1. Calvert Hall -- Aiming for their sixth MSA A Conference...

PRESEASON TOP 20

March 18, 1994

1. Calvert Hall -- Aiming for their sixth MSA A Conference title in seven years, the Cardinals are loaded to defend their title. Coach Joe Binder has an outstanding 1-2 pitching punch in senior right-hander Jason Reinhart (8-1, 2.14 ERA) and 6-foot-5 junior left-hander Andy Bair. Called Maryland's best team by Baseball America, the Cardinals' top hitter is junior first baseman Jason Dean (.403, 24 runs, 23 RBIs).

2. Old Mill -- After finishing as a region runner-up to eventual state 4A champion Arundel, coach Mel Montgomery's Patriots may have the edge in pitching depth with a trio of senior right-handers in Ken Pumphrey (5-1, second team All-County), Mike Bussey and Jeff Haynie. The move of senior Ryan Wood from third to shortstop is a key.

3. Arundel -- Despite the return of All-Metro right-hander Brandon Agamennone (8-0, four saves) and All-County shortstop Jeff Hedrick (.421, 26 runs), the Wildcats will be hard pressed to repeat as state 4A champs. Arundel plays in the state's best region (East) and has a lot of question marks after Agamennone.

4. Glenelg -- The defending state 2A champion returns two All-Metro players in junior shortstop Mike Goldberg (.373, metro-area-high seven homers and 36 RBIs) and senior third baseman Brian Boteler (.470, 24 RBIs), left-hander Sean Lookingbill (6-1) and Kevin Curtin and Mike Deming, both catcher/designated hitters. The Gladiators outscored their foes, 192-63, last year and should have an even better hitting team in '94.

5. McDonogh -- Coach Al Poklemba has lost All-Metro pitcher Kenny Cloude to graduation and catcher Jeremy Seipel to a California transfer, but the Eagles return a strong nucleus expected to challenge Calvert Hall in the MSA A Conference. The 1992 MSA champions boast Mike Ginsburg (SS-P), Ian Hendricks (2B), Guy Robertson (3B) and Richie Levin (OF-P) among their returnees.

6. Mount St. Joseph -- Winners of the inaugural State Private Schools Tournament last spring, the Gaels return their top player in pitcher/shortstop Steve Matcuk (6-1, .456, 26 RBIs) and two other senior pitchers in Ryan McGonigal and Tom Ranier in hopes of challenging for the A Conference title.

7. Perry Hall -- State 4A champions in 1990 and '92, the Gators lost in their region to Dulaney but are expected to be a North Region contender this spring. Speedy outfielder Mandell Marsh leads another typical Larry Butts-coached team: good pitching, defense, speed and depth.

8. North County -- This should be the year the 4-year-old Knights make the playoffs. Junior ace Mike Wooden (4-3, one no-hitter, county-leading 84 strikeouts) is back for his third varsity season and is considered by pro scouts to be the top underclass right-hander in the state. Wooden led the Knights in hitting (.347) and was an All-County third baseman. Other key returning players are Bob Christopher (OF-LHP), Tweety Barton (1B-RHP) and John Bermudez (OF).

9. Patapsco -- Despite losing their top player, junior pitcher/shortstop Jerry Vecchioni, to academic ineligibility, the Patriots of coach Dave Ingle are expected to challenge defending state 3A champion Lansdowne for the North Region title.

10. Chesapeake-AA -- Coach Jim Simms has this program on the move, and with All-County and second team All-Metro left-hander/first baseman Jason White ( 5-4, .313, lost two one-run games in extra innings to Arundel) back along with senior right-hander Jeremy Pellegrini (6-1) and lightning-quick center fielder Brian Doyle, the Cougars likely will contend in the 4A East Region.

11. Lansdowne -- Hit hard by graduation, especially in pitching (lost All-Metro outfielder/pitcher Randy Musgrove and second-team All -Metro pitcher Brian Sullivan), the defending state 3A champions is banking on blue-chip catcher Rob Parsons, Bob Wheelton (INF-P) and the shift of second baseman Andy Stocksdale to shortstop.

12. Dulaney -- Left-handed pitchers are always at a premium, but coach Ron Audlin has three in Erin Arizzi, Steve Wieczynski and Colin O'Malley, a trio that should make the Lions a playoff team in the 4A North Region.

13. Centennial -- A 3-0 loss to Lansdowne in the state 3A final and the returning 1-2 pitching punch of seniors Kurt Weitzel (8-3) and David Hudson has given the Eagles the incentive they need to make a run in the East Region. Other key returning players are Jason Babcock (C-OF) and Joe Mellendick (middle INF).

14. Patterson -- The Roger Wrenn-coached Clippers went from a region that included Arundel and Old Mill to the 4A North, which includes Perry Hall and Dulaney, but don't count this team out. Wrenn always manages to keep his club in the hunt and has seven starters back, including versatile pitcher/infielder Earl Smith (.444, 15 RBIs).

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