Hammond broke a 14-year title drought last spring, winning its first SCISA Class 3A baseball championship since 1999.
But with graduation exacting a heavy toll, the Skyhawks may have trouble maintaining power in Region 1-3A after winning the pennant eight times in the past nine seasons.
“We have four good pitchers that will throw strikes, but we have a lot of new faces in the field and I’m concerned about our ability to score runs,” said veteran Skyhawks coach Ray Derrick, whose team went 24-7 a year ago.
Hammond will rebound around veteran pitchers Fred Wadsworth, Harrison Long and Cantey Heath.
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James Shepherd, Tyler Lanham, Thomas Middleton and Harrison McGee are newcomers to watch.
The Skyhawks are off to a 2-0 start and have an interesting game at Brookland-Cayce on March 11.