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2014 Baseball Preseason Capsules

AGASSI PREP

Head coach: Justin Burtsell, first season

2013 record: 3-13 (1-11 Division III Southern, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): 10 (nine)

Top players: P/SS Mihith Narasinghe (Jr.), C Gustavo Barrera (So.), 1B Robert Blake (Jr.), LF Jordan Parker (So.)

Outlook: Burtsell takes over a team that returns nine starts, but is comprised mainly of sophomores and juniors.

“The team has a solid core of returning starters,” Burtsell said. “We will be focusing on starting a winning tradition with this young group of starters. We have some work to do, but out outlook is positive for this season.”

ARBOR VIEW

Head coach: Jay Guest, first season

2013 record: 30-6 (8-2 Northwest, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (two)

Top players: P Gabe Gonzalez (Sr.), OF Kaid Urban (Sr.), SS Nick Quintana (So.), OF/P Kevin Johns (Sr.), P/3B Sam Pastrone (Jr.), 1B/3B Sid Cutting (Sr.)

Outlook: Guest takes over a squad that lost 12 players to graduation.

Urban, who hit .398, was a second-team All-Northwest League selection last year. Pastrone hit .344 and was 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA. Quintana belted four home runs.

“We are a young team with little varsity experience,” Guest said. “If we learn to play our style of baseball, throw strikes and play defense, we might be OK. We are not really physical, so it will be very important that we are able to execute our offense and limit mistakes.”

BONANZA

Head coach: Mike O’Rourke, first season

2013 record: 20-16 (5-5 Southwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: 3B/2B/P Alec Taft (Sr.), OF Robert Higgs (Sr.), Cruz Nevarez (Sr.)

Outlook: O’Rourke takes over after serving as an assistant coach during the Bengals’ memorable season last year.

The defending Sunset Region champions graduated a boatload of seniors, and return only three starters, including Taft (.373, 16 RBIs) and Higgs (.300, 10 RBIs).

“Experience-wise, we are a young team,” O’Rourke said. “We need some guys to step up on the mound to replace the innings we lost to graduation.”

CANYON SPRINGS

Head coach: Todd Faranda, second season

2013 record: 1-23 (0-10 Northeast, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: OF Isiah Carter (Sr.), P/C/3B Alex Molina (Sr.), P/OF Rashaad Jones (Sr.), P/IF Johnny Flores (So.), P Jordan Gainey (Jr.)

Outlook: The Pioneers struggled last season, but gained experience they hope proves valuable.

“After playing 100 games in the past 10 months, we have improved as a program and want to start competing with the upper-tier programs,” Faranda said. “The foundation has been set to start being successful as a program.”

CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Charlie Cerrone, 15th season

2013 record: 14-19 (4-6 Southwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): 14 (seven)

Top players: P/OF Cooper Powell (Sr.); P/IF Will Loucks (Sr.); OF Ricky Koplow (Sr.); OF Porter rosenkrantz (Sr.); C Hayden Grant (So.); IF/P Kyle Horton (Fr.); P/IF Jake Portaro (Jr.); P/OF Anthony Caccente (Jr.); P Jake Del Barrio (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs look to bounce back after missing the postseason last season.

Powell and Loucks are back to lead an experienced squad. Both were second team All-Sunset Region picks last season.

“We look to stay healthy and to be playing our best baseball and the end of the season and compete well in the playoffs,” Cerrone said. “We sould hav sollind potching and improved defense, (but) need to find some hitting.”

CHAPARRAL

Head coach: David Soto, third season

2013 record: 22-9 (9-3 Sunrise, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (five)

Top players: P/3B Tommy Crone (Sr.), OF/P Matthew O’Connor (So.), SS/P Chad Clark (Sr.), OF/P Luis Giro (Sr.), OF/P Jose Ortiz (Sr.), 2B/P Tyler Crone (Jr.)

Outlook: Tommy Crone, who went 7-1 on the mound and hit .463 with 21 RBIs, returns along with O’Connor (6-2, .429 average, 15 RBIs) to lead the Cowboys, who hope to make a playoff run.

