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Teams ready to play ball

May 16, 2012
EDGAR?KELLEY IN?THE?BOX , The Inter-Mountain

The dream of making a trip to Appalachian Power Park and the state high school baseball tournament still swirls in the heads of five area squads.

After winning sectional titles last week, Elkins, Pendleton County, East Hardy, Petersburg and Pocahontas County all advanced to regional competition.

But with West Virginia Educational Standards Test (WESTEST) being administered throughout the state this week, all five teams have to wait until next week to play in the next round.

For the first three days of the week, Monday through Wednesday, schools are not permitted to schedule any athletic events.

Baseball teams that don't have 32 games played, however, can add contests after the final day of tests on Wednesday, which many squads have done.

Elkins will play a pair of contests this week as its travels to East Hardy on Thursday before entertaining Fairmont Senior on Friday.

Other than facing Elkins, East Hardy will entertain Petersburg on Friday, giving the Cougars a pair of tune-up games as well.

Coaches all agree that work in the classroom comes first. But many mentors feel that having the tests in the middle of tournament play affects the way their squads perform after a non-ordinary break in action.

"It's tough that they have the tests when they do, but there's nothing else that can be done," East Hardy coach Raymond Snapp said. "It definitely puts a kink in things during the tournaments. You go out and play four or five games a week for the entire season, then all at once you have to shut it down. Sometimes it's tough to get back in the groove of things."

Elkins coach Adam Roth welcomed the break in the schedule this season.

"I'm glad we had the break in between sectionals and regionals this year," Roth said. "We had some kids that were banged up and now they have a chance to get healthy.

"But on the other hand, we're also happy that we picked up a couple of games at the end of the week. That gives us a chance to get out on the field and see some live action before regionals."

The Tigers, who have won nine of their last 11 contests, will face Bridgeport Tuesday in regional semifinal action at Bridgeport.

Elkins lost two games to the Indians during the regular season.

"We didn't play very well in both games against Bridgeport this season," Roth said. "The break really let us get healthy and now we just need to get focused on the game."

East Hardy travels to Pendleton County on Monday for regional action, while Petersburg visits Berkeley Springs for tourney action on Tuesday.

Pocahontas County's regional semifinal game will be on its home turf against Valley Fayette on Monday.

Teams that earn victories in the next round will advance to regional final play later in the week.

Regional final winners will advance to the state tournament, which is slated for the weekend of May 31.

in Charleston.



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