College Notebook: Harwich's Menendez Hits Stride in Cape Cod League

July 15 - After a rough first outing in the Cape Cod League, Antonio Melendez rebounded and has posted consecutive quality starts for the Harwich Mariners. 

The Herndon graduate, a rising junior at Wake Forest, scattered five hits and allowed one run over 6.1 innings in Harwich’s 2-0 loss to the Cotuit Kettleers on Thursday. In his previous start, he scattered two hits while striking out eight and walking one in six innings in a 6-4 win over the Brewster Whitecaps on July 4. 

Menendez enters the day having compiled a 3.43 ERA with 18 strikeouts to five walks in 18.1 innings. The right-hander, who throws from a sidearm angle, has surrendered just three runs over 17.1 innings after surrendering four in one frame in his debut on June 10 against the Falmouth Commodores. 

Two of Menendez’ teammates with Harwich, James Madison right-hander Nick Stewart (Rock Ridge) and Wake Forest outfielder Michael Ludowig (Briar Woods), have had mixed results this summer.  

Stewart has flashed the ability that has enabled him to post a 2.79 ERA in 135.1 innings over his two seasons with the Dukes - recording 19 strikeouts to just two walks - but two rough outings has ballooned his ERA to 6.75 in 14.2 innings. Ludowig cooled off after a fast start, but the 2017 NOVA Nine Player of the Year may be heating up again after going 3-for-7 in two games over the weekend. He’s hitting .250 in 64 at-bats. 

Three other pitchers from Northern Virginia, William & Mary’s Wade Strain (Lake Braddock) and Chris Farrell (Flint Hill) and Virginia’s Kyle Whitten (Osbourn Park) have struggled in the nation’s premier summer collegiate league. Strain was released by Harwich after just one outing, permitting four runs (three earned) on seven hits over four innings in a 4-1 loss to Bourne on June 17. Whitten is 0-1 with a 11.57 ERA and eight strikeouts to 10 walks in 11.2 innings with Hyannis, and Farrell is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA and 11 strikeouts to 17 walks in 15 innings with Cotuit. 

Big Train’s Colangelo Inducted With Inaugural Cal Ripken League Hall of Fame

Sal Colangelo, a 1991 graduate of Potomac who later played at Virginia Tech, was inducted last week as one of the five members in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League’s inaugural class. 

Since being hired as the manager of the Big Train in 2005, he has guided the league’s premier club to five outright championships and a share of two others. He entered the day with a 430-176 record as Bethesda’s manager. 

Colangelo, who set a Potomac single-season record with 52 stolen bases en route to second-team All-Met honors by The Washington Post in 1991, served as an assistant at Christopher Newport University and then with the Panthers and Big Train from 1999-2004. 

Also inducted were the league’s two co-founders, Bruce Adams and Dean Albany, as as well as current Major Leaguers Brett Cecil and Brian Dozier. Cecil, who attended Maryland, played with the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts in 2005 and was a first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007. He’s currently in his 10th year in the big leagues as a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals. Dozier, the Washington Nationals’ second baseman, played with the Big Train in 2006 following his freshman year at Southern Mississippi. 

Madison Grad Cassady Hired as Assistant at Roanoke

Cam Cassady, a 2009 graduate of Madison, was hired earlier this month as an assistant coach at Roanoke College. 

Cassady has spent the past four seasons as an assistant at Richmond’s Benedictine, which has won the pasty two Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I state championships. He played for two seasons at Roanoke, hitting .307 in 65 games in 2013-14. 

Roanoke was 21-18 this spring under coach Matt McGuire, fielding a roster with 16 players from Northern Virginia schools. The Maroons won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the Division III College World Series in 2018. 

Sponsor: The magazine’s College Notebook is sponsored by the R&D Baseball Academy in Herndon. For more information on the academy, visit

Photos of, clockwise from left, Antonio Menendez courtesy of Harwich Mariners, Sal Colangelo by Mark Briscoe and Cam Cassady courtesy of Benedictine Baseball

Cone's Versatility Key as Braves Push for CRCBL Playoff Seeding

July 13 - When Chris Warren secured Jack Cone for his FCA Braves roster this summer, he knew the former South County standout would fill multiple roles. 

Cone has done that and more, and the William & Mary outfielder and right-handed pitcher was recognized by being named to the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League’s All-Star Game earlier this week. 

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound rising sophomore enters tonight’s game against the Alexandria Aces second in the league with a 1.78 ERA, carrying a 2-1 record with 31 strikeouts in 26 innings. He picked up a two-inning save while going 2-for-3 with a solo home run in last night’s 6-2 win over the D.C. Grays and had his longest outing last Sunday, when he allowed one run and scattered two hits over 5.2 innings in the Braves’ 3-2 win over the Aces. 

