FRANKLIN- A strong core of returning players should have Pendleton County back in the mix for another strong postseason run.
The Wildcats were 20-12 last year, losing to eventual Class A state runner-up East Hardy in a regional semifinal contest.
Catcher Daniel Hevener, outfielder Logan Raines and first baseman Cody Turner are seniors on the squad.
Hevener and Raines both batted over .300 last season.
"Daniel and Logan will be two our top hitters," Pendleton County coach Sam Yokum said. "I think Logan is one of the top outfielders in the area, so we're expecting big things from him this season.
A strong junior class also returns and includes infielder Luke Yokum, a returning .300 hitter, infielder Cody Lambert, outfielder Evan Arrington and third baseman Andrew Thomas.
Sophomores Jesse Lambert, a catcher, and outfielder Kyle Kretzsechman are other players to watch, along with juniors Travis Alt and Dylan Wimer, and freshman Logan Cooper and Timothy Heavner.
The pitching staff will include the likes of Lambert, a left-hander, Hevener, Arrington, Thomas and Kretzsechman.
Pendleton County will once again play a competitive Potomac Valley Conference schedule, along with non-conference games against traditional state powers Fairmont Senior and Jefferson.
The Wildcats will play Jefferson and Musselman at the fields located at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
"Every four years we try to play at the Hall," Sam Yokum said.
"It's a great experience for the kids and something to look forward to during the season."
'The Wildcats, who captured the state title in 2004, will open the season March 18 at Bath County, Va.