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2017 Baseball Team Capsules

ADELSON SCHOOL

Head coach: Dan Kelly, fourth season

2016 record: 10-2 (independent)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (five)

Top players: OF/P Sam Shain (Jr.), 1B/P Brandon Pappas (Sr.), SS/P Mordechai Shirit (So.)

Outlook: The Lions welcome back seven lettermen and are anxious to see how they’ll stack up against league competition.

“After three years of independent status, we are league members for the first time in baseball this year,” Kelly said. “We know that the Class 2A division will be very challenging for us, and we hope to have some competitive games this year.”

— —

ARBOR VIEW

Head coach: Gary White, fifth year

2016 record: 16-16 (9-9 Division I Sunset, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (four)

Top players: OF Jacob Hamilton (Sr.), 3B Dylan Anderson (Sr.), OF Logan Santos (Sr.), P Austin Pfeifer (Jr.)

Outlook: And so begins life for the Aggies without Nick Quintana, who hit .449 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs last season before heading to the University of Arizona, where in his first week he earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week award.

Hamilton (.306), Anderson (.303) and Santos (.278) are among those who will pick up some of the slack this season, with Pfeifer (3-3, 4.07 ERA) returning on the mound.

“The players are excited for the new season to begin,” White said. “Hopefully we will be competitive.”

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BASIC

Head coach: Scott Baker, sixth season

2016 record: 36-4 (17-3 Division I Sunrise, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (six)

Top players: 1B Jack Wold (Sr.), C/IF Roger Riley (Sr.), IF Garrett Giles (Jr.), P/IF C.J. Dornak (Jr.)

Outlook: On the heels of their first state title since 1987, the Wolves still have big-time weapons in their arsenal.

Wold (.446, 5 HR, 16 doubles, 45 RBIs), Riley (.422, 10 doubles, 22 RBIs) and Giles (.418, 32 RBIs) should be among the team’s leaders on offense.

Among pitchers who threw at least 20 innings last year, Dornak (8-0, 3 saves, 0.32 ERA, 43.2 IP, 28 K) had the best ERA in Southern Nevada and will be counted on to lead a staff that was hit hard by graduation.

— —

BEAVER DAM

Head coach: Travis Delaney, second season

2016 record: 5-15 (2-4 Division IV Southern, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)

Top players: P/IF Adrian Salazar (Jr.)

Outlook: Salazar (.421) is one of five returnees for the Diamondbacks, who are hoping to be more competitive this season.

“We’re young and improved from last year,” Delaney said. “We look to be good and competitive.”

— —

BISHOP GORMAN

Head coach: Gino DiMaria, third season

2016 record: 31-6 (15-3 Division I Sunset, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Fourteen (five)

Top players: C Austin Wells (Jr.), 1B Nick Hernandez (Sr.), C Jordan Sadovia (Sr.), 2B Nick Israel (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gaels bring back 14 lettermen and should be primed for another successful season.

Wells (.415, 27 RBIs), Hernandez (.382, 6 home runs, 31 RBIs), Sadovia (.320, 28 RBIs) and Israel (.364, 19 RBIs) should be among the leaders on offense.

“We hope to compete to win a state championship this year,” DiMaria said.

To do that, the Gaels will need production from an inexperienced pitching staff.

Standout left-hander Matt Mitchell transferred to IMG Academy in Florida. That left Gorman’s staff short on experience, as the remaining pitchers combined to throw 30 innings last season.

— —

BONANZA

Head coach: Mike O’Rourke, fourth season

2016 record: 19-13 (9-9 Division I Sunset, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: 3B/SS/P Jay DeSoto (Sr.), CF Torren Brozovich (Sr.), 1B/P Danny Ruiz (Sr.), P/SS Luis Lares (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bengals have only four returning starters, but there’s plenty of success and experience among them.

DeSoto (.347, 24 RBIs, 29 runs; 1-1, 2.47 ERA), Brozovich (.412, 22 RBIs, 25 runs), Ruiz (.373, 3 home runs, 14 RBIs; 6-3, 4.40 ERA) and Lares are expected to be among the leaders.

“We’re looking for our senior class to lead the way,” O’Rourke said. “Most of them are in their third season playing varsity baseball. The biggest challenge will be trying to replace the 110 innings off the mound lost to graduation, but I love our team.”

— —

BOULDER CITY

Head coach: Robert Reese, fifth season

2016 record: 28-7 (14-0 Division I-A Sunrise, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (two)

Top players: P/IF Jacob Hubel (Sr.), C/OF Kodey Rahr (Sr.), 1B Aaron Kehoe (Sr.), DH/1B Preston Van Diest (Sr.), Noah Higgins (Sr.), D.J. Reese (Jr.), Anthony Pacifico (Jr.), Teddy Lobkowicz (Jr.), Nolan Herr (Jr.), Rhett Armstrong (Jr.)

