1. Westbrook

The Blue Blazes have a strong nucleus back from last year’s 14-3 team. They looked to be well set in the starting rotation with Scott Heath and Sean Murphy, but that was before Murphy came down with a shoulder irritation in preseason. Murphy is expected to miss the first third of the season. With only three starting positional players back, the Blazes have some holes to fill. 

2. Deering

Even though the Rams graduated some key players, the team has enough talent returning along with some promising newcomers to be one of the top teams in Western Class A. Many of the players were on the Junior Legion team that won the state title last summer. Deering has won three straight state titles and 50 consecutive games. Coach Mike Coutts feels his so-called “no names” could contend. 

3. South Portland

The Red Riots have their entire infield returning from a team that finished 10-9 and beat favored Westbrook in a regional quarterfinal. The team looks strong on offense, defense and pitching. Right-hander Matt Lee missed most of last year with a knee injury but is ready for a good season. First baseman Jon DiBiase was sidelined for the last third of the season with a broken hand, but also is ready to hit like last season, when he batted .400. 

4. Marshwood

The Hawks are primed to challenge the top teams in the Telegram League. They have plenty of pitching and some hitters like sophomores Luke Fernandes and Jack Verrill. Verrill batted .390. The Hawks also return seniors Ian McAllister and Ben Crosby, who were injured last season. 

5. Cape Elizabeth

The Capers have six returning starters and look like the team to beat in Class B of the Western Maine Conference. Robbie McDonald and Conor Moloney form a strong pitching combination. Kyle Danielson hit .400 with two homers. Ezra Wolfinger returns at catcher. The Capers are solid throughout the lineup. 

6. York

The Wildcats seem to have all the ingredients to contend in Western Class B. The offense will be strong with Tanner Chase, Paddy Murphy, Aaron Moran and Jack Radke. Chris Cole is the top pitcher. Combined with talented freshmen, including two starters, York may have several strong clubs in a row. 

7. Bonny Eagle

The Scots return six starters and 10 seniors from a team that went 10-6 in the regular season before losing to Scarborough in a regional quarterfinal. No. 2 starter Kevin Moskevich was 5-1 last season and looks to be a strong complement to Lincoln Sanborn. Ryan Nason and Tyler Ruby are veteran outfielders. 

8. Scarborough

With plenty of depth, pitching could be bright for the Red Storm, who lost substantial offense from last season. Andrew Myers, Joe Cronin and Ben Wessel are the pitchers Scarborough will count on. The team is looking to carry momentum from last season’s Western Class A runner-up finish. 

9. Cheverus

The Stags were 11-7 and reached the Western Class A semifinals. The team has pitching depth with Joey Royer, Louie DiStasio and Kyle Randall, and is strong up the middle on defense. If the offense comes alive, Cheverus could be strong.

10. Thornton Academy

The Golden Trojans have a veteran lineup with Steve Trask, Sam Canales and pitcher Keegan Sullivan. Alex Newton, a transfer from Oxford Hills, should help the offense. There’s pitching depth but not a lot of experience. Dillon Dunbar heads the group of good, young pitchers. The loss of pitcher Dimitri Skinsacos for the season to a shoulder injury hurts.