High school baseball: Baltimore City preview


Archbishop Curley Friars

1992 record: 10-9. Coach: Al Frank

Top players: Drew Kowalevicz, Sr., CF; Chris Schwoy, Jr., C; Ryan Hax, Soph., SS; Joseph Cristi, Jr., P; John Huber, Jr., P; Chris Shanahan, Jr., 1B; David Baynes, Jr., 2B; Chris Chicowicz, Sr., 2B.

Outlook: Only two starters return from last year's team: Kowalevicz (.291) and Schwoy (.308), who moves from left field to catcher. "Schwoy is our best athlete, but we have six or seven others back who got spot duty," said Frank.

Boys' Latin Lakers

1992 record: 5-5. Coach: Jack Blinke

Top players: J. Armiger, Sr., C; Sean Gruver, Jr., P; Phil Booker, Sr., P/CF; Alex Hill, 3B/P; Myron Hayes, Soph., SS; Craig Connelly, Sr., LF; Mike Schwartz, Sr., RF.

Outlook: The Lakers return every starter, including four-year starters Armiger (.478), who had more than 30 RBI last year, and Connelly. "Armiger's a pro prospect who should be heavily scouted this year, and Connelly should bust out," said Blinke, who goes three deep with pitchers. A question mark is second base, where senior Linc Farr and sophomore Donte Booker contend.

Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders

1992 record: 9-15. Coach: Rod Cameron

Top players: Dmitri Dickerson, Sr., LF; Rodney Manigo, Sr., OF; Danny Catlett, Sr., 2B; Kevin Dukes, Jr., IF/OF; Carl Baker, Sr., P; Eric Rigatuso, Sr., P/OF; Jeremy Shutt, Sr., LHP.

Outlook: Ninth-year coach Cameron says his Crusaders, coming off of their worst year ever, return seven starters, including three of their four veteran pitchers. Dickerson (.290, 15 RBI), Dukes (.260) and Catlett (.280, eight steals) are the leaders. The overall depth and experience is more than in past years, and Cameron would like to get back to the level they hit as A Conference champs in 1985, and two years ago, when they missed the playoffs by a game.

Carver Bears

1992 record: 7-8. Coach: Terry Thomas

Top players: Antonio Simpson, Sr., C/P; Delvin Wells, Jr., P/LF; Brodrick Wooden, Soph., P/3B; Brian Jackson, Soph., OF/IF; Sheldon Hawkins, Soph., 2B.

Outlook: Simpson hit .542 and won four games on the mound last year, and Wells hit .440 while winning the other three games. "Last year we scored a lot, but we let too many runs in," said Thomas. Thomas said that Wooden, Jackson and Hawkins, along with talented players up from a 7-5 junior varsity, point toward "dramatically improved pitching and defense."

City Knights

1992 record: 10-6. Coach: Bill Walker

Top players: Terrence Suber, Sr., CF; Carlton Nivens, Sr., P/LF; Shawn Scott, Sr., 1B/C; Dwight Banks, Jr., RF; Jesse Schreier,Jr., C; Chris Ryon, Jr., SS/P; Harry Martin, Jr., P; Pat Mowray, Soph., P.

Outlook: The Knights return five starters, including left-hander Nivens (5-2), who has "pin-point control," Walker said. Suber (.400, 22 RBI), Scott (.300, 12) and Banks (.270, 10) are steady contributors.

Douglass Ducks

1992 record: 1-3. Coach: Mike Bethea

Top players: Dwayne Watts, Jr., SS; Rodney Smith, Jr., 2B; Vaughan Moore, Jr., RF.

Outlook: Last year's season was beset by several rain delays, forcing Bethea to call the season with only four games. But the third-year coach said, "We're looking pretty good and we'll be competitive. We'll definitely improve on last year."

Dunbar Poets

1992 record: 5-3. Coach: Greg Branch

Top players: Emanuel Fitzgerald, Sr., P/U; Omar Parker, Sr., P/U; Elton Banks, Sr., C; Durrell Jones, Sr., 1B; Gary Smith, Jr., 3B; Anthony Byrd, Jr., 2B.

Outlook: The Poets return seven starters, including hurlers Fitzgerald (3-1 last year) and Parker (1-1), who each hit nearly .500. "We have more players in the skilled positions, so we'll definitely improve," said assistant coach David White.

