Four Lowcountry baseball teams in preseason top 10

Wando will enter the 2015 baseball season as the top-ranked team in Class AAAA after finishing third in the lower state a year ago with an 18-11 record. Paul Zoeller/Staff/File

Four Lowcountry high school baseball teams are ranked among the top 10 in their respective classes in preseason polls released by the South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association.

Wando will enter the 2015 season as the top-ranked team in class AAAA after finishing third in the lower state a year ago. The Warriors, 18-11, last season, return several Division I prospects this season, led by All-American candidate Kep Brown, an outfielder, and South Carolina signee Harrison Smith, a shortstop and pitcher.

Summerville enters the season ranked third in AAAA. The Green Wave finished 20-8-1 last season and return several starters, including senior outfielder T.J. Hopkins and junior pitcher Sawyer Bridges. Hopkins signed with South Carolina in November and Bridges is currently a verbal commitment to South Carolina.

Wando and Summerville are participating in the prestigious International Paper Classic in Georgetown in March. The two powers will square off in day two of the tournament.

Berkeley is ranked ninth in the preseason class AAA poll after reaching the lower state finals a season ago. The Stags lost five starting position players but return ace Zach Gonzalez and all-region performers Chase Gainey and Dillon Salisbury in the infield.

Bishop England is ranked fifth in Class AA. The Bishops also return several starters, including a few quality arms, from a team that made the state playoffs last season.

Summerville senior center fielder T.J. Hopkins has been named a first-team Louisville Slugger preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

Hopkins hit .421 with 42 runs scored and 29 stolen bases last season, earning All-Lowcountry and All-State honors. He signed in November with South Carolina and will attract heavy interest this spring from professional baseball scouts.

The Wando High volleyball program was presented with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy as part of the fifth annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions for girls’ volleyball last week.

Wando, the AAAA state champion in 2014, finished the season with a 57-6 record and was ranked 43rd nationally in the final MaxPreps computer rankings. MaxPreps ranks more than 17,000 varsity high school girls’ volleyball teams. Wando is one of 10 high schools nationwide being honored in the fifth annual MaxPreps Girls’ Volleyball Tour of Champions, presented by the Army National Guard.