Breen Is Returning All-Stater
CHARLESTON – As Nitro coach Steve Pritchard walked out to the field following the seventh inning of the Class AAA semifinals against Fairmont Senior, he did so with the intentions of congratulating Korey Dunbar on a great game as the teams headed to extra innings.
Dunbar was aware of the walk because he had seen it for four years as part of the Wildcats’ program.
Before Pritchard could even get the words out of his mouth, Dunbar fired back a response to his coach.
”He looked me in the eye and said, ‘No! I’m not done yet,’ ” Pritchard said of Dunbar’s reaction.
Dunbar won the battle and stayed on the mount for the duration of the nine-inning, 150-plus pitch outing.
It was that tenacity and spirit that not only led his team to the Class AAA championship game, but also led Dunbar to being named the Class AAA all-state captain, as voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
”He’s ready to move on to bigger and better things,” Pritchard said. ”He’s shown what his talent can do at this level and I’ll always be there for him.”
Dunbar was the leader on several different levels for the Wildcats, who finished the season 27-11 and as Class AAA runners-up. In addition to batting .449 with nine home runs and 35 RBI, he was also impressive on the mound, finishing 5-2 on the season, including extra-inning victories against Winfield in the Region IV championship and Fairmont Senior in the state tournament.
The North Carolina-bound Dunbar added 98 strikeouts in 62 innings while boasting of a 1.24 earned run average.
Dunbar was one of only two players to return to the Class AAA first team – the other being Brooke senior catcher Nick Breen.
Fairmont Senior was the lone team to place two players on the first team: infielder Trevor Malnick and utility player Matt Robbins.
State champion Princeton had one first-team selection with senior utility player Corey Quick.
First-team pitchers included a trio of seniors: Cabell Midland’s Adam Jeffrey, Bridgeport’s Brady Weaver and Washington’s Ryan Pansch.
Malnick was joined on the infield by Spring Valley junior Elijah Wellman and seniors Dylan Ramsey (St. Albans) and Jefferson’s Fraser Brown.
Outfielders were Ripley senior Jamin Jones, South Charleston senior Rease Ripley and North Marion senior Brent Osborne.
Musselman’s Evan Woolum joined Dunbar, Quick and Robbins as utility selections while Robert C. Byrd’s Adam Secret joined Breen in behind the plate.
The second team was headlined by Spring Valley senior outfielder Billy Sager, who was named captain of the group. Joining him in the outfield were Bridgeport senior John Koon and Winfield’s Barrett Arnold.
Arnold was one of two Generals on the second team the other being pitcher Mason Dillon. Joining Dillon on the second-team pitching rotation was Hurricane’s Drew Lawrence and Robert C. Byrd’s Blake Kiger.
Second-team infielders included a pair of sophomores – Cabell Midland’s Seth Kinker and Huntington High’s Joey Mundy and seniors Todd Schmidt (John Marshall) and Tyler Walter (Fairmont Senior).
The five utility players for the unit included senior state champion Seth Rose of Princeton, Logan senior Matthew Greene, Ripley senior Alex Karst, Musselman junior Darin Zombro and Robert C. Byrd sophomore Colton Bonnett.
The second-team catcher was George Washington’s Alex Levitan.