1. Marshwood: The Hawks have all nine starters back from a team that went 15-4 overall and lost in the Western Class A final. They have four of the top players in the SMAA in Zack Quintal, Jake Lebel, Noah McDaniel and Zach Hodges. Marshwood also has a new coach in Bryant Lausberg, who takes over for Eric Fernandes, who retired. Other key players for the Hawks are Luke Stankovich, who can play several positions, and catcher Holden Jackman.
2. South Portland: The Red Riots have their two top pitchers back in Henry Curran and Brad Sowerby, both left-handers. Curran was an all-SMAA selection. Sowerby had a 3-0 record with a 1.68 ERA. He will be the DH when he’s not pitching. The team’s other first team, all-league selection is sophomore Sam Troiano, who batted .400. The Riots graduated most of their infield but feel confident of finding replacements and using their strengths to be a contender.
3. Biddeford: The Tigers have their top two pitchers returning in Nate Huot and Brady Crepeau. Casey Twomey is a senior who can play third base or catch. And because the team graduated its starting catcher, Twomey could find himself behind the plate. He batted .313 with a homer, triple and double. The Tigers also are looking for a new shortstop and an outfielder. If the pieces come together, Biddeford could have a very strong season.
4. Greely: The Rangers won the Class B state title last year and are optimistic they have the talent to be at or near the top again despite some key graduation losses. Boosting that confidence is the return of all-state player Will Bryant, who went 5-1 on the mound. He also batted .342. Chaz Reade, who hit .350 last year, will play third base. The Rangers are counting on last year’s reserves and strong contributions from last year’s junior varsity.
5. Falmouth: The Yachtsmen are led by junior outfielder Connor Aube. They also have two talented pitchers in Cam Guarino and Reese Armitage, who combined for eight of the team’s 15 wins last season. Colin Coyne is another key player. Falmouth plays a Class B regular-season schedule but moves up to Class A for the postseason, where it could be tough. A year ago Falmouth lost to Western Maine champ Windham in the regional semifinals.
6. York: The Wildcats are led by pitcher Danny Bock, a four-year varsity starter. The left-hander won the regional title game as a sophomore. Bock also will be a key to the offense. The team returns eight seniors and a strong core of juniors. Following Bock in the rotation will be sophomore Trevor Labonte, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, who had a 4-2 record as a freshman. Jordan Pidgeon batted .380 last season with 15 RBI.
7. Yarmouth: The Clippers return all but two starters from a team that lost in the Western Class B quarterfinals to eventual state champion Greely. The team has strong leaders who have had success in other sports. Jordan Brown is the top returning pitcher (4-3, 3.98 ERA). Other key players include pitcher/shortstop Cody Cook and Connor Lainey, who is solid at third base and at the plate. The team has plenty of depth and could make a run in the playoffs.
8. Sacopee Valley: The Hawks have five starters, all juniors, back from last year’s team that won Western Class C before losing to Washington Academy in the state final. Sacopee was 19-1 overall. Left-hander Rod Maynard was 8-1 and Brandon Burnell won two games, including the regional semifinal. C.J. Dunnells is a senior catcher who batted over .400. Hitting and defense again should be strong.
9. Westbrook: A talented junior class bodes well for the Blue Blazes. Jack McCullough emerged as an anchor at shortstop last season. Right fielder Corey Walker was a second-team all-SMAA selection. First baseman T.J. Henrikson is another player who gained valuable experience. There’s pitching depth with the likes of Bailey Ryan, Keigan Sears, Pat Weimer and Blake Fillmore. A year ago the Blazes advanced to the Western Class A semifinals.
10. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers have all but one starter back. The experience gained last season should make Cape Elizabeth one of the top teams in Western Class B. Senior shortstop Tim Brigham is strong defensively and looks to improve his offense from a year ago. Brendan Tinsman, a freshman catcher, is one of the top prospects in the state. Marshall Peterson missed most of last year with a broken foot but is set as the No. 2 pitcher.
– Tom Chard