George Washington - After graduating five seniors from last year's 17-14 squad, youth could lead the Patriots this year.
"A lot is going to depend on this sophomore class," GW Coach Chad Campbell said. "There's five, six or seven of those guys who are really going to contribute this year, and it's going to be up to them."
Among those sophomores are Garrett Vogelbach, Conner Moffatt, Clayton Anderson and Jeff Wong.
Wong and Anderson will work as two of the team's top pitchers, along with junior Tanner Sorrells, who returns after breaking his arm last season. Left-hander John Thomas, a transfer from Florida, joins the team and will play center field in addition to pitcher. Freshman Austin Henrich will also see time on the mound, Campbell said.
Seniors Jacob Whitlock and Robbie Mounts, along with junior Austin Griffith will also factor among the Patriots' expected key contributors.
Capital - The Cougars return eight juniors who started for last season's squad that finished 11-22.
"We've got a lot of kids who are back that have put in the time, and hopefully the results will prove that," Coach Robert Massey said.
This year's team features no seniors, and instead will be led by juniors Justin Palmer and Seth Roadcap. Both will hit in the middle of the lineup and occasionally pitch, Massey said, as Roadcap primarily catches and Palmer plays shortstop.
Last season, Palmer finished with a .379 batting average and 18 RBI as a second team All-Kanawha Valley selection.
Jacob Williams (OF) and Kaleb Kinder (1B) should be two of the team's top pitchers when not occupying their other positions, though Massey said he plans to utilize several arms this season.
Around the horn, junior Austin Hupp will play second base, with Anthony Gavin at third. Trenton Campbell will play outfield, while Jordan Bray is also expected to help as a pitcher.
Riverside - The Warriors return to action poised to build upon the program's winningest season ever.
Riverside returns the team's top two pitchers in senior Tyler Hall and junior Cameron Norris from last year's squad that finished 20-16, ultimately losing to Princeton in the regional final.
In addition to Hall and Norris, sophomore Brady Wilkinson returns as the team's top strikeout pitcher.
"He mixes it up really well and he's got a really good command of all his pitches," Coach Chris Hawkins said. "He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup, and he's comfortable throwing them in any count."
Offensively, Hall, Trevor Rumberg (CF/C) and Aaron Halstead (RF) return as the team's top hitters.
"As far as middle of the lineup, we've got three guys back that were .350 or better hitters last year," Hawkins said. "All three of those guys are seniors, they'll hit in the middle of the lineup probably three, four, five."
St. Albans - The Red Dragons graduated eight players from last year's team that finished 24-7.
"We've got six seniors, but they don't have a lot of experience," Coach Rick Whitman said. "They were sitting and waiting behind that senior class that we had last year."
With so many departed players, Whitman said the team will look to fill its defensive holes.
"Our defense, honestly, we lost a lot of good players from last year, so there's some big shoes to fill," he said. "We're filling out the whole left side of the infield, pitcher and center fielder."
Returning starters Joey Doddrill (1B), Dustin Turley (2B) and Josh Burks (C/DH) will look to lead St. Albans, joined by seniors Austin Harless (3B/P) and Phoenix Shrewsbury (IF/OF/P), Whitman said.
South Charleston - Youth lines the roster this season following the graduation of six senior starters led by former center fielder Rease Ripley.
"This year is a young bunch," Coach Ken Samms said.
Starting pitcher Jared Jobst will be the Black Eagles' No. 1 pitcher, while catcher Jonathan Cline returns as the team's top hitter.
"He'll be my main guy," Samms said of Jobst, "and hopefully, we can get him some runs, and with Cline swinging the bat we can have a good year."
Sophomore Austin Santrock will primarily play shortstop, but serve as the team's No. 2 pitcher, too. Fellow sophomores Jonathan Pauley and Antonio Brown will also be among SC's expected top performers.
With such a young lineup, Samms said keeping the right mindset will be pivotal for the Black Eagles.