Local Sports: High School Baseball Preview

March 19, 1996|By Pat O'Malley

Annapolis Panthers

1995 record: 4-16. Coach: Larry Brogden.

Top players: Ryan Dacey, Sr., SS/RHP; David Taylor, Sr., OF; Pat Steines, Sr., OF; Chris Barrett, Sr., 3B; Dave Benischek, Sr., RHP/OF; Pete Salvia, Sr., 1B; Kurt Bradshaw, Jr., OF.

Outlook: an outstanding catching prospect in Derek Shaw, who transferred to St. John's in D.C. for his junior year. Dacey will have to shoulder a lot of the burden both offensively (hit more than .400 last spring) and on the mound if the Panthers are to have any success. "Shaw was a major loss, and the key to our season is how well our pitching does the job," said Brogden. "We don't have any true pitchers. The guys we pitch are position players." At catcher, sophomores Joe Plattner and Jessie Stubbs are battling junior Josh Walker for the job.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1995 record: 7-12. Coach: Roger Yarnell.

Top players: Matt Brady, Sr., LHP/OF; Mike Angelo, Sr., 2B; Kurt Cadarette, Sr., C; Brendan Mannix, So., SS; Mike McCarthy, Jr., RHP/OF; Mike Massarini, Sr., 1B.

Outlook: Yarnell, an assistant at Spalding last year and a faculty member, replaces Tom Lind, who stepped down after five seasons. The Cavaliers have a decent but limited returning nucleus, which should make them a middle-of-the-pack team in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. "We're very young, but playing in such a tough conference should make us better," said Yarnell. Brady, who Yarnell says is being recruited by Navy, Mount St. Mary's and Towson State, and McCarthy are the 1-2 pitching punch that should keep Spalding in most games. "I just wish they were all like McCarthy, just a hard-working kid with a great arm for his size," said Yarnell. Yarnell said his team's strength is going to be defense because of what it has up the middle. Cadarette behind the plate, Angelo, who will attend Millersville (Pa.), at second base and Mannix at shortstop bolsters the middle, led by Brady and McCarthy, who will share center field.

Arundel Wildcats

1995 record: 18-6. Coach: Bernie Walter.

Top players: Kurt Light, Jr., RHP; Andy Vermillion, Sr., LHP/OF; Gene Collins, Sr., DH/IF; Dave Tilman, Sr., C/OF; Jimmy Woods, Sr., 1B/SS; Bernie McQuarrie, Sr., C/OF; Steve Sylvester, Jr., 2B/SS; Derek Loosararian, Sr., RHP/1B; Steve Brunner, Sr., 3B; Ryan Fox, Sr., LHP.

Outlook: With perhaps the area's top pitcher in hard-throwing Light and a strong returning nucleus, including six returning starters, an encore could be in order for the defending state 4A champions. Light, All-Metro as a sophomore after going 8-1 with 64 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings, pitched a four-hitter to beat Perry Hall, 11-0, for the Wildcats' record seventh state title under Walter (367-104). Light was the only junior named to the State Association of Baseball Coaches pre-season All-State team and will be backed up by another returning All-County performer in Vermillion, who has signed with Division II Shepherd. Vermillion was 6-2 with an ERA of 1.41 as the county's top left-hander, and is the Wildcats' cleanup hitter (.389, 20 runs, 18 RBIs). "This team has a great chance to go a long way," said Walter, who begins his 23rd season. "They finished terrifically last year, and if they can pick up the level of intensity they had at the end and carry it into this season, it should be a good year." Vermillion, Sylvester (.407), Collins, Tilman, McQuarrie and Brunner are the returning position players who started last year. Only shortstop is unsettled with the loss of All-County Casey Trout to graduation. Collins and Woods are getting the look at shortstop at the moment.

Broadneck Bruins

1995 record: 18-6. Coach: Mark Stover.

Top players: Todd Betz, Sr., OF; Brian Forthofer, Sr., 1B; Dominic Borro, Sr., RHP; Craig Atkinson, Sr., RHP/3B; Clay Manha, Sr., RHP; Mike D'Archangelo, Jr., SS; Kyle Largent, Jr., C; Dan Corey, Jr., 2B; Tim Croker, So., RHP/OF.

Outlook: After winning his first state championship and taking county and metro Coach of the Year honors, Stover (131-98, 12 seasons) is eager to take another whack at it. "This group has real potential, and how far we go will be determined by our pitching," said Stover. Borro, who was 2-1 as a junior, got stronger over the summer and will be the ace of the staff. "With Betz and Forthofer, we've got a pretty good start toward having a decent-hitting club," Stover said. Center fielder Betz batted .404 with 21 stolen bases and 28 runs, and Forthofer, an excellent runner as well, hit .441 with 17 RBIs. D'Archangelo was promoted from the JV to the varsity for the playoffs last spring and, Stover said, "did an excellent job at short and solidified our infield for the playoffs." Largent is a transfer from Oklahoma who Stover says "swings the bat well."

Chesapeake Cougars

1995 record: 15-6. Coach: Jim Simms.

Top players: Ryan Moore, Sr., RHP/OF; Corey Dlugokeski, Sr., 1B/RHP; Ryan Terpay, Sr., OF; Jeff Fraley, Jr., RHP/3B; Dave Stepp, Jr., C; Mike Bianco, Jr., SS; Mark Ryan, Jr., 2B; Marvin Hazen, Jr., 2B.

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