Outlook: Last year’s Division I-A state champions will have a drastically different lineup this year after seven starters graduated.

“Most might feel it’s a rebuilding year,” Robert Reese said. “We don’t feel that way. We have a lot of juniors that have just been waiting their turn for a varsity spot. This is their year to step up and fill those vacancies, and I think they are ready.”

Rahr (.420, 10 doubles, 30 RBIs), Kehoe (.406, 14 RBIs) and Van Diest (.415, 11 RBIs) should be among the leaders on offense. Hubel (4-3, 4.79 ERA) is back on the mound.

“We have leadership at the top with Hubel and Rahr,” Robert Reese said. “They both played outstanding down the stretch for us, and they know what is expected of them. Hubel is coming off a postseason run on the mound, going 2-0 with a win in the state championship game, so he will be our guy on the mound. Kodey Rahr will be our leader behind the plate and with a bat.”

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CALVARY CHAPEL

Head coach: Steven Abbott, third season

2016 record: 3-16 (3-11 Division III Southern, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Twelve (eight)

Top players: SS/P Alec Neider (Sr.), C/P Christian O’Kelley (Sr.), 1B/P Isaiah Jimmerson (Sr.), OF/P Spencer Church (Sr.)

Outlook: Neider (.545 average) and O’Kelley (.535 average) lead a list of 12 returnees for the Lions, who have the potential for a breakout year.

Church (.350) and Jimmerson (.300) also could provide offensive spark.

“I am looking forward to this season,” Abbott said. “I have been coaching this group of seniors for four years. They are ready to step up and compete at a high level.

“I am very optimistic about the upcoming season.”

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CANYON SPRINGS

Head coach: Robert Wiley, first season

2016 record: 7-22 (2-18 Division I Sunrise, 10th)

Returning starters: Five

Top players: SS Trevor Berkemeyer (Jr.), OF Giovanni Benuto (Sr.), 1B Sebastian Sotelo (Sr.), P Quentin Barton (Sr.), C Isaiah Brown (Sr.)

Outlook: Wiley takes over a team that has shows signs of improvement.

“We are a young team that is led by a great group of seniors,” Wiley said. “We are very strong up the middle with Trevor Berkemeyer, Luis Osorio-Avila and Gio Benuto. Our pitching staff will be led by Quentin Barton and two sophomores, Gavin Rhynes and Aiden Moriarty.

“We are looking to compete throughout the season and build off of last year.”

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CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Charles Cerrone, 18th season

2016 record: 29-11 (13-5 Division I Sunset, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Twelve (six)

Top players: OF/P Kyle Horton (Sr.), IF/P Jake Rogers (Sr.), OF/IF Tanner Wright (Sr.), OF Gino Sabey (Sr.), IF/P Garrett Holden (Jr.), P/OF Austin Kryszczuk (So.), IF/P Brett Berger (Jr.), IF/P Nik Dobar (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs advanced to the state championship game for the second time in three years last year and bring back 12 lettermen from that squad.

“We have a veteran core returning for 2017,” Cerrone said. “Our team hopefully will make the playoffs, and we hope we can be healthy and playing well at that time.

“The student-athletes that we have are a great group of hard-working young men that are good citizens, and we hope good things happen on the field for us.”

— —

CHAPARRAL

Head coach: Dave Soto, sixth season

2016 record: 20-10 (11-3 Division I-A Sunrise, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: 3B/SS/P Erick Villarreal, 1B/C/P Connor Jarvis, C/P Robert O’Connor, IF/OF/P Antonio Vara, IF Talon Greene, James Cobian, Thomas Pablo

Outlook: Vara (.380, 21 runs), Villarreal (.340), O’Connor (32 runs, 18 RBIs), Jarvis (18 runs, 16 RBIs) and Greene (23 RBIs) give the Cowboys plenty of offensive weapons to start the season.

“The 2017 version of the Cowboys will be one where offense leads the way,” Soto said.

And the Cowboys may have to score a few more runs this year to make up for the loss of Mark O’Connor, who was 8-0 with a 0.44 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 47 innings in his senior season last year.

“Losing Mark O’Connor and his unbelievable year will be hard to overcome,” Soto said. “But we should be able to do the job. Defense has been given a top priority while always focusing on baseball fundamentals. What we lack in numbers, we overcome with hard work, sacrifice and dedication.

“This will be an exciting year.”

