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2022 BASEBALL PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
Tyler Triche

Forsyth Central

Coach: Kevin McCollum

Last year’s record: 24-15, reached Class 7A Final Four

Key returners: 1B/C/DH Jesse Duong, Sr.; 1B/C/DH John Kirsch, Sr.; OF/P Sam Medrano, Sr.; C Kole McGlumphy, Jr.; OF Cam Yeager, Jr.; SS/P Alex Hernandez, So.

Key newcomers: 2B/OF Chris Covino, Sr.; P Drew Gausling, Sr.; INF Jacob Mattox, Sr.; INF Matt Phillips, Sr.; P/OF Griffin MacAllaster, Jr.; 3B Brandon Semple, Jr.; OF Daniel Smith, Jr.; P Jake Walther, Jr.; OF/INF Braden Wudi, Jr.

What to know: Forsyth Central made history last spring but also graduated some key pieces, including Forsyth County News Pitcher of the Year Will Robbins and first-team all-county shortstop AJ Fiechter. However, the Bulldogs return one of the top sluggers in the county in Jesse Duong, who hit .333 with three home runs and 20 RBIs last season. Sophomore Alex Hernandez is committed to Georgia Tech, while juniors Kole McGlumphy and Cam Yeager also return from last year’s Final Four run. Head coach Kevin McCollum acknowledged the loss of experience – Duong is the team’s only returning starter – but said this team has enough talent to reach its goals of winning the region and making a playoff run.

Denmark

Coach: Jamie Corr

Last year’s record: 19-17, reached Class 7A Elite Eight

Key returners: P Francesco Capocci, Jr.; P Jake Freedman, Sr.; P Dylan Trova, Sr.; P Jacob Kruger, Sr.; P Lane Grayson, Sr.; P Harry Harris, Sr.; P Tyler Williams, Sr.; C Sammy Leis, Sr.; 1B/3B Jake Myers, Sr.; SS Connor McGinn, Sr.; OF Brody Wheeler, Sr.; OF Kyle Henley, Jr.; OF Garrett Powers, Jr.

Key newcomers: OF Hayden Fox, Sr.; 2B Aiden Boileau, So.

What to know: Last year’s Region 6-7A champions are primed to compete for another region championship this season. Junior Francesco Capocci, who is committed to North Carolina and is one of the top pitchers in the county, is one of seven returning pitchers for the Danes, a list that includes Jake Freedman, Dylan Trova, Jacob Kruger and Lane Grayson. Denmark has plenty of offensive firepower, too, with Alabama signee Sammy Leis behind the dish and Georgia Tech commit Kyle Henley patrolling the outfield. Infielders Connor McGinn and Jake Myers give the Danes some pop in the middle of the lineup.

East Forsyth

Coach: Kyle Counts

Last year’s record: N/A

Key returners: N/A

Key newcomers: OF/P Logan Pedretti, Jr.; IF/P Blake Riley, Jr.; P/INF Lucas Kniola, So.; OF/P Will Moffit, So.; OF Matthew Lyons, So.; P/INF Wyatt Barden, Fr.; C Mason Schreiber, Fr.; P/OF Trey Farr, Fr.

What to know: East Forsyth heads into the 2022 season with plenty of unknowns. The first-year Broncos will be tested in an especially competitive Region 7-3A, which features last year’s Class 3A state champion North Hall, plus a Cherokee Bluff team that reached the Elite Eight a year ago. Logan Pedretti and Blake Riley are juniors who can pitch and play the field for the Broncos. Sophomores Lucas Kniola and Will Moffit will also lead the offense, while Wyatt Barden, Mason Schreiber and Trey Farr should contribute as freshmen.

Lambert

Coach: Rick Howard

Last year’s record: 22-15, reached Class 7A Elite Eight

Key returners: OF Parker Brosius, Sr.; P/INF/OF Nate Dvorsky, Sr.; P/INF Justin Haskins, Sr.; P/INF Colin Linder, Sr.; INF Jack Schaeffer, Sr.; INF/P Jonny Smith, Jr.; OF Jett Bugajski, Sr.; P Ashton Smith, Sr.; P/OF Ryan Cameron, Jr.; P/OF Bradley Gabriel, Jr.; C/INF Will Gillice, Jr.; INF/P Ben Hays, Jr.; P/OF Greyson Madonia, Jr.

Key newcomers: INF Matthew Mapes, Jr.

What to know: You’d be hard-pressed to find a better one-two punch on the mound than Lambert’s combination of Colin Linder and Nate Dvorsky. Linder was outstanding last season, compiling a 2.36 ERA and 60 strikeouts in region play, and signed this fall to play baseball at Texas A&M. Dvorsky signed to Clemson and outfielder Parker Brosius signed to Georgia Tech. Expectations are high this season for the Longhorns, who also return key pieces such as Justin Haskins, Ashton Smith, Jett Bugjaski and Jack Schaeffer, plus a transfer from Pinecrest Academy in Matthew Mapes.

