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2024 baseball preview capsules

Apr. 16—: Kyle Rines (first year/fourth leading program)

East-West; D

No varsity team since 2021.

Senior — Brayden Jack (C/OF); Juniors — Gabe White (P/1B); Jonas Culleton (SS/2B).

Senior — Mason Dumont (OF); Juniors — Seamus Keough (OF), Brady Tilton (OF); Freshmen — Krosby Harvey (SS/C), Brayden Monto (OF), Ryder Bragg (1B/OF), James Tyne (3B/P), Breydan Ridlon (P/3B), Colby Belanger (2B/OF).

This is the Bucks first varsity team since 2021, and, understandably, they are an young and inexperienced crew this season. Jack, White and Culleton are the only players with any high school experience. They will be looked to as leaders to guide a talented group of freshmen that makes up half of the roster. Four of those freshmen — Harvey, Ridlon, Bragg and Tyne — have led the middle school program the past few years and will be leaders on the high school team, according to Rines, who previously served as head coached from 2015-17. Hitting and base running will be strengths, and pitching development will be critical. "Once the young players get over the nerves and face some high school pitching, they will adjust and excel," Rines said.

Gavin Arsenault (second year)

Mountain Valley; C

10-6, reached C South preliminary round.

Seniors — Travis Wright (1B/P), Anthony Smith (3B); Sophomores — Trevor Crosby (P/SS), Colin Waugh (P), Ethan Olsen, Tanner Bradeen (OF/C/P).

Trenton Hutchinson, Trent Holman, Charlie Houghton.

Freshmen — Hudson Lufkin (UTL), Leighton Waite (P), Kaeden Swan (C/P), Caden Hutchinson (OF).

The Cougars are young and inexperienced this season. The graduation of several long-entrenched starters will do that. "With not many seniors this year, will be good year to do a lot learning and gaining knowledge for the future," Arsenault said. Pitching should be a strength, but several players will be trying out new positions.

Dave Jordan (ninth year)

KVAC; A

12-8, A North champion, Class A runner-up.

Seniors — Peyton Dyer (2B/OF/P), Brooks Hefty (2B), Kade Masselli (IF/P), Eli St. Laurent (CF/P), Owen Scott (P/OF/1B), Drew Smith (P/DH); Junior — TJ Kramarz (IF/P).

Caleb Albert, Brennan Anthoine, Campbell Cassidy, Gage Ducharme, Brody Keefe, Gavin Levesque, Brady Vincent.

Senior — Tyler Turcotte (OF); Juniors — Ben DuBois (OF), Owen Galway (OF), Elliott Hill (IF/C), Joey Samson (P/IF), Chase Scammon (P/IF); Sophomores — Breccan Albert (C/OF), Brooks Beaudry (OF), Blake Chamberlain (P/OF), Isaac Jalbert (2B/OF), Max Kimble (P/IF); Freshmen — Peyton Kelsea (C/P/OF), Adam Meserve (C/P/IF).

Several returners were part of last year's squad that made a run from eighth seed to the state championship game — Smith, St. Laurent, Masselli and Kramarz were all key contributors, while Dyer, Scott, DuBois and Hill are all solid players who have been waiting their turn to shine. Joining those returners are several talented newcomers. "The team has great work ethic and keeps improving each day," Jordan said. "We are looking forward to some new faces stepping into key roles for us and making an impact to support our veteran returning core."

Seth Johnson (second year)

Western Maine; B

3-13

Seniors — Nick Geer (SP/1B, 3B), Jacob Maschino (3B/SS/P), Braeden Chute (P/SS/OF), Zach Pelletier (1B), Andrew Keddy (C/OF); Juniors — Isaac Ormberg (CF/P), Kaiden Chase (C).

Ian Libby, Colby Dehetre, Abe Bouchard.

Juniors — Griffin Richmond (2B), Isaac Ormberg (CF/P), Kobi Conant (LF/P), Seth Espling (SP/IF), Jason Nevells (1B/P); Sophomore — Jake Mulry (SS/SP).

Johnson said the Patriots are excited heading into the 2024 season. They return many seasoned players with, Johnson said, "a drive and desire to have a successful season." Gray-NG will have a strong pitching rotation that should help the team earn low-scoring, hard-fought victories. Johnson said the team's preseason focus has been defensive fundamentals. "Our goal this year is to compete in every game, represent our school and community with pride and work towards getting playoff wins by getting better every week."

Chris Cifelli (fifth year/10th leading program)

KVAC; B South

9-9, reached B South quarterfinals.

