2013 Top 15 baseball preseason poll

March 18, 2013|By Dean Jones Jr | The Baltimore Sun

1. Calvert Hall

Coach: Lou Eckerl

Last season: 30-6, No. 1

Postseason: MIAA A Conference champion

Outlook: After returning to the top of the conference in 2012, the Cardinals enter as the favorite to slug their way to another title. Senior catcher Alex Murphy could set several offensive records. Senior outfielder Ron Farley batted .733 with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs in the playoffs last year.

2. Glenelg

Coach: Dave Boteler

Last season: 19-5, No. 8

Postseason: Class 2A South regional finalist

Outlook: With most of their players returning, the Gladiators hope to improve on last season's 1-0 loss to Patuxent in the regional final, Boteler said. Junior Tyler Hoeflich batted .347 with a team-leading 26 RBIs last season. The right-hander was 2-2 with a 1.94 ERA.

3. Archbishop Curley

Coach: Brooks Norris

Last season: 19-12, No. 3

Postseason: MIAA A Conference runner-up

Outlook: A pair of left-handed pitchers -- junior Zack Ridgely (58 strikeouts in 58 innings in 2012) and senior J.D. Caulkins (4-4, 3.71 ERA) -- lead the Friars as they look to build on last year's success despite the graduation of several key contributors.

4. South River

Coach: Ken Dunn

Last season: 13-9, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A East regional quarterfinalist

Outlook: With 13 returning players, the Seahawks should challenge for a county championship. Senior Austin Wright (.310, 2.47 ERA) and junior Craig Sheridan (.286, 3.41 ERA) will contribute on the mound and at the plate, but can they put it together for a title?

5. Arundel

Coach: Jason Lively

Last season: 19-6, No. 4

Postseason: Class 4A state runner-up

Outlook: After running through the tough Class 4A East region last season, the Wildcats lost to Northwest of Montgomery County, 7-6 in 12 innings, in the Class 4A title game. They'll reload and look to make the extra step this year.

6. Reservoir

Coach: Adam Leader

Last season: 22-2, No. 5

Postseason: Class 3A East regional finalist

Outlook: The Gators should be among the top teams in Howard County once again. Sophomore right-hander Cody Morris is the No. 1 starter after All-Metro first-team right-hander Lee Lawler graduated, and junior catcher Danny O'Hagan batted .330 last season.

7. River Hill

Coach: Wes McCoy

Last season: 16-5, unranked

Postseason: Class 3A East regional quarterfinalist

Outlook: With all of their pitchers returning this season, the Hawks will likely contend for the Howard County championship. Look for senior outfielder Shrawan Sinha to make an impact after hitting .309 with 13 RBIs last year.

8. Loyola

Coach: Jim Crowley

Last season: 16-16, unranked

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: Senior utility player Conor Reynolds (.440, 6 triples, 31 runs, 16 stolen bases), an All-Metro second-team pick last year, leads the Dons at the plate, while senior left-hander Bruce Zimmerman (7-0 with a 3.10 ERA) anchors their rotation.

9. Severna Park

Coach: Eric Milton

Last season: 16-5, No. 13

Postseason: Class 4A East regional finalist

Outlook: In his first season, Milton said "expectations are pretty high" with 16 seniors on the team. Senior left-hander Ryan Callahan leads a deep pitching staff. Most coaches name the Falcons as one of the favorites for the Anne Arundel County title.

10. Gilman

Coach: Larry Sheets

Last season: 25-9, No. 7

Postseason: MIAA A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: Junior Gavin Sheets, the coach's son, leads the Greyhounds, who lost 11 seniors from last year's squad. One local coach said Gilman has the hitters to compete, but pitching is their biggest question mark heading into the season.

11. Dulaney

Coach: Ryan Wolfsheimer

Last season: 15-6, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A North regional quarterfinalist

Outlook: With a squad full of seniors, the Lions are among the top teams in Baltimore County. Senior Bobby Donald batted .368 with 3 HRs and 21 RBIs last season, while junior Kurtis Ewers (.481, 16 RBIs, 3-3, 2.31 ERA) contributes offensively and on the mound.

12. Liberty

Coach: Jim Miller

Last season: 14-5, No. 15

Postseason: Class 2A West regional quarterfinalist

Outlook: Miller, a first-year coach, said a lot of the Lions believe they have "work left to be done" after their season ended with a 5-4 loss to eventual Class 2A state champion Williamsport. Senior infielder Tim Anderson batted .364 with 2 HRs and 11 RBIs last year.

13. Bel Air

Coach: John Swanson

Last season: 9-12, unranked

Postseason: Class 3A North first round

Outlook: Several Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference coaches pick the Bobcats as the preseason favorite. Seniors Tyler Norcross and Sam Foss (.288, 1 HR, 9 RBIs) provide a veteran core.

14. Westminster

Coach: Mark Winebrunner

Last season: 15-8, No. 14

Postseason: Class 4A North regional finalist

Outlook: Seniors Trevor Houck (5-1, 1.45 ERA) and Gene Barrett (3-2, 3.32 ERA) give the Owls, who will rely on several young players, a veteran one-two punch in the rotation.

15. Mount St. Joseph

Coach: Dave Norton

Last season: 12-15, unranked

Postseason: None

Outlook: Senior Kirk Haynes (.308, 14 RBIs, 3-3, 3.47 ERA) and junior Peter Solomon (.323, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs, 4.88 ERA) look to help the Gaels rebound from a down season.

Others considered: C. Milton Wright (14-8, unranked), Franklin (13-9, unranked), Glenelg Country (12-9, unranked), Hammond (12-10, unranked), Hereford (14-6, unranked), Patterson Mill (19-5, No. 6), Severn (14-11, unranked), St. Mary's (18-6, unranked)

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