North Forsyth

Coach: Jim Cahill

Last year’s record: 17-13, missed playoffs

Key returners: P/1B Brett Barfield, Sr.; C Hayden Brown, Sr.; OF Trystan Davis, Sr.; C/OF Michail Harris, Sr.; P/OF Baylor Homesley, Sr.; P Hank Simonds, Sr.; INF Tyler Triche, Sr.; P Nolan Wood, Sr.; INF/OF Josh Zirlott, Sr.; C Logan Curry, Jr.; P/OF/IB Andrew Elkhill, Jr.; P/INF Cason Engert, Jr.; P/OF Kyle Roper, So.; OF Chandler DeBlois, So.; INF/P Kyle Duckwall, So.; INF/P Jake Prince, So.

Key newcomers: OF Elias Gomes, Sr.; P Cole Munhall, Sr.; P Parker Adams, Jr.; P Drew Bentley, Jr.; UTL Gavin Busse, Jr.; INF Gabe Cuellar, Jr.; C Billy Mason, Jr.; INF Colin Seabold, Jr.; P/1B Austin McCabe, So.; P/1B/OF Brady Holbrook, Fr.

What to know: North Forsyth might have been the best team in Class 7A to miss the playoffs last season, missing out on the postseason on the last day of the regular season. The Raiders return several starters, including a handful of pitchers who have already made their collegiate commitments: Brett Barfield [Florida State], Baylor Homesley [Austin Peay], Andrew Elkhill [South Alabama], Cole Munhall [Tulane]. Shortstop Tyler Triche returns after a junior season that saw the Georgia Southern signee lead the team with five home runs, 23 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. Erskine signee Elias Gomes should also give the Raiders’ offense some depth in 2022.

South Forsyth

Coach: Russ Bayer

Last year’s record: 22-14, reached Class 7A Sweet 16

Key returners: C/3B/RHP Ryan Becker, Sr.; 1B/C Brennan Hudson, Sr.; OF/LHP Alex Urias, Jr.; C/OF Britton Rellinger, Sr.; INF Brooks Bennett, Sr.; RHP Dylan Quintilio, Sr.; RHP/OF Tyler Bayer, So.

Key newcomers: OF Dylan Carter, Sr.; INF/RHP Nate Ward, Jr.; DH/3B Bayler Duncan, So.; P Baylor Hicks, Jr.; P/INF Jackson Broach, Jr.; P Yash Jain, Jr.; P Ryan Schlossmacher, Jr.; P Colin Brown, Jr.; P/OF Michael Sime, Jr.; P Trey Tully, Sr.; OF Ian Barnett, Sr.

What to know: South Forsyth boasted the best offense in the region last year, and there is little indication that could change this season. Presbyterian College signee Ryan Becker [.344, 9 HRs, 34 RBIs] and Georgia State signee Brennan Hudson [.302, 3 HRs, 23 RBIs] return and should anchor the War Eagles offensively. Britton Rellinger flashed his potential last season, and three-year starter Alex Urias will give South a valuable glove in center field. Kennesaw State signee Dylan Quintilio should be the staff ace, though head coach Russ Bayer said the team has 12 different pitchers who will see time on the mound.

West Forsyth

Coach: Jim Ernst

Last year’s record: 14-15, missed playoffs

Key returners: P Luke Fernandez, Sr.; P/1B Brian Garmon II, Sr.; INF Jake Fernandez, Sr.; INF Gavin Culberson, Sr.; P/3B Brady Poppe, Sr.; P AJ Rodriguez, Sr.; OF Dylan Baggett, Sr.; INF Will Bottoms, Sr.; INF Hunter Cook, Sr.; OF Jadyn Crane, Sr.; INF/P Mark Daly, Sr.; INF Donny Garmon III, Sr.; P Eric Koehler, Sr.; INF Christian Vasquez, Sr.; P Lucas Meehan, Jr.; P Sean Totten, Jr.; P/INF Riley Poppe, So.

Key newcomers: OF Noah Darden, Sr.; INF Talan Born, So.; OF Hudson Brown, So.; C/DH Jacob Worthey, So.

What to know: Similar to the Raiders, West Forsyth missed the playoffs on the final day of the regular season despite a strong season and a solid lineup. Oklahoma State signee Luke Fernandez will contend for pitcher of the year honors after posting a 2.26 ERA last season, while Georgia State signee Brian Garmon II serves as a reliable No. 2 pitcher and will also see time at first base. Jake Fernandez is one of the better shortstops in the county and Gavin Culberson will look to join him in the middle of the infield at second base. The Wolverines landed a transfer in Noah Darden, who head coach Jim Ernst said will start in center field. Ernst also pointed to sophomores Talan Born, Hudson Brown and Jacob Worthey as being underclassmen who can contribute this season.