CIMARRON-MEMORIAL

Head coach: Mike Hubel, 13th season

2013 record: 25-8 (8-2 Southwest, first)

Returning starters: Four

Top players: SS Niko Decolati (Jr.). 2B Logan Bottrell (Sr.), CF Micquel Robinson (Sr.), P Larry Quaney (Jr.), P Jamie Yanchisin (Sr.)

Outlook: The Spartans bring back four starters from a team that won the Southwest League.

Quaney (8-0, 2.05 ERA) and Yanchisin (2-1, 1.84 ERA) are back to lead the pitching staff, and Bottrell (.431, 19 RBIs), Decolati (.380, 25 RBIs) and Robinson (.365, 24 RBIs) should be among the offensive leaders.

“We have a young but talented team,” Hubel said. “We have a lot of first-year varsity players, so we will see how they react to this level. Most of them played with us all summer, so that experience will help.

“Again this year we have a left-handed dominant pitching staff that is young. We have a good balance of team speed and power, and we will look to move runners and put pressure on the opposing team’s defense.”

CORONADO

Head coach: David Padilla, seventh season

2013 record: 36-4 (10-0 Southeast, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (one)

Top players: P/OF Jackson Cofer (Sr.), IF Tanner Bellamy (Sr.), IF Derek Clelan (Sr.), P Adam Garcia (So.)

Outlook: The defending state champions lost a ton to graduation and have just one returning starter.

Cofer, a Utah Valley signee, went 7-1 with a 1.88 ERA and hit .276 last year, and Padilla expects him to be one of the team’s leaders. Bellamy hit .313.

“This year’s team is young but talented,” Padilla said. “We will face many challenges in our own league with Liberty, Basic and Foothill all much improved.

DEL SOL

Head coach: Jorge Romero, first season

2013 record: 6-18 (2-8 Southeast, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (four)

Top players: P/IF Nick Trujillo (Sr.), 1B Danny Maloney (Sr.), OF Mike DeLeon (Sr.), P/IF Matt Styck (Jr.)

Outlook: Romero takes over a club that has just four returning lettermen.

“With a young and thin roster, we are looking for our players to gain valuable experience,” Romero said. “We expect to be competitive in every game, and if the ball bounces in our favor, the playoffs are a definite possibility.”

DURANGO

Head coach: Sam Knapp, 12th season

2013 record: 9-24 (2-8 Northwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): 17 (six)

Top players: P/1B/OF Anthony Parry (Sr.), C/DH Jordan Borlase (Sr.), C/DH Jacob Skipper (Sr.), P/3B Vince Lombardi (Sr.), 2B/P Johnny Wright (Sr.), P Kenny Carpenter (Sr.), P Jordan Knapp (Sr.), IF/P Ricky Mesa (Sr.), 3B/P Dustin Levin (Sr.), P Justin Hodges (Sr.), P/2B Gavin Williams (Sr.)

Outlook: With 17 lettermen back, the Trailblazers should be in better shape to compete in the Northwest League.

“We’re an older team that is looking to stay healthy this year and trying to get back to the playoffs,” Coach Knapp said.

ELDORADO

Head coach: Jesse Medellin, 17th season

2013 record: 7-23 (1-9 Southeast, sixth)

Returning starters: Three

Top players: P/C/IF Don DiMaggio (Sr.), OF/SS Josh Brown (Jr.), C Miguel Sanchez (Sr.)

Outlook: The Sundevils return just three starters.

“We are very young,” Medellin said. “We have a good group of young players that we hope will make an impact this year. We are definitely going to go through some growing pains, but I feel that we will be better by midseason and hopefully ready to go by playoff time.”

FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: Blair Neagle, second season

2013 record: 28-9 (10-0 Sunset, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): 13 (Five)

Top players: P Brandon Johnson (Sr.), P Jordan Dreibelbis (Sr.), P/UTL Erich Uelmen (Sr.), SS Logan Etherington (Sr.)

Outlook: The defending Division I-A state champions return three solid pitchers in Johnson (8-2, 1.64 ERA, 81 strikeouts in 51.1 innings), Dreibelbis (5-1, 1.45, 57 Ks, 38.2 innings) and Uelmen (4-3, 2.22, 76 Ks, 53.2 innings).

Etherington (.389 average, 26 RBIs) and Uelmen (.421, 23 RBIs) should be among the leaders offensively.

