1. Thornton Academy: Three key additions push the Golden Trojans from contender status to preseason favorite following an 11-6 season that included losing a playoff opener for the third straight season. First-year coach Jason Lariviere, a former Biddeford High and USM star, played five seasons of professional ball and coached club ball locally. Senior Kolby Lambert transferred from Bonny Eagle, where he was an all-SMAA outfielder and top pitcher. Cameron Seymour came from Scarborough, where he was the starting catcher. Lambert, third baseman Brogan Searle-Belanger, shortstop Luke Chessie and Seymour form a solid pitching staff. Versatile junior infielder Timmy Smith is an early commit to Franklin Pierce. Outfielder Jacob Laplume is one of several players with good speed. Look for Thornton to be aggressive on the bases.

2. South Portland: The Red Riots return seven starters from a 13-5 team, including the starting infield of third baseman Zack Johnson (.370, 12 steals), shortstop Riley Hasson (.322, 11 RBI, nine steals), second baseman Noah McHugh and first baseman Jake Poole. Junior catcher Caden Horton is also back. The Riots could be especially tough if 6-foot-5 sophomore left-hander Hunter Owen improves on his 2-2, one save, 2.95 ERA freshman season, as many Class A coaches expect. Johnson was a second-team SMAA pitcher who went 3-2 with a 1.41 ERA. Hasson also has experience on the mound, and Connor Buckley (2-0, four saves) is a proven closer. South Portland could benefit from its first Florida trip under Coach Mike Owens.

3. Wells: The Warriors are coming off an 11-6-1 season and return two talented pitchers in senior Cam Cousins, who went 9-0 with a 0.64 ERA, and junior Tyler Bridge (3.00 ERA). Sophomore lefty Tyler Carpenter has also looked sharp in preseason. The defense is proven, headlined by strong-armed catcher Michael Wrigley and two-time all-WMC shortstop Liam Bell. Coach Todd Day expects his team to be better offensively, and several opposing coaches peg the Warriors as the favorites in Class B South.

4. Portland: Six starters are juniors and sophomores, but Coach Mike Rutherford likes his group. “We can swing it. We can run, and all our pitchers are strike throwers.” Seven starters are back from a 13-5 team that lost to Class A South champ Falmouth in extra innings in the regional semifinals. Juniors Donnie Tocci and Jackson Villani and sophomore Brian Riley saw pitching action last year, with Tocci (4-3) starting eight games. They’ll be throwing to all-SMAA senior catcher Cam King (.444 BA). Ben Stasium will track down balls in center. Juniors Billy Barnard and Henry Westphal look to solidify the middle infield.

5. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers have arguably the best player in the area in senior catcher Brendan Tinsman, who will play at Wake Forest next year. He’s working with a senior-laden pitching staff built around Carson Sullivan, Sean Agrodnia and Ryan Weare, each with experience as starters and relievers. Finn Bowe is another capable pitcher when not at shortstop. Tinsman (.450, two home runs), Agrodnia and Sullivan should lead the offense. Coach Andrew Wood believes he has the team to beat in Class B.

6. Scarborough: The Red Storm have an abundance of pitchers. Morgan Pratt, Jack Clark and Zoltan Panyi are proven SMAA competitors. Nick Thompson, a sophomore lefty who returned to Scarborough after a year at Cheverus, has impressed Coach Mike D’Andrea. Sophomore Brian Austin and freshman Sam Clark also will get innings, meaning this team is equipped for the typical backlog of games caused by rainouts. The outfield is set with Nolan Lamontagne, Noah Frink and Zach Alofs (second-team SMAA DH as a freshman). Jack Clark, shortstop Pratt and third baseman Nick Martin will be key hitters.

7. Yarmouth: The defending Class B champions have some holes to fill but consistently win 10-plus games and expect playoff success. All-WMC pitcher/outfielder Luke Waeldner was 6-2 and had a .524 on-base percentage. Dom Morrill (2-1, three saves) had a 0.90 WHIP in 22 1/3 innings and should be a strong No. 2 starter. James Waaler is above-average behind the plate and hit over .300. Waaler, Morrill, all-WMC outfielder Jack Romano and third baseman Jackson Caruso should lead an offense.

8. York: The Wildcats might have a tough time getting back to the Class B South final with a relatively inexperienced pitching staff, but the offense is loaded, starting with all-WMC third baseman Tim MacDonald (.372, 15 RBI) and first baseman Tommy Carr (.400). Junior catcher Dawson Gundlah (.359, two HRs) and sophomore shortstop Riley Linn (.402, 20 runs) also can produce. Juniors Jack Kelly, John Henry Bock and Jake Sullivan (a transfer from Massachusetts) will lead the pitching staff.

9. Gorham: The Rams could contend in Class A South with an offense led by shortstop Ben Nelson, third baseman Kyle King and outfielder David Drew, all seniors who each hit over .400 last season. Those three, along with senior outfielder Nolan Brown and juniors Joe Cureski (2-0 last season) and Jacob Sladen, provide Gorham with enough arms to cobble together a deep, if untested, pitching rotation.

10. Traip Academy: In Class C South, Traip, Old Orchard Beach and Sacopee Valley all hovered around .500 last year and bring back experienced pitchers. If Traip can cut down on its errors (46 unearned runs) it will be competitive in any game behind the 1-2 punch of Shane MacNeill (4-1, 1.90 ERA) and Hunter Sawtelle (3-1, 1.40 ERA), with sophomore Tyler Apodaca looking like a viable third starter. Juniors Ryan Perkins and Teddy Driscoll will set the offensive table for RBI threats Jacob Farnham and MacNeill.

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