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CIMARRON-MEMORIAL

Head coach: Mike Hubel, 15th season

2016 record: 14-19 (6-12 Division I Sunset, eighth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (four)

Top players: CF/P Trevor Doyle (Jr.), SS/P Derek Decolati (Jr.), 1B/P Noah Parker (Sr.), 3B/SS Zach Culver (So.), OF/P Jackson Folkman (So.)

Outlook: A rebuilding effort last season still resulted in a playoff berth for the Spartans, who are hoping to show more improvement this year.

“We are looking to be competitive and get better every day,” Hubel said. “We have a good mix of young and experienced players.”

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CLARK

Head coach: Brian Gregorich, third season

2016 record: 14-17 (7-7 Division I-A Sunset, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (six)

Top players: P/1B Matthias Blodgett (Sr.), OF/P Matthew Thompson (Sr.), IF/OF/P Thomas Campbell (Sr.), SS/C/P Brendan Palmer (Sr.), OF Guy Tannenbaum (Sr.), OF Garrett Woodford (Sr.)

Outlook: A new year, a new challenge for the Chargers and Gregorich, who took over after the team went 2-11 in 2014. Clark showed improvement his first year, then made the playoffs for the first time since 2001 last year.

“The Chargers are ready to face the increased competition of (Class) 4A after making the playoffs in Division I-A last season,” Gregorich said.

Thompson (.466, 22 RBIs, 15 stolen bases), Campbell (.358, 13 RBIs, 15 steals), Palmer (.345, 21 runs), Tannenbaum (.328, 13 RBIs), Woodford (.282, 12 RBIs) and Blodgett lead the list of returnees.

“There are many three- and four-year varsity players in the senior class who are expected to provide leadership and production,” Gregorich said.

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CORONADO

Head coach: Rich Santigate, second season

2016 record: 19-12-1 (14-6 Division I Sunrise, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Fifteen (seven)

Top players: 3B Noah Hemphill (Sr.), UTL Landon Roland (Sr.), CF Jake McLean (Jr.), P Boston Mabeus (Jr.), UTL Kyle Hall (Jr.)

Outlook: The Cougars welcome back seven starters and plenty of talent.

Hemphill (.415, 17 RBIs) is a Kansas State signee and probably will be joined in Coronado’s lineup by Roland (.337, 20 RBIs), McLean (.276, 17 RBIs) and Hall (.337, 12 RBIs).

“With seven starters and 15 returning players, the Cougars are ready to burst on the scene,” Santigate said. “With their participation in the Boras and National Classics, two of the premier tournaments on the west coast, they will certainly be tested early as they prepare to contend in an extremely tough conference.”

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DEL SOL

Head coach: Jorge Romero, fourth season

2016 record: 16-14 (8-6 Division I-A Sunrise, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (three)

Top players: 2B/1B/C Jason Rolland (Sr.), P/CF Chandler Miller (Jr.), P/IF/OF Tyler Foreman (Sr.), C/OF Mike Hutchinson (Sr.)

Outlook: After qualifying for the postseason last year, the Dragons have just three returning lettermen.

“The boys have been working hard this intramural season,” Romero said. “Our numbers have grown every year, and we expect to be competitive in a tough Class 3A Sunrise League. Our goal this season is to make the playoffs and advance.”

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DESERT OASIS

Head coach: Paul Buboltz, fifth season

2016 record: 19-14 (11-7 Division I Sunset, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Thirteen (seven)

Top players: P/IF Brett Brocoff (Sr.), OF Nic Lane (Sr.), OF Kyle Fuentes (Sr.), P/IF Aaron Roberts (So.), P Cade Adams (Sr.)

Outlook: Desert Oasis will have a void in the middle of the field after losing four-year varsity starter and current UNLV freshman Bryson Stott, but the Diamondbacks return a veteran team.

Brocoff (.393, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 3-2 pitching record), a Utah signee, will lead the way. He will be joined by senior outfielders Lane (.410, 16 RBIs) and Fuentes (.308, 16 RBI) and Roberts (.253, 21 RBIs).

Adams, a UNLV signee who was injured last year, is on the mend this season and also will be looking to make an impact.

“Experience is a word that comes to mind as Desert Oasis’ 11 seniors look to lead a talented mix of veterans and newcomers toward a successful season,” Buboltz said.

— —

DESERT PINES

Head coach: Ricky Earp, third season

2016 record: 10-18 (4-10 Division I-A Sunrise, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (four)

Top players: P/3B/C Juan Castaneda (Jr.), UTL Raymond Minero (So.), P/3B Steven Laureano (Jr.), CF/P Cesar Bailon (Jr.)

Outlook: The Jaguars are young, with only one senior on the team, but have plenty of optimism.

Castaneda (.467, 41 RBIs), Minero (.437), Laureano (.314) and Bailon are expected to be among the leaders on offense.

