Casto and Cummings coach South squad

HURRICANE – While their season didn’t end the way they wanted, two key seniors on the Ripley Viking baseball team closed out their prep careers in a big way at the 2015 West Virginia Baseball Coaches Association North-South All-Star Classic.  The South squad featured Ripley’s Easton Berry and Isaac Koontz, and was also coached by head coach Shane Casto and assistant coach Frankie Cummings.   

“It was a great experience,” said South Head Coach Shane Casto, “I had a lot of fun. I’ve had the opportunity to help with the pro style workout in the past and play in the game, but getting to be the head coach of the South–along with Coach Cummings as an assistant and Easton Berry and Isaac Koontz playing for me–it’s an experience I will remember for a long time.”

The North and South split the doubleheader, which was held at Lola Meeks Memorial Field at Hurricane High School. The South took game one 8-5, while the North came out on top in game two, 9-8.  Both Viking participants represented the blue and white well, with Koontz finishing 2-2 with a home run, double and four RBI at the plate and Berry finishing with one inning pitched with one hit and one strikeout on the mound.  

“Easton and Isaac represented themselves, their family, our school and our program very well,” Casto said, “We all got to meet new players and play and coach with them instead of against them.”

With their prep days behind them, Berry and Koontz will now move on to the next level to continue their baseball careers.  Berry will play at Marietta (OH) College next spring, while Koontz will play at Bluefield State College.  Still, as Casto pointed out, it was an opportunity to play one final time in a Ripley uniform.

“It was a great experience and one I will cherish,” Casto concluded,  “I’m happy I got to coach Easton and Isaac one last time in a Ripley baseball uniform.  I’m really happy that I got the opportunity to (coach in the game) and happy Coach Cummings could experience it with me. It was an honor.”

Aside from the Viking contingent, the South also featured area standouts Zack Minnick (Logan), Antonio Brown (South Charleston), Brady Wilkinson (Riverside), Braden Griffin (Man) and Bryan Bosley (Winfield).