Player of the Year
Patrick Blair, Calvert Hall
Blair was the top player at one of the most important positions on the field - shortstop. A five-tool player, he hits for average and power and can run, throw and play defense. A three-year starter, the junior has been an All-Metro shortstop the past two seasons.
"We feel that Patrick is our best player and the one who made big play after big play," Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl said. "He was one of the main reasons for our success."
For example, Blair drove in a run and then stole home to spark a four-run first inning in the Cardinals' 7-2 victory over Archbishop Spalding that put them in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final. Blair guided the No. 1 Cardinals (27-7) to their fourth consecutive conference championship.
Blair led Calvert Hall in batting (.462), hits (43), runs (35), RBIs (34), triples (five), home runs (seven) and stolen bases (21-for-25) while striking out just nine times and walking 20 times.
He will have a shot at several state career records next season. Blair already is second in runs (131) and fourth in hits (134), in addition to setting a state season record for runs (58) last year.
Blair made nine errors, with 24 putouts and 48 assists for a fielding percentage of .889. This month, Blair will try out for the U.S. 18-under Junior Olympic team.
Coach of the Year
Joe Stetka, C. Milton Wright
When Tony Blackburn decided to take off a year as C. Milton Wright baseball coach to spend more time with his family, he turned the reins over to assistant Joe Stetka.
Under Stetka, the Mustangs did not miss a beat. He led them to the Class 4A state final for the third time since 2004 with just three returning starters.
"Coach Blackburn is coming back, but I have enjoyed this and I've said all along, it's been his ship and I'm just steering it for him," Stetka said.
Stetka guided the Mustangs to a 19-5 record and No. 3 ranking. Their season ended with a 7-6 loss in eight innings to Sherwood of Montgomery County in the state final.
Jack Carey, St. Paul's
Teams consistentlypitched around Carey, a juniorthird baseman, becauseof his power and penchantfor knocking in runs.
This season Carey hit .386with 12 doubles, three triples,five homers, 28 runsscored and 28 RBIs. With 20extra-base hits, his sluggingpercentage was .739.
With another season to go,Carey -- who hit .445 as asophomore and set schoolrecords for hits (49) and RBIs(44) -- is closing in on thestate and Crusaders careerrecord of 156 hits set by SteveJohnson (2002-05), and theschool career record for RBIsof 121 held by David Beach(2000-03).
Carey is being recruited by Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Mike Dillon, Calvert Hall
Dillon, a second-team All-Metro pick last season,emerged this year as the Cardinals'ace. The senior right-handerwas 9-1 with one saveand a 2.03 ERA. His only defeatcame in the NationalClassic in California to hostEl Dorado.
Dillon pitched a three-hitterwith 12 strikeouts to winhis second straight MarylandInterscholastic Athletic AssociationA Conference championshipgame over No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, 2-1. Hewas part of three of the pastfour MIAA titles won by theCardinals.
In addition to wins, Dillonled the team in inningspitched (58) and strikeouts(73) and tied Kevin Lingermanin complete games(four.) Dillon will play atOhio University next year.
Kieran Flannery, St. Vincent Pallotti
Flannery once again wasthe top catcher and one ofthe top pitchers in the MIAAB Conference. A four-yearstarter for the Panthers,Flannery possesses a strongright arm that enables himto throw out base stealersfrom behind the plate andstrike out batters when onthe mound.
Flannery, also a first-teampick last season, can swing thebat, too, as his .506 battingaverage attests. In 32 games,Flannery had seven doubles togive him 36 for his career, fivetriples, six homers, 47 runs, 25RBIs and 26 stolen bases. Hison-base percentage was .602and his slugging percentagewas .899. He went 7-4 with 63strikeouts and a 2.67 ERA in 73innings pitched.
Flannery owns nearly all ofthe school season and careerrecords for hitting. He willplay at Indian River CommunityCollege.
Alex Frederick, Dulaney
Frederick closed out a marvelousfour-year career asthe Lions' Most ValuablePlayer for a second straightseason. A slick-fielding shortstopand pitcher, he finishedwith 40 consecutive errorlessgames at shortstop over thepast two seasons. The seniorbatted .484 with six homersand 32 RBIs and was 4-2 as apitcher this season.
A two-year team captain,Frederick flawlessly handled82 chances and had 55 assistsand 27 putouts. He scored 23runs and had five doublesand five triples to boost hisslugging percentage to .982.He struck out just twice.
Frederick set a school careerrecord for hits (102) andhit .402 over four seasons. Heis the only Baltimore Countyplayer named to the FourState Elite Classic set forJune 2 at Hagerstown's MunicipalStadium. He will playat UNC-Greensboro.
Matt Hillsinger, Archbishop Spalding
With a quick bat from theleft side, the speedy Hillsingerhas been one of the topoutfielders in the metro areafor the past two seasons.Hillsinger, who transferredfrom Bowie to Spalding lastyear as a junior, was theleadoff batter for the No. 2Cavaliers and did a terrificjob of getting on base andsetting the table for the powerguys.
He led the team in battingat .446, with 45 runs, 22 RBIs,eight doubles, three homersand 27 stolen bases. Hillsinger,who hit .420 in his twoseasons at Spalding, set theschool career record forstolen bases with 42, and his45 hits in a season are secondin school history.
