Randolph-Henry Statesmen will get tested early in “First Pitch”
Published 9:59 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024
Last season didn’t end too badly for the Randolph-Henry Statesmen. Going 17-7, the baseball team went on a 7-game winning streak to finish off the regular season, then made it all the way to the Virginia High School League’s 2A State Quarterfinals. Now the Statesmen have a chance to test themselves before the regular season even starts this year, as Prep Baseball Virginia has invited the team to compete in the 2024 “First Pitch” challenge.
You can think of “First Pitch” competitions as preseason baseball or joined scrimmages. How it works is on March 2 and March 9, teams from across the Commonwealth will gather in and around the Richmond area. Randolph-Henry has been invited to the March 9 competition, where they’ll be one of three teams in the set. The teams will play three five-inning scrimmages, with each squad on the field for no more than 10 innings.
But these aren’t just random teams. Each one in the “First Pitch” competitions made it to the playoffs in their designation and the Statesmen will have a chance to truly see what they can do against some of the best teams in the state.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to share the field with two great baseball programs,” said Statesmen Head Coach Josh Barmoy. “All of the events are top notch and I’m sure this event will be the same. We are thankful to be selected for this event and hope this will jump start our season in a positive direction.”
As we mentioned, these are all teams that went far in last year’s playoffs. Randolph-Henry will face off against the Mills Godwin Eagles and the Jamestown Eagles.
Mills Godwin, led by head coach Josh Gentry, went 21-4 last season, falling in the VHSL 5A State Semifinals. The Henrico County team brings back a number of players being looked at by D1 colleges, including outfielder/catcher Eric Capps and pitcher Zach Boyd.
As for the Jamestown Eagles, the Williamsburg high school went 14-10 last season. They also lost in the State Quarterfinals, this time in the 4A designation. Now, head coach Steven San Miguel’s team comes in with four of Prep Baseball Virginia’s top prospects. Caleb Ammons is an infielder, while Jacob Lawrence can hit for power and has three college-level pitches.
Randolph-Henry Statesmen ready to play
The Randolph-Henry Statesmen don’t go into this game untested. Barmoy’s squad welcomes back Benjamin Gibbs and Daniel Junior Powell. Gibbs suits up as an infielder that can also pitch in relief if needed, while Powell can play both outfield and catcher. Each one was singled out as “someone to watch” by Prep Baseball Virginia.
Barmoy said he’s looking forward to the scrimmages and what comes after.
“We are excited for baseball season to get going,” Barmoy said.