1. Westbrook: The Blue Blazes have seven returning starters from a team that was Western Class A runner-up. The team is led by last season’s Telegram League MVP, Scott Heath, a pitcher-outfielder, and all-league second baseman Zach Collett. If Sean Murphy’s right shoulder is healthy, the team will have a very deep pitching staff. Murphy and Matt Weimer, both right-handers, are capable of beating any team. Murphy also was the second-team DH on the league’s all-star team.
2. Deering: The Rams, with seven senior starters, went 12-4 to win the Telegram League. Outfielder Sam Balzano was on the All-State team. Pitcher Jamie Ross looks to bounce back from arm problems. Nick Colucci is one of the top shortstops in the league. Nick DiBiase is a talented left-handed pitcher-outfielder. Catcher John Miranda led the team in hitting at .412.
3. Cheverus: The Stags, with six starters returning and a deep pitching staff, won their first six games before settling for a 9-7 regular-season record. The Stags lost to Deering in the regional quarterfinals. Joey Royer, Louie DiStasio and Harry Ridge form the pitching staff. Catcher Nic Lops made the league’s all-defensive team. Strong in pitching and defense, the Stags will look to improve on offense. Outfielder Peter Pothoff hopes to stay healthy and his bat could be a boost.
4. Scarborough: The Red Storm went 12-4 last season before losing in the quarterfinals. They have a chance for another strong season under new coach Mike Coutts. The pitching staff has talent and depth with Ben Wessel, Joe Cronin and Ryan Mancini. Outfielder Kevin Philbrick and catcher Connor McCann are returning starters.
5. Windham: The Eagles have their top two pitchers returning in Ben Noble and Cody Dube. They also return Drew Gagnon, an All-Telegram outfield selection, and starting catcher Cody Laberge. There are 6 of 9 returning starters from a club that finished 10-8 and lost in the regional semifinals. Noble was 4-1 and Dube a deceiving 3-4. Two of his four losses were by one run.
6. Yarmouth: The Clippers are favored in Class B of the Western Maine Conference. They were regional runners-up last season. The team is led by Luke Pierce, Aidan Sullivan and Campbell Belisle-Haley. Like Sullivan, Belisle-Haley is a talented pitcher and hitter.
7. Cape Elizabeth: The defending Western Class B champ returns four players with significant experience: Cam Brown, Rob McDonald, Kyle Danielson and Jack Barber. Danielson, the catcher, hit over .300.
8. Biddeford: The Tigers, who lost in the state final, have enough back to reach the playoffs. Tyler Audie, pitcher-first baseman, is a three-year starter who batted .313 last year and had a 2-2 record. The team will be strong up the middle. Second baseman Chris Jones and shortstop Scott Callahan made the league’s all-rookie team.
9. Marshwood: The Hawks are led by pitcher-shortstop Luke Fernandes, who is being recruited by several Division I schools. Another key is Jack Verrill, a power-hitting first baseman and relief pitcher.
10. Falmouth: Seniors Matt MacDowell and Dillon Dresser are the cornerstones. The team looks strong defensively with good pitching. If other players can come through, it could be another good season.
– Tom Chard