Edmondson Redskins

1992 record: 7-6. Coach: Tai Thompson

Top players: Clarence Holliday, Sr., SS/2B; Michael Wynn, Sr., P/OF; Michael Brock, Jr., SS/C.

Outlook: Only three starters return, but Brock (.338, four home runs) and Holliday (.327, two) had 16 and 18 RBI, respectively. Wynn is a solid pitcher and "with the players up from junior varsity, the veterans will be getting a boost," said Thompson.

Forest Park Foresters

1992 record: 1-9. Coach: Laney Prioleau

Top players: Lamont Gibson, Sr., OF; Arthur Johnson, Sr., P/OF; Dennis Holman, Jr., 2B; Steven Wells, Jr., C; Nick Harris, Sr., RF; Robert Arthur, Jr., P/OF; Damon Moore, Fresh., P.

Outlook: Gibson (.333) and Johnson are among four starters who return. Johnson is working on his fastball, but newcomer Moore will be the top hurler with his fastball, curve, changeup and a developing split-finger. Arthur is the team's best athlete. "We should be more aggressive offensively, especially on the bases," said Prioleau.

Gilman Greyhounds

1992 record: 16-5. Coach: Marty Meloy

Top players: Tim Elliott, Sr., SS; Dave Shapiro, Sr., 1B; Sean Tyszko, Jr., 2B/P; Jason Goeller, Jr., OF; Mike Kunzelman, Sr., P; Will Marbury, Sr., P.

Outlook: Elliott (.365, 25 RBI), Shapiro (.325) and Goeller (.320) were on last year's team, which lost to Southern in the playoffs. Meloy calls Elliott a Division I prospect. He stole 20 bases last year. Tyszko was 4-1, Marbury was 6-2, and Kunzelman 1-1.

Lake Clifton Lakers

1992 record: 12-4. Coach: Russell Williams

Top players: Andrew Gray, Sr., C/P; Ken Williams, Soph., CF/P; Andre Murray, Soph., P/1B.

Outlook: Gray, a four-year starter, returns after going 3-0 and batting .312 with 16 RBI and three home runs. Gray's curve, fastball and knuckler and Murray's slider should test opponents. Williams hit .295 with 12 RBI, but the Lakers may lack the depth of last year's team -- the only club to beat B Conference champ Patterson in its 20-1 campaign. "We'll have to establish a separate identity this year, and I'm hoping for a .500 season. Patterson's the team to beat," said Williams.

Mervo Mustangs

1992 record: 9-8. Coach: Andy Corbett

Top players: Tony Green, Sr., 3B; Jason Williams, Sr., P; Jeff Smith, Sr., SS/P; David Childress, Sr., 2B; Jeff Houck, Sr., 1B; Leonard Jackson, Sr., CF; Curtis Pope, Fresh., P/C/OF.

Outlook: First-year coach Corbett, who replaced retired coach George Jackson, graduated from Mervo in 1984 -- the last time the Mustangs won an MSA B title. He calls Green (6-2, 200) one of the best players in the state and Williams had a no-hitter against Walbrook last year. "Most of these seniors were on junior varsity when I started coaching them here, and we never had a losing record. I hope to continue that this year," Corbett said.

Mount St. Joseph Gaels

1992 record: 15-7. Coach: Dave Norton

Top players: Rob Blaylock, Sr., 2B; Tim Trotta, Sr., 1B; Buddy Edmond, Sr., DH; Matt Neighoff, Sr., RF; Ben Daniels, Sr., P; Dominic Steward, Sr., OF/C; Steve Matcuk, Jr., SS.

Outlook: With six players back and Matcuk (.443, 29 RBI), who had a 7-1 record and an 80 mph fastball as the junior varsity MVP, this is a very solid team that should challenge McDonogh. Daniels, 5-3 last year, had 55 strikeouts. Steward (.308), Neighoff (.272, seven steals), Blaylock (.254, 11 steals), Trotta (.259) and second-team All-Metro Edmond, a Patterson transfer who batted over .400 last year, give the Gaels a strong offense.

