By Tommy Keeler Jr.
There's a new Virginia High School League rule in baseball starting this season, limiting the number of innings a pitcher can throw.
They can throw a maximum of nine innings in one game, but no more than 14 over a seven-day period. The new rule also determines how many days a pitcher must rest after pitching a certain amount of innings.
If a pitcher throws four to seven innings, they have to rest for two days. After two days of rest a pitcher can only pitch two innings, after three days of rest a pitcher can throw three innings and after four days of rest they can throw the maximum number of innings. Also, if a pitcher does throw eight or nine innings in a game, they have to have at least three days of rest. With three days of rest they can throw two innings, with four they can throw three innings, and with five they can throw the maximum number again.
The VHSL is also encouraging coaches to chart the number of innings for each of their pitchers to help keep track of it.
Central baseball coach Donn Foltz said he doesn't think the rule will affect his team, but it may cause more headaches for coaches who now have to keep better track of it.
"It makes it more like a chess game, but I don't play chess so it doesn't help me any," Foltz said.
It will force teams to have a little bit deeper pitching staff, especially if the weather backs up the schedule.
Sherando baseball coach Pepper Martin said he has an eight-man pitching staff, and didn't foresee any problems with the new rule. However, if the schedule continues to get crowded that could change.
"Early on in the season we try to use three or four pitchers a game," Martin said. "Now, we're going to be asking our starters to try to give us five [innings]. If we get in a situation where if we only use a couple pitchers three innings, depending on how close the games are that week determines whether or not they can come back and pitch. We're going to see just how deep our pitching staff really is."
PIRATE CITY-BOUND: Sherando junior catcher Chase Smallwood will compete in the
2013 Baseball Factory National World Series in Bradenton Fla. Smallwood recently made the Baseball Factory Under Armour national team and will head to Florida on Aug.5-9 and play in Pirate City, which is the spring training facility of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"I'm pretty excited to get down there and play in this," Smallwood said. "I know there's going to be a lot of good competition throughout the country. And hopefully it helps me pick my college and gets my name out there."
Smallwood and the other participants will train for more than 10 hours a day with professional scouts, former pro players and former college coaches. He will compete with players from across the nation to take home the Pirate City Championship title.
There will also be one-on-one instruction and position specific training.
Smallwood went to Potomac High School for a tryout for the team and found out recently he had been selected for the team.
"Hopefully it will help me get better at my game and work on the stuff I need to improve on," Smallwood said.
THE RIGHT FIT: Randolph-Macon Academy's Griffin Duy recently signed to play baseball next year at the University of Virginia-Wise.
Duy said he went to a showcase and one of the coaches from Virginia-Wise saw him there and began recruiting him.
"I went on a visit there and I fell in love with the school," Duy said. "I really liked the coaches there."
Duy said they told him he would be pitching for Virginia-Wise. Duy said Washington (Md.) College, Greensboro College and Randolph-Macon College were also looking at him.
Duy said in the end, Virginia-Wise just seemed like the place to go.
"It just seemed like socially and academically the best fit for me," Duy said.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org