LOCAL SPORTS HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL PREVIEW

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Balto. County

Arlington Baptist Eagles

1995 record: 11-4. Coach: Tim Hulburt.

Top players: Andy Booker, Sr., C-SS-P; John Jones, Soph., P-C; Aaron Polk, Fr., P-SS.

Outlook: The catalyst of the Eagles is Booker (.420, 5 HRs, 23 RBIs), the top run producer and pitcher. Polk, the ace of the junior varsity last season, adds quality depth to the staff.

Boys' Latin Lakers

1995 record: 5-11. Coach: Butch Maisel.

Top players: Chris Armiger, Jr., P-SS; Matt Thanner, Jr., P-RF.

Outlook: Armiger and Thanner give experienced pitched to first-year coach Maisel.

Calvert Hall Cardinals

1995 record: 28-2. Coach: Joe Binder.

Top players: Joe Pease, Sr., P; Mike Jewell, Sr., DH-OF; Shane Rhodes, Jr., P; Andy Hohnstein, Sr., C; Matt Schruefer, Jr., OF; Chuck Ester, Sr., 1B; Justin Nash, Soph., P.

Outlook: The Cardinals, who set a school record for wins last season and have won 55 games over the last two years, lost seven starters but return exciting talent. Ester, Jewell and Schruefer are the heart of the lineup and will manufacture runs. Pease is the top returning pitcher, and Rhodes, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-hander, has a powerful arm. Nash has excellent potential and only needs experience.

Carver A&T; Wildcats

1995 record: 1-15. Coach: Guy Railey.

Top players: Ryan Walsh, Fr., SS; Sean Jester, Jr., P-IF; Adam Anderson, Jr., P; Nick Paparounis, Soph., P-CF; Jon Fowler, Sr., 1B-OF; Greg Pipitone, Fr., P.

Outlook: Railey is attempting to build some continuity and has spirited young players. Paparounis (.389, 2 HRs) is the leading returning hitter and Walsh has impressed immediately with his good hands and arm.

Catonsville Comets

1995 record: 12-6. Coach: Doug Campbell.

Top players: Tom Bloom, Sr., P-3B; Norm Simpkins, Sr., P-IF; Todd Perry, Sr., SS; Joe Geppi, Sr., OF; Donny Mitchell, Sr., P-OF.

Outlook: After the Comets lost by a run in the regional semifinals, Campbell said the team has a "quiet confidence" about the upcoming season. Bloom (2.47 ERA, 75 strikeouts in 58 IP) is one of the top pitchers in the county and forms a tough combination with No. 2 starter Simpkins (2.90 ERA).

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1995 record: 8-10. Coach: Jack Kirtland.

Top players: Pat McGeeney, Sr., P; Terry Foy, Jr., C; Derek Wilson, Sr., P-IF.

Outlook: Six players return as the rebuilding process continues. The pitching staff has improved and is led by McGeeney.

Dulaney Lions

1995 record: 8-10. Coach: Ron Audlin.

Top players: Chris Holloway, Sr., C; Joe Metz, Sr., IF; Danny Williams, Sr., P; Damon Holmes, Sr., P-RF; Adam Lucas, Jr., P; Colin Snow, Sr., CF.

Outlook: The Lions show little resemblance to the squad that won two games two years ago. The combination of pitchers Holmes and Lucas with left-hander Williams have the Lions shooting for an above .500 season.

Dundalk Owls

1995 record: 9-9. Coach: Walt Brown.

Top players: Kevin Baughman, Jr., C; Randy Fox, Sr., 3B-P; Robert Ray, Jr., SS- P; Kevin Kalinsky, Jr., P-IF; Kevin Underwood, Sr., OF.

Outlook: The Owls appear to have bounced back from last season and look to make some noise in the postseason. Offense is not a problem as the Owls will rack up runs with speedy Underwood leading off and Fox driving in runs. Baughman, who played in right field last season, has become a standout catcher and will handle the staff bolstered by Fox and JV star Ray.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1995 record: 9-9. Coach: Joe Gast.