“It’s a senior heavy team,” Neagle said. “They’re a close-knit group that has been together for six years. A very difficult non-league schedule will be a good indicator on how good this group could be.”

FOOTHILL

Head coach: Matt Iglitz, eighth season

2013 record: 21-11 (5-5 Southeast, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): 12 (Seven)

Top players: P Nick Cardinale (Sr.), OF Bligh Madris (Sr.), P/IF Tyler Van Stone (Sr.), OF Collin Dobrolecki (Sr.), OF Ryan Moyes (Sr.), C/P Zack Avery (Sr.)

Outlook: The Falcons bring back most of the starting lineup from a team that finished third in the Southeast.

Among the returnees are Cardinale (7-1, 3.78 ERA, 49 strikeouts in 46.1 innings), Van Stone and Avery on the mound.

The offense should get a lift from Madris (.400, 21 RBIs), Van Stone (.380, 24 RBIs), Moyes (.395, 12 RBIs), Dobrolecki (.363, 32 RBIs) and Avery (.302, 21 RBIs).

“With an experienced roster and several returning starters, we expect to compete for a playoff berth,” Iglitz said. “We hope that experience carries us into the playoffs and gives us the opportunity to play deep into the postseason.

“This is a team which will rely on experience of its starting pitching.”

LAS VEGAS

Head coach: Sam Thomas, 17th season

2013 record: 17-13 (7-3 Northeast, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: P/OF Jose Sanchez (Sr.), P/IF J.D. Garcia (Sr.), P Carlos Galvan (Sr.), P/OF Jaime Solis (Jr.), IF Eddie Ojeda (Jr.)

Outlook: The Wildcats bring back only four starters.

“It’s still a young team with the majority of starters being sophomores,” Thomas said. “We hope to compete for a playoff spot.”

LAUGHLIN

Head coach: Tony Petrik, 19th season

2013 record: 24-10 (9-3 Division III Southern, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (Two)

Top players: OF Justin Quibell (Sr.), C Ryan Torrance (Sr.)

Outlook: The Cougars placed second in the Southern League last season, but lost almost the entire team.

Only two lettermen return as Laughlin hopes to rebuild.

“Our numbers are low,” Petrik said. “We are very young, very inexperienced.”

LEGACY

Head coach: Tommy Krier, first season

2013 record: 8-19 (0-10 Southwest, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (two)

Top players: SS Garret Christiansen (Sr.), CF Quentin Ewing (Sr.)

Outlook: The Longhorns are a different team after going winless in Southwest League play.

Krier, who spent four seasons as Western’s coach, takes over a team that has only two starters back.

“Legacy will depend on senior returnees Garret Christiansen, Quentin Ewing, Aaron Trifunac and Dwight Taylor,” Krier said. “We are looking to rebound (from) last year.”

THE MEADOWS

Head coach: Frank DeSantis, 15th season

2013 record: 11-9 (8-4 Division III Southern, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (Five)

Top players: C/OF Austin Neal (Sr.), C/OF Connor Cheek (Sr.), P/OF Drake Gordon (Jr.), P/IF Nabeel Adzal (So.)

Outlook: The Mustangs bring back seven players from a squad that qualified for the Southern League playoffs.

“We’re looking to find a way into the playoffs, finding a group that will buy into the team philosophy,” DeSantis said. “A lot of holes to fill will be the focus of the season.”

MOAPA VALLEY

Head coach: Gary Weiss, first season

2013 record: 18-10-1 (9-3 Sunrise, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (four)

Top players: 1B/P Chad Jones (Sr.), CF/P Jake Repp (Sr.), SS/P Jared Repp (Sr.)

Outlook: Jones hit .427 and had 25 RBIs, and Jake Repp hit .357 with 20 RBIs. They lead a list of five returnees.

“With a strong group of seniors, we look to be competitive in our division,” Weiss said.

MOJAVE

Head coach: Daniel LaSalle, third season

2013 record: 13-17 (3-7 Sunset, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): 10 (seven)

Top players: LF/C Cory Tobin (Sr.), RF Chase Anderson (Jr.), Tyler Ledgister (Jr.), CF/P Ryan Lawrence (Jr.), 1B/P Tyson Goodrich (Sr.), P Alex Smith (Sr.), C Reese McClain (Fr.)

