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BALTIMORE CITY TEAM-BY-TEAM CAPSULES BALTIMORE CITY/COUNTY BASEBALL PREVIEW

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Archbishop Curley Friars

1994 record: 7-11. Coach: Al Frank.

Top players: Jason Karolkowski, Sr., P-3B; Ryan Hax, Sr., SS; Ronnie Riccitelli, Jr., LF-P; Bill Curran, Jr., 2B; Brad Bush, Jr., P; Dave Maley, Jr., CF; Mark Shelley, Jr., RF-SS.

Outlook: Everyone around the MIAA A Conference is talking about how great Curley is supposed to be this year. Everyone, that is, except Frank. "I don't know what they can see," said Frank, who returns his entire infield, except for catcher, where he starts Jack Berkeridge up from JV. "We only have three seniors, with eight juniors and four sophomores." Hax, a four-year starter, and Karolkowski, a three-year starter and the No. 1 or 2 pitcher, lead the way.

Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders

1994 record: 3-19. Coach: Rod Cameron.

Top players: Dennis Chesgreen, Sr., P; Josh Wilkerson, Sr., P; Rick Fuller, Sr., 3B; Corey Butts, Sr., OF-2B; Reggie Jones, Jr., CF.

Outlook: The Crusaders return five starters from last year's squad, including Wilkerson, a third-year starter with a career batting average over .300. The Crusaders, with Chesgreen and Wilkerson as their top pitchers, should be much improved -- but so is the rest of the MIAA A Conference. "We can improve, but that doesn't mean that we'll do better record-wise," said Cameron. "It's going to be a tough year."

Carver Bears

1994 record: 9-6. Coach: Terry Thomas.

Top players: Broderick Wooden, Sr., SS; Brian Jackson, Sr., OF; Dominic Boone, Soph., P; Shawn Gross, Jr., OF-IF.

Outlook: Five players return for Carver, but will be inexperienced. Thomas says hitting won't be a problem, but asking a core of freshman to play above their potential will be a difficult task. Carver may be competitive in the 2A-3A League, but executing will be crucial.

City Black Knights

1994 record: 20-2. Coach: Bill Walker.

Top players: Pat Mowray, Sr., P-IF; Sean Cooper, Sr., P-1B; Harvey Dennie, Sr., IF-OF; Jason Smith, Sr., P-C.

Outlook: The Knights, which lost to Centennial in the state 3A North Region finals, may be pressed to repeat last season's results. Four starters return, but City is inexperienced after the starters, which worries Walker. Mowray and Cooper are solid pitchers and City's overall speed should have it contending with Poly for the 2A-3A League title.

Douglass Ducks

8, 1994 record: 0-7. Coach: Landon Sanders.

Top players: Robert Cokley, Sr., OF; Dwayne Watts, Sr., P-3B; Corey Davis, Sr., P-SS.

Outlook: Douglass was 0-7 before it dropped the program for the remainder of the season. Sanders takes over as coach and has a good turnout. The Ducks lack experience in pitching, but Sanders thinks his infield will be able to keep games low-scoring. If that happens, Sanders thinks a .500 season is within reach.

Dunbar Poets

1994 record: 4-9. Coach: Greg Branch.

Top players: Gary Smith, Sr., P-Util; Donta Jones, Sr., P-Util; Terrence Hinton, Sr., Util; Ali Culpepper, Soph., C.

Outlook: The Poets will be inexperienced, so Branch expects some mistakes, but he likes his team's overall defense. Jones and Smith gives Dunbar stability in the pitching department. How quickly the young players adjust to the varsity will be the key whether the Poets will be competitive in the 2A-3A League.

Edmondson Redskins

1994 record: 7-7. Coach: Tai Thompson.

Top players: James Rogers, Sr., OF; Patrick Leach, Sr., C; Michael Gamble, Sr., IF-P; Jesse Ratkin, Jr., IF-P; Danas Bourne, Soph., IF-P; Travon Taylor, Jr., Util.

