No. 1 Wake Forest is preparing to host a regional in the NCAA Baseball Tournament this weekend, but after the top-ranked Deacons finish their postseason run, three of them will be heading to Harrisonburg — outfielder Chris Katz, pitcher Ben Shenosky and catcher/infielder Giovanny Cueto. They aren’t the only Turks coming from the ACC though. Harrisonburg has also added three players from Florida State — pitcher Brett Barfield, catcher/outfielder Gunnett Carlson and outfielder and the Seminoles’ leading hitter (.359) Ben Barratt — as well as two from in-state rival and ACC Tournament runner-up, Miami — pitcher Sebastian Perez and infielder Jason Torres.

Head coach Bob Wease hopes that this added talent will help the Turks build off of their regular season success from last year, when Harrisonburg went on a stretch where they won 14 out of 15 games before losing five out of their last six. The Turks finished 25-17 and were eliminated by Waynesboro in three games in the first round of the playoffs.

“Hopefully we have a good team,” Wease said of the upcoming season. “I just hope everything works out this year.”


Head coach Michael Austin is taking over the Braves as head coach this season. Austin said that he’s confident in his roster, saying that his guys have had pretty successful college seasons this year. One of which is Marty Neal, a sophomore right-handed pitcher who will be returning to the Braves later in the season after recording a 2.25 ERA across 14 games played last season. In the infield, Joey Parliament will be joining the Braves after hitting a .369 in his senior year at Trevecca Nazarene. In the outfield Tank Yaghoubi from William & Mary, who hit a .364 this season with the Tribe.

Although the team finished 16-26 last season, Austin is confident in his roster and looking forward to his guys coming in for the upcoming season.

“I think we have a pretty good balance on our team based off of some of the things we’ve seen from those college seasons,” he said.

Front Royal

Clint Marsh is returning to Front Royal as head coach. He says he’s excited for the summer and has been working on his roster since the end of last season.

Cardinal fans will recognize a few returners on this year’s roster. 2022 VBL All-Star Pitcher Bryce Fisher is returning to Front Royal, this time with his little brother Peyton. He will be reunited with fellow 2022 All-Star first baseman Drew Camp. The Cardinals have also brought in Eli Burwash, a sophomore from Frontier Community College who spent last season with the New Market Rebels. Front Royal has also added a local player to the roster — Blaze O’Saben, a senior outfielder from Georgia Gwinnet College and a local of Warrenton, Virginia.

Entering his second season at the helm of the Cardinals, he says he’s hoping to be less aggressive as a coach than he was his first season. This year, he’s hoping to let his guys play more. He doesn’t know yet how confident he is in his roster, but he says he will once he sees his guys playing together.

“As every coach knows, you really don’t know exactly what you have until the guys arrive,” Marsh said.


As a head coach, Mike Smith always wants to be optimistic and thinks that a coach should always look to improve on the previous year. For Winchester, that means looking to improve upon a 14-27 season last year that Smith said finished on a “bad note” due to injuries and COVID.

This season, Smith is very optimistic that he’s put together a group that is “definitely” going to make a push. On that roster is Clayton Poliey, a freshman pitcher from Rider University who pitched 41.2 innings for the 2023 MAAC Champions, earning a 3.67 ERA in the process. The Royals have also added a local player to the Bullpen — Jacob Bell from Shenandoah University. On offense, Winchester’s roster features Josh Hogue, an outfielder who hit a .412 this past season at Santa Fe College.

“I like the roster that I’ve put together,” Smith said, “so we’re hoping that everything can come together, and they can come together this year for a successful summer.”