Annapolis Panthers

1995 record: 4-16. Coach: Larry Brogden.

Top players: Ryan Dacey, Sr., SS/RHP; David Taylor, Sr., OF; Pat Steines, Sr., OF; Chris Barrett, Sr., 3B; Dave Benischek, Sr., RHP/OF; Pete Salvia, Sr., 1B; Kurt Bradshaw, Jr., OF.

Outlook: an outstanding catching prospect in Derek Shaw, who transferred to St. John's in D.C. for his junior year. Dacey will have to shoulder a lot of the burden both offensively (hit more than .400 last spring) and on the mound if the Panthers are to have any success. "Shaw was a major loss, and the key to our season is how well our pitching does the job," said Brogden. "We don't have any true pitchers. The guys we pitch are position players." At catcher, sophomores Joe Plattner and Jessie Stubbs are battling junior Josh Walker for the job.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1995 record: 7-12. Coach: Roger Yarnell.

Top players: Matt Brady, Sr., LHP/OF; Mike Angelo, Sr., 2B; Kurt Cadarette, Sr., C; Brendan Mannix, So., SS; Mike McCarthy, Jr., RHP/OF; Mike Massarini, Sr., 1B.

Outlook: Yarnell, an assistant at Spalding last year and a faculty member, replaces Tom Lind, who stepped down after five seasons. The Cavaliers have a decent but limited returning nucleus, which should make them a middle-of-the-pack team in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. "We're very young, but playing in such a tough conference should make us better," said Yarnell. Brady, who Yarnell says is being recruited by Navy, Mount St. Mary's and Towson State, and McCarthy are the 1-2 pitching punch that should keep Spalding in most games. "I just wish they were all like McCarthy, just a hard-working kid with a great arm for his size," said Yarnell. Yarnell said his team's strength is going to be defense because of what it has up the middle. Cadarette behind the plate, Angelo, who will attend Millersville (Pa.), at second base and Mannix at shortstop bolsters the middle, led by Brady and McCarthy, who will share center field.

Arundel Wildcats

1995 record: 18-6. Coach: Bernie Walter.

Top players: Kurt Light, Jr., RHP; Andy Vermillion, Sr., LHP/OF; Gene Collins, Sr., DH/IF; Dave Tilman, Sr., C/OF; Jimmy Woods, Sr., 1B/SS; Bernie McQuarrie, Sr., C/OF; Steve Sylvester, Jr., 2B/SS; Derek Loosararian, Sr., RHP/1B; Steve Brunner, Sr., 3B; Ryan Fox, Sr., LHP.

Outlook: With perhaps the area's top pitcher in hard-throwing Light and a strong returning nucleus, including six returning starters, an encore could be in order for the defending state 4A champions. Light, All-Metro as a sophomore after going 8-1 with 64 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings, pitched a four-hitter to beat Perry Hall, 11-0, for the Wildcats' record seventh state title under Walter (367-104). Light was the only junior named to the State Association of Baseball Coaches pre-season All-State team and will be backed up by another returning All-County performer in Vermillion, who has signed with Division II Shepherd. Vermillion was 6-2 with an ERA of 1.41 as the county's top left-hander, and is the Wildcats' cleanup hitter (.389, 20 runs, 18 RBIs). "This team has a great chance to go a long way," said Walter, who begins his 23rd season. "They finished terrifically last year, and if they can pick up the level of intensity they had at the end and carry it into this season, it should be a good year." Vermillion, Sylvester (.407), Collins, Tilman, McQuarrie and Brunner are the returning position players who started last year. Only shortstop is unsettled with the loss of All-County Casey Trout to graduation. Collins and Woods are getting the look at shortstop at the moment.

Broadneck Bruins

1995 record: 18-6. Coach: Mark Stover.

Top players: Todd Betz, Sr., OF; Brian Forthofer, Sr., 1B; Dominic Borro, Sr., RHP; Craig Atkinson, Sr., RHP/3B; Clay Manha, Sr., RHP; Mike D'Archangelo, Jr., SS; Kyle Largent, Jr., C; Dan Corey, Jr., 2B; Tim Croker, So., RHP/OF.