Outlook: With Patterson and Southern-Balto. battling for the top spot in the city 4A League, the Redskins hoped to battle for third. Thompson expects his offense to win some games this season because the pitching is inexperienced. If the pitching can develop by midseason, Edmondson could be respectable.

Forest Park Foresters

1994 record: 8-9. Coach: Thelanious Prioleau.

Top players: Jaleel Oglesby, Util, Jr.; Danez Williams, Jr., OF; Adrian Griffin, Soph., IF.

Outlook: With only three starters returning, Prioleau will be facing a major rebuilding project this season. The bright spot may be Griffin, who hit .434 as a sophomore last season, and Williams, who is in his third varsity season. Pitching will be another weak point for the Foresters, which in the 2A-3A League with Poly and City, spell major problems.

Friends Quakers

1994 record: 12-5. Coach: Tom Randall.

Top players: Dave Schummers, Sr., 2B-P; Dan Munoz, Jr., C; John Yeager, Soph., P-CF.

Outlook: The Quakers made their third straight MIAA B Conference playoff appearance last year, losing a best-of-three title series to Lutheran. Schummers (.456, 18 RBI) is among three returning starters, and Munoz (.368) is a graduate of the Putty Hill program. "We have some kids like Paul Mason, a sophomore, who look like they can pitch pretty well," said Randall. "I'm excited about the season."

Gilman Greyhounds

1994 record: 16-8. Coach: Marty Meloy.

Top players: Greg Dobbyn, Sr., P; Misha Goberman, Sr., P; Jason Nitzberg, 1B-P; Bobby Proutt, Sr., P; Jason Mersey, Jr., 3B; Jay Homa, Jr., SS.

Outlook: The Greyhounds, one of just three teams to defeat Calvert Hall last year, will have a difficult time replacing several graduates, most notably All-Metro C Peter Bogue. But with a four-man pitching rotation, Homa and Mersey, they're a team that can't be overlooked. "We had a tremendous defense last year, but right now, I can't tell you who's playing third, right or second."

Lake Clifton Lakers

1994 record: 3-9. Coach: Russell Williams.

Top players: Corey Goodwin, Sr., P-2B; Andre Murray, Sr., C; Edward Weaver, Sr., P-3B; Eric Foreman, Sr., CF; Kenny Williams, Sr., 3B-LF; Andre Robinson, Sr. SS.

Outlook: The Lakers should challenge for third in the 4A League with seven returnees. Murray and Weaver will give Lake Clifton speed and Williams says the team is more focused and disciplined. Depth could give the Lakers problem against perennial favorites Southern-Balto. and Patterson, but Williams thinks this is potentially Lake Clifton's most balanced team since 1984.

Mervo Mustangs

1994 record: 10-9. Coach: Andy Corbett.

Top players: Curtis Pope, Jr., C; Daryl Taylor, Sr., P; Kevin Davis, Jr., SS-P; Julien Robinson, Soph., SS-LF; Mike Stroh, Sr., 2B.

Outlook: The Mustangs, who lost to eventual state 4A champion Perry Hall in the first round of the North Regionals, will attempt to carry the experience of the postseason into this season. Six starters return, including Pope, one of the area's top underclassmen, and Davis. Mervo will be young, but "a team to be reckoned with," said Corbett. The key for the Mustangs will be development of their pitching staff, which has one returnee.

Mount St. Joseph Gaels

1994 record: 17-11. Coach: Dave Norton.

Top players: Everett Cooper, Sr., C; Eric Jeschke, Sr., 1B; Dan Rosewag, Jr., SS-2B; Mike Couser, Jr., CF; Matt O'Donnell, Jr., RF.

Outlook: The Gaels, dethroned by McDonogh as private school state champs last year, hope to get back that crown and then some with six returning starters and several players up from an excellent JV. Jeschke (.342, 18 RBI), O'Donnell (.318, 14 RBI), Cooper (.286, 12 RBI) and Rosewag (.264, six steals) should improve their numbers. Joe Cremen (.333), mostly a designated hitter last year, should see action in the infield. Norton likes his pitching staff, starting with seniors Pat Bowen and Willie Richardson and including juniors Ryan Baker and Collin McGonigal. "I've got a lot of kids who can hit the ball," Norton said. "We're better than last year, and should look good for two years."