Hillsinger will play at RadfordUniversity.
Kody Hines, Archbishop Spalding
The four-year startingmiddle infielder was one ofthe most reliable players inthe program's history. Hines,primarily a second baseman,was a solid defensive playerand one of the metro area'stop contact hitters.
Hines, a senior who wasthe Cavaliers' cleanup batterthis season, batted .436 witha school-record 45 RBIs,which ties him for sixthplace on the all-time statelist. In addition, Hines, whoalso played shortstop whenregular shortstop Jeff Kemppitched this season, had 10doubles and four homers,scored 27 runs and stole 10bases.
Batting .368 over four seasons,Hines set school careerrecords for hits (140), doubles(31), RBIs (112) andwalks (63). Hines will play atAnne Arundel CommunityCollege.
Kevin Lingerman, Calvert Hall
Early-season arm problemsslowed last year's All-Metro Player of the Year, butonce he got going, the pitcher-third baseman had anotheroutstanding season. Thesenior went 6-0 and completedhis four-year varsity careerby striking out 44 in 43innings and walking 17. Heled the team with the lowestERA (1.95) for pitchers withat least 25 innings and tiedMike Dillon for most completegames (four).
Lingerman batted .371 asthe No. 2 hitter. He led the Cardinalsin at-bats (97) and doubles(13), and was second inruns (30), triples (three),homers (three), and RBIs (31).
He finished his career with37 doubles, which is secondall-time in the state, and his126 hits are fifth on the all-timelist. Lingerman will playat George Mason.
Jason Patten, Archbishop Spalding
With his moving fastballand knee-buckling breakingpitches, Patten was the Cavaliers'ace. He was also theteam's best defensive outfielder.A three-year varsity starter,the senior right-handerwent 7-1 with four saves togive him a school careerrecord of nine saves. Patten,the Anne Arundel CountyPlayer of the Year, struck out79 in 58 innings and posted a1.50 ERA.
Patten also threw a pair ofshutouts, one of them a perfectgame against hard-hittingSt. Paul's on May 7. He struckout seven and threw only 64pitches. He finished his three-yearcareer with an 18-6record, 215 strikeouts and just62 walks in 158 innings, with acareer 2.17 ERA.
He hit .290 this year and finishedwith a .288 career averageand 40 RBIs. Patten willplay at Radford University.
Kylin Sims, Dundalk
One of the area's most underratedplayers, Sims, a senior,got it done at the plateand in the field. Some whohave watched him play sayhe is one of the best defensivehigh school first basementhey have seen.
Sims, a four-year varsityplayer, has been describedby opposing coaches andplayers as a magician aroundthe bag with his soft hands,footwork and athleticism.Sims, 5 feet 11 and 225pounds, has saved many athrow in the dirt with his niftypicks.
With the bat, Sims candrive the baseball for distanceor go the other way.The left-handed Sims hit .578with five homers, 32 RBIs, 17runs, seven doubles andthree triples.
Sims will play at Bethune-Cookman.
Ben Winter, Centennial
Winter, the Howard CountyPlayer of the Year for asecond consecutive season,led the Eagles to the Class 3Astate semifinals for a secondstraight season with his arm,bat and glove.
The senior left-hander andrepeat All-Metro first-teampick went 6-2 with two no-hittersand a one-hitter. Hestruck out 59 and walked 25in 36 1/3 innings, while yieldingonly 16 hits and 11earned runs for a 2.12 ERA. Afastball with good movementand a biting curve enabledWinter to go 19-4 histhree varsity seasons.
Winter also was one of themetro area's top defensivecenter fielders. Winter batted.400 with seven doubles,five triples, two homers, 27runs and 22 RBIs. His on-basepercentage was .526 and hisslugging percentage was.771. He will play at TowsonUniversity.
Woody Wlodarczyk, C. Milton Wright
The Mustangs' seniorcatcher was clearly the teamleader. He led C.M. Wright toits second state final and arepeat Upper ChesapeakeBay Athletic Conference titleduring his three years as avarsity starter.
Wlodarczyk sparked theteam with his aggressive demeanor,strong arm, extraordinaryability to block theplate and hot bat. Wlodarczykled the Mustangs in battingat .513, doubles (13), triples(four) and RBIs (32). Healso stole eight bases andscored 22 runs. His on-basepercentage was .576 and hehad a slugging percentage of.855.
Behind the plate, Wlodarczykthrew out 14 of 21 basestealers, a percentage of .667.Wlodarczyk will play at HarfordCommunity College.
Name, School, Class, Position
Eric Aumann South River Jr. P
John Hodges Northeast Sr. P
Sean Thompson Arch. Curley Sr. P
Eddie Palmer Ar. Spalding Jr. C
Jake Barben N. Harford Sr. IF
Andrew Huber Patapsco Jr. IF
Cory Jensen Severna Park Sr. IF
Mike Rappazzo C.M. Wright Sr. IF
Jordan Heller Loch Raven Sr. OF
Brody Kean Northeast Sr. OF
Eric Myers Parkville Sr. OF
Kevin Seker Mar. Ridge Sr. OF
Note: Teams selected by Pat O'Malley after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.