Outlook: After winning his first state championship and taking county and metro Coach of the Year honors, Stover (131-98, 12 seasons) is eager to take another whack at it. "This group has real potential, and how far we go will be determined by our pitching," said Stover. Borro, who was 2-1 as a junior, got stronger over the summer and will be the ace of the staff. "With Betz and Forthofer, we've got a pretty good start toward having a decent-hitting club," Stover said. Center fielder Betz batted .404 with 21 stolen bases and 28 runs, and Forthofer, an excellent runner as well, hit .441 with 17 RBIs. D'Archangelo was promoted from the JV to the varsity for the playoffs last spring and, Stover said, "did an excellent job at short and solidified our infield for the playoffs." Largent is a transfer from Oklahoma who Stover says "swings the bat well."

Chesapeake Cougars

1995 record: 15-6. Coach: Jim Simms.

Top players: Ryan Moore, Sr., RHP/OF; Corey Dlugokeski, Sr., 1B/RHP; Ryan Terpay, Sr., OF; Jeff Fraley, Jr., RHP/3B; Dave Stepp, Jr., C; Mike Bianco, Jr., SS; Mark Ryan, Jr., 2B; Marvin Hazen, Jr., 2B.

Outlook: The Cougars figure to challenge Arundel in the 4A East Region and Old Mill in the county's North Division. Vogt returns as ace of the pitching staff after an All-County season in which he went 7-3 with 84 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innnings, and Moore (4-2) is a solid No. 2. Vogt, who drove in 18 runs last spring, and Moore will be in the lineup when they're not pitching. Fraley (.375) impressed as a sophomore with the bat and on the mound, and Simms (50-33, five years) is also working with Dlugokeski, 6 feet 4, as a closer. "Our pitching is deep, which is always a plus," said Simms. "And it's experienced pitching. Overall, the team is junior-heavy, and I like what I see." Simms said his main concern is filling "big shoes up the middle at catcher and shortstop" with the loss of second-team All-County catcher Luis Falcon and first-team shortstop Billy Dierker to graduation.

Glen Burnie Gophers

1995 record: 12-6. Coach: Bruce Sider.

Top players: Desmond Dailey, Sr., OF; Jimmy Mabe, Sr., C/RHP; Ted Westwood, Jr., SS; Corey Davis, Sr., OF/3B; Brian Reynolds, Sr., 1B; Steve Regiec, Sr., RHP/OF; Keith Culotta, Sr., 2B; Eric Tregunna, Jr., C;

Outlook: With the loss of Jay Sponaugle and Chuck Harris to graduation, pitching could be a problem for the Gophers. "It's going to be a matter of us holding teams to limited run production," said 18th-year coach Sider. "We should score enough runs to win, and, defensively, we are sound up the middle." Mabe behind the plate, Culotta and Westwood in the middle infield and Dailey (6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash) in center field give the Gophers a chance. "It's up to the pitching, " said Sider. "We've got the arms, but they're unproven."

Meade Mustangs

1995 record: 2-18. Coach: John Canterna

Top players: Matt Nein, Jr., LHP/1B; Jeff Murphy, Jr., SS/RHP; Jesse Barnes, Jr., OF; Kevin Kelly, Sr., C; Fletcher Solloway, So., LHP; Ian Owens, Jr., RHP; Joe Kalinowski, Jr., RHP; Ronnie Stevens, Sr., RHP.

Outlook: Canterna, the Ferndale American Legion coach and former Spalding assistant, succeeds Rick Terry, who stepped down after going 9-45 in three seasons. Canterna said: "My main goal is to be respectable and representative of Meade High school. Hopefully, we can attract more kids to come out." Canterna will be stressing fundamentals, something he said has been lacking along with depth and experience. Nein and Kelly are two of Canterna's leaders on what he says is "a rebuilding team, but one with promise."

North County Knights

1995 record: 15-5. Coach: Don Usewick.

Top players: RHP/OF; Joe Hizon, Sr., OF; V.J. Impallaria, Sr., SS/OF; C.J. Jones, Sr., C; Chris Rice, Sr., 2B; Cory Wright, Jr., SS/OF; Billy Whitecotton, So., RHP/3B; Mark Williams, Sr., LHP; Steve Myers, Sr.,C.

