Cape-Atlantic League

American Conference, Division I

Absegami

Coach: Brian Wastell

2013 record: 6-15

2014: prediction: Spoiler

The Braves are young but experienced. Junior pitcher Matt Ardente will anchor the pitching staff. Wastell calls junior infielder Tyler Welch one of the best athletes in the school.

Egg Harbor Township

Coach: Bryan Carmichael

2013 record: 11-11

2014 prediction: Rebuilding

The Eagles will start one senior. Their strength is their ability to hit. Senior Third baseman Manny Strickland (.414 average, 21 RBIs, 10 stolen bases) is one of the CAL's best. Junior catcher Mike Lahoud has verbally committed to Monmouth University.

Hammonton

Coach: Gary Sarno

2013 record: 11-14

2014 prediction: Contender

The Blue Devils lost a number of close games last season. They are senior dominated and talented. Justin Smith and Steve Cahill lead the pitching staff. Catcher Anthony Cruz and outfielder Nick Ezzi spark the offense.

Millville

Coach: Roy Hallenbeck

2013 record: 11-12

2014 prediction: Contender

The Thunderbolts improved as last season progressed. Millville seems poised to take another step forward with pitcher Roberto Rivera and hitters Gabe Rosado (.438 average) and Kyle Cox (.439 average and 17 RBIs).

St. Augustine Prep

Coach: Mike Bylone

2013 record: 22-7

2014 prediction: Favorite

The Hermits return five starters and a deep pitching staff. Sophomore pitcher Mike Vasturia is a player to watch. Junior first baseman Cody Sadreameli batted .406 last season.

American Conference, Division II

Atlantic City

Coach: Brent Bean

2013 record: 15-10

2014 prediction: Contender

The Vikings advanced to the second round of the South Jersey Group IV playoffs last season. Seniors Matt Dicerbo (1B/3B), Murray Kanter (SS/P) and Jack McCaskey (0F/P) lead the Vikings this season.

Holy Spirit

Coach: Steve Normane

2013 record: 13-12

2014 prediction: Spoiler

Normane, a 2003 Rutgers graduate and former Spirit assistant, takes over the program. The Spartans feature plenty of pitching depth with seniors Mike Dilanni and Tyler Dowd and junior Kyle Pikus.

Mainland Regional

Coach: Billy Kern

2013 record: 8-14

2014 prediction: Spoiler

The Mustangs will feature one of the league's top pitchers in Matt Tepedino, who is headed to the University of New Orleans. First baseman and designated hitter John Wallace batted .411 last season.

Oakcrest

Coach: Sean Olson

2013 record: 14-12

2014 prediction: Spoiler

The Falcons quietly emerged as a winning team last season. They will try to build on that success with seniors Kenny Merlock (SS/P), Tyler Thompson (2B/P) and Cameron Lease (3B/P).

Vineland

Coach: John Malatesta

2013 record: 21-7

2014 prediction: Favorite

The Fighting Clan qualified for the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic last season. Five starters return, including Johnny Malatesta (P/SS), Jimmy Hague (catcher) and first baseman Andrew Gee. Malatesta batted .457 last season.

National Conference I

Buena Regional

Coach: Harry Grose

2013 record: 21-7

2014 prediction: Contender

The Chiefs are a perennial CAL power and again should contend for the division and conference titles. Junior shortstop and pitcher Marco Rios scored 35 runs and was 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA last season. Junior third baseman and pitcher Denny Brady has committed to East Carolina University and could emerge as one of South Jersey's top pitchers this season.

Lower Cape May Regional

Coach: Mike Kuemmerle

2013 record: 8-10

2014 prediction: Spoiler

The Caper Tigers will feature one of South Jersey's top pitchers in Josh Pennington, who has committed to St. John's. He was 2-2 with a 0.53 ERA last season. Second baseman Brad Fournier sparks the offense.

Middle Township

Coach: Chuck Dougherty

2013 record: 19-6

2014 prediction: Rebuilding

The top of Middle's rotation will feature a pair of seniors. Steven Hand was 6-1 last season and Jeff Keys was 3-2. Keys also added 32 hits and 30 runs. Junior catcher Jimmy Versage had 30 hits, 17 of which were extra base hits, including three homers. Junior second baseman Eric Arenberg had 32 hits last season.

