Former JHS infielder Paul Witt starts well
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The last time Jefferson won a baseball state championship was three seasons ago in 2016, when its shortstop, Paul Witt, was selected as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Witt went to Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall of 2016, and the next spring was the starting shortstop for the Atlantic 10 Conference baseball contenders.
Now in his third season for the Richmond-based school, Witt has been a starter throughout all three seasons.
He began this year as the shortstop, but has recently been moved to second base.
After the team’s first 14 games, Witt was hitting a team-leading .434, going 23-for-53 at the plate, scoring 10 runs with seven doubles and 15 RBIs. His on-base percentage was .538 and VCU had an 11-3 record in the 14 non-conference games.
When VCU completed a three-game series at Central Florida last weekend, it had a 14-5 overall record, and Witt was hitting .413, going 31-for-75 with one home run, seven doubles, 18 RBIs, 16 runs scored and a .500 on-base percentage.
The Atlantic 10’s best baseball teams in the recent past have been Saint Louis, Davidson, George Mason and Richmond.
Even though it has had winning seasons in Witt’s first two years as a starting infielder, Virginia Commonwealth has not been invited to the NCAA tournament.
Witt was Jefferson’s leading hitter in 2016 when the Cougars won the school’s 12th Class AAA state championship.
As a junior at Jefferson, Witt also played a major role in Jefferson winning the state title that season.
In Witt’s last two seasons at Jefferson, the Cougars had a combined record of 73-5 and had the two state championships.
Last season with VCU, Witt carried a .400-plus batting average through 50 games, before seeing his average drop some. He completed the season with an average just below the .400 level.
The Rams are considered one of the favorites to win the Atlantic 10 tournament championship and automatically qualify for the 64-school NCAA tournament this spring.