Outlook: With Player of the Year and four-year starter Mike Wooden gone, this will be an interesting team to watch. Usewick lost his 1-2 pitching punch of Wooden (9-1) and Tweety Barton (5-3) to graduation and said, "Our pitching is inexperienced, but it should get stronger as we go along, and I think we can be in the thick of it. I told the kids people will be looking at us differently. This year, we will more of the hunters than the hunted." Usewick is hoping Feuerherd, who pitched little as a junior, will anchor the staff and get help from sophomore Whitecotton and senior Williams. Jones is learning to catch after being primarily a third baseman/pitcher. Shortstop is a question mark, with no experience there. Wright, All-County in football, could end up at short. "Cory will play somewhere because of the speed he brings to the lineup in what should be a more balanced offense."

Northeast Eagles

1995 record: 6-14. Coach: Don Gilbert.

Top players: Richardson, Sr., LHP/1B; Anthony Digiorgio, Sr., C/RHP; Josh Gerst, Sr., IF; Adam Bolling, Sr., SS; Duke Arrington, Sr., 2B; Robby Evans, Jr., OF; Adam Raines, Jr., OF; Adam Sutton, So., LHP.

Outlook: For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Eagles start the season without Harry Lentz (349-200, three state titles) at the helm. Lentz died of cancer last spring and Gilbert, a protege of his, took over the reins. "You can wipe out last year with everything that happened," said Gilbert, a former All-Metro infielder who played briefly in the Orioles farm system. "The kids did a lot of growing up last year. They had to deal with the death of Coach Lentz and then, try and go out and win a game." Gilbert said he has a good returning nucleus, led by Dehn, who hit .500. Northeast pitching is suspect, but Gilbert said he is confident that left-handers Sutton and Richardson will get the job done.

Old Mill Patriots

1995 record: 12-6. Coach: Mel Montgomery.

Top players: Joe Barnes, Sr., OF; Chuck Manns, Sr., OF; Brian Bogle, Sr., 3B/SS; Shane Thompson, Sr., C; Jason Sieklicki, Jr., 1B; Craig Haney, Sr., RHP; Mike Ziegler, Jr., RHP; Charlie Killmayer, Jr., SS/2B; Chad Gerben, Jr., 2B; T.J. Antonacci, Sr., RHP; Danny Miller, Jr., OF.

Outlook: son will be no easy task. Preseason publications have named Manns (.479, 23 RBIs) and Barnes (.427, 23 runs), both All-County last year, as the top two outfielders in Maryland, and Bogle (.406, 22 RBIs) is considered one of the top hitters and infielders. Old Mill should be as good a hitting team as there is in the metro area, and could surprise with its pitching and defense. "We expect to score a lot of runs, and defensively we should be pretty good," said Montgomery (252-95). Bogle may move back to third base because of the promise Killmayer has shown at shortstop and Gerben at second base. If Bogle stays at shortstop, Killmayer will play second and third base will be a question mark. "Our pitching depends on Ziegler, who is our hardest thrower, Haney, Antonacci and Miller, a lefty who is up from the JV and has looked pretty good," said Montgomery.

St. Mary's Saints

1995 record: None. Coach: Dave Lombardi.

Top players: Justin Miller, Sr., RHP; Kevin Corradini, Fr., LHP; Ernie Listman, So., C/RHP; Brian Green, Jr., 3B; Joe Sanchez, So., 2B.

Outlook: The Saints join their private school rival, Severn, as a lacrosse school adding baseball. This will be the first baseball team in Saints history. Lombardi, St. Mary's boys basketball coach, said: "We decided to start with a varsity team because JV is a waste of time." Lombardi kept 19 players from among 32 who tried out. "We expect to take our lumps, but my coaches and I and the kids would rather start with a varsity." Lombardi's staff includes ex-Navy coach Joe Duff. "We've told the kids you win games with pitching and defense, and their attitude has been great," says Lombardi. Miller and Corradini should handle the bulk of the pitching and Listman, the starting catcher, also may pitch some. The Saints will practice and play their home games at the Generals (Highway) Corridor Park in Crownsville.

Severn Admirals

1995 record: 11-3 (JV). Coach: Todd Brickus.

Top players: Ryan Goff, Sr., RHP/OF; Todd Jackson, Sr., C; Dave Fidler, Sr., OF/RHP; Chris Shenton, Sr., OF; Jason Kilpatrick, Sr., 3B; Jeff Jackson, So., 2B; Matt Cullen, Jr., OF; Dave Anastos, Fr., SS/OF.