Top players: Chris Neuschaffer, Sr., P-OF; Will Klapka, Sr., CF; Joe Galoni, Sr., 3B; Troy Stratemeyer, Jr., SS-P; Erik Skarda, Jr., 2B.

Outlook: The Mavericks have finished with a 9-9 record for two straight seasons and will attempt to record a winning season with a solid group of junior varsity players moving up. Neuschaffer pitched mainly in relief last year but rises to the role of No. 1 starter.

Franklin Indians

1995 record: Top players: Mike Trott, Sr., P; Todd Pinson, Sr., 1B-C; Jason Comoglio, Jr., OF; Blane Sharpless, Soph., P; Adam Gardner, Jr., P-SS; Ben Jewitt, Jr., P.

Outlook: With only three seniors, the Indians will rely on Trott (11-1, 0.65 ERA, 57 strikeouts), one of the top pitchers in the area who throws in the 80-mph range. Gardner (a transfer from Loyola), Jewitt and Sharpless round out a sound pitching corps that will need to step up to get the Indians back to the state semifinals. Pinson (.340, 5 HRs, 26 RBIs) is the most proven hitter in a lineup that consists of above average speed.

Hereford Bulls

1995 record: 14-5. Coach: Rich Griser.

Top players: Mike Warner, Sr., SS-P; Kevin Altmeyer, Sr., 2B-C; Brandon Kostick, Sr., IF; Jason Wingeart, Soph., OF-IF; Mark Pierce, Jr., P; Jason Fiorito, Jr., P; Justin Wilhelm, Soph., P.

Outlook: Griser, who coached at Lansdowne last year, has a bundle of athletic sophomores. Warner, one of the Bulls' top run producers, has to lessen the blow of losing the entire pitching staff from last season with the help of Pierce, Fiorito and Wilhelm.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1995 record: 1-17. Coach: Carroll Hess.

Top players: Joe Culver, Sr., P-3B; Tim Stoll, Sr., 1B-P; Brian Ray, Sr., C-2B; Ricky Cooper, Jr., CF; Chuck Jones, Jr., LF; P.J. Lapka, Jr., P.

Outlook: The Bluebirds, who have won only two of their past 25 games, have a new influx of talent and an improving attitude. Culver and Stoll give pitching stability and a chance for Kenwood to break even this season.

Lansdowne Vikings

1995 record: 10-10. Coach: Dave Wright.

Top players: Charlie Walters, Jr., C-P; Tim Harrison, Jr., P-SS; Gary Howard, Sr., 1B-P; Kevin Mueller, Jr., SS; Gary Jackson, Sr., P; Donald Colven, Sr., OF- P.

Outlook: Wright calls Walters, possibly the top throwing catcher in the area, the best catcher he has ever coached. Harrison and Howard both throw in the mid-80s for a deep Vikings staff. "I think this is perhaps the most talented of any team I've ever coached," Wright said. "There is a realm of possibility that this is a state championship team."

Loch Raven Raiders

1995 record: 7-10. Coach: Tim Nordbrook.

Top players: Joe Middlesworth, Sr., 1B-DH; Tod Smith, Jr., LF; Greg Erdman, Sr., SS-P; Ken Benedict, Jr., P.

Outlook: Nordbrook, a former Orioles infielder from 1974-76, is in his first season with the Raiders and wants his team to build toward the open state playoffs. He has good athletes but must improve their baseball skills.

Loyola Dons

1995 record: 10-14. Coach: Dave McCann.

Top players: Adam McKenzie, Jr., 1B; Geoff Jasper, Jr., SS; John Ackerman, Sr., P; Marty Petza, Sr., P; John Nichols, Jr., 2B; Kevin Dowbiewicz, Jr., C; Chris Clayville, Fr., P.

Outlook: It's the youngest team that McCann has coached and is powered by McKenzie and Jasper's strong hitting. Petza and Ackerman need to climb up a notch on the mound, and Clayville could produce immediately.