“He’s pitching really well. He’s been very good so far, very efficient on the mound and obviously his numbers speak for themselves,” said Warren, who points at Cone’s athleticism as an added bonus defensively. “He’s very versatile, and he makes your defense so much better. It’s like having another infielder.”

That versatility doesn’t end on the mound. The left-handed swinging Cone has started games in right and center field and at designated hitter. At the plate, he’s hitting .232 with a .338 on-base percentage, two home runs and eight RBI in 56 at-bats.

“He’s been one of our bright spots this year, for sure,” Warren said. “After he starts, we give him a day off and integrate him back in slowly. It’s just a question of balancing the work-load on his body between pitching and playing in the field.”

Cone is no stranger to pulling double-duty, having hit .241 with 12 extra-base hits and 22 RBI in 191 at-bats while making six appearances on the mound as a freshman with the Tribe this spring. As a senior at South County in 2018, he set a school-record by hitting .493 with five homers and 20 RBI while going 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 38 innings. 

He was joined at Wednesday’s All-Star Game by two teammates who also hail from area schools in High Point left-hander Jack Nathan (South Lakes) and Virginia Military Institute outfielder Jordan Ebersole (Madison). Other area players named to the Virginia/D.C. team for the All-Star Game were George Mason right-hander and infielder Jared Lyons (West Springfield) and George Mason outfielder Scotty Morgan (Woodbridge) from the Alexandria Aces and Magnus Ellerts (Woodbridge), a rising freshman at Harford Community College who is pitching for the D.C. Grays. 

Area players named to the Maryland team for the game were William & Mary catcher/outfielder Matt Thomas (Lake Braddock), Georgetown lefty Jack Weeks (Paul VI Catholic) and Liberty pitcher Logan Barker (Colonial Forge). 

The fifth-place Braves (12-17) enter tonight on a three-game winning streak and trail the Gaithersburg Giants (13-16) by a game and the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts (14-14) by 2.5 games with 10 days left in the league’s 40-game regular season. The Bethesda Big Train (23-6) and Grays (16-16) top the CRCBL standings, with the Aces (9-18) in last place.

All six teams will make the postseason, with the top two receiving byes to the best-of three semifinal round.

Photo of Jack Cone by Mark Briscoe

Junior College Route Opening Division I Doors for Northern Virginia Players

July 2 - Danny Hosley collected a number of postseason honors as a senior at Langley, but figured his baseball career might be over when he wasn’t offered an opportunity to walk on at the University of Northern Colorado.

After a semester out west, Hosley realized he missed the game and wanted to pursue college baseball. He started reaching out to those who might be able to help, including Kevin Healy, his coach at Langley who now serves in the same capacity at Washington-Lee. 

An opportunity presented itself at Patrick Henry Community College, and the former 6A North Region Player of the Year, NOVA Nine Team member and first-team Class 6 all-state selection transferred to the Martinsville school over the winter of 2017-18. 

“I just missed the competition,” Hosley said. “I missed that group you’re friends with and around 24 hours a day, working and grinding. Getting to Patrick Henry, Coach Healy played a very big part in that. He told me about the school and how they’d have an opportunity for me.”

Given a chance to play both ways, the versatile Hosley caught, pitched and played the infield for the Patriots. He did everything well enough over his two seasons - hitting a combined .338 in 157 at-bats and going 7-1 with a 2.83 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 105 innings - to receive interest from a few Division I schools. 

In May, he accepted a scholarship offer from Norfolk State, where he’ll be joined by two Patrick Henry teammates also hailing from area schools in Dylan Flint (Osbourn) and Jack Howell (Patriot). 

They are among the latest players from Northern Virginia who have attended junior colleges before moving on to Division I programs. Two years ago, Jett Manning (Battlefield) transferred to Alabama after two seasons at Maryland’s Frederick Community College, then was drafted last June by the San Francisco Giants. This past spring, Brett Norwood (Chantilly) had an All-Atlantic 10 Conference season at Virginia Commonwealth after two seasons at South Florida State College. 

Madison assistant coach T.J. Ehrsam also benefited from time spent at a two-year school after his prep career with the Warhawks didn’t net the Division I offers he was hoping for. After hitting .420 in his second season at Louisburg, one of the country’s top junior colleges located just outside of Raleigh, N.C., Ehrsam went on to lead the Colonial Athletic Association in stolen bases as a senior at Hofstra in 2014. 

“I was chasing a dream,” Ehrsam said. “Playing [at Louisburg] really helped me with my development. There were a couple Division I schools that were interested in me, but I probably would have sat a couple years before getting an opportunity. I got to play those two years where I would have been sitting if I had gone to a four-year school. And I also was fortunate to go to one of the better jucos in the country, which really helped to prepare me.” 

