Success continues to follow local boysJunior Mountaineers are in the hunt for another baseball championship
Several years ago, a talented group of 8-year-old boys from Waynesville won the North Carolina Little League championship.
After winning that 2008 state championship, this same group of boys played for the Waynesville-based Blue Ridge Rangers and had an impressive four-year run in USSSA Baseball as the No. 1 ranked team in the state’s AA Division.
Fast forward to the 2017 spring season, most of this same group (several playing on the varsity level) have manager John Austin Chambers’ Tuscola junior varsity season in a heated battle for first place in the WNC Athletic Conference with an 8-1 record.
Good pitching is a key to any ballclub’s success and the junior Mountaineers have a trio that have silenced opposing batters with a combined 1.91 ERA.
It all starts with the crafty lefty Scout Schulhofer, who leads the staff with a 0.55 ERA (.130 OBA) and has struck out 24 batters in 12.1 innings. Also pitching very well for the Tuscola JV club are Will Smathers (1.24 ERA, 12 IP) and Jarret Penland (1.25 ERA, 16 IP).
At the plate, the Mountaineers have productive sluggers in Jaxon Langston (.351) Patrick Broom (.394) and Will Smathers (.455).
Chambers, who is assisted by Will Valentine, is in his second season as the manager and is 23-8 on the junior varsity level.