The Elkins Post 29 American Legion team returns 15 players off of last year's and begins the season today at Berkeley County.
Post 29, which finished 38-10 last year, captured the Area 5 title and finished second in the state tournament, lost to Kanawha Valley Post 94, 9-1, in the state championship game.
"We return a majority of our lineup from last year's team," said Elkins Post 29 General Manager Chris George. "We are hoping for another good run this year with the kids we have back and the new players we have."
The Elkins Post 29 American Legion team begins the season today at Berkeley County for a doubleheader. Elkins will open its home scheudle Wednesday against Garrett County (Md.) at 6 p.m. at Elkins High School.
Post 29 returns its top hitter from a year ago in left fielder Lance VanNoy. He batted .485 for the legion team last year with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs.
Also returning is catcher Spencer Webley who just finished up his first year at West Virginia Wesleyan. Webley batted .412 and led the team in home runs with 14 and 64 RBIs last season.
Other returning starters include third baseman Adam Fansler, who batted .290 last year, second baseman Ryne Bonnell, who batted .417, and center fielder Scott Fox, who batted .364 with four home runs.
Post 29's other part-time starters last year include Heath Broughton, who batted .358 with three home runs and 38 RBIs. He will see time at third base and right field this season. Josh Davis, who hit .354, is the projected starter at first base for this year. Mike Lewis, who hit .264, will be the backup catcher. Brennan Dettinger will see time in the outfield, Philip Barbour's Trevor Mouser will see time in the outfield, Caten Murphy could see time at right field and first base and Philip Barbour's Tyler Rogers, who could see time at shortstop or right field.
"We return tons of experience with our hitting, which is key," said George. "We just need them to have another good year at the plate."
Newcomers for this year will be Cody Gainer, who will see time at shortstop and center field, Philip Barbour's Andy Green, who could see time in center field, Nick Jones, who could play in center field or right field, Tygarts Valley's Christian Scott, who will see time in right field and shortstop, and Tyler Scott, who is going to be a backup infielder.
Elkins Post 29 will look to replace top pitcher from a year ago in Brendan Miller, who is currently pitching for Potomac State College.
Post 29 returns seven starters from a year ago, including Mouser, who went (9-1) with a 4.26 ERA with 44 strikeouts during last year's legion season. Other returning starters include Fox (5-1), 3.11 ERA with 54 strikeouts, Brandon Robinson (4-1), 4.08 ERA with 32 strikeouts, Corey DeVall (4-0), 5.10 ERA, Broughton (2-3), with 22 strikeouts and Corey Howell (1-2) with 10 strikeouts.
Newcomers will be Christian Scott and Gainer, who could see time starting this year. Also, Green and Dettinger will see time in relief.
"We're very deep in pitching this year, which is nice," said George. "We have a lot of options to choose from.
"This is the most talent I have ever had on paper. They just need to prove it on the field."
Elkins opens the home season Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Garrett County (Md.) at EHS.
billy Hardball Classic starting on June 16th through the 20th.