NSA baseball connects with two state honors

Published 10:57 pm Friday, May 30, 2014

Two notable members of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s successful 2014 baseball team received recognition from the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association at the Division II level.

Seniors Jake Grady and Greg Beale were named to the all-state first team after determinations were made based on their statistics from throughout the season, their conference accolades and their performances in the state tournament.

Beale

Beale

NSA head coach David Mitchell said another factor was their appearance on MaxPreps.com’s top 10 statistical rankings for different categories among VISAA Division II schools during the season.

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Speaking to why he thought Beale was selected, the coach said, “He had a fantastic year offensively and as a pitcher, and with those top 10 rankings that were in Division II, Greg was up at the top in numerous categories.”

Helping his team go 14-7 this year, reaching the state quarterfinals, Beale threw 54 innings, registering 53 strikeouts and going 9-3, with an earned run average of 3.76.

Offensively, he led the Saints in batting average (.426) among those with at least nine at bats. He also led the team with 68 at bats, generating a team-high 29 hits and 20 runs batted in. He also had 25 runs scored and 13 stolen bases.

This was the first time Beale had ever received state-level recognition. He said he was honored to receive the first team all-conference honor this year, and added, “I was a little bit surprised when I got the first team all-state … But I was happy I was able to receive that, as well.”

Beale has signed to play for Randolph-Macon College next year.

Mitchell also gave his take on what helped Jake Grady make the first team all-state cut.

Grady

Grady

“He was a returning first team all-state guy from last year, and once again, Jake made first team all-conference, so he met that criteria,” Mitchell said.

He said Grady had a big presence on MaxPrep’s top 10 lists and was also featured routinely in Associated Press articles for having multiple-hit games, giving him more exposure to those selecting the all-state team.

“I’m really proud of all the work I’ve done, and I don’t know, I’m just really happy that it could end like this,” Grady said of finishing his high school career with the two state honors. “It’s a good way to go out and finish.”

Grady had a .424 batting average and .547 on-base percentage this year. He produced 28 hits in 66 at bats and recorded 18 RBIs, plus team-high marks with a .681 slugging percentage, 11 doubles, two home runs, 31 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.

He plans to walk on at James Madison University.

“I had a few offers to go to some smaller schools, but I turned them down to be in the finance program at JMU,” he said. “I hope to still keep playing baseball, though, because it’s my first love, and I really enjoy playing the game.”