“We are seeking to build on the improvement from last season, finish in the upper half of our league and be a playoff team,” Earp said. “We have added some key pieces in the offseason which should give us the most balanced team we’ve had since I’ve been at the school.”

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DURANGO

Head coach: Sam Knapp, 15th season

2016 record: 8-24 (4-14 Division I Sunset, ninth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (four)

Top players: C Josh Barry (Sr.), 2B/P Richard Mascarenas (Sr.), P Matt Agresta (Sr.), SS/P Duke Pahukoa (Jr.), C/2B/OF Jason Salazar (Jr.), 3B/C Steven Giatti (So.), OF Renae Lara (So.)

Outlook: The Trailblazers narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last season and are hoping to show improvement this season.

— —

ELDORADO

Head coach: Jesse Medellin, 20th season

2016 record: 8-21 (3-17 Division I Sunrise, ninth)

Returning starters: Five

Top players: P/3B/1B Jordan Eldred (Sr.), OF/P Julio Rodarte (So.), C/P Tony Sanchez (Sr.), 1B/P Travis Bowe (Sr.), 2B Mario Gonzales (Sr.), CF Trevor Lavenberg (Sr.)

Outlook: The Sundevils return five starters and hope to compete for a playoff spot in a talented Sunrise League.

“This year’s team is comprised of a good mix of senior leaders and a good sophomore class,” Medellin said. “We look forward to being able to throw strikes and play solid defense. On offense we look to manufacture runs and capitalize on opportunities.

“If we play defense and keep ourselves in ball games, we should find ourselves with a shot at playing in the regional tournament.”

— —

FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: David Anderson, second season

2016 record: 23-10 (13-1 Division I-A Sunset, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (five)

Top players: P Joshua Brown (Jr.), P/1B Jacob Ortega (So.), P/OF Sagan Gronauer (So.), UTL Blake Giuliani (Sr.), IF Liam Bredin (Sr.)

Outlook: Brown (2.73 ERA, 50.2 innings, 56 strikeouts) returns on the mound, and Gronauer (.407), Bredin (.387), Ortega (.307) are back on offense to guide a team that lost 14 seniors to graduation.

“Not many teams can bounce back with that amount of attrition,” Anderson said. “However, this is a young group and a talented group. We will be leaning heavily on our young guys.

“Competition is everything, and this group will be challenged to compete, especially with the move to (Class) 4A. We have adjusted accordingly and will continue to develop our guys to get ready for the next level, and good Lord willing, win some games along the way.”

— —

FOOTHILL

Head coach: Matt Iglitz, 11th season

2016 record: 13-18 (8-12 Division I Sunrise, eighth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Twelve (four)

Top players: P Andrew Hauck (Jr.), P Kelton Lachelt (So.), C Alex Elizondo (Sr.)

Outlook: The Falcons return just three starters from last year’s squad.

Hauck (2-5, 45.1 innings, 33 K) and Lachelt (2-3, 30.1 innings, 19 K) are back on the mound, and the team should benefit from the return of Elizondo from a knee injury.

Iglitz also expects Anthony Pannullo, Chayse Parenteau, Tommy Dirk and Lachelt to be among the core group on offense.

“This group is headed in the right direction, pending the health of several key returning varsity contributors,” Iglitz said. “The return of Alex Elizondo behind the dish provides an immediate injection of leadership and stability up the middle defensively. Our potential success will be a reflection of the efforts of our pitching staff, which is led by Andrew Hauck and Kelton Lachelt.

“None of our returning offensive numbers are real impressive, but we do believe that the time and effort put in by many will pay dividends by the end of the year. Like any club, if we can find some early season success and confidence, we should expect to compete in our league for a possible playoff berth.”

— —

GREEN VALLEY

Head coach: Corey Gehlken, sixth season

2016 record: 23-12 (15-5 Division I Sunrise, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Thirteen (seven)

Top players: SS A.J. Amelburu (Sr.), 1B Drake Maningo (Sr.), IF/P Matt Gilbertson (Sr.), IF/OF Carter Gehlken (Jr.), UTL/P Frankie Fitzgerald (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators appeared to be primed for a good season with the return of 13 lettermen.

Amelburu (.418, 20 RBIs, 30 runs, 30 stolen bases), Maningo (.385, 35 RBIs, 29 runs), Gilbertson (.396, 28 RBIs, 28 runs), Carter Gehlken (.367, 14 RBIs, 16 runs) and Fitzgerald (.333, 15 RBIs, 17 runs) should be among the leaders on offense.

Gilbertson (1.74 ERA, 49 innings, 24 K) and Fitzgerald (2.54 ERA, 41.1 innings, 28 K) return on the mound.

