March 15, 2006

1. Archbishop Spalding -- Last season: 18-4, ranked No. 2 -- Outlook: The defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champs have the pitching and defense to win the 1-0 games and the hitting to win the slugfests.

2. Severna Park -- Last season: 17-4, No. 3 -- Outlook: The Falcons, state champs in 2003 and a state finalist in 2004, have plenty of motivation after failing to get out of their region last spring.

3. C. Milton Wright -- Last season: 21-5, No. 7 --Outlook: Only one player graduated from last year's team that enjoyed a surprise run to the Class 3A title game.

4. Institute of Notre Dame -- Last season: 17-8, No. 5 -- Outlook: After two second-place showings in the tough IAAM A Conference, will this finally be the Indians' year?

5. Glen Burnie -- Last season: 13-8, unranked --Outlook: Deep, talented and experienced, the Gophers appear poised to turn the corner in Anne Arundel County.

6. Catonsville -- Last season: 21-3, No. 9 -- Outlook: With everybody back and a beefed-up schedule, the Comets - regional finalists the past two years - hope this season will bring a trip to the state tournament.

7. North County -- Last season: 21-3, No. 1 -- Outlook: A new nucleus tries to find the same old success for the defending Class 4A state champion Knights, who have won four crowns since 2000.

8. Westminster -- Last season: 17-4, No. 4 -- Outlook: Any questions at the start of a season always get answered by playoff time for the Carroll County champion Owls, who returned to the state semifinals last season after winning the crown in 2004.

9. Northeast -- Last season: 14-6, No. 8 -- Outlook: Scoring runs should come a little easier this season for the Eagles, who have seven starters back.

10. Chesapeake-AA -- Last season: 14-6, No. 6 --Outlook: The Cougars will make their mark in Anne Arundel County with sound pitching and defense and by scratching across runs.

11. Centennial -- Last season: 20-1, No. 10 -- Outlook: Most of the group is back from last year's team that won 20 straight before Howard County rival Mount Hebron ended the run in the regional final.

12. Seton Keough -- Last season: 11-6, No. 15 --Outlook: With experienced talent at key positions, the Gators could find their way to the top of the IAAM A Conference.

13. Mount Hebron -- Last season: 17-6, No. 13 --Outlook: The Vikings have plenty of pieces in place to give Centennial a sturdy push in Howard County.

14. Pallotti -- Last season: 14-11, No. 14 -- Outlook: After rebuilding last season, can the Panthers once again be a major factor in the IAAM A Conference?

15. Western Tech -- Last season: 17-5, unranked --Outlook: After staking claim to their first regional title last season, the young and emerging Wolverines want even more with their entire lineup returning.

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