Williamstown baseball plays in state semis Friday | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo by Jay W. Bennett Williamstown’s Maxwell Molessa gets ready to pitch to first base after fielding a ground ball during a game earlier this season.

WILLIAMSTOWN — For the fourth time in school history, Williamstown’s baseball program will compete for a state championship.

Head Coach Levi Maxwell’s top-ranked 27-6 Yellowjackets are in the Class A field for the second straight season and will face No. 4 Charleston Catholic (16-19) in the first semifinal at the Appalachian Power Park on Friday at 10 a.m. Three-time defending champion Moorefield (18-14) has the No. 3 seed and takes on No. 2 seed Wahama (25-8) 50 minutes later.

Charleston Catholic, who lost to Man in last year’s state semifinals while the Yellowjackets lost by one run to Moorefield, has parted ways with WHS this season. The Irish won a 7-6 game at home earlier in the year and Williamstown won 17-3 on the return trip in late April.

“He didn’t stand against us” Maxwell said of Irish freshman Jonah DiCocco, who is 7-1 with 113 strikeouts. “I’m sure we’ll see him. As far as I know, he’s her number one. He’s had some trouble with a few walks here and there. We don’t try to break it down too finely.

“Of course we need to be able to make contact. He’s got a good breaking ball. If he throws strikes we should be able to hit him and I think we’re disciplined enough off the plate not to hit balls over our hands. We’ve seen guys like him quite a few times this year.”

Although the WHS coaching staff have multiple options as to who will throw starting catch Cruz Isaly, Maxwell appears to be backed by Chase Barkley, who is 4-2 and has a 2.04 earned running average.

“Most likely, we’ll probably go with our senior Chase Barkley.” said the coach. “We let him go out there. Pitching is his game.

“I think he’ll be prepared, ready to go and roll with that. He’s played in big games a couple of times. You have to play to win this game on day one.”

Braydin Coleman (7-1, 2.66 ERA), Carson Hill (6-1, 4.58 ERA) and Parker Schramm (4-0, 3.90 ERA) could be used from the bullpen if needed.

“I think since the start of the season we’ve been really trying to mix guys up with younger guys really well to get them in the lineup and get a few looks to build on who we would be more of each day.” guys throughout the year” Coach Maxwell added. “A lot of our young guys jumped in and kind of stayed in the lineup.

“There were growing pains with some of the younger guys, inexperience you could call it, but we intentionally put them in big situations number one to see how they handled it and number two to gain experience . In a state tournament it’s a bit bigger, but at the same time it’s still 90 feet to the pocket and 60 feet, 6 inches to home plate.”

Williamstown, who finished second at the Little Kanawha Conference behind Tyler Consolidated, also won 3-0, 11-5 over fellow LKC member Wahama. Williamstown did not face the other Yellow Jackets.

“I think we’ve had a really good fan base all season,” added the skipper, whose club has Leewood Molessa (1B), Maxwell Molessa (SS), Ty Ott (2B) and Schramm at the top of the lineup. “It was even better than last year. We had people from the ’60s and ’70s, people coming back and talking about us.

“It was great to see these people supporting our program and we are proud of them. That’s what we do, work for the history of the program and from my point of view it’s been really great to see these older guys come back and watch games and support these younger guys. You were once in the same situation. It makes you proud of the community. We have a really good fan base, the best.”

Left fielder Luke Ankrom is expected to bat for fifth, followed by center fielders Harbor Haught and Barkley. On the eight hole, the designated hitter spot is occupied by either TJ Thomas or Coleman. The right Fielder Hill completes the batting order.

“Last year it was great to be there and to be able to take part in the state tournament,” added the skipper. “It’s more of an expectation mentality this year. The younger guys on our team settled into our process and what we were trying to do from the start and we were very hard on those guys.

“We have very, very high expectations of them and they just did such an incredible job. It even makes you think going forward that we’re going to be in pretty good shape for the next few years. I think our guys are ready and prepared. I’m excited to see how it develops.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

high school baseball

The expected line-up for Friday for Williamstown

High school in the Class A state semifinals

Name (position) AVG 2B-3B-HR RBIs SBs

Leewood Molessa (1B) .553 9-6-8 45 29

Maxwell Molessa (SS) .418 12-8-1 17 27

Ty Ott (2B) .411 10-0-0 44 19

Parker Schramm (3B).299 3-4-0 25 12

Lukas Ankrom (LF) .337 5-1-0 27 12

Harbor Haught (CF) .443 4-0-0 27 29

Chase Barkley (P) .329 5-2-2 19 23

TJ Thomas (DH) .303 2-0-1 15 1 or

Braydin Coleman (DH) .400 3-0-2 17 3

Carson Hill (RF) .333 4-0-0 17 13

Notes: Cruz Isaly is the starting catcher. Barkley is 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA and 33 Ks in 44.2 IP.



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