WEIRTON - New Weir coach Jason Angle is confident his team will be able to hit the baseball with the best of them.
"This is one of the best hitting teams I've been around," Angle said. "At any given point we have nine guys that will be able to put the ball in play.
"The freshmen, what I've seen from them, they hit the ball hard."
As for pitching, that is a wait-and-see approach.
Angle, who was an assistant coach the last two seasons under Bob Rosnick, knows he has a deep pitching staff.
But the problem is they are young and how they react to game situations will be a big key in the Red Riders' success this season.
The ace of the staff is senior Mitch Viakley.
"He has the veteran status and he will be looked upon to guide some of these kids," Angle said. "He has been pitching for a long team and he a guy these kids need to lean on."
Viakley is the lone true senior pitcher on the staff, although Chris Russell could see some playing time in relief.
Behind Viakley is probably the Red Riders' best all-around player.
Whether it's pitching, hitting or hunting down balls in the outfield, the junior athlete is a favorite of Angle.
"This is a kid that has put the time in in the offseason," Angle said. "He is a star on the football field and after that, he goes to the cages. He doesn't play any winter sports so his mind is set on lifting to get stronger and swinging a bat.
"Will Larch is a perfect example of how to get ready."
Junior Michael Curtis will be the No. 3 pitcher, sophomore Jake Wytasek is getting a look on the mound, as are freshmen Michael Mills, Jacob Rosnick, Matt Komorowski, Jordan Allen, Matt Anderson, and possibly Cody Enrietti.
"We are definitely trying to build them up," Angle said. "They throw hard and we are getting their arms built up. If they stay within themselves, they are going to be OK."
Curtis is a two-year starter at catcher and will be backed up senior Nick McCartney, Allen and sophomore Cole Davison.
First base is a tight battle among Mills, Viakley, Allen and Enrietti.
Senior Kody Knights holds down second base with Wytasek as his backup.
Davison will be at third, and Viakley will play shortstop.
Larch will play left mostly but will occasionally shift to center. Joining him the outfield will be a combination of McCartney, Wytasek, Chris Russell, freshmen Donovan Spencer and Shayton Luevano.
Adam Cowden and Levi Mikula could see time in the infield.
Angle is assisted by Mike Granato, Perry Mitolowski and Michael Buffo.