Seniors — Brandon Bilodeau (IF/P), Noah Carpenter (IF/P), Luke Gladu (C), Will Keach (IF/P), Kade Knight (IF/P), Jace Negley (IF/OF), Reid Sibley (OF/P), Colton Taylor (IF/P); Sophomore — Morgan Folsom (IF/P).

Connor DeCoster, Braxton Rowe.

Sophomores — Nick Mellen (OF), John Oliver (OF/P); Freshmen — Trent Holst (IF/P), Randan Hutchinson (IF/C), Nathan Karkos (C/P/IF), Ryder Sawyer-Brown (IF/P).

The Hornets return an experienced and talented group, but Cifelli said they will need "underclassmen to step into some key roles throughout the season." Pitching depth is a strength that Cifelli said will be tested in a "rigorous KVAC and out-of-conference schedule."

Chris Reed (third year)

KVAC; A

4-12

Seniors — Daniel Pelletier (OF/P), Ethan Blue (SS), Payson Goyette (IF), Dylan Blue (P/OF/1B); Juniors — Mike Caron (C/P), Lonnie Thomas (IF/P), Jeff Randall (1B/3B/P), Joe Dube (P/UTL).

Juniors — Brayden Beaule (OF), Matt Levasseur (OF), Gage Parent (1B); Freshmen — Grady Rowles (2B), Gabe Webster (IF/P).

Reed said the Blue Devils "are fortunate to have quality, experienced upperclassmen to lead us." Many of the returning upperclassmen have had successful fall and/or winter seasons in other sports. The Devils lack depth due to low player numbers. Their goal is to reach the playoffs. "Getting contributions from everyone is going to be critical for us to be successful," Reed said. "Keep it simple: throw strikes, defend and compete."

Randy Ridley (25th year)

Mountain Valley; C

12-6, reached C South quarterfinals.

Seniors — Jimmy Fitzsimmons (OF/P), Chris Lavalley (OF); Juniors — Cody Osmond (UTL/P), Gerek Theriault (OF/C), Jayden Camp (IF); Sophomores — Keeghan Morrissette (IF/P), Jacoby Tuplin (OF/C) Brayden Decato (IF/P)

Levi Tibbetts, Aiden Parker, Jack Ramich.

Lincoln Matthews (IF/P), Jacob Fitzsimmons (OF/P).

The Greyhounds are inexperienced, and many of the young players will be counted on to step up and fill important roles. "The goal is to get better every game," Ridley said.

Eric Palleschi (19th year)

Mountain Valley; C

19-1, C South champion, Class C state champion.

Seniors — Sammy Calder (P/IF), Luke Harmon (OF), Kyle Palleschi (IF/P), Carter O'Connell (IF/OF), Brandon Smith (OF), Richard Johnson (OF); Juniors — Isaac Cote (P/IF), Sam Schultz (OF); Sophomores — Rory Foyt (C/UTL), Tyler Johnson (UTL).

Matt Marquis, Manny Calder, Isaac Oliveira, Hunter Frost, Owen Harding.

Senior — Dalton Comeau (OF); Juniors — Rory Shardlow (P), Logan Hall (P), Sophomores — Kyle LePage (P), Brady Hatch (IF); Freshmen — Levi Laverdiere (IF/P), Jake Harmon (UTL/P), Noah Schultz (C/UTL).

The defending state champion Mustangs lost five all-conference players, but they also return four all-conference players, including their top two pitchers, Sammy Calder and Kyle Palleschi. So a repeat is possible, but younger players will need to step up and fill large roles. "Leadership from our upperclassmen and dedication will determine the success of this team," coach Eric Palleschi said. Many of the players were part of Monmouth's soccer or basketball state championship teams, or both, in the fall and winter.

Mason Corriveau (second year)

MVC; C

3-11

Seniors — Jake New (SS), Seneca Jones (P/IF), Kaden Paaso (C), Colby Frisbie (1B); Juniors — Tyler Warren (P/3B), Bradley Sirois (P/2B), Julien Byam (1B), Rilan Farnum (OF), Tanner Banaciski (OF), Wyatt Lantieri (OF); Sophomores — Zakai Salmon (OF), Camron Harper (OF).

Zach New (OF), Leon Salmon (3B).

Sophomore — Dylan Theriault (3B); Freshmen — Josh Pollis (3B/P), Sawyer Durant (UTL), Zach McLean (3B/OF), Jayden Richard-Gardner (OF), Braydan Hughes (OF), Landon Theriault (OF).