Hosley, along with Brett Stallings (West Springfield) and Tyler Solomon (Battlefield), headline a crop of area players who hope the time at two-year schools has prepared them for their next step in the game. Stallings, a middle infielder who helped West Springfield to the Class 6 state championship a year ago, is transferring to Virginia Tech after hitting .327 in 47 games in his lone campaign at Frederick. Solomon, who helped the Bobcats reach the state final in 2016, spent one season apiece at Vanderbilt and then at Florida SouthWestern State College before recently committing to transfer to William & Mary. 

“It’s prepared me well for college baseball. It introduced me to the grind, the amount of games you play, weekend series, and those are all a big change from high school,” said Hosley, who caught Saturday games and started Sunday games on the mound this spring. “I’ve been able to get bigger and stronger and play against good competition. I think sometimes people sleep on junior colleges, but it gives you a chance to see what’s out there and play against guys who are also going to be at D1 schools.”

The junior college route isn’t a new concept - Paul VI Catholic coach Billy Emerson and Battlefield coach Jay Burkhart attended two-year schools before transferring into George Mason, and Centreville coach Scott Rowland took the same path before landing at George Washington - but it’s become more popular among area players in recent years. 

One reason for that has been Virginia allowing its community colleges to begin fielding NJCAA teams earlier this decade, which has established recruiting ties between high school or travel team coaches and in-state junior college programs such as Patrick Henry, Bryant & Stratton and Paul D. Camp. Longer standing pipelines continue to send players into Maryland at programs such as Frederick, Montgomery, Rockville, Chesapeake and Harford.

While that path to college baseball isn’t for everyone, it keeps the door open for those willing to bide their time and extend the recruiting process. 

“It really depends on what your priorities are,” said Rowland, who played at Northwest Mississippi Junior College before transferring to play for the Colonials. “Some kids just want to play baseball anywhere regardless of the school or academics. And some kids aren’t like that, they want to go and play baseball at a school they want to go to regardless if they were playing.”

Rowland added that players in bustling areas like the Washington, D.C. metro region have to be ready to adapt to a change of pace at two-year schools. “Most junior colleges are in small towns where there’s not a lot going on,” he said. “I learned to live on my own. It’s a different lifestyle for a Northern Virginia kid to all of a sudden be going to a small town in Mississippi. You just can’t go home because it’s not what you’re used to. I knew I was out of options. 

“I knew I wasn’t getting another opportunity if I didn’t stick with it.”

The route often isn’t not how a player or his parents had envisioned for their college baseball and academic careers. But it allows them the ability to buy some time if their recruitment was affected in high school by common factors such as injuries, academics or physical maturity. 

For some who didn’t get the recruiting attention they had hoped for, simply getting on a college field and producing can erase lingering doubts coaches may have.

“I think at a junior college, you get recruited based on your production vs. your size or your 60 time or how hard you throw,” Rowland said. “I felt it was easier for me that nobody cared about the size issue anymore. I got my academics in order and put up numbers, and I had several opportunities that I never would have gotten out of high school.”

Ehrsam says additional benefits of playing at a two-year school that are often overlooked are academics and financial aid. Many states offer automatic entry into four-year schools should they earn an associate’s degree at a community college, and study habits gained over two years of maturing in college can help a player earn academic grants and scholarships that they wouldn’t have qualified for out of high school. 

“All of my credits transferred into Hofstra, and I got the maximum amount of academic money I could get,” said Ehrsam, who also received athletic scholarship money at the Hempstead, N.Y. school. “So you’re cutting the cost of education and many people don’t see that aspect of it. The problem when talking about jucos isn’t so much the kid as it is his parents because they’re so worried about academics and what potential employers will think of them going to a junior college. What they don’t always understand is that if academics is their concern, they need to consider the automatic entry they’ll qualify for. 

“At the end of the day, it’s not so much where you started college as where you got your degree from.”

Photo of Danny Hosley courtesy of Patrick Henry Athletics

Recruiting Notebook: Warhawks’ Schultz to Pitch at College of Charleston

July 1 - Madison’s Michael Schultz committed last night to pitch at the College of Charleston, Warhawks coach Mark ‘Pudge’ Gjormand announced via his Twitter account. 

A 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-hander, Schultz made 10 relief appearances as a junior this spring for Madison (16-6), going 1-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 13 strikeouts to 12 walks in 15.1 innings. He will be tasked with a larger role on Gjormand’s pitching staff next spring following the graduation of the Warhawks’ top three arms in Matt Howat, Josh Gjormand and Zach Perkins. 

Schultz plays for the Richmond Braves travel program and had his fastball clocked at 89 MPH at the Perfect Game WWBA 17U National Championship in Georgia over the weekend. He will become the fifth Madison pitcher since 2015 to pitch at the Division I level, joining Brian Eckert (Radford), Matt Favero (Brigham Young/George Mason), Jake Nielsen (Brigham Young) and Howat (William & Mary). 

The College of Charleston went 36-21 this past season under coach Chad Holbrook, who was in his second season with the program after spending the previous five years as the head coach at South Carolina. 

