Take four experienced pitchers, blend them with some pretty fair hitters and the result should be a lot more than two wins.
That is the thinking for the Liberty High baseball team this spring as the Lions try to bounce back from a 2-15 season.
"We're not going to be a slouch this year," said coach Bryan Harman, who is beginning his 11th year with the Lions. "If we can turn all those two- and three-run losses around, we'll have a good year. I think we have a shot to battle South Carroll and Westminster for the county title."
Harman is optimistic because he can go five deep in pitchers and the hitting should be improved over last season.
The four experienced pitchers are senior right-handers Mike McGinnis, Bobby Bowman, Doug Coppeler and Mike Davidson. The fifth Liberty starter is sophomore right-hander Chris Bevins.
"I'm fairly comfortable with all five of those starting pitchers," said Harman. "We don't have a dominating pitcher like we had in 1989, 1990 and 1991 when Scott Sharp was here and we went to the 2A regional tournament all three years. Sharp was capable of going out each year and giving us a lot of wins."
After Sharp went on to George Washington last year, the Lions were able to win just two games.
In fairness to McGinnis, Bowman, Coppeler and Davidson last season, they didn't get a lot of offensive support.
Only three Liberty hitters surpassed .285 last season. They were center fielder Doug Johnson (.319) who has graduated, Bowman (.288) and Davidson (.286).
"Our offense was a weak spot last year," said Harman. "The league [Central Maryland Conference] had good pitching last year and we had some trouble hitting those guys."
All five pitchers will be playing other positions when not on the mound. McGinnis will move between third and shortstop, Bowman will play short, Coppeler will be in center field, Davidson will play right and Bevins will play second.
Senior Garry Gick will be behind the plate and is regarded as an outstanding defensive catcher.
"Overall we're much improved over last year," said Harman. "Our main goal is to qualify for the 2A regionals."