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Sports Today / June 05, 2017
So, despite the disappointment for Comet fans of Friday’s 10-0 loss at Briar Woods in the tough region 5A north baseball tournament, it’s time for a look at the big picture.

Halifax County High School varsity baseball is still very much alive, with a matchup looming in the 5A state tournament semifinals. Halifax County, with Andrew Abbott on the mound, will meet Prince George at 10 a.m. Friday.

Halifax got hammered 10-0 by Briar Woods Friday in the 5A north regional final. Nevertheless, there are no guarantees for any team moving forward. Menchville High School out of Newport News will supply the opposition for Briar Woods in the other semifinal Friday at Westfield High School in Fairfax.

There are two takeaways for Friday. Fans traveling to Northern Virginia will likely see powerhouse pitching across the board, including Abbott, the Gatorade State player of the year, working the mound for Halifax. It’s hard to predict just how matters will play out, with high school kids forced to step up to a much larger stage in terms of media and fan interest.

Any of these four teams could win it all. Halifax caught a barrel full of offensive firepower from Briar Woods Friday, and the Falcons were plenty impressive. Abbott, especially if he can get some run support Friday, can be lights out in his own right, and the Comets appear to have a realistic shot to advance to Saturday.

Check out these latest Abbott statistics.

Abbott had a pair of no-decisions in the recent regional wins.

But heading to Friday, the Comet senior has worked 65 and two-thirds innings, with a 147-4 strikeout to walk ratio. He has allowed 35 hits and four earned runs. He owns an 8-0 record with one save, against Patrick County.

He’s a wonder whiff-man so far.

Abbott said, “you just take our season one game at a time. Tonight, we really didn’t execute. Hitting, pitching, we were throwing strikes, they’re (BW) just a good offensive hitting team.” HCHS really wanted the win, but Abbott respects Briar Woods as a good-hitting opponent. Abbott could not pitch Friday due to Virginia High School League pitch count rules.

Abbott conceded baseball games do not always work out as planned. He has respect for all opponents at this level, certainly Briar Woods.

“That’s the kind of competition we’re going to face in the states. We’ve got to step up to the plate in the next two games,” said Abbott.

It was a completely different atmosphere in Halifax County Wednesday.

Josh Barker delivered an MVP-style winning effort against North Stafford, defensively and offensively.

“I got a fastball, that’s what I was looking for. It’s very exciting, it’s once in a lifetime chance,” said Barker.

Barker believed then that Halifax had a very good chance at the state tournament. Halifax and Barker refused to wilt last week against North Stafford, and the Comets will need to adopt this mentality against Prince George.

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