Outlook: The Rattlers welcome back seven starters from a team that finsished fifth in the Sunset League.

Tobin hit. 379 with 13 RBIs, and Goodrich hit .312 with 17 RBIs last year. Lawrence hit .444 in an injury-shortened season.

“We look to rebound from an injury-plagued season that saw us lose our top three pitchers for the year,” LaSalle said. “Most of the team has been together three years, and if we can stay injury-free, we can make a deep playoff run.

“This group has a great focus and a team-first attitude that we know will translate into success.”

PAHRANAGAT VALLEY

Head coach: Brad Loveday, 21st season

2013 record: 23-6 (12-0 Division IV Southern, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): 11 (Six)

Top players: SS/P Wade Leavitt (Jr.), 1B/P Paden Higbee (Jr.), P Jeremy Minick (Jr.), 2B Caleb Hansen (Jr.), C Jordan Cryts (Jr.), OF Jake Carter (Sr.), OF/P Shawn Wadsworth (So.)

Outlook: The Panthers bring back six starters from a team that was painfully young last year, yet still went undefeated in Southern League play.

“We have one one senior this year, but a great group of young players,” Loveday said. “We will be competitive again.”

PAHRUMP VALLEY

Head coach: Brian Hayes, second season

2013 record: 14-16 (5-5 Sunset, third)

Top players: OF/P A.J. Segura (Sr.), SS/P Josh Mortensen (Jr.), 2B/P Dylan Ault (Jr.), OF Cristian Balding (Sr.), 3B/P Chad Uyeno, OF/P Devin Rily (Sr.)

Outlook: The Trojans lost only two seniors to graduation last season and should be primed for a strong season.

Segura (.404, 24 RBIs) and Ault (.400, 27 RBIs) should be among the leaders on offense, and Uyeno (2-1, 2.30 ERA) could be one of the top pitchers.

“We are two deep in every position,” Hayes said. “Expectations are high, especially if we can improve our pitching and offensive production.”

PALO VERDE

Head coach: Kevin Fiddler, second season

2013 record: 11-17 (2-8 Northwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): 16 (five)

Top players: P/OF Michael Spada (Sr.), P Brad Steiner (Sr.), IF/P Colin Janison (Sr.)

Outlook: The Panthers struggled last season, but with the bulk of that team returning, should be in better shape to compete this year.

“These guys have worked hard to get to where they are,” Fiddler said. “Our pitching staff has a great deal of depth, but after batting just .220 as a team last year, offense will be the deciding factor in our success this season.

“These guys are ready to continue building a new tradition at Palo Verde.”

RANCHO

Head coach: Tom Pletsch, ninth season

2013 record: 21-15, (5-5 Northeast, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): 12 (Six)

Top players: 3B Jose Verdugo (Sr.), P Josh Mill (Sr.), CF Dylan Pletsch (Sr.), OF Bryce Harrell (Sr.), OF David Modler (Sr.), P Cody Suarez (Sr.), OF Richmond Ashworth (Sr.), P Andrew Wieger (Jr.), C Zach Barnhart (So.)

Outlook: The Rams were young last season and should benefit from that year of experience as 12 lettermen return, including four of the team’s top five pitchers.

Verdugo hit .385 with 29 RBIs and had a 2.48 ERA in 31 innings on the mound. Also among those returning are Mill (2.81 ERA), Wieger (2.90 ERA), Suarez (3.31 ERA), Harrell (.410 average) and Modler (.366, 23 RBIs)

“The outlook is very bright,” Pletsch said. “If we can stay away from injuries, we should be able to be close at the end.”

SHADOW RIDGE

Head coach: Frank Tousa, sixth season

2013 record: 30-5 (8-2 Northwest, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (Four)

Top players: C Jordan Hand (Sr.), P/IF Travis Caskie (Sr.), IF Brady Hoskins (Sr.), IF Tyler Burton (Jr.), IF Francisco Robles (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mustangs had a banner regular season last year, but lost a handful of starters to graduation.

Three of the team’s top five pitchers and the top three in batting average all are gone.

