Baseball

Halifax County High School's Dylan Clark slides safely into third base ahead of the throw to the Stone Bridge High School third baseman during Tuesday night's VHSL Class 5 State Tournament quarterfinal game at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn.

The Halifax County High School baseball team’s quest for the state Class 5 championship continues Friday, with the Comets squaring off against Mills Godwin High School in one of two state tournament semi-finals games at Glen Allen High School.

Friday’s game was scheduled for 2 p.m. as of press time, but there was some possibility that the game time may be moved up to an earlier time due to weather forecasts calling for rain and possible thunderstorms.

This marks the eighth season for a Halifax County High School baseball team making it into the Final Four of the state tournament, and it would be the fourth time in school history and the second time in three years that a Comets baseball team would compete in a state championship if the Comets should win Friday and earn a berth in the state tournament title game.

When it comes to records, Mills Godwin High School enters Friday’s state semi-final game with a 22-2 mark while the Comets come into the game with a 23-3 slate.

Halifax County High School reached the state semi-finals with a resounding 11-0 win over Region C champion Stone Bridge High School Tuesday night at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn. The Comets are the only region runner-up team in the Final Four.

Mills Godwin High School shut out Menchville High School in one of Tuesday night’s four state tournament quarterfinal round games.

Halifax County High School has the furthest distance to travel this weekend among the four teams that will be competing for the state title. Travel has not adversely affected the Comets, as evidenced by the team’s 11-0 win over Stone Bridge High School after a four-and-a-half hour bus ride to Ashburn.

“I think our kids handle travel pretty well,” said Comets head coach Kenneth Day.

“We get them into a routine, tell them what to expect, and they buy in. They know how to handle it on the road.”

The Comets will have to be all about business this weekend, as the three region champions that will join them in the tournament are all high-quality teams.

“There are three other really good teams in this tournament,” Day pointed out.

“They are powerhouses, and they have been there (in the state Final Four) a lot of times. We want to be playing the elite teams. We want to get to their level that these teams that we are playing are at. Mills Godwin and Stafford, that’s the level we want to be at every year.”

Day said the Comets players are in a good situation heading into Friday’s state semi-final.

“The kids are really playing well together,” Day noted.

“They are playing for each other and helping each other. We’re not counting on four, five or six guys to get it done, we’re counting on 18 guys to get it done. We tell our kids all the time they should expect to play. You never know when somebody is going to be called on, because there might be a situation where we need somebody to play a certain role.”

The big thing, Day said, is the players have to continue to play well this weekend.

“We’ve got to continue to play well and play with great emotion, great hustle and great aggressiveness and just keep this thing going,” Day remarked.

“I’m proud of our kids and the coaches for the way we have stuck together and worked together. Everybody is buying in, and the kids realize if they trust us, and we trust in the kids to get it done, we can get it done.”

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com