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County baseball teams ready to strike or strike out

While the weather has been great for baseball, county teams haven't been able to take full advantage with game action, because the season for most doesn't begin until next week. Harford teams, however, appear ready. Here's a look at what each team expects for the 2016 season.

Aberdeen

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Head coach: Tim Lindecamp (seventh year)

2015 record: 13-7

Top returning players: Sam Smith, Jr; Andrew Brndjar, Sr.; Zach Thomas, Sr.; Jacob Murdock, Sr.; Anthony Cuellar, Jr.

Key newcomers: Jack Smith, Fr.

Outlook: "We will need to play solid defense and have good pitching to repeat as division champs," Lindecamp said. "With the loss of Owen Smith [Shepherd University] we will need to manufacture runs."

Bel Air

Head coach: John Swanson 15th year)

2015 record: 10-9

Top returning players: Jack Jenkens, Sr.; Andrew Cotton, Sr.; Zack Radcliffe, Jr.; Cameron Kalandrus, So.; Liam Bowers, So.

Key newcomers: N/A

Outlook: "We will return seniors Jenkens [committed to Shippensburg University], Luke Beyers, Cotton, Mike Koskie and Matt Ferretti," Swanson said. "We will be young in some regards, but seasoned in experience and expectations for the 2016 season. Jenkens will be the last player associated with our state championship run in 2013, so it will be hard seeing him graduate, but excited for his future as well as the rest of our senior class at Bel Air.

C. Milton Wright

Head coach: Joe Stetka (fifth year)

2015 record: 8-13

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Top returning players: Tyler Hickey, Sr. (RHP/1B); Danny Phillips, Sr. (RHP/UT); Mike Poorbaugh, Sr. (RHP/1B); Andrew Schatz, Sr. (OF); Jordan Thomas, Jr. (SS); Cam Outten, Jr. (LHP); Jakob Younger, Sr. (C); Mike Penaherrera, Sr. (INF); Matt Muddiman, Sr. (C/INF); Shane Spurlock, Sr. (OF); Ryan Kolb, Jr. (OF); Zach Walter, Jr. (3B).

Key newcomers: Ryan Miller, So. (RHP/OF); Jaden Stephens, Sr. (OF); Tanner White, Jr. (OF); Aaron Kopczynski, Sr. (OF/INF); Tyler Sherman, Jr. (RHP/OF); Brian St. Cyr, Jr. (OF); Sean Eppig, Jr. (RHP/INF); Allen Hokanson, Jr. (RHP/INF); Charlie Williams, Sr. (C).

Outlook: Pitching is the key, according to Stetka. "If we get ahead of the hitters and stay ahead in the count we should be fine", Stetka said. "We have a few more arms this year than we've had in past years. Three top starters is nice to have. We are solid defensively up the middle anchored by Thomas at shortstop and Jakob Younger behind the plate." The outfield is fast and is solid defensively. "If we hit the way we can it could be a special year for us. On paper we are solid but unfortunately we don't play on paper," Stetka said.

Edgewood

Head coach: Joe Jones (first year)

2015 record: 8-9

Top returning players: Nick Logue, Sr. (SS/P); Tyler Hofmann, Sr. (CF); George Vonakis, Jr. (3B/RF).

Outlook: After going 8-9 in 2015, the Edgewood Rams will be looking to their seven returning seniors to lead them through 2016, according to Rams' Jones.

Fallston

Head coach: Grant Morlock (third year)

2015 record: 11-8

Top returning players: AJ Gibbons, Sr. (OF); Bryce Logan, Jr. (LHP).

Key newcomers: Everett Cox, So. (INF); Noah Hagenston, Jr. (INF).

Outlook: "We have a good mix of young talent and returners this season," Morlock said. Logan looks to build off a stellar sophomore campaign, finishing with a 1.41 era and earning First Team All-Harford honors. The Cougars expect to be solid defensively with returning shortstop Collin Gay and center fielder Gibbons. "Coaches are excited about the potential of sophomore infielder Cox and junior transfer third baseman Noah Hagenston," Morlock said. Fallston finished tied with Rising Sun atop the Chesapeake Division last season before eventually falling to the Tigers in the 2A East sectional semifinal.

Harford Christian

Head coach: Mike Lefever (fourth year)

2015 record: 8-6

Top returning players: Ian Edwards, Sr. (INF/P); Noah Akers, Sr. (3B/C); Chris Beirle, Jr. (LF); Jordan Tymes, Jr. (RF/P); Jake Edwards, SO. (C/P); Reiley Tate, So. (SS/P); Nate Griffin, So. (P/1B); Bailey Cosner, So. (CF).

Key newcomers: Jared Lanchak, Sr. (2B); Kaenan Ricketts, Fr. (OF/2B).

Outlook: Having lost only one senior from last year, this year's team looks to build on last year's 8-6 record, which saw them capture a second straight MACSAC championship, according to Lefever. Having started four freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors last year, the starting lineup returns almost entirely intact. The offense should put up plenty of runs, led by Tate (.604, 11 RBI), Ian Edwards (.556, 23 RBI), Akers (.440, 19 RBI), Jake Edwards (.440, 8 RBI), Cosner (.333, 10 RBI) and Beirle (.394, 10 RBI). The pitching staff should also once again be strong, as six hurlers return, led by starting pitchers Ian Edwards ( 5-2, 2.51 ERA, 52 K) and Griffin (1-3, 4.20 ERA, 28 K). Tate, Jake Edwards, Tymes and Akers (1-0 4.50 ERA IN 9 IP) will all be counted on to take the mound when needed.