Osbourn Park’s Saunders Commits to VMI

Shane Saunders (Osbourn Park), a two-time All-Region 6D outfielder, committed earlier today to play at the Virginia Military Institute. He made his intention to commit to the Keydets via his Twitter account.

Saunders hit .477 with a .596 on-base percentage, 31 hits, 10 extra-base hits, 10 RBI, 27 runs and was 27-for-27 on stolen base attempts this spring.

“Truly excited to announce my commitment to play baseball and further my academic career at [VMI],” Saunders posted on Twitter. “I’m excited to hit the field as a Keydet.”

Battlefield Grad Tyler Solomon Transfers to William & Mary

Tyler Solomon (Battlefield) announced his intention two weeks ago to transfer to the College of William & Mary after one season at Florida Southwestern College, where the 6-foot-5, 225-pound switch-hitting first baseman his .185 with five home runs and 23 RBI in 54 games. 

Solomon was a two-time all-region selection and helped the Bobcats reach the Class 6 state final in 2016. He spent his freshman season at Vanderbilt before transferring to the junior college. At William & Mary, he’ll join a recruiting class that includes three incoming freshmen from local schools in left-handers Matt Howat (Madison) and Brody Mack (Potomac) and infielder Ben Williamson (Freedom-South Riding). 

Eikhoff, Berry Impress on Summer Recruiting Circuit

After decommitting from the University of Virginia last month, right-hander Riley Eikhoff (Patriot) has spent the first half of the summer recruiting circuit gaining the attention of college coaches. 

Last month at the Perfect Game National Showcase at Chase Field in Phoenix, the rising senior had his fastball reach 91 MPH while posting a 6.97 in the 60-yard dash. He topped at the same velocity in his first outing at the Perfect Game WWBA 17U National Championship on Friday in Cartersville, GA, striking out seven over four scoreless innings as his EvoShield Canes National team beat Georgia’s Scoutz USA, 3-2, in their first pool play game. 

Eikhoff was featured in Perfect Game’s scout blog: “He worked with a higher leg kick while keeping his weight on his backside before transitioning into his delivery. Eikhoff hid the ball well from a high three-quarters arm slot while working both sides of the plate. His fastball sat 88-90 while touching 91 with some arm-side run. He also worked with a slider-type curveball that sat in the upper-70s that showed little depth but great 2-8 run with a good changeup in the lower-80s that had late break.”

Jake Berry (Bishop O’Connell) has also impressed this summer with his Richmond Braves National team. The 6-foot-10, 230-pound lefty, a Virginia recruit, also topped at 91 at the National Showcase in Arizona last week. He was up to 86 over scoreless innings in Friday’s 2-0 win over Antonelli Baseball from Massachusetts and was also highlighted in Perfect Game’s scout blog. 

“[Berry] did not quite have the same velocity as he showed in Phoenix, but the overall projection and the noted velocity that has been shown in recent memory is definitely noteworthy,” the blog noted. “His extension on the mound as well as his ability to create an extremely steep plane to the plate makes him a tough lefty arm to go up against as a hitter.”

Photos of, clockwise from Madison’s Michael Schultz by Albert Jacquez, Riley Eikhoff courtesy of EvoShield Canes, and Tyler Solomon courtesy of Florida Southwestern Athletics

Auxiliary Nines: The Magazine's 2019 Collegiate Nine

June 27 - Brett Norwood’s grandfather would be proud. 

Norwood, who helped Chantilly to the Class 6 state championship in 2016, was an all-conference selection following his sophomore year at South Florida State College and continued that success in his first season after transferring to Virginia Commonwealth. 

The grandson of late legendary Washington-Lee coach Del Norwood won the starting job at third base, then became an All-Atlantic 10 Conference performer in his first season at the Richmond school. The left-handed swinging Norwood was one of the Rams’ top offensive threats as they went 39-19, tying for the team lead with six home runs and leading the club with 25 stolen bases (in 25 chances). 

He made just six errors in his 54 games and had hitting streaks of 11 and 13 games. 

Norwood is joined on the magazine’s Collegiate Nine by East Carolina’s Jake Agnos (East Carolina), Shepherd’s Brenton Doyle (Kettle Run), George Mason’s Logan Drisoll (Lake Braddock), Xavier’s Conor Grammes (McLean), Tusculum’s Charles Hall (Forest Park), Randolph-Macon’s Michael Nickles (Colonial Forge), and James Madison’s Kyle Novak (Madison) and Fox Semones (C.D. Hylton). 

The Auxiliary Nines are part of our NOVA Nine Team series honoring the top players from Northern Virginia. The series is sponsored by The St. James in Springfield. 

