Baltimore County Team-by-team Capsules Baltimore City/county Baseball Preview

March 21, 1995|By Lem Satterfield and Jeff Seidel

Patapsco Patriots

1994 record: 6-12. Coach: Dave Ingle.

Top players: Jerry Vecchioni, Sr., SS; Sal Greensfelder, Sr., OF; Charles Greensfelder, Sr., P/OF; Daryl Kalb, Jr., P/1B; David Willeford, Sr., OF.

Outlook: Improvement in several spots should go a long way toward helping Patapsco reverse its fortunes. Greensfelder won his final four last year, and newcomer Kalb also will help. Defense is much better, especially up the middle with Vecchioni, and the hitting should be strong. Question marks at catcher and third base concern Ingle as do the number of unproven varsity players.

Perry Hall Gators

1994 record: 17-3. Coach: Larry Butts.

Top players: Brian Ash, Sr., P; Jason Essel, Sr., 1B/P; Kevin Znamirowski, Jr., SS; Jim Stopper, Sr., OF; Brian Smetana, Sr., OF; Chris Ude, Sr., 3B.

Outlook: The Gators bring back several players from their Class 4A state title team of a year ago. Seven starters return, and the Gators should have strong defense and speed. Ash won several big games as the No. 2 starter last year, but he moves to the top spot and Butts is looking for proven arms after him as the Gators go for their fourth state title since 1990.

Pikesville Panthers

1994 record: 11-7. Coach: Mike Bruner.

Top players: Nate Holzman, Sr., 2B; Larry Williams, Jr., CF; Chad Hipsley, Jr., C; John Edelman, Jr., P; Jeff Kurland, Sr., 3B.

Outlook: Despite losing six starters from last year's team that just missed the playoffs, Bruner said the Panthers should win their share. The Pikesville strengths should be defense, speed and versatility. The hitting -- led by Holzman (.492) and Williams (transfer from Northwestern) -- could be effective, but, like the pitching, it's unproven. Still, Bruner said it's the best group of

athletes he's had in several years.

Randallstown Rams

1994 record: 13-7. Coach: Dave Wright.

Top players: Brian Ward, Sr., P/OF; Brandon Thomas, Sr., OF; Todd Pobletts, Sr., P/SS; David Blank, Sr., OF; Ra'mie Ray, Jr., OF; Shaun Rausch, Fr., C.

Outlook: Plenty should be right with the Rams. They have one of the best outfields anywhere with Thomas, Ray, Ward and Blank plus strong pitching -- namely Ward and Pobletts. Ward and Thomas (both .450 last year) should spark the offense. Problems could pop up in the infield and behind the plate, as Wright is searching to fill some big holes from last year's team that made the region final after upsetting Lansdowne.

St. Paul's Crusaders

1994 record: 13-4. Coach: Bruce Latta.

Top players: Nick DeLeonardis, Sr., 3B-C; Jon Dansicker, Jr., 1B; Greg Yin, Sr., P; Brian Pierson, Jr., CF; Justin Singleton, Soph., 3B.

Outlook: Latta calls his Crusaders "the team to beat" in the MIAA B Conference, with returning starters Dansicker (.500), DeLeonardis (.350), Pierson (.330) and Yin (.330), who had six victories on the mound last year. Singleton, a .290 batter last year, is the team's No. 2 pitcher, with support from junior Robbie Gardinier and sophomore J. T. Beattie up from JV. "We're deep and we have every position covered for a good defense," said Latta.

Sparrows Point Pointers

1994 record: 3-15. Coach: Mark Moxey.

Top players: Justin Kirkpatrick, Sr., C; Shannon Butler, Sr., P/CF; Phil Dicke, Sr., 2B/P; Greg Smith, Sr., SS/2B; Ed Wenker, Sr., P/SS.

Outlook: The Pointers should enjoy this season more. More experience and a better schedule along with a strong pitching nucleus should bring the Pointers more victories. New coach Moxey said the infield, anchored by Kirkpatrick behind the plate, looks good. The team also has some depth, but questions remain in the outfield and other spots.

Towson Generals

1994 record: 11-7. Coach: Bill Yosca.

Top players: Steve Beck, Sr., P/IF; Jay Cougnet, Sr., C; Ryan Werking, Sr., IF/P; Brad Eastham, Sr., 2B/DH; Fred Metschulat, Soph.; SS/P.

Outlook: Beck (7-2, with a no-hitter vs. Loch Raven), Werking and Metschulat should pace a strong pitching staff that will get help from the junior varsity. Towson won seven of its last eight to make the playoffs last year. But the Generals have several new players and how they adjust to varsity competition could determine how well the team does.

Western T&E Wolverines

1994 record: No team. Coach: Kirk Kucharski.

Top players: Rob Blair, Soph., P/1B; Ian Gorsuch, Soph., P/1B; Ben David, Soph., SS; Jason Boyer, Soph., CF; Ryan Shutt, Jr., C.

Outlook: The Wolverines have talent in their first year of varsity competition, but the best times will be a year or two away. The pitching (namely Blair and Gorsuch) appears good, as does the infield and some of the hitting. But the team is very young with holes in several places.

Woodlawn Warriors

1994 record: 5-13. Coach: Scott Jeffery.

Top players: Jai Shin, Sr., IF; Damon Dennis, Sr., IF/OF; Marc Diggs, Sr., OF: Mikal Plummer, Fr., P/IF.

Outlook: Jeffery has confidence in this year's team, saying he's hoping for 12 wins. The Warriors, an experienced team, should put runs on the board, thanks to Shin (.360 last year), Dennis (.313) and others. Pitching and defense remain the biggest questions.

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