Harford Tech

Head coach: Paul Daniele (seventh year)

2015 record: 6-11

Top returning players: Blake Godwin, Jr. (SS); Blake Melchoir, Sr. (P/OF); Matt Bowler, Sr. (1B); Devin Guido, Sr. (2B/P); Justin Klingelhofer, Sr. (OF); Josh Hucke, Sr. (P/3B); Andrew Woods, Sr. (OF); Mike Dos Santos, Sr. (OF).

Key newcomers: Nick Robinette, Sr. (P/1B); Jarrett Schneider, Jr. (1B/P); Jarryd McCormick, Jr. (C); Ethan Rachuba, Jr. (SS/2B); Will Weaver, Jr. (OF/P); Joe Conn, Jr. (P/OF); Parker Norcross, So. (3B/P).

Outlook: "We expect to prepare ourselves for every situation and put ourselves in a position to compete on a daily basis. Our goals are always the same: conference championship, regional championship and state championship," Danielle said. "This season we have 11 seniors on the team so our expectations are high. I know playing in the Chesapeake Division of the UCBAC is extremely tough. I believe it is one of the toughest conferences in the entire state of Maryland and we know playing this schedule will only help us become better players and coaches and hopefully allow us to make a run in the 2A playoffs."

Havre de Grace

Head coach: Chad Blevins (sixth year)

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2015 record: N/A

Top returning players: Christian Amici, Sr. (P/3B); Chris Thompson, Sr. (P/INF); Alex Holian, Sr. (C/1B); Mike Flosser, Jr. (SS); Matt Mussman, So. (UT/P).

Key newcomers: N/A

Outlook: "I like our team. We are young, gritty and have some new transfers that could also be a key factor in our success," Blevins said. "I expect us to play great defense, mainly hit doubles and singles and we should be very aggressive on the base paths. Could be a fun and memorable season."

John Carroll

Head coach: Steve Teter (second year)

2015 record: 12-12

Top returning players: Matt Lozinak, Sr. (C); Paul Wilson, Sr. (P); Nick Collier, So. (P/OF); Ryan Archibald, So. (Pitcher/INF); Tae Bogan, Jr. (OF); Nick Turnbull, Sr. (P).

Key newcomers: N/A

Outlook: The baseball program continues to grow and improve and is poised to compete for the MIAA A Conference Championship after making the playoffs in 2015, according Teter. The Patriots have a great combination of experience and young talent in the program. Coach Darrion Siler joins the varsity staff and along with coaches Billy Greenwell and Mike Ryan, look to take the team to the next level. Four-year varsity players Lozinak and Wilson will lead the team on the mound and behind the plate. Collier looks to build on a strong freshman campaign and is joined by sophomores Archibald and RJ Price to create one of the strongest group of 2019 graduates in the state and provides a very bright outlook for the future. Junior Bogan and senior Will Tokarski will be looked upon to be strong offensive forces in the middle of the Patriot lineup. Senior Turnbull and Junior Alex Marlow will round out one of the deepest pitching rotations in the MIAA.

Joppatowne

Head coach: Neil Lauryssens (first year)

2015 record: 0-15

Top returning players: Austin Mitchum, Sr. (C); Tristan Doering, So. (P/SS); Nolan Klado, Jr. (P/1B); Jorden Meads, Jr. (CF).

Key newcomers: Trace Haviland, Fr. (P/3B).

Outlook: "Although still young, we look to field a much more competitive team this year," Lauryssens said. "Everyone is working hard and looking forward to the upcoming year."

North Harford

Head coach: Tim Larrimore (26th year)

2015 record: 15-7

Top returning players: Colin Bowling, Sr. (P/OF); Kyle Munson, Sr. (SS); Shane Collins, Sr. (2B); Jack Reaves, Sr. (P); Jeff Mergler, Sr. (OF); Gary Martin, Sr. (OF).

Key newcomers: N/A

Outlook: The Hawks lost 12 seniors from last season's state semifinal team. Bowling was the Hawks #2 pitcher last year and will be #1 this season and likely one of the top pitchers in the county. Last year he posted a line of 3-2, 2.29 ERA and 29 Ks. Munson started in the outfield last season and moves to shortstop this year. The Hawks are a young team with nine upperclassmen on the team.

Patterson Mill

Head coach: Matt Roseland (eighth year)

2015 record: 15-8

Top returning players: Kyle Goudy, Sr. (SS); Jacob Michael, Sr. (1B/DH); Steve Spencer, So; Nick Cress, So.; Max Elliott, So.

Key newcomers: Eric Raley, Jr. (C); Cooper Mattheu, Jr. (C); Austin Koehn, So. (P); Carson Uebersax, So. (P); Thomas Kragh, So. (P,UT).

Outlook: "Coming off a season where we were a few innings away from our second appearance in the state championship, this group is hungry and have set their goals on getting back to the final four. This is a young group with only three seniors in the program," Roseland said. "They have gotten off to a great start with outstanding offseason commitment. The next few years, this group has a chance to compete at a high level if our pitching can find a way to step up and keep us in ballgames."

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