Here’s a look at this year’s selections: 

Jake Agnos, Junior, East Carolina - The left-hander from Battlefield was named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year after leading the Pirates to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. He went 11-3 with a 2.29 ERA and earned first-team All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball, setting school and conference single-season records for strikeouts with 145. He was drafted in the fourth round by the New York Yankees and has signed a professional contract. Was a member of the NOVA Nine Team in 2015 and 2016, when he was our Player of the Year. 

Brenton Doyle, Junior, Shepherd - A two-time Division II All-America selection, the Kettle Run graduate hit .392 with 13 home runs, 42 RBI and 19 steals in 52 games and was named the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year. The outfielder was drafted in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies earlier this month and has signed a professional contract. Was a member of the 2016 NOVA Nine Team. 

Logan Driscoll, Junior, George Mason - The Lake Braddock product earned his second straight first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection after hitting .343 with nine homers and 33 RBI in 42 games. The catcher became the Patriots’ highest-ever draft pick earlier this month, when he was taken 73rd overall by the San Diego Padres. He has sign a professional contract. 

Conor Grammes, Junior, Xavier - A first-team All-Big East Conference selection, the McLean graduate was a two-way standout for the Musketeers and was selected as a pitcher in the fifth round by Arizona earlier this month. He was 5-5 with  3.95 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 68.1 innings and hit .330 with 14 doubles, eight homers and 28 RBI in 58 games. Has signed a professional contract. 

Charles Hall, Senior, Tusculum - The Forest Park grad emerged in his final collegiate season, going 6-3 with a 2.31 ERA and leading all Division II pitchers with 148 strikeouts over his 89.2 innings. He set a national D2 single-game record with 22 strikeouts in a 10-2 win over Queens University of Charlotte in Mar. 15. Was drafted by Oakland in the 33rd round and has signed a professional contract. 

Michael Nickles, Junior, Randolph-Macon - The third baseman, one of three brothers who played at Colonial Forge that are now suiting up for the Yellow Jackets, was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He hit .358 with a .461 on-base percentage, 24 extra-base hits - including seven homers - with 43 RBI and 10 steals in 38 games. 

Brett Norwood, Junior, Virginia Commonwealth - Transferred in after two junior college seasons and the Chantilly product made an immediate impact, winning the Rams’ starting job at third base and going on to earn second-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors. He hit .310 with a .427 on-base percentage - drawing 30 walks and getting hit by a pitch 14 times - with 11 doubles, six home runs, 37 RBI and 25 steals. 

Kyle Novak, Freshman, James Madison - A third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association pick and member of the league’s All-Rookie Team, the Madison graduate hit .303 with a .389 on-base percentage, 11 extra-base hits and 28 RBI in 55 games. Struck out just 18 times in 188 at-bats. Was a member of the NOVA Nine Team last year, when he was named our Player of the Year. 

Fox Semones, Junior, James Madison - A graduate of C.D. Hylton, he earned first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors as a utility player after starting at multiple positions in the infield and outfield for the Dukes. He hit .257 with a .371 on-base percentage, 14 extra-base hits, 30 RBI and 14 steals while starting 56 of 57 games. Was a member of the 2016 NOVA Nine Team. 

Photo of Brett Norwood courtesy of VCU Athletics

Camp Hired as Pitching Coach at George Mason

June 27 - Shawn Camp was officially hired this morning as the pitching coach at George Mason University, where he pitched for three seasons in the mid-1990s before an 11-year Major League career. 

Camp, 43, was a 16th round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 1997 and would go on to pitch for Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Toronto, the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia before retiring following the 2014 season. He has spent the past five seasons as the pitching coach at Battlefield High School. 

“I am excited for the opportunity to give back to the same program that started my journey,” Camp said when reached early this afternoon. “I’ve known [Patriots coach Bill] Brown my entire life and to be able to coach alongside him brings a lot of excitement to me and my family.

“I feel the Northern Virginia and surrounding areas are full of incredible baseball talent. To have the ability to not let those players get out of this area and join an amazing university is an amazing feeling. I’m looking forward to bright things ahead for Mason baseball.”

Added Brown, in a release by the school: “I am incredibly excited to have Shawn coming back home, it is a great day for Mason baseball. He has a passion for teaching the art of pitching and his impact will be obvious from day one with our pitching staff.”

Camp, a graduate of Robinson, appeared in 541 games as a relief pitcher in the big leagues, leading baseball with 80 appearances with the Cubs in 2012. While at George Mason, he set the record for strikeouts per nine innings (9.21), which still stands, and is among the program’s leaders in several other categories. 

“He is not far removed from playing and will do and outstanding job connecting with his players,” said longtime MLB reliever Javier Lopez, a teammate of Camp’s at Robinson, in George Mason’s release. “He knows the area very well and he has a strong baseball acumen. He has tremendous energy and will do an outstanding job.”

