Local Sports High School Baseball Preview

March 19, 1996

Balto. County

Arlington Baptist Eagles

1995 record: 11-4. Coach: Tim Hulburt.

Top players: Andy Booker, Sr., C-SS-P; John Jones, Soph., P-C; Aaron Polk, Fr., P-SS.

Outlook: The catalyst of the Eagles is Booker (.420, 5 HRs, 23 RBIs), the top run producer and pitcher. Polk, the ace of the junior varsity last season, adds quality depth to the staff.

Boys' Latin Lakers

1995 record: 5-11. Coach: Butch Maisel.

Top players: Chris Armiger, Jr., P-SS; Matt Thanner, Jr., P-RF.

Outlook: Armiger and Thanner give experienced pitched to first-year coach Maisel.

Calvert Hall Cardinals

1995 record: 28-2. Coach: Joe Binder.

Top players: Joe Pease, Sr., P; Mike Jewell, Sr., DH-OF; Shane Rhodes, Jr., P; Andy Hohnstein, Sr., C; Matt Schruefer, Jr., OF; Chuck Ester, Sr., 1B; Justin Nash, Soph., P.

Outlook: The Cardinals, who set a school record for wins last season and have won 55 games over the last two years, lost seven starters but return exciting talent. Ester, Jewell and Schruefer are the heart of the lineup and will manufacture runs. Pease is the top returning pitcher, and Rhodes, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-hander, has a powerful arm. Nash has excellent potential and only needs experience.

Carver A&T Wildcats

1995 record: 1-15. Coach: Guy Railey.

Top players: Ryan Walsh, Fr., SS; Sean Jester, Jr., P-IF; Adam Anderson, Jr., P; Nick Paparounis, Soph., P-CF; Jon Fowler, Sr., 1B-OF; Greg Pipitone, Fr., P.

Outlook: Railey is attempting to build some continuity and has spirited young players. Paparounis (.389, 2 HRs) is the leading returning hitter and Walsh has impressed immediately with his good hands and arm.

Catonsville Comets

1995 record: 12-6. Coach: Doug Campbell.

Top players: Tom Bloom, Sr., P-3B; Norm Simpkins, Sr., P-IF; Todd Perry, Sr., SS; Joe Geppi, Sr., OF; Donny Mitchell, Sr., P-OF.

Outlook: After the Comets lost by a run in the regional semifinals, Campbell said the team has a "quiet confidence" about the upcoming season. Bloom (2.47 ERA, 75 strikeouts in 58 IP) is one of the top pitchers in the county and forms a tough combination with No. 2 starter Simpkins (2.90 ERA).

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1995 record: 8-10. Coach: Jack Kirtland.

Top players: Pat McGeeney, Sr., P; Terry Foy, Jr., C; Derek Wilson, Sr., P-IF.

Outlook: Six players return as the rebuilding process continues. The pitching staff has improved and is led by McGeeney.

Dulaney Lions

1995 record: 8-10. Coach: Ron Audlin.

Top players: Chris Holloway, Sr., C; Joe Metz, Sr., IF; Danny Williams, Sr., P; Damon Holmes, Sr., P-RF; Adam Lucas, Jr., P; Colin Snow, Sr., CF.

Outlook: The Lions show little resemblance to the squad that won two games two years ago. The combination of pitchers Holmes and Lucas with left-hander Williams have the Lions shooting for an above .500 season.

Dundalk Owls

1995 record: 9-9. Coach: Walt Brown.

Top players: Kevin Baughman, Jr., C; Randy Fox, Sr., 3B-P; Robert Ray, Jr., SS- P; Kevin Kalinsky, Jr., P-IF; Kevin Underwood, Sr., OF.

Outlook: The Owls appear to have bounced back from last season and look to make some noise in the postseason. Offense is not a problem as the Owls will rack up runs with speedy Underwood leading off and Fox driving in runs. Baughman, who played in right field last season, has become a standout catcher and will handle the staff bolstered by Fox and JV star Ray.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1995 record: 9-9. Coach: Joe Gast.

Top players: Chris Neuschaffer, Sr., P-OF; Will Klapka, Sr., CF; Joe Galoni, Sr., 3B; Troy Stratemeyer, Jr., SS-P; Erik Skarda, Jr., 2B.

Outlook: The Mavericks have finished with a 9-9 record for two straight seasons and will attempt to record a winning season with a solid group of junior varsity players moving up. Neuschaffer pitched mainly in relief last year but rises to the role of No. 1 starter.

Franklin Indians

1995 record: Top players: Mike Trott, Sr., P; Todd Pinson, Sr., 1B-C; Jason Comoglio, Jr., OF; Blane Sharpless, Soph., P; Adam Gardner, Jr., P-SS; Ben Jewitt, Jr., P.

Outlook: With only three seniors, the Indians will rely on Trott (11-1, 0.65 ERA, 57 strikeouts), one of the top pitchers in the area who throws in the 80-mph range. Gardner (a transfer from Loyola), Jewitt and Sharpless round out a sound pitching corps that will need to step up to get the Indians back to the state semifinals. Pinson (.340, 5 HRs, 26 RBIs) is the most proven hitter in a lineup that consists of above average speed.

Hereford Bulls

1995 record: 14-5. Coach: Rich Griser.

Top players: Mike Warner, Sr., SS-P; Kevin Altmeyer, Sr., 2B-C; Brandon Kostick, Sr., IF; Jason Wingeart, Soph., OF-IF; Mark Pierce, Jr., P; Jason Fiorito, Jr., P; Justin Wilhelm, Soph., P.

Outlook: Griser, who coached at Lansdowne last year, has a bundle of athletic sophomores. Warner, one of the Bulls' top run producers, has to lessen the blow of losing the entire pitching staff from last season with the help of Pierce, Fiorito and Wilhelm.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1995 record: 1-17. Coach: Carroll Hess.

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