Bob Madison Chronicle Sports Jefferson won the Class AAA baseball state championship, subduing Wheeling Park, 5-0, and then Nitro, 11-2, in its two state tournament games. Selectors from the state Sports Writers Association then named All-State teams and
Jefferson won the Class AAA baseball state championship, subduing Wheeling Park, 5-0, and then Nitro, 11-2, in its two state tournament games.
Selectors from the state Sports Writers Association then named All-State teams and the Cougars, finishing with a 36-3 overall record, had eight players placed on the various teams.
Senior shortstop Paul Witt, a four-year starter, was named the captain of the first-team All-State unit. Witt batted .508, scored 57 runs in 39 games, and struck out only eight times in 146 plate appearances. He was also selected as West Virginia’s Gatorade Player of the Year. He will continue his baseball career at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Junior Austin Bulman, who played the outfield, third base and pitched, was given a spot on the first-team All-State team as a utility player. Bulman finished with a .509 batting average, had 52 RBIs, and drove in six runs in the two-game state tournament.
Senior left-handed pitcher Bradley Davis had an 11-0 record and a 0.73 ERA. Davis pitched a shutout in beating Wheeling Park in the semifinals of the state tournament. The Writers Association also placed Davis on the first-team All-State unit.
Junior left-handed pitcher Austin Cross was Jefferson’s winning pitcher in the state championship victory over Nitro.
Cross lost only once in the 2016 season and had 12 wins. He collected 2016 tournament wins over Musselman (Sectional) and Spring Mills (Regional) before stopping Nitro in the state championship game.
The writers placed Cross on the second-team All-State unit.
Senior first baseman Charlie Barnholt was given “Special Honorable Mention” notice. Barnholt closed out his Jefferson career on high notes when he began to have multi-hit games toward the end of the regular season. He then continued his increased production in the post-season tournaments with extra base hits and RBIs in Sectional games versus Washington and Musselman and Regional wins over Spring Mills and Elkins.
Barnholt didn’t cool down in the state tournament either.
Given Honorable Mention places on the writers log were senior outfielder Cameron Alvarez, junior pitcher Dylan Carroll and senior pitcher/designated hitter Jordan Beans.
Cross, Bulman and Carroll were juniors this past season and should return to give the Cougars a solid nucleus of experience as the team tries for its third consecutive state champoionship in 2017.