Ocean City

Coach: Craig Mensinger

2013 record: 23-4

2014 prediction: Favorite

Sophomore pitcher Sean Mooney, who has already verbally committed to St. John's University, features an excellent fastball and curveball. Shortstop Zach Zellers is a team leader and clutch hitter. Zach Altieri and Josh Arnold give the Red Raiders pitching depth.

St. Joseph

Coach: Rich Chini

2013 record: 9-19

2014 prediction: Spoiler

The Wildcats are strong up the middle with second baseman Alec Craig (.481 average and 40 RBIs) and shortstop C.J. LaFragola (.360 average). Sophomore center fielder Salaam Horne stole 30 bases and will bat leadoff.

National Conference, Division II

Atlantic County Institute of Technology

Coach: Michael Anthony

2013: 9-17

2014 prediction: rebuilding

ACIT's ace in the will be sophomore Chris Sieg. He also is the team's shortstop, and batted .507 last season. Junior pitcher/infielder Matt Marmaro is their leadoff hitter and No. 2 pitcher.

Bridgeton

Coach: Mike Valella

2013 record: 1-25

2014 prediction: Rebuilding

Senior outfielder Jason Davis appeared in all 26 games for Bridgeton last year. He led the Bulldogs in runs (24), stolen bases (15) and on-base percentage (.402).

Cape May Tech

Coach: Matt Pleasants

2013 record: 7-15

2014 prediction: Rebuilding

Senior shortstop/pitcher Trevor Gehring will bat leadoff. Junior center fielder/pitcher Will Winter provides speed on the bases. Senior second baseman/pitcher Cole Sawyer is a solid defensive player and could make a difference on the mound.

Cedar Creek

Coach: Mike Isgro

2013 record: 15-10

2014 prediction: Favorite

The Pirates are the defending champion. Senior Andrew Sibson leads the pitching staff. Senior Johnny Newman (1B/OF) and juniors Zach Newman (CF) and Kyle Eisele (3B) will spark the offense.

Pleasantville

2013 record: 1-18

2014 prediction: Rebuilding

The Greyhounds open the season Tuesday at Lower Cape May.

Wildwood Catholic

Coach: Bill Gianakopoulos

2013 record: 7-16

2014 prediction: Spoiler

Junior pitcher and outfielder Tyler Norse will be the Crusaders' No. 1 pitcher and leadoff hitter. He went 4-4 last year with 54 strikeouts to go with a .323 batting average, 17 stolen bases and 18 runs. Junior infielder/pitcher Kevin Laffey batted .485 (33 hits) with two homers and 18 RBIs. Shortstop Garrett Morretti (.328/22 hits) is the lone senior.

Shore Conference

Lacey Township

Coach: Cory Hamman

2013 record: 3-17

2014 prediction: Rebuilding

The Lions' players to watch include Eric Reitmeyer (CF/P) and Connor Rooney (SS/P).

Barnegat

Coach: Dan McCoy

2013 record: 9-13

2014 prediction: Contender

The Bengals return their top three pitchers - Jason Groome (2.14 ERA), Seamus Brazil (1.76 ERA) and Ryan Ulrich. Barnegat's success will depend on how well it hits.

Pinelands Regional

Coach: Rob Sanzari

2013 record: 6-19

2014 prediction: rebuilding

The Wildcats hope to contend in the B-South Division behind catcher Vinny Bondinello, Cory Burke (P/1B) and shortstop Mitch Merrill.

Southern Regional

Coach: Thomas Natoli

2013 record: 5-16

2014 prediction: Spoiler

The Rams will rely on three seniors - first baseman Chris Starner (.390 average), center fielder Eric Hammell (.309 average) and outfielder/pitcher Nick Sinopoli (.302 average).

Tri-County Conference

Cumberland Regional

Coach: Sam Parks

2013 record: 13-10

2014 prediction: Contender

The Colts showed their potential with a regular-season win over perennial power Gloucester Catholic last season. Cumberland will rely on returning pitchers Michael Foytik and Zac Merritt and shortstop Freddie Beck.

Wildwood

Coach: Rich Hans

2013 record: 10-14

2014 prediction: Contender

Wildwood returns a number of veterans. Senior outfielder and pitcher Matt Bolle is a three-year starter with 61 career hits. Third baseman Devon Bradshaw is 26 hits away from the 100 mark for his career.

Michael McGarry, 609-272-7185