But the Mustangs do return talent on the mound in Caskie (6-1, 2.02 ERA) and Burton (3-0, 1.34 ERA) and a big bat at the plate in Hoskins (.340, 4 HR, 30 RBIs).

“We hope to be competitive in our league and battle for a playoff spot,” Tousa said.

SIERRA VISTA

Head coach: Nate Selby, 13th season

2013 record: 22-11 (6-4 Northwest, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): 11 (seven)

Top players: OF Cole Crosby (Sr.), IF Caeden Marin (Jr.), P/IF Nolan Kingham (Jr.), P Tyler Charlton (Sr.), OF Matthew Almaguer (Sr.), C Dylan White (So.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions welcome back seven starters and hope to make a playoff run in the Sunset Region.

“We should be strong on the mound, but need to find consistency at the plate,” Selby said.

SILVERADO

Head coach: Brian Whitaker, 20th season

2013 record: 12-18-1 (6-4 Northeast, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): 13 (Five)

Top players: C Vince Taormina (Jr.), P/OF Nick Kawano (Sr.), P/SS Dillon Johnson (Jr.)

Outlook: Taormina hit four of the team’s five home runs last year and had a team-best 26 RBIs while hitting .376. Kawano hit .302 with 14 RBIs and went 4-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 49.2 innings last year. They lead a list of five returnees.

“The Skyhawks are a team with good chemistry and a strong work ethic,” Whitaker said. “Silverado is looking forward to trying to extend its consecutive playoff appearance streak to 18 seasons,” Whitaker said.

SPRING VALLEY

Head coach: Paul Bassett, sixth season

2013 record: 13-16-1 (4-6 Northwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (Five)

Top players: SS/P Michael Macove (Sr.), 1B/3B Taylor Robison (Sr.)

Outlook: The Grizzlies bring back five starters from a team that finished fourth in the Northwest League.

Macove hit .418 and had 28 RBIs last season, and Robison hit .330 with 18 RBIs.

“We are very inexperienced and look to be competitive in the Northwest League,” Bassett said.

SUNRISE MOUNTAIN

Head coach: Nick Grove, first season

2013 record: 6-16 (3-9 Sunrise, fifth)

Returning lettermen: Four

Outlook: Grove, who guided Shadow Ridge’s softball team to the postseason last year, takes over a team that graduated 13 seniors.

“Once again, Sunrise Mountain will be in rebuilding mode,” Grove said. “While the culture of the school has changed and other sports have started seeing some success, this extremely young baseball team is hoping to be competitive.

“A lot of things remain to be seen, but the young Miners could take some lumps this season. This does not deter the fact that the kids are working extremely hard, but Sunrise Mountain is probably a few years away.”

TECH

Head coach: Bill Stuber, ninth season

2013 record: 13-10 (6-6 Sunrise, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (six)

Top players: OF/P Eli Peinado (Sr.), IF/P Abel Martinez (Sr.), IF/P Bryan Casas (Sr.)

Outlook: Peinado (.457, 27 RBIs), Martinez (6-1, 2.33 ERA, 54 strikeouts; .385, 26 RBIs) and Casas (.382, 4 triples) are expected to be among the leaders on a team that hopes to return to the playoffs.

“Our team is a mix of veteran players and freshmen,” Stuber said. “Martinez will lead the pitching staff, along with junior Sebastian Fitzgerald and freshmen Trevor Kephart and Logan Campbell.

“We are looking to build on last year and advance deeper into the playoffs.”

VALLEY

Head coach: Pete Atoigue, first season

2013 record: 9-19 (2-8 Northeast, fifth)

Returning starters: Six

Top players: C Omar Gonzalez (Sr.), SS/P Alonso Osorio-Kalawe (So.), OF/3B/P Roberto Beltran (Jr.), 3B Logan Corona (Jr.), 1B/P Jared Limbeck (Jr.)

Outlook: Atoigue, who spent the last two seasons as Cheyenne’s coach, takes over a program that welcomes back six starters and is hoping to improve.

“The Vikings are a young team, and we will depend on our veteran starters to help pave the way on and off the field,” Atoigue said. “We have a lot of young, talented players, and this element will be crucial in the development and rebuilding process of this team.

“Our goal this season is simple: To outperform our last performance.”

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