The Baltimore Sun

Player of the year

Patrick Blair Calvert Hall

Blair was the top player at one of the most important positions on the field - shortstop. A five-tool player, he hits for average and power and can run, throw and play defense. A three-year starter, the junior has been an All-Metro shortstop the past two seasons.

"We feel that Patrick is our best player and the one who made big play after big play," Calvert Hall coach Lou Eckerl said. "He was one of the main reasons for our success."

For example, Blair drove in a run and then stole home to spark a four-run first inning in the Cardinals' 7-2 victory over Archbishop Spalding that put them in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final. Blair guided the No. 1 Cardinals (27-7) to their fourth consecutive conference championship.

Blair led Calvert Hall in batting (.462), hits (43), runs (35), RBIs (34), triples (five), home runs (seven) and stolen bases (21-for-25) while striking out just nine times and walking 20 times.

He will have a shot at several state career records next season. Blair already is second in runs (131) and fourth in hits (134), in addition to setting a state season record for runs (58) last year.

Blair made nine errors, with 24 putouts and 48 assists for a fielding percentage of .889. This month, Blair will try out for the U.S. 18-under Junior Olympic team.

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