Polls

March 15, 2006

1. Calvert Hall -- Last season: 31-1, ranked No. 1--Outlook: Matching last season is too much to ask, but with a strong returning nucleus led by catcher Joe Velleggia, outfielder Nick Wojnowski, second baseman Pat Carmen, shortstop Kevin Lingerman and pitchers Robby Hendry and Vince Lombardi, the Cardinals are the team to beat.

2. Mount St. Joseph -- Last season: 20-13, No. 13 --Outlook: After winning the MIAA A Conference in 2004, the Gaels slipped, but should be back up to challenge Calvert Hall with shortstop Nick Natoli, emerging right-handers Bryan Hamilton and Brendan Floyd, and outfielder Ryan MacDonald.

3. Archbishop Spalding -- Last season: 18-16, unranked -- Outlook: The returning bats of first baseman Chris Huisman, outfielder Paul DeVito and catcher-shortstop Kody Hines, as well as pitcher Brendan McGowan, should make the Cavaliers a force despite losing pitcher-shortstop Dan Palumbo to a knee injury.

4. Arundel -- Last season: 14-9, No. 11 -- Outlook: A Class 4A state finalist last year, the Wildcats lost seven seniors and return outfielder Corey Overholtzer, sophomore pitcher Tyler Hibbs, first baseman Sean Pleffner and outfielder Jason Daniels.

5. Catonsville -- Last season: 15-3, unranked --Outlook: With ace left-hander Neal Davis back and two other pitchers in right handers Adam Kolarek and Chris Smith, the Comets should be Baltimore County's best.

6. Severna Park -- Last season: 22-4, No. 3-- Outlook: The defending Class 3A state champion lost a lot to graduation, but Ryan Joy, All-County as a freshman infielder-designated hitter last year, is ready to step up with pitcher Sammy Sheckells and others.

7. Dulaney -- Last season: 16-6, unranked-- Outlook: Four key returning players - outfielder Steve Bumbry, first baseman-pitcher Rich McWilliams , shortstop Brent Russo and second baseman Alex Frederick make the Lions a contender.

8. Old Mill -- Last season: 17-4, No. 6 -- Outlook: The Patriots keep reloading and will build around outfielders Derek Harris and Jon Carpenter, pitchers Shawn Fernholz and Joe Monar and catcher C.J. Adams.

9. Centennial -- Last season: 14-7, unranked -- Outlook: A Class 3A state champion two years ago, the Eagles appear ready to make another run.

10. Eastern Tech -- Last season: 22-1, No. 2-- Outlook: The Mavericks seek to defend their Class 2A state title with pitcher Ryan Rivers and hitters Jeff Bihy and Josh Kempa.

11. Westminster -- Last season: 17-6, No. 9 -- Outlook: With the return of right-hander Brett Harman, the Owls will be the team to beat in Carroll and in Class 3A West.

12. Fallston -- Last season: 16-4, No. 7 -- Outlook: Upset by C. Milton Wright in the playoffs last year, the Cougars return a strong nucleus in pitchers Jason Vickers, Mike Thomas and Scott Rainey, outfielder Kevin Conner and second baseman Grant Morlock.

13. South Carroll -- Last season: 12-10, unranked --Outlook: Left-hander Dan Gergets and infielder Scott Miller make the always tough Cavaliers a threat to Westminster in Carroll County.

14. Glenelg -- Last season: 13-8, unranked -- Outlook: Sophomore pitcher Hunter Kinchens should make the Gladiators a Howard County league contender.

15. Atholton -- Last season: 13-7, No. 15 -- Outlook: Returning All-Howard County shortstop Steve Lombardozzi will anchor what should be a strong infield.

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