CHARLESTON - As Nitro coach Steve Pritchard walked out to the field following the seventh inning of the Class AAA semifinals against Fairmont Senior, he did so with the intentions of congratulating Korey Dunbar on a great game as the teams headed to extra innings.
Dunbar was aware of the walk because he had seen it for four years as part of the Wildcats' program.
Before Pritchard could even get the words out of his mouth, Dunbar fired back a response to his coach.
"He looked me in the eye and said, 'No! I'm not done yet,'" Pritchard said of Dunbar's reaction.
Dunbar won the battle and stayed on the mount for the duration of the nine-inning, 150-plus pitch outing.
It was that tenacity and spirit that not only led his team to the Class AAA championship game, but also led Dunbar to being named the Class AAA All-State captain, as voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
WEST VIRGINIA SPORTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION
P Brady Weaver, Bridgeport, Sr.
P Ryan Pansch, Washington, Sr.
P Adam Jeffrey, Cabell Midland, Sr.
C Adam Secret, Robert C. Byrd, Sr.
C Nick Breen, Brooke, Sr.
IF Elijah Wellman, Spring Valley, Jr.
IF Trevor Malnick, Fairmont Sr., Sr.
IF Dylan Ramsey, St. Albans, Sr.
IF Fraser Brown, Jefferson, Sr.
OF Jamin Jones, Ripley, Sr.
OF Rease Ripley, South Charleston, Sr.
OF Brent Osborne, North Marion, Sr.
UTIL Korey Dunbar, Nitro, Sr. (capt)
UTIL Corey Quick, Princeton, Sr.
UTIL Matt Robbins, Fairmont Sr., Jr.
UTIL Evan Woolum, Musselman, Sr.
P Mason Dillon, Winfield, Jr.
P Drew Lawrence, Hurricane, Sr.
P Blake Kiger, Robert C. Byrd, Sr.
C Alex Levitan, George Washington, Sr.
IF Tyler Walter, Fairmont Sr., Sr.
IF Seth Kinker, Cabell Midland, So.
IF Joey Mundy, Huntington High, So.
IF Todd Schmidt, John Marshall, Sr.
OF Billy Sager, Spring Valley, Sr. (capt)
OF John Koon, Bridgeport, Sr.
OF Barrett Arnold, Winfield, Sr.
UTIL Matthew Greene, Logan, Sr.
UTIL Seth Rose, Princeton, Sr.
UTIL Colton Bonnett, Robert C. Byrd, So.
UTIL Darin Zombro, Musselman, Jr.
UTIL Alex Karst, Ripley, Sr.
Special honorable mention
Trent Porter, Cabell Midland; Joe Wong, George Washington; Josh Kiser, St. Albans; Anthony Brunetti, Huntington High; Regan Patton, George Washington; Austin Hensley, Hurricane; Zack Minnich, Logan; Zach Gunter, Winfield; Cullin Cutright, Bridgeport; Hunter Waugh, Spring Valley; Nate Kemper, Lewis County; Dalton Westfall, Buckhannon-Upshur; Riley Metz, Hurricane; Dustin Helmic, Parkersburg South; Cody Gainer, Elkins; Will Lester, Cabell Midland; Tre Kerns, Fairmont Senior; Austin Bland, North Marion; Ben Haer, Huntington High; Luke Ash, Bridgeport; Jonathan Cline, South Charleston; Tyler Allen, St. Albans; Dylan Slack, Nitro; Doug Prather, Riverside; Jay Webb, Woodrow Wilson; Hunter Greco, Woodrow Wilson; Jacob Frantz, Greenbrier East; Corey Mann, Bridgeport; Alex Daugherty, Riverside; J.C. Pennington, Princeton; Austin Southcott, Princeton; Taylor Fisher, Capital; Heath Barnette, Ripley; Justin Palmer, Capital; Tony Brunicardi, Parkersburg; Wes Mitchem, Parkersburg South; Aaron Fonner, John Marshall; Andrew Kowalo, Wheeling Park; Clay Ayers, Greenbrier East; Cole Pederson, Nicholas County.
Andrew Strand, Fairmont Senior; Stephen Holland, Huntington High; Joseph Casalinuova, East Fairmont; Troy Shuck, North Marion; Michael Hardin, Spring Valley; Fletcher DeVaul, Fairmont Senior; Cody Ballengee, Cabell Midland; Brandon Kroll, Robert C. Byrd; James Gainer, Elkins; Nathan Haikal, Huntington High; Justin Hunt, St. Albans; Alex Mareske, Logan; Logan Wriston, Woodrow Wilson; Ethan Level, Greenbrier East; Brandon Wright, Winfield; Trey Dawson, Hurricane; Ryan McDonough, Nitro; Pat Horton, Riverside; Alex Quick, Princeton; Troy Anderson, Bridgeport; Logan Alastanos, Robert C. Byrd; Nick Minutelli, Lewis County; Colby Gainer, Elkins; Mason Humphrey, Parkersburg; Trey Oliverio, Bridgeport; Josh McKown, John Marshall; Cameron Amend, Wheeling Park; Heath Hildreth, Brooke; Cutter Atha, East Fairmont; Tyler Sagraves, Nicholas County.
"He's ready to move on to bigger and better things," Pritchard said. "He's shown what his talent can do at this level and I'll always be there for him."
Dunbar was the leader on several different levels for the Wildcats, who finished the season 27-11 and as Class AAA runners-up. In addition to batting .449 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs, he also was impressive on the mound, finishing 5-2 on the season, including extra-inning wins over Winfield in the Region IV championship and Fairmont Senior in the state tournament.
The North Carolina-bound Dunbar added 98 strikeouts in 62 innings while boasting of a 1.24 earned run average.
Dunbar was one of only two players to return to the Class AAA first team - the other being Brooke senior catcher Nick Breen.
Breen, headed to Fairmont State, batted over .400 all four years. He was at a .436 clip his senior season with nine doubles and 28 RBIs.
He was walked 22 times and hit by pitch another 11. He was also perfect in 11 stolen base attempts.
Fairmont Senior was the only team with two first-team selections in infielder Trevor Malnick and utility player Matt Robbins.
State champion Princeton had one first-team selection with senior utility player Corey Quick.
First-team pitchers included a trio of seniors: Cabell Midland's Adam Jeffrey, Bridgeport's Brady Weaver and Washington's Ryan Pansch. Malnick was joined on the infield by Spring Valley junior Elijah Wellman and seniors Dylan Ramsey (St. Albans) and Jefferson's Fraser Brown.
Outfielders were Ripley senior Jamin Jones, South Charleston senior Rease Ripley and North Marion senior Brent Osborne.
Musselman's Evan Woolum joined Dunbar, Quick and Robbins as utility selections while Robert C. Byrd's Adam Secret joined Breen in behind the plate.