Nitro is also keeping its choice of pitcher a secret. The Wildcats have relied on either their all-state catcher, Korey Dunbar (2-2, 0.52, 70 K's in 402/3 innings), to take the mound or sophomore Ryan McDonough (8-1, 2.33, 60 K's in 48 innings).
"We'll do what we think gives us our best chance to get to the state tournament,'' Pritchard said. "We know who we're going to pitch. We'll let Parkersburg South show up to find out.''
Parkersburg South figures to try to manufacture a few runs against whomever Nitro starts. The Patriots have not hit a home run all season and 85 percent of their hits are singles.
"Everybody on our team knows we're a very small team,'' Null said. "Anybody who watches us play knows were predominantly little guys who like to run and hit and bunt - old-fashioned baseball. We really enjoy playing that way. The kids believe in it, and it's worked for us so far.''
Null expects to see Dunbar pitching for Nitro. Dunbar worked a complete game against St. Albans in the first game of the sectionals.
"We anticipate facing Dunbar,'' Null said. "We anticipate having to beat a guy who throws the ball 85, 88 miles an hour. That's how they beat us the first game. As soon as they get the lead in the sixth inning, he's in. We believe we'll be prepared.''
Other top hitters for South are Jacob Wilcox (.319), Mitchem (.318) and Clay Walters (team-high 27 RBIs).
For Nitro, Dunbar leads the offense with a .453 average, eight homers and 33 RBIs and is followed by Dylan Slack (.405, 37 RBIs), Evan Eich (.352) and McDonough (28 RBIs, 22 stolen bases).
With today's forecast calling for a good chance of thunderstorms, Pritchard has already received permission to switch the game to Hurricane's turf field if the weather remains tricky.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.