In a 9-8 win over Glenelg, he was 3-4 with a home run and four RBIs, and he caught both base runners who attempted to steal in a playoff loss to eventual state champion JM Bennett.
Garrett Kurtz, Centennial. As far as power hitting corner infielders go, there wasn't anyone better in Howard County this season than Kurtz.
He batted .500 (31/62) with 10 doubles, three home runs and 19 RBIs.
"He was just a great, consistent hitter all year long," coach Denis Ahearn said. "He's an excellent first baseman, one of the best I've ever had at scooping the ball ... but I didn't know that he would hit as well as he did."
Kurtz, who was also one of the Eagles' most reliable hurlers, pitched a complete game six-hitter and hit a home run in a playoff win at Stephen Decatur. He plans to play college ball for Dickinson next year.
Luke Brister, Glenelg. Also an excellent football place kicker, Brister was the one pacing the offense on the baseball diamond. The junior batted .411 (30/73) with three doubles and two triples, stole 19 bases, and crossed home plate 26 times. Despite batting in the two-hole, he still managed to drive in 13 runs of his own.
"There were a couple of weeks where he was really carrying us offensively. He was always on base, a real emotional leader," coach Dave Boteler said. "I wasn't aware how good a ballplayer he was ... but I have a feeling he's going to give us even more next year."
Coming off of a shoulder operation, Brister was also impressive defensively, making only two errors in 77 chances at second base.
Evan Griffin, River Hill. Since starting on varsity as a freshman, Griffin has been one of the most consistent, well-rounded players in the county. In three career seasons, he has never batted under .400, and is well on his way to reaching the elite 100 career hit club.
"He's one of the best overall athletes in the county," coach Wes McCoy said of Griffin, who is also a star running back on the gridiron. "He makes adjustments not just game-to-game, but pitch-to-pitch ... he's going to be as experienced a player as there is in the state next year."
This season Griffin recorded 35 base hits (.473 avg), including many against some of the best pitchers in the state and eight for extra bases. He scored 25 runs, stole 20 bases and drove in 16 runs. Five times this season the slick-fielding shortstop had three or more hits in a game.
Raul Shah, Mt. Hebron. Shah ended his career fittingly this spring by playing at Camden Yards as one of only two Howard County representatives in the prestigious Brooks Robinson High School All-Star game. The shortstop also earned his second straight first team all county honors after leading Mt. Hebron at the plate with 25 hits (.373 avg), 18 RBIs and 11 extra base hits, including three triples and a home run.
"He's the reason guys like me coach, to get to work with players like him," coach Brian Culley said. "He's an awesome, positive leader. He's great with the younger kids ... he can do pretty much anything you ask him to do."
The rangy, smooth shortstop will continue his baseball career at Johns Hopkins next year.
Tyler Henderson, Glenelg Country. After an offseason of rigorous training, Henderson got off to a scorching start, going 9-for-10 with seven extra base hits and 10 RBIs during a stretch in March.
But when the calendar page flipped over to April, Henderson didn't really slow down. He finished the campaign batting an even .500 (32/64) with 13 extra base hits and a county-best 33 RBIs. He struck out only three times in 76 plate appearances.
"He was the guy we depended on to take us through all the way into the playoffs, and he came through whenever we needed him," coach Chris Garber said. "With his hard work off the field on his conditioning, his speed and power, he became a different player."