Lutheran Saints

1995 record: 8-12. Coach: Paul Bickel.

Top players: Dave Kelly, Jr., SS-P; Mike McCoy, Jr., SS-P-OF; Alex Bickel, Sr., C; Gordy Calvert, Sr., P-OF.

Outlook: The Saints will stay in the middle of the pack with a club that has improved defensively. The lineup lacks power, but will score runs with the speed of McCoy and Calvert.

McDonogh Eagles

1995 record: 21-5. Coach: Chet Janiga.

Top players: Mike Dubansky, Sr., OF; Mike Steller, Sr., P-3B.

Outlook: The Eagles are eyeing their third straight state private school championship. Dubansky (.444) will spark the big innings, and Steller (.361, 4-2 as a pitcher) will start the big games.

Milford Mill Millers

1995 record: 3-13. Coach: Ron Bareford.

Top players: Scott Murray, Jr., IF-P; Roy Mack, Fr., 3B-P-C; Andre Blackwell, Sr., SS-OF; Chris Busick, Soph., P-3B; Mark Linzey, Jr., C.

Outlook: The infield is solid and the outfield is quick with the addition of Blackwell, a high jump specialist last winter. Pitching is suspect and will grow with the help of catcher Linzey (a transfer from Randallstown).

Mount Carmel Cougars

1995 record: 15-10. Coach: Dave Naughton.

Top players: Dan Gittings, Sr., OF-P; Billy Collins, Jr., OF-P; Adam Herold, Jr., OF; Shawn Staullman, Fr., P-OF.

Outlook: Gittings (.424 and 7-3, 92 strikeouts in 86 IP) and Collins (.380) are the core of the Cougars. The rest of the team is strong defensively and is quick on the base paths.

Overlea Falcons

1995 record: 16-5. Coach: Dave O'Neill.

Top players: Rusty McCready, Sr., P-SS; Dave Scheller, Sr., P-1B; Tim Phillips, Sr., 3B; Chris Willis, Sr., 1B-OF; Mike Campbell, Jr., OF.

Outlook: McCready drives the Falcons as their top pitcher and run producer. The success of their second and third pitchers will dictate the Falcons' season.

Owings Mills Eagles

1995 record: 15-2. Coach: Randy Pentz.

Top players: Jeff Leven, Jr., P-OF; Jan Katzen, Sr., C; Dave Miller, Sr., 2B; Dan Selnick, Sr., OF; Shaun Smith, Soph., P; Adam Elover, Soph., SS.

Outlook: The Eagles graduated 11 of their 16 players that combined to hit .317. But rebuilding is not the attitude with above average pitching and developing young hitters. Leven (6-1) looks to repeat his success as one of the top starting pitchers.

Park Bruins

1995 record: NA. Coach: Allen Garfinkel.

Top players: Chris Jaskulski, Sr., P-C-2B; Webster Phillips, Jr., P; Shaun Baron, Jr., P; Danny Diamond, Jr., 3B.

Outlook: The return of hard-throwing pitchers highlight this season. Phillips, Baron and Jaskulski got major exposure last season and will be relied upon by Garfinkel, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies in the early 1960s.

Parkville Knights

1995 record: 10-8. Coach: Jeff Merkel.

Top players: Chris Ashenfelter, Sr., P; Larry Reeves, Jr., OF-P; Dan McGraw, Sr., 1B; Ryan Avila, Sr., 3B.

Outlook: Merkel is optimistic in his first season with the Knights as nine starters return. He has game-tested pitching and Avila (a transfer from Calvert Hall), who is expected to make an impact.

Patapsco Patriots

1995 record: 13-6. Coach: Dave Ingle.

Top players: Daryl Kalb, Sr., P-3B; Wayne Brooks, Sr., 2B; Steve Ammons, Soph., CF-P; Dino Puzinsky, Sr., OF.

Outlook: Kalb and Ammons are the top two pitchers for the Patriots. The key is to receive consistent hitting to utilize the Patriots' team speed.