“Our team outlook is to play quality fundamental baseball and expect to compete every day,” Corey Gehlken said.

— —

GV CHRISTIAN

Head coach: Chris Smith, second season

2016 record: Non-NIAA sanctioned team

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: C Diego Guerra (So.), 1B Nolan Hairr (Jr.), 3B Logan Hall (So.), SS Daemein Hargrove (Fr.)

Outlook: Guerra hit .571 with 12 RBIs in just six games last season and is one of seven returnees for the Eagles.

Hairr (.417, 12 runs) and Hall (.400, 6 runs) also had a successful, albeit brief, season and return to help the offense.

“We have a very young team with more than half of the players being underclassmen, but we are expecting a strong season,” Smith said. “We have every confidence that our team will continue to improve and will soon be contending for state championships.”

— —

LAKE MEAD

Head coach: Gary Desch, first season

2016 record: 15-8 (11-5 Division III Southern, fourth)

Returning starters: Seven

Top players: C/P Joey Johnson (So.), P/C Mark Costolo (Jr.), OF Mitch Dolinar (Jr.)

Outlook: Desch takes over a team that returns seven starters after qualifying for the Division III Southern League playoffs last year.

Johnson and Costolo both were first-team All-Southern League honorees.

“Lake Mead looks to this season with great anticipation and hopes of returning to the playoffs,” Desch said. “With the return of seven starters, we plan on having a great season.”

— —

LAS VEGAS

Head coach: Sam Thomas, 19th season

2016 record: 18-15 (10-10 Division I Sunrise, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (two)

Top players: P Trey Chauncey (Sr.), P Diego Delgado (Sr.)

Outlook: The Wildcats bring back only two starters from last year’s squad and have plenty of spots to fill on the diamond.

“We’re just hoping to compete,” Thomas said. “We have an experienced pitching staff, but we are lacking experience in the field and at the plate.”

— —

LAUGHLIN

Head coach: Tony Petrik, 22nd season

2016 record: 11-10 (7-9 Division III Southern, fifth)

Returning starters: Three

Top players: C Andrew Braaksma (Jr.), OF Cesar Arellano (Jr.), IF/P Coda Abatti (Sr.)

Outlook: After finishing eight games below .500 in 2015, the Cougars improved to an above-.500 overall record last season. They’re hoping to continue the progress.

“The Cougars made some nice progress as a program in 2016, and we hope to build on that,” Petrik said. “We expect about 20 kids to report for practice.”

— —

LEGACY

Head coach: Joey Lauria, first season

2016 record: 5-23-1 (0-18 Division I Sunset, 10th)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (six)

Top players: OF/P Donta Williams (Sr.), OF/P Anthony Lomeli (Sr.), IF/P Johnny Ball (Sr.), IF Willie Valdez (Sr.), IF Fabian Torres (Fr.)

Outlook: Lauria, a 2010 Legacy graduate and a standout with both the Longhorns and UNLV, returns to his alma mater and hopes to quickly rebuild a program that struggled last season and hasn’t made the postseason since Lauria last wore a Legacy uniform.

“With upgrades to coaches and players, we have expectations to bring Legacy back to a competitor,” Lauria said. “We are in a rebuilding process and feel very confident about it.”

Williams, an Arizona signee, missed last season with a knee injury but is back this year.

“He looks to have a strong senior season,” Lauria said. “Donta Williams, Anthony Lomeli and Johnny Ball, will lead the offense.”

— —

LIBERTY

Head coach: Todd Faranda, first season

2016 record: 21-13 (13-7 Division I Sunrise, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (five)

Top players: SS Jacob Rogers (Sr.), 2B Michael Wong (Sr.), 1B/3B Jordan Moreno (Sr.), 1B/3B Kevin Clark (Sr.), C Dylan Miller (Sr.)

Outlook: Faranda takes over a program only three years removed from a state championship and hopes to return the program to an elite level.

“With facility upgrades and five baseball coaches on campus, we have the formula to bring Liberty back to a state title contender,” said Faranda, who will be assisted by veteran coach Rich Ebarb.

Rogers (.373, 19 RBIs), Wong (.386, 12 RBIs), Clark (.312, 14 RBIs) and Moreno (.283, 10 RBIs) return to lead the offense.

“The Liberty baseball program will focus on ‘The Patriot way’ on and off the field,” Faranda said. “The goal is for every player to develop as a student-athlete and to be prepared for life.”

— —

LINCOLN COUNTY

Head coach: Raymond Wadsworth, fifth season

2016 record: 23-8 (15-1 Division III Southern, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Twelve (six)

Top players: OF Cody Thornock (Sr.), OF/P Hunter Wilkin (Sr.), OF/P Kevin Mathews (Sr.), IF/P Franklin Toledo (Jr.), IF/P Kobe Walker (So.), IF/P Alex Vincent (So.), IF/P McKinley O’Connor (So.)

