Local Sports: High School Baseball Preview

March 19, 1996|By Rick Belz

Atholton Raiders

1995 record: 14-8 overall, 10-4 league. Coach: Kevin Kelly.

Top players: Sean Williams, Jr., SS; Travis Devine, Sr., C; Greg McDonald, Sr., OF; Doug Airel, Soph., P; Scott Sabot, Jr., P.

Outlook: The Raiders have a power vacuum and untested pitching, but are strong defensively up the middle. Only Sandner (.333) and Williams (.316) are proven hitters. The Raiders have too many question marks to project them higher than middle of the pack, but have the potential to do better than that. A grassless infield may force rescheduling of some of their early-season games.

Centennial Eagles

1995 record: 13-7 overall, 10-4 league. Coach: Ron Martin.

Top players: John Woods, Sr., OF; Dan Adler, Sr., P, 1B; Adam Chambers, Sr., P, OF; Bill Howley, Sr., P; Jeff Martin, Sr., OF; Denny Chapman, Jr., P, SS; Nick Langridge, Sr., 3B.

Outlook: With four legitimate starting pitchers and a decent offense led by Woods (.386), Martin (.471) and Chapman (.364), the Eagles, or Glenelg, should win the county title. Centennial's infield defense won't be as strong as last season, especially when Chapman pitches. Freshman Mike Martin, a brother of Jeff Martin and son of coach Ron Martin, will start at catcher.

Chapelgate Flames

1995 record: 5-5. Coach: Bunk Nolan.

Top players: Josh Van Ness, Jr., 1B; Nate Lohrman, Sr., 3B, P; Jeremy Nolan, Soph., 2B, P; Chris Cox, Soph., P, C.

Outlook: Chapelgate finished third in the eight-team Christian Schools Athletic Association last season, but expects to improve upon that showing. "We can win it as long as our pitchers stay healthy," said Nolan, a first-year coach. Corbin is the No. 1 pitcher and batted over .400 last season. Van Ness hits with power and will bat clean-up. Jeremy Nolan, the coach's son, is the No. 2 pitcher and should hit for a high average.

Glenelg Gladiators

1995 record: 21-3 overall, 12-2 league (county and state champions). Coach: Ed Ashwell.

Top players: Dennis Pagel, Sr., P, OF; Ben Gugliotta, Sr., P, INF; Robin Davis, Sr., OF; Steve Dulaney, Sr., P, INF; Brent Waskey, Jr., OF; Doug Gasch, Sr., 3B; Doug Sinon, Sr., P, OF; Paul Marick, Sr., 1B; Ryan Riel, Sr., 1B, David Boteler, Jr., C.

Outlook: The Gladiators graduated four of their top players, including Player of the Year catcher Mike Deming, but they return most of the pitching staff and an ample offense led by Gugliotta (.409, 33 RBIs, .636 slugging percentage), who hit four homers, four doubles and a triple. They should battle Centennial for the county title.

Hammond Bears

1995 record: 7-13 overall, 6-8 league. Coach: Bob Maxey.

Top players: Joe Norsworthy, Sr., 3B; Karl Friedheim, Sr., 1B; Brian Pietrika, Soph., 2B; Ken Beck, Soph., P, SS; Nick Peter, Soph., P; James Gregory, Sr., P; Mike Amaral, Sr., P.

Outlook: Some outstanding sophomores offer promise for the future, and depending upon how quickly they adjust to the varsity level, Hammond could be more than the .500 team it is projected to be. Dresslin (.385) is the leading returning hitter. The Bears will join Atholton as the only teams with dugouts this season.

Howard Lions

1995 record: 9-11 overall, 6-8 league. Coach: Matt Forsyth.

Top players: Larry Long, Sr., OF; Jim Harris, Sr., 3B; Frank Tortella, Sr., C, OF; Dedrick Colbert, Sr., SS/2B; Ryan Malone, Sr., 1B; Jason Redmond, Jr., P, OF; Rodney Miller, Jr., 2B, DH; Kacy Jenkins, Jr., C, OF.

Outlook: A good-hit, no-field reputation has dogged the Lions the past two seasons. They made 57 errors last season, and 63 in 1994. The team ERA (4.48) suffered last season as a result of weak fielding. A newly constructed infield might eliminate most of the bad hops that plagued the defense. The Lions scored 142 runs and batted .318, led by Long (.379, 21 RBIs), Harris (.409, 4 HRs), Tortella (.358) and Colbert (.364, 22 stolen bases). Harris has improved his glove work. If they get pitching, the Lions will be tough.

Mount Hebron Vikings

1995 record: 7-13 overall, 6-8 league. Coach: Pat Crouse.

Top players: Brian Picker, Jr., P, OF; Mark Jordan, Sr., OF; Alex Werner, Sr., P, 1B; Jake France, Sr., P, 2B; Randy Gaigler, Sr., P, 3B; Keith Radcliffe, Sr., OF; Tim Heffner, Sr., SS.

Outlook: The pitching will be strong again, but the offense is still questionable. Heffner is injured, leaving the infield with no returning starters. The Vikings' pitching should keep it in the top four, with potential to move higher if they can score some runs.

Oakland Mills Scorpions

1995 record: 4-15 overall, 3-11 league. Coach: Tim O'Brien.

Top players: John Sunderdick, Sr., P, 1B; Gene McGill, Sr., P, SS; Glenn LaForce, Jr., P, 1B; Andy Lieberman, Jr., C; Jason Budden, Soph., INF; Mike Herdson, Sr., OF; Luke Young, Sr., 2B; Andy Bartlett, Jr., P, OF.

Outlook: close in every game that Sunderdick pitches, but the team is extremely young. They graduated nine players. They are also extremely thin in numbers, with only 13 on the team. Sunderdick batted .360.

Wilde Lake Wildecats

1995 record: 5-16 overall, 3-11 league. Coach: Don Storr.

Top players: Jason Cohen, Sr., SS; Dylan Gentile, Sr., P, 1B; Tony Jackson, Jr., OF; Jason Sturgill, Sr., P, 3B; Jeremy Young, Sr., 3B; Ted Williams, Sr., INF; Chris Yetter, Fr., OF.

Outlook: The Wildecats have a small corps of excellent players, led by Cohen and Jackson, and freshman Yetter. But the Wildecats are being hampered early with the lack of a pitcher's mound outdoors, and no indoor batting net. They have been hitting off tees instead of with a pitching machine. Storr is a quality coach who replaces the knowledgeable Jim Mowder.

Pub Date: 3/19/96

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