Last year, the Falcons went through some growing pains — including losing five games by one or two runs — but through that gained a lot of valuable experience. "We are confident we can flip some of those results this year," Corriveau said. Many key players return, and they'll be counted on to lead the talented newcomers. "It will start with our pitching and defense, and (we'll) rely on timely hitting and aggressive base running to score runs," Corriveau said.

Jeff Pilsbury (sixth season)

MVC; C

13-5, reached C South quarterfinals.

Seniors — Bear Rollins (OF), Payton Mitchell (IF/P/C), Cam Frost-Grey (C); Juniors — Logan Dube (P/1B), Ash Rollins (OF), Bryce Wilcox (P/C/IF); Sophomores — Kaden Longley (P/OF), Killian Pillsbury (IF/C).

Kaden Pillsbury, Tucker Plouffe, Tre Pease.

Michael Wilkins, Owen Cook, Alden Pratt, Brennan Mitchell, Bryce Cote.

The Roadrunners' roster is made up of athletic players who, coach Jeff Pilsbury said, "enjoy the game of baseball." Many of those players won a soccer state title in the fall and came close to a regional title during the basketball season. Mt. Abram expects to be competitive against the top teams in the MVC and hopes to make another playoff run. "Keys to our success will be solid pitching and consistent defense," Pilsbury said.

Rob Dippner (third year)

KVAC; A

7-9

Juniors — Nolan Leso (P/OF), Gage DeCarolis (IF).

Hayden Dippner, Hayden Durrell, Jayden Meader, Brody Walsh, Ike Wrigley.

Seniors — Trent Beaudoin (UTL/P), Warren Allen (1B/P); Juniors — Dane Cousineau (P/OF), Thomas Cormier (3B/P) Preston Ball; Sophomores — Ben Wrigley (C), Gary Harkins (OF); Freshmen — Oliver Cormier (IF/P) Jax Vienneau (1B/P).

Having graduated five players who are now playing college baseball, Leso will be counted on to lead this young group of Cougars. "We have a ton of young potential, especially on the mound," coach Rob Dippner said. "We will continue to work hard to be prepared for the Class A North schedule."

Chad Stowell (eighth year)

Mountain Valley; B

14-4, reached C South semifinals.

Seniors — Trent Drouin (SS/P), Landen Denis (1B/P), Landon Bangs (2B/P), Cooper Spencer (CF), Eli Gosselin (C), David Hall (1B); Juniors — Kaleb Langlois (OF/P), Jordan Castonguay (OF).

Kyle Delano, Ethan Vattaso, Grayson Letourneau, Aaron Ridlon, Zak Bean.

Junior — Logan Langlois (3B/P); Sophomores — Braden Dubuc (INF/P), Braden New (OF/C).

The Raiders aim to improve throughout the regular season so they are playing their best baseball when the postseason rolls around. Drouin leads a talented and decorated group of returners. He has been a starter since he was a freshman and is a three-time MVC all-star. Denis, Bangs and Spencer have all received all-conference honors and in their third years as starters. "The offense has potential to be very deep, and the defense in the preseason has looked strong," Stowell said.

Shane Slicer (21st year)

KVAC; A

12-5, reached A North quarterfinals.

Seniors — Brady Truman (IF/P), Nick Binette (IF/P), Hunter Tardiff (OF); Juniors — Carter Holbrook (OF), Gabe Damon (OF/1B/P), Carter Wyman (OF); Sophomores — Cam Pulkkinen (3B/P), Carson Stevens (OF/P), Colton Jendrick (IF/P), Ryder Kennison (1B/P), Dylan Truman (C/IF/P).

Eli Soehren, Kolby Brown, Kaden Delano, Connor Fitts, Patrick Hersey.

Seniors — Ross Campbell (P/OF), Hayden Farrell (P/OF), Logan Spencer (IF/OF); Sophomore — Wyatt Grover (C); Freshman — Gunner Truman (IF/P).

Experience gained throughout the season should lead to improvement for this relatively young squad. Defense and speed should be team strengths. "An inexperienced pitching staff will need to perform well for the team to compete at a high level," Slicer said. "Our goal is to improve every day and be competitive every game."

Charlie Pray (eighth year)

Western Maine; B

6-10

Seniors — Adam Gwarjanski (P/IF), Isaac Ramsdell (OF), Regan Cohen (C), Sam Paladino (OF/P), Travis West (IF/P); Junior — Johnny Bsullak (OF); Sophomores — Alex Mains (IF/P), Landon Cooper (IF/P).

Aiden MacFawn, Drew Sayler, Gene Grant, Parker Hackett, Lagan O'Driscoll.