Outlook: The Lynx return six starters from last year’s state championship team.

“We’ll have a pretty young team this year with only three seniors, but we look to be competitive,” Wadsworth said. “The seniors are looking forward to taking a leadership role and helping the younger kids. We hope to be jelling at the right moments down the stretch and compete for the state championship again.”

— —

MOAPA VALLEY

Head coach: Ed McCann, first season

2016 record: 12-9 (7-7 Division I-A Sunrise, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (five)

Top players: C/P/UTL Anthony Cornwall (Sr.), IF Drake Staheli (Sr.), OF Dayton Woofly (Sr.), OF/P Tyler Petersen (Sr.), OF/IF Chase Guessman (Jr.)

Outlook: McCann takes over a team that narrowly missed out on a postseason berth last year.

Cornwall (.495), Staheli (.380), Woofly (.333), Petersen (.300) and Guessman (.285) all return to spark the offense.

“The team will be better than last year,” McCann said. “We will play an upbeat tempo, running, stealing and with better defense.”

— —

MOJAVE

Head coach: Daniel LaSalle, sixth season

2016 record: 16-14 (4-10 Division I-A Sunset, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (five)

Top players: SS/P Scotty Wilson (Sr.), C/P/CF Elijah Glaze (Sr.), LF/P Reese McClain (Sr.), 3B/P/SS Andrew Foley (Sr.), C/3B/P Mike Cianci (Fr.), 2B/P Kevin Gutierrez (So.), 1B/OF Logan Forepaugh (Fr.)

Outlook: LaSalle returns to the Rattlers’ bench after guiding the team from 2011 to 2015.

He’ll see some new faces, but plenty of familiar ones also as the Rattlers return eight lettermen, some of whom played for LaSalle two seasons ago.

“We will be small in numbers, but large in heart,” LaSalle said. “The senior leadership will determine the success moving forward and staying injury-free will be key. Winning our league and advancing in the playoffs is our only focus. Last year means nothing as we always move forward together.”

— —

NEEDLES

Head coach: Ken Parker, 10th season

2016 record: 17-8 (14-2 Division III Southern, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eleven (seven)

Top players: C Dylan Hetrick (Sr.), SS/P Reid Shaver (Sr.), OF Jayden Yeager (Jr.), OF Dillon Darrow (Jr.), IF Ezra Ponce (Jr.), 1B Alex Magana (Jr.), OF Ryan Dunn (Jr.), UTL Trey Tsosie (Jr.)

Outlook: After a strong regular season, the Mustangs’ postseason was cut short, but it has given this year’s squad motivation.

“The Mustangs are looking to rebound from a disappointing elimination in the 2016 playoffs,” Parker said. “We return a core group of juniors with impact seniors to focus on winning. We have a good freshman class entering and hope for more young talent to round out the team.

“We have expectations of making the state tournament.”

— —

PAHRANAGAT VALLEY

Head coach: Brad Loveday, 24th season

2016 record: 26-3 (6-0 Division IV Southern, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Thirteen (seven)

Top players: P/SS Tabor Maxwell (Sr.), P/3B Christian Higbee (Sr.), 1B/P Ike Taylor (Sr.), C/3B Garrett Higbee (Jr.), 1B Duston Stewart (Jr.), OF Brodey Maxwell (Jr.), 2B/OF Asher Haworth (Jr.)

Outlook: Though some of them got a late start because of the school’s success in boys basketball, 13 lettermen return from a squad that won the Division IV state title last year.

“We are going to work hard, and I think we will be competitive,” Loveday said.

— —

PAHRUMP VALLEY

Head coach: Brian Hayes, fifth season

2016 record: 13-16 (6-8 Division I-A Sunset, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (six)

Top players: OF/P Garrett Lucas (Jr.), 1B/OF Parker Hart (Sr.), C/P Willie Lucas (So.), IF/P Drew Walker (Sr.), OF/P Bradda Costa (Jr.)

Outlook: The Trojans missed out on a playoff berth last year, but the four teams that finished ahead of them in the standings all moved to Class 4A, and Pahrump returns six starters.

“We expect to be back in the playoffs,” Hayes said. “We have a good mix of veteran players and underclassmen that are ready to compete for starting positions.”

Hart (.440, 26 runs, 25 RBIs), Garrett Lucas (.362, 23 runs, 19 RBIs; 4-5, 2.98 ERA), Willie Lucas (.338, 16 runs, 16 RBIs), Walker (.312, 24 runs, 14 RBIs) and Costa (2-0, 1.24 ERA) should be among the leaders.