Northern Vikings

1994 record: 6-10. Coach: George Jackson.

Top players: Darius Benton, Jr., CF; Robert Buchanan, Jr., SS; Hartsel Covahey, Jr., 3B; Brian Credle, Soph., C.

Outlook: Jackson, who has coached previously at Southwestern and Mervo, takes over a team that has no seniors. With Benton in center field, Northern's outfield defense is solid. Jackson likes his infield defense, which will be key because the Vikings are weak in pitching. Jackson thinks a .500 season would be a major accomplishment.

Northwestern Wildcats

1994 record: 3-10. Coach: Melvin Millerson.

Top players: Julian Motley, Sr., P-C; Jason Lohr, Sr., SS-P; Darren Windley, Soph., CF; Perry Gwynn, Soph., 2B; Baye Murphy, Jr., OF.

Outlook: The Wildcats will attempt a run for third in the 2A-3A League with a team dominated with sophomores. Millerson said pitching and outfield defense will keep Northwestern in a lot of games. The maturity of the underclassmen in crucial moments will tell if Northwestern is capable of contending for third with Dunbar.

Patterson Clippers

1994 record: 15-6. Coach: Roger Wrenn.

Top players: Willie McGirt, Sr., CF; Mike Burrows, Sr., P-SS; Wendell Collins, Sr., 3B-P; Mike Jaski, Sr., 2B-OF; John Winters, Sr., C.

Outlook: The Clippers won the city 4A title last season, but lost to Southern-Balto. in the first round of the state 4A North Regionals. Five starters return, including McGirt, who has scored 34 runs in the last two seasons, and Burrows, who was 7-1 as a junior last season. Speed shouldn't be a major concern with Burrows (17 stolen bases) and McGirt (16) and either should pitching. Patterson won't have the power or depth it has in previous seasons, but it will be again one of the area's premier teams.

Poly Engineers

1994 record: 13-7. Coach: Mark Schlenhoff.

Top players: Steve Worrell, Sr., P-IF; Dustin Jones, Jr., SS-P; Chris Mossmann, Jr., IF; Terry Allen, Jr., OF.

Outlook: The Engineers look again to challenge City in the 2A-3A League with five returning starters. Schlenhoff is excited about his team's attitude and dedication, and their improvement in speed and defense. Consistent pitching from the second and third starter will be crucial for Poly, which will be tested immediately in its season opener with Patterson.

Southern Bulldogs

1994 record: 15-6. Coach: Bill Parker.

Top players: James Benton, Sr., P-3B; Kenny Toldziecki, Sr., P-CF; Chris Calvert, Soph., P-SS; Billy Thomas, Sr., IF.

Outlook: The Bulldogs will again battle with Patterson for the 4A League championship. Benton and Toldziecki formed a solid pitching nucleus, and Calvert at shortstop will make Southern strong defensively. Parker is worried about his catching, which was an Achilles heel last season, but Southern should be in postseason play.

Southwestern Sabers

1994 record: 4-9. Coach: Terry Leverett.

Top players: Donald Louden, Sr., C; Maurice Green, Sr., P; Patrick Hobby, Sr., CF; Clifford Martin, Sr., OF; Timmy Perry, Soph., SS.

Outlook: Seven players return for Southwestern, and Leverett expects it to be competitive. Leverett likes the maturity of his team despite most of being underclassmen. Being able to show that maturity on the field will be the key if Southwestern hopes to aim for a .500 or better record.

Walbrook Warriors

1994 record: 7-8. Coach: John Turpin.

Top players: Sean Simms, Sr., P-SS; Demetrius Jackson, Sr., P-OF; Damian Clifton, Sr., 1B-OF.

Outlook: The Warriors will be very inexperienced and rebuilding with four freshman in the starting lineup. Turpin says the Warriors could be competitive in the 4A League, depending on how quickly his team develops.

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