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‘An extremely talented crew’: Manchester Valley’s senior baseball commits prepare for the next level

Manchester Valley's Kyle Scott, seen throwing a pitch to a Liberty batter last April, is one of six seniors committed to playing at the next level.
Manchester Valley's Kyle Scott, seen throwing a pitch to a Liberty batter last April, is one of six seniors committed to playing at the next level. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)

Manchester Valley baseball coach Shawn Hampt said this year’s team was full of potential.

Any hopes of watching that potential unfold were dashed last week when Maryland State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced in a State Board of Education meeting that the state was officially canceling athletic events for the remainder of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Mavericks have 11 seniors on this year’s roster who saw their final high school seasons cut too short.

It won’t spell the end of their baseball careers, however. Six of those seniors — Tyler Allen, Brett DeWees, Eddie Meredith, Ty Morris, Matt Myers and Kyle Scott — have already committed to play baseball in college, and they have been using this time to get a head start in preparing for the next level.

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“This group of kids is an extremely talented crew,” Hampt said. “I know every coach is sad this season but we had a lot of talent, just camaraderie, chemistry and culture. It was one of the best ones I’ve ever had to be around and that really sucks it got cut short."

Myers, a Times first-team All-County pick in 2019, committed to Randolph-Macon College and said he is anxious to get back to the grind and play college baseball for a team that has won two consecutive Old Dominion Athletic Conference regular season titles and was 15-1 this spring before the remainder of the season was halted due to COVID-19. It was the team’s best start in program history.

Myers, an outfielder, was part of a close-knit group at Man Valley and said he and Scott, a starting pitcher and shortstop for the Mavs who plans to attend Lackawanna Community College, have played together since they were very young. He led the team with a .431 batting average, six doubles and three triples last year.

“I think throughout the years, we all played really close together and really pushed each other a lot farther than other classes did,” Myers said. “I really think this tight group of kids really worked hard together and pushed each other to the best of our ability.”

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The Mavericks had depth at the pitching position with Scott, Ty Morris and Myers as the top three and Hampt said he usually lets the boys call their own game. Scott throws mid-to-upper 80s to low 90s on the mound and had a 0.51 ERA with 18 strikeouts before an injury cut his junior season short.

DeWees, a catcher, committed to York College and Meredith committed to Albright. Allen, an outfielder, and Morris, an infielder, plan to further their baseball careers at Frederick Community College and Montgomery County Community College, respectively.

“Brett is a very strong, athletic, good guy to have behind the plate,” Hampt said. “He understands calling pitches and he comes up with his ideas and we talk when mistakes are made and we make adjustments … Eddie Meredith is just an all-around guy and a great team player. He’s always team-first and connected to just about every guy.”

Hampt said Morris’s first year playing for the Mavs was last spring and he showed a lot of promise this year. The Mavs had about two players for every position this spring — a rarity in high school baseball.

The Mavericks will have to replace its 11 talented seniors, but there is still hope for this program’s future success. Hampt, in his 11th year at the helm, said watching his players become good athletes and better human beings makes the experience worth it.

“Waiting is super important and that’s obviously the goal, it should go without saying,” Hampt said. “The other stuff sometimes gets thrown to the wayside and we really don’t have a shortage of that part, which is making losing seasons and tough losses easier to deal with."

Hampt also said the team will be young the next couple years, adding “the enthusiasm and heart in the freshmen that came out this year, it was so much fun.”

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