“We have a lot of talent,” Hayes said. “Ultimately, how well we come together as a team will be the deciding factor in our success or lack thereof.”

— —

PALO VERDE

Head coach: Joe Hallead, second season

2016 record: 19-15 (11-7 Division I Sunset, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Fifteen (seven)

Top players: OF/P Dylan Orlando (Sr.), 3B/P J.D. Brooks (Sr.), 2B/SS Jaxon Hammond (Sr.), 1B/P Tanner Lewis (Sr.), OF Asher Bouldin (Sr.)

Outlook: Coming off a solid season last year, the Panthers welcome back 15 lettermen.

“We have a lot of experience coming back this year,” Hallead said.

Brooks (.385 average) has 83 career RBIs and is joined by Hammond (.323, 25 RBIs), Bouldin (.340, 10 doubles, 23 RBIs) and Orlando (.335) on offense.

Orlando (4-1, 38 K) and Lewis (3-2, 3.66 ERA, 31 K) return on the mound.

“Our strength will be our deep pitching staff and our experienced batting lineup,” Hallead said. “I like the younger players that we added to the experienced roster. They will provide great depth for our team. I have been impressed with the leadership on this team. Practices are intense and competitive; that will help with our very tough conference schedule.”

— —

RANCHO

Head coach: Manny Llamas, first season

2016 record: 18-16 (10-10 Division I Sunrise, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Thirteen (six)

Top players: OF Joey Walls (Jr.), IF Jimmy Gamboa (Jr.), P Layton Walls (Jr.), OF Anthony Guzman (Jr.), IF Edarian Williams (Jr.)

Outlook: Llamas, a 2011 Rancho graduate, returns to his alma mater and inherits a team with 13 returning lettermen.

Gamboa (.378, 23 RBIs), Walls (.369, 21 RBIs), Guzman (.309, 3 triples, 16 RBIs) and Williams (.345, 10 RBIs) all return to spark the offense. Walls (5 wins, 28 innings, 1.00 ERA, 21 K) should be among the team’s leaders on the mound.

“It’s a new coach, a new coaching staff, new look and a new mentality,” Llamas said. “I have a great group of young men who have put in the effort and have bought into the new mentality at Rancho High School.

“We are very excited to showcase what we have been training for since I have taken over the program and are relying on the leadership of Joey, Layton and Jimmy. We will turn some heads this spring.”

— —

SHADOW RIDGE

Head coach: Frank Tousa, ninth season

2016 record: 19-4 (12-6 Division I Sunset, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Twelve (three)

Top players: Jesse Meyer, Bryson Barnes, Justin Lee

Outlook: The Mustangs return only three starters this season.

Lee (.408) and Barnes (.313) should be among the team’s leaders on offense. Meyer (2-3, 4.38 ERA) returns on the mound.

“We will be inexperienced and hope to compete for a playoff spot,” Tousa said.

— —

SIERRA VISTA

Head coach: Joe Moyes, first season

2016 record: 21-20 (9-5 Division I-A Sunset, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (five)

Top players: UTL Matt Vanderberg (Sr.), OF/SS Cooper Kitrel (Jr.), C/1B Stone Kaleopaa (Sr.), 1B/P Zach Kreithe (So.), C Nick Lasker (Sr.), P/UTL Hunter Wood (Sr.)

Outlook: Last year’s Division I-A runners-up have gone through some changes in the past nine months. New head coach Moyes has six returning lettermen and a lot of new faces.

“It’s a very young squad with a handful of experienced players looking to compete,” Moyes said. “The pitching has been overhauled with one junior and two sophomores pegged as the initial starters. A strong, experienced catching corps should help stabilize a young pitching staff.

“The defense and offense can be solid at times, but will need to be more consistent to compete at the higher level this year. The coaching staff is relying on a strong chemistry to help the team succeed.”

— —

SILVERADO

Head coach: Brian Whitaker, 23rd season

2016 record: 24-10 (17-3 Division I Sunrise, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eleven (five)

Top players: P/UT Kevin Pindel (Sr.), SS Dax Fellows (Jr.), OF Payton Ballard (Sr.), P Jerald Murray (Sr.), P Michael Janosik (Sr.)

Outlook: The Skyhawks qualified for the playoffs for the 20th consecutive season last year and bring back 11 lettermen from that squad.

Pindel (7-2, 1.65 ERA), Murray (3-2, 1.97 ERA) and Janosik (2-1, 3.09 ERA) return on the mound. Fellows (.388, 26 RBIs), Ballard (.312, 22 RBIs) and Pindel (.374, 22 RBIs) should spark the offense.