Camp currently operates the Shawn Camp Pitching Academy and serves in leadership capacities with the Marucci Stars travel program and the Complete Game Sports & Fitness facility in Manassas. Current George Mason pitching coach Brian Pugh will shift to a new role as the program’s recruiting coordinator. 

“His credentials bring immediate credibility in the baseball world and his addition to our staff instantly changes the trajectory of Mason baseball,” Brown said. 

Photo of Shawn Camp by Fred Ingham

Northern Virginia Has 11 Players Selected in 2019 Major League Baseball Draft

June 5 - Seven area players were selected earlier this afternoon on the third and final day of the Major League Baseball Draft, bringing the total number of Northern Virginia players to be drafted this year to 11.

After George Mason junior catcher Logan Driscoll (Lake Braddock) was taken on the first day with the 73rd overall selection by the San Diego Padres - covered in our story here - Shepherd junior outfielder Brenton Doyle (Kettle Run), East Carolina junior left-hander Jake Agnos and Xavier pitcher Conor Grammes (McLean) were taken yesterday.

Doyle, a two-time Division II All-American at Shepherd, was taken in the fourth round (129th overall) by the Colorado Rockies to become the first-ever player from Kettle Run to be drafted. He hit .392 with 13 homers and 47 RBI in 52 games this spring after hitting .414 with 14 homers and 68 RBI in 55 games as a sophomore.

“Just a small-town boy with a dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player, and I’m extremely excited to say I’ve been given the opportunity to fulfill that dream,” Doyle posted on his Twitter handle. “I’m so thankful … I can’t wait to get to keep playing the game I love.”

Six picks later, Agnos was taken 135th overall by the New York Yankees to become the seventh player from Battlefield to be taken in the draft since 2008. The southpaw was a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer and this year broke both the school and American Athletic Conference single-season record for strikeouts. He’s 11-2 with a 2.02 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 98 innings entering the Pirates’ NCAA Super Regional this weekend at Louisville.

“My childhood dream has come true,” Agnos posted on his Instagram account last night. “To my coaches, teammates, family and friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support.”

Grammes, a two-time state wrestling champion in high school, walked on at Xavier as a shortstop but saw his role with the Musketeers evolve as the velocity on his fastball quickly rose. He was throwing in the high 80s as a senior at McLean, then was clocked at 91 MPH in the fall of his freshman season, when Xavier coaches gave him an opportunity on the mound. By last spring he was consistently in the mid-90s and was clocked at 100 MPH while pitching in the Cape Cod League last summer.

This spring, he hit .330 with eight homers and 28 RBI as the Musketeers’ designated hitter and was 5-5 with a 3.95 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 68.1 innings.

Earlier today, seven pitchers from local schools were taken as rounds 11-40 were held to conclude the draft.

Woodgrove senior right-hander Nick Lockhart, who has signed to pitch at Virginia Tech, was taken in the 11th round (325th overall) by the Texas Rangers. The next two were selected by the Toronto Blue Jays, Virginia Commonwealth junior Sam Ryan (Fairfax) in the 12th round (357th overall) and George Mason junior Jared DiCesare (Chantilly) in the 17th round (507th overall).

In the 19th round, James Madison junior Kevin Kelly (Paul VI Catholic) was taken by the Cleveland Indians with the 580th pick. Six rounds later, the Philadelphia Phillies took William & Mary junior Jamie Sara (West Potomac) with the 750th pick. Sara was also drafted in the 12th round by San Diego in 2016, but chose instead to honor his scholarship with the Tribe.

Charlie Hall (Forest Park), who led all Division II schools in strikeouts and set a Division II record with 22 strikeouts in a game earlier this spring, was selected in the 33rd round (1,004th overall) by the Oakland A’s. At 24, Hall was one of the oldest players to be drafted. Wake Forest junior lefty Carter Bach (Centreville) was the final area player to be selected, going in the 34th round (1,028th overall) to the Tampa Bay Rays. The 6-foot-7 Bach’s older brother, Connor, was a 21st round pick of the Washington Nationals in 2014 and pitched for four years in the Nationals and Miami Marlins systems.

Doyle, Agnos and DiCesare join Joe Rizzo (Oakton) and Khalil Lee (Flint Hill) as members of the 2016 NOVA Nine Team who have been drafted. Rizzo and Lee were taken out of high school that spring, going in the second round to Seattle and the third round to Kansas City, respectively.

Each of the college players taken retain a year of eligibility and will have the option to return to school for their senior year should they not sign. All drafted players have until Aug. 15 or until they enroll as a full-time student, whichever comes first, to sign their contracts. If they don’t, they will become eligible for next year’s draft.  

Photos of area players selected in the MLB Draft courtesy of their respective programs

Note: Graph below displays better on desktop or when mobile device is flipped horizontally.

