The state champion Fluvanna County baseball team is well represented on this year’s VHSL Class 3 all-state baseball team, which was released on Monday.
The Flucos had four players make the team, catcher Jacob Critzer was named the state player of the year and coach Joel Gray was named coach of the year.
Gray guided Fluvanna to a 23-3 record and the first state championship in program history. The Flucos also won Jefferson District and Region 3C championships. After losing to Abingdon in the Class 3 state semifinals last season, Gray and the Flucos were determined to get back to Salem and win a state championship this year, taking on the motto “Unfinished business” for the season.
On Friday, the Flucos took care of business, beating Tabb 16-10 in the state championship game at Kiwanis Field.
“We never doubted that we could get back here,” Gray said Friday. “We had some breaks. We were on the ropes a couple of times, but we got back. These guys are baseball players to the core and coaching is easy when you’re got kids like this.”
One of those kids is Critzer, who had a state tournament to remember. The senior hit a walk-off home run in the state semifinals on Thursday against Brentsville, then hit another homer in the Flucos’ victory over Tabb in state championship game on Friday.
“Just knowing that this is going to be my last high school game and come out with a state championship, it captures it all,” Critzer said Friday.
Critzer also was a first-team all-state selection for Fluvanna, as was Andrew Ward. The Flucos’ junior pitcher was dominant on the mound this season, highlighted by a 21-strikeout no-hitter in the regional playoffs against Spotswood. Ward was just as effective at the plate. In Friday’s state championship game, he went 5-for-6 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Ward’s brother, Kevin, was a second team all-state selection. Kevin Ward tossed a no-hitter against Powhatan during the regular season. He also shined at the plate in the state championship game, finishing with four hits, including a sole home run, and four RBI. Kevin Ward was joined on the second team by teammate Ryan Groome, who recorded the final out of the state championship game.
William Monroe’s Alex Kinsey also made the all-state team. The senior outfielder was a first-team selection.