By Andrew Davis
TENNERTON - Buckhannon-Upshur returns an experienced group of kids off of last year's 19-13 season for head coach Adam Squires.
The Bucs, who lost in the sectional final to Elkins last year, will open the season on Tuesday night as they travel to rival Elkins for a Big 10 confernece matchup.
The Bucs return All-Big 10 Conference pitcher senior Dalton Westfall. When he's not pitching, he will see time at shortstop or at third base.
"We need big things from Dalton this year," Squires said. "He was one of our top pitchers last year and we need his hitting as well."
Others returning are seniors Nathan Matthews, Corey Reed, Dalton Crislip and Jon McDaniels.
Matthews will see time in center field, Reed will be at first base and Crislip in the infield.
Matthews, Reed an McDaniels will all see time on the mound.
"One of our strengths this year will be our pitching," Squires said. "We return a good mixture of experience and some younger guys, who could really step up and contribute for us as well."
Junior utility player Matt Fair also returns at the varsity level for the Bucs.
Newcomers include junior Jared Bentley and sophomore Tyler Shreve, who are fighting for time at the varsity level.
"Shreve could see time on the mound for us at some point in the season," Squires said. "I think Bentley will help in the batting order."
Squires expects some younger faces to crack the lineup at some point this season.
"We have a lot of freshmen this year who could see some varsity time." Squires said. "We'll just have to wait and see how the season unfolds."
The Bucs' non-conference schedule includes Berkeley Springs, Musselman, Braxton County, University, Hampshire and Nitro.