“We have a good mix of veteran high school players and talented newcomers who are ready to play the Silverado brand of baseball,” Whitaker said. “The kids have a great work ethic. They will compete. I love my team.”

— —

SPRING VALLEY

Head coach: Paul Bassett, 10th season

2016 record: 21-10 (12-2 Division I-A Sunset, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Thirteen (six)

Top players: IF Jaxson Otis (Sr.), IF Bryce Bullock (Sr.), OF Jack Sellinger (Jr.), IF Junior Maldonado (Sr.), P Nick Rupp (Sr.)

Outlook: There’s no shortage of talent on the Grizzlies’ roster this season.

Otis (.505, 11 doubles, 38 RBIs), Bullock (.490, 14 doubles, 6 home runs, 43 RBIs), Sellinger (.424, 27 RBIs) and Maldonado (.406) return to lead the offense.

Rupp (8-1, 55.1 innings, 0.63 ERA, 98 K) is among the top pitchers in the state.

“We will have an experienced group and look to be competitive in the Southwest League,” Bassett said. “We hope to earn a playoff spot.”

— —

SUNRISE MOUNTAIN

Head coach: Antonio Morales, third season

2016 record: 3-19 (1-13 Division I-A Sunrise, eighth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (five)

Top players: C Donavan Hansen (Sr.), 3B Daltyn Pytrysson (Sr.), SS Brian Ruiz (So.)

Outlook: The Miners bring back five starters and are hoping to improve this season.

“We are continuing to build up the program to become competitive every year,” Morales said. “This year we have a good mix of upper- and underclassmen that will grow throughout the season and should be competitive by the end of the year.”

— —

TECH

Head coach: Bill Stuber, 12th season

2016 record: 14-18 (9-5 Division I-A Sunrise, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (six)

Top players: IF/P Trevor Kephart (Sr.), IF Chandler Gehring (Sr.), OF/C Jayce Otis (Sr.), UTL/P Gabe Kermode (Jr.), 1B/P Sean Jones (Jr.)

Outlook: The Roadrunners are riding a streak of four consecutive trips to the postseason.

“We will be looking to make another run for the playoffs,” Stuber said.

Six starters are back for Tech, which should get offensive spark from Kephart (.375, 25 RBIs), Gehring (.345, 22 runs, 20 RBIs), Otis (.383, 25 runs), Kermode (.234, 15 runs) and Jones (.268, 15 runs).

“Kermode and Kephart will also head our pitching staff with freshmen Jose Leon and Jason Collingbourne rounding out the rotation,” Stuber said. “Leon and Collingbourne, along with sophomore Oscar Reynoso, are expected to make an impact on offense as well.”

— —

VALLEY

Head coach: Chris Manning, first season

2016 record: 3-25 (1-19 Division I Sunrise, 11th)

Returning starters: Six

Top players: SS/P Jacob Cruz (Sr.), 1B/P Bryce Cowin (Sr.), UTL Omar Serna (Sr.), UTL David Trotta (Sr.), OF Justice Santiago (Sr.)

Outlook: Manning inherits a team that struggled for much of last season.

But the Vikings lost only four seniors and return six starters, giving the team plenty of reason for optimism.

— —

VIRGIN VALLEY

Head coach: Justin Goodsell, third season

2016 record: 6-19 (2-12 Division I-A Sunrise, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Fourteen (eight)

Top players: OF/IF Layton Woods (Sr.), P/SS/OF Dillan Fuqua (Jr.), P/SS/C Cade Anderson (Jr.), OF Jaden Perkins (Jr.), IF/OF/P Easton Jensen (Jr.), 1B Dallan Tanner (Jr.), IF/OF/P Kayden Peterson (So.)

Outlook: A team comprised mostly of sophomores last season has gained experience and should show improvement this year.

In all, 14 lettermen return for the Bulldogs.

“We are hoping to compete this year,” Goodsell said.

— —

WESTERN

Head coach: Michael Hobson, second season

2016 record: 1-19 (0-14 Division I-A Sunset)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top players: SS/P Sebastian Reyes (So.), UTL Tyler Matthews (Jr.), OF Mack Gastelum (So.), 1B/P Gonzalo Lopez (So.), UTL Adrian Oles (Fr.)

Outlook: The Warriors return only three starters, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The bulk of the team’s top players are young and have the chance to really build up the program in the coming years.

“This year’s team is young and lacks game experience, but what we lack in live experience, we make up for in desire,” Hobson said. “Some of these guys have been practicing together every day since last season ended, which is really exciting to see as a coach. It appears that that type of drive has taken us to another level that we have not seen in a handful of years.

“As the season hits full swing and these boys see enough game action, we should find our stride and make some noise in the conference.”

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