Seniors — Cailean MacEachen (OF), Tommy Gagnon (OF); Junior — Gavin Lenahan (IF); Sophomore — Cohen Demuth (OF); Freshmen — Aiden Bean (C), Eliot Rioux (P), Lucas Verill (IF), Shawn West (IF).

The Knights will be led by senior ace Gwarjanksi on the hill and Cohen, a four-year starter at catcher. Younger players will need to be integrated into key roles, Pray said, to help Poland remain competitive in the tough MWC. Pray added that the Knights "will need to rely on pitching and defense to win games."

Derek Bowen (first year)

Mountain Valley; C

7-11, reached C South quarterfinals.

Seniors — Griffin Achorn (P/3B), Laeton Ready (OF); Juniors — Max Labonte (2B), Eli Moffett (SS/3B/P), Connor Foss (SS/OF/P), Cole Richards (3B); Sophomore — Kolby Cotton (1B/P).

Elie Timler, Lucas Towers, Logan Knight, Garrett Hunt, Nate Holland, Tyler Spugnardi, Reece Davis, Payton Martin.

Senior — Brody Souther (OF/P); Junior — Evan Nichols (C/OF); Sophomores — Evan Hamilton (OF/1B), Blake Gemelli (OF/P); Freshmen — Trent Lovewell (SS,C/P), Jonathan Hines (OF/C), Cayden Ball (1B/3B/P), Levi Richards (OF/2B).

The Phoenix graduated eight players, so captains Achorn, Moffett and Labonte will be relied on to guide this young squad through the 2024 season. "It will take some time to find these new pieces and get acclimated to the new team," first-year coach Derek Bowen said. But, he added, the Phoenix have bonded and developed chemistry during the preseason.

Bob Blackman (20th year)

Western Maine; D

14-5, D South champion, Class D champion.

Seniors — Ridge Dionne (C), Ashton Hammond (P/SS), Timothee Ouellette (P/SS), Ryan Bussiere (3B), Tom Casserly (OF), Ethan Pelletier (1B), Campbell Perryman (OF), Kyle Reed (OF); Juniors — Curtis Wheeler (2B), Mason LaFlamme (P/1B); Sophomores — Riley Daigle (OF/P), Ben Dumais (OF/P), Brady Blash (C/OF).

Miles Frenette.

Sophomores — Joseph Adams (1B), Daniel Iwuanyanwu (OF); Freshmen — Alek St. Laurent (OF), Sebastian Caine (OF), Eddie Cobb (2B).

The Saints have won back-to-back state titles and return an experienced team that is back for more. "If we can stay healthy and focused, we're hoping to compete for another state championship," Blackman said.

Scott Underhill (fourth year); assistant: Ryan Kimball (fourth year)

Mountain Valley; D

2-12

Seniors — Anthony Conant (3B/P, .346 avg.), Wyatt Lilly (OF, .387 avg), Nick Zolad (IF/OF), Juniors — Brody Walker (P/IF, .344 avg.), Wylie Williamson (IF/OF), Brody Morgan (OF), Grady Kellogg (1B/C/DH), Nathan Clarey (P/OF); Sophomores — Connor Deprey (1B/P), AI Ballou (IF, .353 avg.), Landon Bryant (OF), Camden Johnston (OF), Freshmen — Brennan Walker (C/P/IF), Brayden Easterlin (P/OF), Carter Inman (C/OF).

Wil Doyle, Colby Hastings, Cameron Palmer.

Brennan Walker, Brayden Easterlin.

The Rebels aim to build upon previous seasons with a nice-sized group of returning contributors that is highlighted by a strong pitching corps. "This year's team looks very promising with three legitimate starting pitchers and three valuable relievers," Underhill said. "We will be solid up the middle."

John Novak (fifth year)

Mountain Valley; Class: C

10-7, reach C South preliminary round.

Juniors — Braden Branagan, Carter Collin, Cole Dufour, Connor Williams, Evan Bilodeau, Finn Barrett, Jaxon August, Trent Collin, Will Grant; Sophomores — Keenan Libby, Jackson Ohearn, Brody Adams, Brady Shuman.

Andrew Fay, Tyler Shumway, Brayden Stubbert, Matt Beck.

Freshmen — Aiden Hickey, Gianni Haefele, Josh Foster, Ross Fichthorn, Travis Donovan, Parker Mangin.

No seniors this season, but the Ramblers do have a large and skilled junior class that will lead the team as it continues to grow and improve. Pitching, led by Trent and Carter Collin, is again a strength. "Our goal this year is to take it one game at a time and see how everything unfolds," Novak said.

Area roundup: Cape Elizabeth ekes past Poland in 8 innings

2024 baseball preview: Players to watch this season