2019 MLB Draft Results Northern Virginia Players Selected
Round Pick Team Name Position High School College
CBB 73 San Diego Logan Driscoll C Lake Braddock George Mason
4 129 Colorado Brenton Doyle OF Kettle Run Shepard
4 135 New York (AL) Jake Agnos LHP Battlefield East Carolina
5 152 Arizona Conor Grammes RHP McLean Xavier
11 325 Texas Nick Lockhart RHP Woodgrove --
12 357 Toronto Sam Ryan RHP Fairfax Virginia Commonwealth
17 507 Toronto Jared DiCesare RHP Chantilly George Mason
19 580 Cleveland Kevin Kelly RHP Paul VI Catholic James Madison
25 750 Philadelphia Jamie Sara RHP West Potomac William & Mary
33 1004 Oakland Charlie Hall RHP Forest Park Tusculum
34 1028 Tampa Bay Carter Bach LHP Centreville Wake Forest
SOURCE: Major League Baseball

MLB Draft: Grammes, Doyle, Agnos Likely to be Selected on Day 2

June 4 - Logan Driscoll was the first Northern Virginia player selected in the Major League Baseball Draft yesterday, and several area players are expected to be taken as the 40-round draft begins its second round this afternoon.

According to two MLB scouts who requested not to be identified, East Carolina left-hander Jake Agnos (Battlefield) and Xavier fireballer Conor Grammes (McLean) could be taken early today. Also expected to go soon is outfielder Brenton Doyle (Kettle Run), a two-time Division II All-American at Shepherd.

George Mason’s Jared DiCesare (Chantilly) and James Madison’s Kevin Kelly (Paul VI Catholic) are two right-handers who could also be drafted today, when rounds 3-10 are selected. Another pitcher to watch is Marshall righty Trey Alderman (Forest Park).

Agnos, Grammes, Doyle, DiCesare, Kelly and Alderman all have one year of college eligibility remaining.

Two college seniors, Virginia third baseman Nate Eikhoff (Patriot) and Shepard outfielder Nick Atkinson (Osbourn Park), both have a good chance to be drafted. It’s unknown if they will be selected today or tomorrow, when rounds 11-40 are held.

A wild card could be Woodgrove’s 6-foot-7, 230-pound right-hander Nick Lockhart, a Virginia Tech recruit who was in San Diego last weekend to throw for members of the Padres’ front office and scouting staffs.

Stone Bridge outfielder Paul Moore (Walters State), Lake Braddock right-hander and outfielder Lyle Miller-Green (George Mason) and Battlefield shortstop and right-hander Zach Agnos (East Carolina) are other high schoolers with at least some potential of being taken.

Driscoll, a Lake Braddock graduate and junior catcher at George Mason, was selected late last night with the 73rd overall pick by the San Diego Padres. He became the Patriots’ highest draft pick in program history.

Northern Virginia has now had a player selected in the first three rounds in five of the past six years. The third round starts today at 1 p.m. and can be followed online here.

Photos of, from left, Shepard’s Brenton Doyle, Xavier’s Conor Grammes and East Carolina’s Jake Agnos courtesy of their respective athletic departments

Driscoll Becomes George Mason’s Highest MLB Draft Pick, Taken 73rd by Padres

June 4 - Logan Driscoll was selected 73rd overall by the San Diego Padres last night in the Major League Baseball Draft, becoming the highest-ever selection from George Mason University.

A two-time first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference pick, the Lake Braddock graduate was chosen nine picks earlier than another former Patriots catcher, Chris Widger, was taken the third round in 1992 by the Seattle Mariners. Widger played in the Majors for 10 seasons, serving as the starting backstop with the Montreal Expos in the late 1990s and winning a World Series as a backup with the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

“Logan is an incredibly talented and dedicated player,” George Mason coach Bill Brown wrote via text late last night. “He is focused on being the best and I am excited for him that it has paid off for him by being the highest drafted player ever from George Mason.”

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound left-handed hitting Driscoll was the fourth catcher picked on the first day of the three-day draft, following top overall selection Adley Rutschman from Oregon State, who was taken by the Baltimore Orioles, as well as Baylor’s Shea Langeliers (9th overall, Atlanta) and California’s Korey Lee (32nd overall, Houston).

“There’s obviously been some great players to come through George Mason,” Driscoll said in an interview with the school’s media relations department. “I’m just lucky to have come to George Mason, and Skip really allowed me to play the game and develop and really just compete comfortably and have fun while doing it.”

Driscoll hit .343 with 12 doubles, nine home runs and 33 RBI in 47 games this spring. Over his three seasons at the Fairfax school, he hit .337 with 188 hits - including 58 that went for extra bases - and 108 RBI.

One of San Diego’s coaches is Keith Werman, who was an All-Met catcher at Oakton and later played second base while helping Virginia make College World Series appearances in 2009 and 2011.