Northern Vikings

1992 record: 4-11. Coach: Paul Holmes

Top players: Marcus Howard, Sr., P; Delvon Jones, Sr., OF/P; Eugene Mattison, Jr., OF; Marion Sterrett, Jr., C; Ben Lemon, Jr., CF/P.

Outlook: Northern's first-year coach Holmes had a 33-player tryout, but said "this could be a difficult season." Lemon hits with power, reads the field well and has good speed. Howard is the pitching ace, with Jones as the reliever.

Northwestern Wildcats

1992 record: 4-7. Coach: Melvin Washington

Top players: Ralph Forest, Jr., C/2B; Brad Luby, Jr., P/3B; Myron Hizam, Soph., P/1B; Paul Fogel, Jr., OF.

Outlook: Washington takes the helm from head coach Marvin Dorsey, who will act as an assistant while recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident. Luby returns as the probable ace, has a powerful arm and hit .335. Hizam went 2-1 in relief last year but has great control and could see more action this year. Forest (.375) stole a team-high 23 bases for the Wildcats, who hope to improve on last year's record.

Patterson Clippers

1992 record: 20-1. Coach: Roger Wrenn

Top players: John Sauer, Sr., OF; Ronnie Green, Sr., C; Ernie Barrett, Sr., SS; Vince Storto, Sr., OF; Willie McGirt, Soph., OF; Earl Smith, Jr., IF/P; Gus Karanikolis, Soph., IF/P.

Outlook: Patterson doesn't have the depth of last year's team, but returns Sauer (.500, four home runs), who had 20 RBI, scored 31 runs and was successful on 19-of-20 steals. Green (.361) scored 27 times and was 16-for-19 in steals. Barrett (.231) is the Clippers' best defensive player and Storto (.286) has improved his game. Several players are up from last year's junior varsity champs.

Poly Engineers

1992 record: 9-11. Coach: Charles Sullivan

Top players: Charles Wilhelm, Jr., SS/P; Brian Fortman, Sr., OF/P; Frank Matthews, Sr., SS; Derrell Montgomery, Sr., OF/P; Lee Glowacki, Sr., OF/P; Barry Lancaster, Sr., 2B.

Outlook: Poly could be a contender, depending on which team shows up from week to week -- the one that lost, 22-1, to Gibbons last year, or the one that beat Gibbons the second time. It returns five part-time starters, plus three full-time veterans. Wilhelm hit .414 with 16 RBI, followed by Montgomery (.355), Fortman (.347) and Lancaster (.333).

Southern Bulldogs

1992 record: 16-4. Coach: Bill Parker

Top players: Charles Harris, Sr., RF; Troy Scott, Sr., CF; Sr., Alvin Tawney, Sr., P; Jim Loetz, Jr., LF; James Benton, Soph., 3B/P.

Outlook: The biggest question mark is pitching, where Parker has called up sophomores Ken Tolodziecki and Steve Balderson, who led last year's runner-up junior varsity. Loetz, who led the Bulldogs in RBI and home runs as a freshman, is looking to rebound from an off-season. The Bulldogs are solid contenders again.

Southwestern Sabers

1992 record: 12-4. Coach: Terry Leverett

Top players: Milton Nichols, Sr., OF/1B; Terrence Wheeler, Soph., C/P; Derek Brown, Soph., 3B; Joseph Brake, Fresh., LHP; Joseph Fish, Fresh., 1B/P; Eldridge Young, Fresh., P; Mike Galloway, Soph., CF/RF; Dwight Burley, Soph. 1B/SS.

Outlook: Only two starters -- Nichols (.410, 30 RBI) and Wheeler (.500, 20) -- return from last year's C Conference runners-up, but the Sabers had 16 talented freshmen among the 30 players who tried out. "We've got a bunch of little guys who can run, so our team speed is up and we'll steal a lot of bases," Leverett said.

Walbrook Warriors

1992 record: 0-14. Coach: John Turpin

Top players: Donya Folkes, Jr., 3B; Sean Simms, Soph., SS.

Outlook: The Warriors reached the playoffs for five straight seasons until last year. And with only two returning starters, the Warriors' program has nowhere to go but up. "We have some talented guys, so we're not completely rebuilding. We had 35 guys at the first few practices, and we look better pitching and hitting. We're on the upswing," said Turpin.

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