Outlook: Traditionally a lacrosse school, Severn is fielding its first varsity baseball team since 1919. Intramural baseball was organized in the early 1970s, but never led to anything. Five years ago, a commitment to restore the sport was made with a club team that played the last three years as a JV. The JV was 11-3 and runner-up to Calvert Hall in the MIAA playoffs last spring and moves up to the varsity level in the MIAA B Conference. "We lost only one senior and have five seniors this year," said Brickus. "We have a good nucleus and may surprise a few people in the B Conference, although the transition from JV to varsity is unknown at this point." Brickus is hoping Goff, who was 4-1 pitching and a .500-hitting shortstop, Jackson (.542) and Shenton (.420) put up numbers close to their JV statistics. The Admirals practice at Cypress Creek Park and will play their home games at Kinder Park.

Severna Park Falcons

1995 record: 11-7. Coach: Jim Pitt.

Top players: Scott Vane, Sr., RHP/SS; Mike Young, Sr., OF; Darryl DeSalvo, Jr., RHP/IF; Casey Stidham, Jr., C; Mike O'Malley, Jr., 3B/SS/RHP; Chris Cielewich, Sr., OF; Todd Dillow, Sr., 2B.

Outlook: Pitt, the dean of county baseball coaches, has his youngest team ever in his 27 seasons, the 23rd at Severna Park. "We've got seven sophomores and six juniors, the most 10th-graders I've ever had. Four was the most before this year," said Pitt (331-193). "And for the first time that I can recollect, our pitching should be better than our hitting." That's good news for the Falcons; the baseball jumps out of their home park regularly because of short fences. The Falcons return ace right-hander and a three-year starter in Vane, who was 5-1 and earned second All-County honors as an infielder. Vane, who was soccer Player of the Year and will attend Navy prep school, batted .436 as a junior. Pitt said he is excited about the development of DeSalvo as a pitcher and says he "should be outstanding," and is equally excited about the potential of catcher Stidham. O'Malley, who may end up the third pitcher, will play short when Vane pitches and third when DeSalvo pitches. DeSalvo will be on third when O'Malley moves over to short. Dillow is the second baseman. Pitt said he feels good about his defense. "The defense is important because we don't have overpowering pitching, but good pitching with kids who throw strikes."

Southern Bulldogs

1995 record: 13-10. Coach: Gary Gubbings.

Top players: Scott Crandell, Sr., SS; Jeff Crandell, Jr., 2B; Joe Miller, Sr., C; Paul Wirth, Sr., LHP; Danny Hammett, RHP; Frank Kenney, Sr., OF; Adam Booth, Sr., OF.

Outlook: Gubbings, a former Slippery Rock shortstop and graduate assistant coach, is the third coach in three years at Southern. Gubbings said he likes the experience of his team, especially its up-the-middle strength with fourth-year catcher Miller, returning ace Wirth (9-4, 2.39 ERA), Kenney in center field and the Crandell brothers as the keystone combo. "Scott Crandell is a leader, Wirth knows how to pitch and it looks like I have a quality group," said Gubbings, a physical education and computer instructor. "I want this team to have the same type personality I had as a player to be aggressive and put the pressure on the other team to force mistakes." Gubbings said he doesn't mind being in the South division with defending state champions Arundel (4A) and Broadneck (3A) plus Severna Park and having to play them each twice. "It should be exciting to play that kind of competition," he said.

South River Seahawks

1995 record: 6-14. Coach: Ken Dunn.

Top players: Kevin Eades, Sr., LHP/OF/1B; Dave Summey, Sr., 3B; Brent Alexander, Sr., RHP/OF; Eric Arnold, Jr., 2B; Randy Whittington, Jr., SS; Joey Robinson, Sr., utility; Forrest Flanders, Sr., C; Justin Terry, So., 1B/LHP; Chris Carolan, So., RHP.

Outlook: Dunn begins his 18th season hoping that his Seahawks will start winning the close games. "We lost six or seven games last year by one or two runs," said Dunn, whose last winning season was 1989 (11-8). Dunn has some experience on the mound with seniors Eades and Alexander and three promising underclassmen in Terry, Carolan and junior Tom McCaffrey, who also may play in the outfield. Flanders, who played his sophomore year at South River before moving to Maine, is back in Edgewater. With a chain link fence on top of the outfield hill, the Hawks may hit some homers. "It's only 330 [feet] in the power alleys with the fence," said Dunn. "But don't tell anybody."

Pub Date: 3/19/96

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