George Mason has produced six Major Leaguers. Los Angeles Angels first baseman Justin Bour (Westfield) is in his sixth big league season, while Chris O’Grady appeared as a reliever with the Miami Marlins the previous two seasons. Mike Draper made 29 relief appearances with the New York Mets in 1993, Mike Colangelo (C.D. Hylton) played with three teams from 1999-2002 and Shawn Camp (Robinson) pitched for five clubs for 11 seasons from 2004-14.

Brown hopes Driscoll will soon join that group.

“He will do special things in professional baseball,” the coach wrote. “We are all ready to follow him as he begins his journey to the big leagues.”

Photo of Logan Driscoll courtesy of George Mason Athletics

Recruiting Notebook: Madison Grads Nielsen, Favero to Transfer to Mason; Tuft Commits to UVA

June 3 - The last couple weeks were busy for current and former Madison players, with Warhawk alums Pete Nielsen and Matt Favero announcing their intention to transfer from Brigham Young to George Mason and sophomore outfielder Colin Tuft committing to Virginia over the weekend.

Nielsen and Favero helped key Madison’s run to the Class 6 state championship in 2015 and join an incoming Patriots recruiting class that includes Lake Braddock outfielder and right-hander Lyle Miller-Green, West Potomac righty Tyler Rulapaugh and Battlefield outfielder Craig Miles. Both are currently serving as missionaries as part of their obligation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after playing with the Cougars in 2017.

Nielsen, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound infielder, was a first-team All-Met selection by The Washington Post in 2016. He saw limited action in his one season at BYU, going 1-for-4 while appearing in two games, and will have three years of eligibility remaining. Favero, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound left-handed pitcher, did not appear in any games with the Cougars and retains all four years of eligibility.

Tuft was one of two sophomores - Westfield’s Nick Lottchea was the other - named a first-team All-Concorde District selection this spring. He joins Justice lefty Dean Kampschror as area players from the Class of 2021 to commit to the Cavaliers.

Paul VI Frosh Dolby to Join McLean’s Stieg With Hokies

Paul VI Catholic’s Bryce Dolby, a 6-foot-5 right-hander and one of several freshmen to see significant time for the Panthers this spring, committed last week to pitch for Virginia Tech.

Dolby becomes the second area freshman to commit to the Hokies, joining McLean outfielder Griffin Stieg.

Earlier this year, Paul VI freshman lefty Bradley Gagen announced his intention to pitch for Virginia. A talented area 2022 class has also yielded commitments from Osbourn Park’s Mason Balsis (Virginia) and A.J. Shepard (Indiana) as well as the St. John’s (D.C.) duo of James Triantos (North Carolina) and Jack O’Connor (Virginia), both residents of Northern Virginia.

Retrievers Get Late Additions in Westfield’s Clancy, Transfer Belanger

The University of Maryland at Baltimore County got two late additions to its incoming recruiting class, gaining the commitment of Westfield senior right-hander Joe Clancy and former West Potomac standout Luke Belanger over the past two weeks.

Clancy, who has been one of Northern Virginia’s best pitchers this season, enters this week’s Class 6 state tournament carrying a perfect 9-0 record with a 0.24 ERA and 111 strikeouts to 25 walks in 57.2 innings. Belanger hit .200 in 35 at-bats as a freshman at Radford in 2018 and .195 in 41 at-bats this past spring at St. Johns River State College, a Florida junior college. He will retain two years of eligibility.

Clancy and Belanger join UMBC’s incoming class that includes Fairfax infielder Dylan Wilkinson.

Marucci Stars Honor 40 College-Bound Seniors at Banquet

The Marucci Stars held a banquet over the weekend and recognized the 40 seniors who suited up for the travel program last year and will play next year at the collegiate level.  

The Stars’ senior class includes several Division I-bound players, including: Battlefield’s Zach Agnos (East Carolina) and Carter Cunningham (Gardner-Webb), Centreville’s Hunter Bell (Virginia Commonwealth), Flint Hilll’s Alex Walsh (Lafayette), Freedom-South Riding’s Ben Williamson (William & Mary), Lake Braddock’s Lyle Miller-Green (George Mason), Loudoun County’s Donovan Burke (James Madison), Madison’s Matt Howat (William & Mary), Potomac’s Brody Mack (William & Mary), Robinson’s Ethan Rothstein (James Madison) and West Potomac’s Tyler Rulapaugh (George Mason).

Additionally, Fauquier’s Carson McCusker, who will play at Roanoke, was awarded with the annual Matthew Vernon Poyner Memorial Foundation Scholarship and Leadership Award. The scholarship and award is named for late Stars and Langley player Matt Poyner, who passed away in February 2015 of viral myocarditis, which is an inflammatory disease of the heart muscle.

Photos, clockwise from left, of Madison’s Colin Tuft by Albert Jacquez, Westfield’s Joe Clancy by Fred Ingham, Luke Belanger courtesy of Radford Athletics, and of Carson McCusker courtesy of Marucci Stars