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Cardinal rules? Chapmanville latest to Power Park

By Rick Ryan, Assistant Sports Editor
CHRIS DORST | Gazette
Chapmanville’s Tristan Thompson is 5-0 as a pitcher and is hitting .350 with 35 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.

Chapmanville totes a strong tradition into this week’s state baseball tournament when it carries the banner of the Cardinal Conference.

Consider the following run of success for the southern West Virginia league:

n This marks the ninth straight season in which at least one Cardinal Conference team has reached the state tournament at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston;

n During those nine years, a total of 14 league teams competed in the four-team Class AA field — including five different schools.

n Four of those Cardinal squads went on to capture state championships — Herbert Hoover (2007, 2013), Chapmanville (2011) and Logan (2008).

And the above accomplishments don’t even count another solid program in Wayne, which took the most recent of its four state titles in 1995.

Certainly, No. 4-ranked Chapmanville (28-6) should give a good accounting of itself when it squares off against No. 2 Bridgeport (30-6) at 5 p.m. Friday at Power Park (see tournament schedule, Page 2B).

“We’ve got great pitching,’’ said Tigers coach Eric Ellis. “In the regionals, we gave up two runs in two games. All year long, we’ve pitched well and played good defense.’’

Chapmanville downed Wayne 7-1 in the regional semifinals and Poca 2-1 in the regional finals.

“Tristan [Thompson] and Trey [Dalton], those guys are pretty good,’’ Ellis said. “We’ve got to keep playing like we’ve been playing.’’

Thompson (5-0, 3.08 ERA) and Dalton (6-3, 2.44) are the top two pitchers on the Tigers’ staff, followed closely by Nick Brumfield (5-0, 4.24), Chris Bailey (5-1, 1.77) and Austin Ellis (4-2, 2.84).

William Copley (.441, 38 RBIs) heads the Chapmanville batting attack, followed by Bailey (.432, 27 RBIs), Brady Cox (.415, 24 RBIs) and Brent Bigley (.367, 28 RBIs).

“It’s going to take the whole game,’’ said Thompson, a junior and the team’s leadoff hitter. “It’s going to take pitching, it’s going to take hitting. It’s going to take a lot.’’

Bridgeport can counter on the mound with Sammy Aloi (7-1, 53 Ks in 53 innings) and Logan Smith (5-2, 46 Ks in 43 2/3 innings).

The Indians are led in hitting by Hunter Fain (.432), A.C. Caldera (.418) and Tyler Skidmore (.418, 31 RBIs).

Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazette.com.


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