Hammond returns a solid veteran core in its quest to make a deeper run in the SCISA state baseball playoffs this season after a first-round exit a year ago.
Senior Andrew Lamb (7-3, 2.98), senior center fielder Les Cotter (.310), versatile junior John Allen Babson (.390), sophomore catcher Alexander Daniels (.335) and sophomore shortstop Brooks Borders are the key returning players for the Skyhawks, who finished with a 20-6 record last season under coach Ray Derrick.
Lamb, Cotter, Babson and Borders, who has started since the eighth grade, were all-region picks last season.
The Skyhawks have some promising newcomers in transfers Cam Smith (Lexington), Joey DeAngelis, Joseph Roberts (Lower Richland) and MaNair Coleman (Richard Winn).
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Hammond appears to be the team to beat in SCISA Region 1-3A again this season.