Defending Class 4A state baseball champion White Knoll is facing a major rebuilding project this spring with the graduation of 11 seniors.
All-State pick Robbie Streett, a senior and Charleston Southern commitment, returns and will start at second base. Street batted .466 with a team high 10 home runs and was third on the club with 37 RBIs.
Senior Chris Harrison and juniors Carl Wise and Ray Murphy are the other returning regulars off last season’s 32-2 team.
Harrison, a four-year varsity veteran, is a returning all-region player and a Coastal Carolina commitment. Harrison hit .0423 and scored 40 runs, while going 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA on the hill, but he may get off to a slow start while recovering from off-season surgery. Wise is back at shortstop after hitting .426 with three homers and 21 RBI in just 68 plate appearances. Murphy, an all-region selection, moves from right field to catcher. He batted .365 with 29 runs, 33 RBIs and five home runs a year ago. Murphy has made a verbal commitment to College of Charleston.
The new faces in the starting lineup include senior Caleb Backman at first base, junior Trevor Bradley at third, senior Mark Matthews in left field, senior Corey Matin in center and junior Spencer Sox in right.
Harrison, coming off shoulder surgery, won’t be available to be the pitching staff ace for a while, so the load will fall to Bradley, Streett, Backman and Martin. Sophomore left-hander Ricky Harrison is another candidate for a regular turn.
The Timberwolves open regular season and Region 4-4A play on Wednesday at Aiken.