in 2022.
>>> Brandon Wallace joins UNC Greensboro from East Tennessee State University while Gary Gilmore, veteran Coastal Carolina boss, played briefly at ETSU.
>>> Seventeen players who took the field for Team USA’s Collegiate National Team during a game at DeVault Stadium in Bristol on July 8, 2021 will compete in the NCAA tournament.
Virginia Tech’s Gavin Cross (Tennessee High), LSU’s Jacob Berry, Miami’s Carson Palmquist, Texas Tech’s Jace Jung, Tennessee’s Drew Gilbert and Arkansas’ Robert Moore.
Smith takes over at Concord
Devin Smith, a graduate of George Wythe High School, is the new head baseball coach at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia.
Smith, a three-sport standout at GW, played baseball at Concord from 2009-2013 and hit .328 while posting a 12-8 record and amassed 100 strikeouts in 137 innings of work on the mound.
He has been an assistant coach at his alma mater since 2014 and is taking over the program from longtime boss Kevin Garrett.
Mac Osborne (Richlands) recorded the last two innings for the Virginia Tech softball team on Saturday as the Hokies’ season ended in a 12-0 loss to the Florida Gators.
The right-hander sophomore allowed two runs for five to finish the season 2-0 with a 4.88 ERA in six games. She won against Miami of Ohio in an NCAA tournament game on May 21.
Baggarly’s final laps
Baylor University’s Addie Baggarly finished 81st in the individual rankings at the NCAA Division I women’s golf tournament that recently concluded in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The former Tennessee High standout had rounds of 76, 78 and 75 for a total of 13 over par in the final three rounds of her collegiate career.
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