1994 County Baseball Preview

March 20, 1994|By John W. Stewart

Aberdeen Eagles

1993 record: 4-12. Coach: Stu Hinch.

Top players: Mike Erickson, Sr., CF; Steve James, Sr., P/SS; Frank Johnson, Sr., SS/P; Steve Lawing, Sr., 2B; Eric Sohl, Sr., RF; Greg Zimmerman, Sr., 3B.

Outlook: A strong group of seniors who want to win is generating a positive team attitude. Another plus is the fact most of the players participated in summer leagues, with several showing notable improvement. Hinch believes his team will hit -- Erickson, Sohl and Zimmerman (three home runs) were in the .370's last season -- and cites pitchers James and Johnson as keys to a successful season.

Bel Air Bobcats

1993 record: 9-10. Coach: Mike Ennis.

Top players: Matt Buerhaus, Sr., P; Chris Cornwell, Sr., 2B; Mike Deal, Jr., SS; Jason Koppelman, Sr., P; Tony Mogavero, Sr., CF; Victor Smith, Sr., P; Ken Storck, Sr., OF.

Outlook: Four-year veteran Mogavero, plus Cornwell, Storck and Mike Deal, who came up from the JV to play well late in the season, are the key regulars back, along with the three pitchers. Still, Ennis sees this basically as a young, untested squad and "we'll be feeling our way."

C. Milton Wright Mustangs

1993 record: 11-7. Coach: Jim Miller.Top players: Dan Angelini, Sr., C/1B; Shawn Crouch, Sr., P; Matt Grow, Sr., 2B; Geoff Hilyard, Sr., P; Jeff Schwartz, Sr., P; Brian Taylor, C, Sr.; Tommy Walsh, Sr., SS.

Outlook: Taylor, relegated to just hitting (.474, three homers and All-County selection) after injuring a shoulder in the opening game last year, returns as a catcher/center fielder. With two versatile catchers, three returning pitchers, a strong 2B-SS combination and a solid outfield, the team is fine up the middle. "On paper, we should hit and have a good defense," says Miller, starting his 15th season as head coach. Wright lost in the Class 3A Region II semifinals a year ago.

Edgewood Rams

1993 record: 13-4. Coach: Kevin Tyree.

Top players: John Cephalis, Jr., C; Chris Finlay, Jr., OF; Alex Garcia, Jr., 2B/SS; Tim Hamulack, Jr., P; Chris James, Sr., 1B/P; Rob Mister, Jr., 3B/P; Alex Phillips, Sr., 2B.

Outlook: Three pitchers, a catcher and the entire infield are holdovers from last year's Class 2A Region IV finalist, and should provide excellent defense. Mister was a .450 hitter, third in the county in RBI with 27, and first-team All-County (the only sophomore on the first two teams).

Fallston Cougars

1993 record: 20-2. Coach: Rob Limpert.

Top players: Dave Adam, Sr., 1B/P; Brian Benner, Sr., 2B; Tim Deyesu, Sr., C; Mike Guiffrida, Jr., 3B/P; Chris Leonard, Jr., P; Shawn Matthai, Sr.; P/OF.

Outlook: This is a veteran squad, backed by playoff experience. A year ago, there were 17 straight wins and a 9-0 county record, before a Class 1A State semifinal loss. Matthai shared the county lead in pitching wins (seven), and he, Adam and Guiffrida were a combined 13-1. Deyesu was second in the county in hits (29), and he and Matthai were on the All-County team. Limpert is making his county debut after coming into the county school system from Buffalo, N.Y.

Harford Christian Eagles

1993 record: 8-3. Coach: Richard Davis.

Top players: Eric Davis, Sr., P; Phil Kojack, Sr., P; Tim Olinger, Sr., C; Neal Stark, Sr., 1B; Abe Wilcox, Sr., CF.

Outlook: Davis and Kojack were the team's top two pitchers and hitters last season, and both will be in the lineup somewhere every game. The team lost a playoff for its league championship (Susquehanna Private/Independent schools) last year, and Davis says this veteran, senior-dominated group should challenge again.

Harford Technical Cobras

1993 record: 0-16. Coach: Fred Gradishar.

Top players: Justin Barnhill, Jr., OF; Joe Conn, Jr., 3B; Ramel Dennis, Jr., OF; Mike Radel, Utility; C. J. Johnson, Soph., SS; Eric McNulty, Soph., 2B; Pete Surette, Soph., 1B/P/OF.

Outlook: This is a young team with no seniors and only four juniors. "Some of the positives are our new players, says Gradishar, "and there is some talent." It is just inexperienced.

Havre de Grace Warriors

1993 record: 4-14. Coach: Joe Oswald.

Top players: Scott Bramwell, Sr., 2B; Matt Carico, Sr., P/IF; Jason Fox, Sr., CF/P; Jeff Fox, Sr., P/SS; Chris Mentzer, Jr., C; Paul Oswald, Sr., 1B.

Outlook: Oswald, in his first year, expects to have a team with good speed that can hit and score runs. Last year, the team scored 138 runs and allowed exactly the same number. However, there were 50 errors and the pitchers gave up about 30-35 more walks than the opposition. "If we cut down these two areas, it should make a difference where we are late in a game -- in contention instead of way behind," says Oswald. Jason and Jeff Fox were All-County choices last season.

John Carroll Patriots

1993 record: 11-6. Coach: Al Ward.

Top players: Matt DeCapite, Sr., CF; Dan Gradishar, Sr., 2B; Nick Jenkins, Sr., P; Brian Vollmer, Sr., C; Dave Westervelt, Sr., SS.

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