Perry Hall Gators

1995 record: 18-3. Coach: Larry Butts.

Top players: Kevin Znamirowski, Sr., SS; Adam Nastalski, Sr., OF-P; Billy Foos, Sr., 3B; Chris Zorn, Jr., P-DH; Alan Datac, Sr., OF; Martin Kupis, Sr., OF; Brandon Zimmerman, Sr., C.

Outlook: fourth state title in the past seven seasons. The Gators have several solid hitters, including three-year starter Znamirowski. Zorn and Nastalski, both of whom pitched in relief, move into the two top spots and their effectiveness is a key.

Pikesville Panthers

1995 record: 9-6. Coach: Mike Bruner.

Top players: Larry Williams, Sr., OF; Brad Rosenberg, Sr., P; Jon Edelman, Sr., P; Chad Hipsley, Sr., OF; Josh Miller, Soph., P; Dawan Owens, Sr., 1B.

Outlook: The Panthers' two top pitchers Rosenberg (4-1, 2.15) and Edelman (4 -4) both return. Williams (.415) is the top contact hitter, and Owens supplies the power.

Randallstown Rams

1995 record: 14-4. Coach: Rich Hambor.

Top players: Ra'mie Ray, Sr., CF; Gary Green, Sr., P-OF; Ali Shah, Fr., P-3B, David Miller, Jr., C.

Outlook: There's a good mixture of ages as new coach Hambor took the best 15 players who tried out. Ray is a major talent, and Shah will step in as the No. 1 pitcher.

St. Paul's Crusaders

1995 record: 16-6. Coach: Paul Bernstorf.

Top players: John Dansicker, Sr., 1B; Chris Horich, Sr., 2B; Justin Singleton, Jr., SS; Brian Pierson, Jr., CF; Josh Deckelbaum, Jr., CF; Rob Gardinier, Sr., P; J.C. Battie, Jr., P.

Outlook: The adjustment to a new coach and a couple of holes in the outfield are the only weaknesses for the Crusaders, Bernstorf said. Pierson (.457) and Singleton (.397) are the two top returning hitters. The duo of Gardinier (7-2) and left-hander Battie (5-2) can keep batters off balance.

Sparrows Point Pointers

1995 record: 14-5. Coach: Mark Moxey.

Top players: Mike Downs, Soph., P; Griffin Dingle, Sr., P-OF-1B; Chris Butler, Sr., OF; Jason Staub, Jr., C; Todd Blankenship, Sr., 1B; Mike Young, Jr., C; Tom Szewczyk, Sr., 3B.

Outlook: A total of 14 players came out for Moxey, last season's Baltimore City- County Coach of the Year. Warren had five wins last season, but Dingle could emerge as the Pointers' top pitcher.

Towson Generals

1995 record: 7-11. Coach: Bill Yosca.

Top players: Adrian Hughes, Sr., P; Pete Nothstein, Sr., C; Fred Netschulat, Sr., SS; Matt Mittenthal, Sr., 2B.

Outlook: The Generals should be competitive if the pitching holds up. Hughes, who was 4-2 last year, takes over the No. 1 pitching slot. Nothstein and Netschulat are the sluggers.

Western Tech Wolverines

1995 record: 2-15. Coach: Kirk Kucharski.

Top players: Ian Gorsuch, Jr., P; Brian Rogers, Jr., 2B-P; Rob Blair, Jr., 1B-P; Neal Frankel, Sr., OF.

Outlook: Hitting and speed will keep the Wolverines competitive. Frankel (.340) is the most consistent offensive threat and right-hander Gorsuch will see the most innings.

Woodlawn Warriors

1995 record: 2-15. Coach: Scott Jeffery.

Top players: Benjamin King, Sr., P-3B; Mikal Plummer, Soph., P-IF; John Bell, Jr., OF.

Outlook: Jeffery said he would surprised if the Warriors win less than eight games. Plummer struck out 17 percent of the batters he faced. The defense has improved but the lineup will face some lapses. Jamison Hensley

Pub Date: 3/19/96

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