2018 baseball preseason Top 15 poll

Arundel's Will Schubert pitches during a game against Severna Park last season at Joe Cannon Stadium.
Arundel's Will Schubert pitches during a game against Severna Park last season at Joe Cannon Stadium. (By Matthew Cole / Capital Gazette)

1. Calvert Hall

Coach: Lou Eckerl


Last season: 27-4, No. 1

Postseason: MIAA A Conference finalist


Outlook: Despite falling to Loyola Blakefield in the MIAA A Conference championship, the Cardinals finished the season ranked No. 1, and that is where they start this year. JP Murphy (High Point) leads yet another talented team, and juniors Parker Landwehr and Jose Torres have already proved themselves in highlighting the next wave of Calvert Hall standouts.

2. Chesapeake-AA

Coach: Ken King

Last season: 20-4, No. 3


Postseason: Class 3A state finalist

Outlook: Joe Seidler (Radford) and Dylan Young (6-0, 1.34 ERA) combined to win 12 games and lead the Cougars back to the Class 3A state championship game. Enough talent returns for the team to expect another run. Mike Cybert is back after a breakout year at first base. Jake Hynson, Colton Spangler and Mike Mulford form a speedy outfield and Colby Buckheit and Lee Robinson provide experience in the infield. Tyler Shadle will be the starting catcher for a team that might feature only three seniors.

3. Arundel

Coach: Frank Hood

Last season: 16-6, No. 15

Postseason: Class 4A East Region semifinalist

Outlook: The Wildcats are deep on the mound, in the middle infield and throughout the outfield. This might be the year they overcome Chesapeake and Severna Park to win the Anne Arundel County title. DeMatha transfer Moises Aristy has a spectacular glove at shortstop. Will Schubert (0.46 ERA, 45 strikeouts) and Steven Sturlaugson (1.18 ERA, 47 strikeouts) will challenge Seidler and Young for the top 1-2 combo in the area. Garrett Stanard (.426 batting average, 11 stolen bases) had a breakout year at second base.

Check out The Baltimore Sun's top players to watch for the 2018 high school baseball season.

4. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Joe Palumbo

Last season: 21-8, No. 5

Postseason: MIAA A Conference tournament

Outlook: For the first time in four years, the Cavaliers do not enter the season as the defending MIAA A Conference champions. However, Palumbo has enough talent to make sure that will not be the case next spring. Pitchers Justin Caesar (19 RBIs, 2.10 ERA), Nate Vermillion and Spencer Sherman offer a solid trifecta of arms, while Peter Godrick (19 RBIs), Alex Green (.377, 24 runs), Justin Pelletreau (.310) and Matt Palumbo (.280, 12 RBIs) headline a stacked lineup.

5. Gilman

Coach: Larry Sheets

Last season: 23-11, No. 10

Postseason: MIAA A Conference tournament

Outlook: Maxwell Costes (.392, six home runs, 26 RBIs) follows his brother Marty to Maryland next season, but not before trying to help the Greyhounds improve on a 23-win season and make a run in the A Conference. Costes will lead a young pitching staff, but juniors Pierce Bennett (.400, 21 RBIs, 16 stolen bases) and Tyler Martinez (.263, 15 SB) lead an offense that has plenty of hitters that can also create havoc on the base paths.

6. Howard

Coach: Nick Hoffner

Last season: 17-8, No. 8

Postseason: Class 4A state finalist

Outlook: The Lions return their top three pitchers — Brendan Foster, Gabe Delgado and Ryan Kulick — from last year’s Class 4A state finalist. Brian Jakubek and Craig Wiley also return, while Jerry O'Neill, Cameron Morris and Alex Campbell are expected to step in right away. Howard must replace its entire starting infield and five starters overall, but the overall talent, and the potential of Foster and Delgado leading the rotation could lift the Lions to their third trip to the state tournament and first state title.

7. Loyola Blakefield

Coach: Michael Kelly

Last season: 13-14, No. 4

Postseason: MIAA A Conference champion

Outlook: After winning its first baseball title in 71 years, the Dons have a talented squad back to make another run. AJ Holcomb (High Point) led the Dons in hits and doubles and was especially dangerous in Loyola’s postseason run. Will Glock (Maryland) and Matt Wyatt (Virginia) join Holcomb on the preseason all-state team. Sophomore Dom Dinoto has the chance to be special and gives Loyola another strong bat.

Here’s some key numbers for the 2018 high school baseball season in the Baltimore area.

8. Century

Coach: Mike Marrale

Last season: 17-4, No. 9

Postseason: Class 2A West Region semifinalist

Outlook: Jeremy Lapp (West Virginia), Rob Martin (Air Force), Ethan Kiple (Harford Community College) and the return of Tyler Roach (Rhode Island) from injury provide the Knights with an embarrassment of riches on the mound. Old Dominion commit Michael Marrale (.440, 10 HRs, 31 RBIs) and Nathanael Hibbs (Eckerd College) join Lapp, Martin and Kiple as consistent offensive performers. Add in Jared Lamb and Dylan Breitenbach, and the Knights have enough talent to contend for the first region crown in school history.

9. Patterson Mill

Coach: Matt Roseland

Last season: 21-3, No. 6

Postseason: Class 1A state semifinalist

Outlook: Austin Koehn (North Carolina-Greensboro) returns to lead the Huskies’ charge toward a fourth straight state tournament appearance, with the school’s first state title in his sights. Koehn needs just five wins to break the school career record, and he is joined by Carson Uebersax in the starting rotation, with Steve Spencer (Wilmington College) returning as a steady late-inning reliever. Max Elliott (.515, 10 doubles, 22 RBIs) is primed for another big season. He is joined by Spencer (.426) and Thomas Kragh (.357) as offensive stalwarts.

10. Severna Park

Coach: Eric Milton

Last season: 22-3, No. 2

Postseason: Class 4A state semifinalist

Outlook: With Kody Milton (Maryland) returning for a fourth varsity season, it’s hard to describe the Falcons as rebuilding. The All-Metro Player of the Year hit .580 and drove in 32 runs and is a preseason all-state selection for the third consecutive year. George Lesher (.395, 26 RBIs) returns at catcher, and Cameron Clark (5-1, 0.90 ERA) returns as the team’s ace, but for Severna Park to earn a fourth consecutive Anne Arundel County crown and reach the state tournament for the third time in four years, some younger players will need to step up.

11. Archbishop Curley

Coach: Brooks Norris


Last season: 16-14, not ranked


Postseason: MIAA A Conference tournament

Outlook: Junior Tyler Locklear (VCU) hit .365 with nine doubles, six home runs and 26 RBIs last year. His continued emergence, along with an extremely deep roster, has Norris excited about the Friars’ chances of improving. Paul Nixon (Harford CC) and Corey Burton (Salisbury) lead the pitching staff, with Towson commits Trent Gast-Woodard and Nick Brown, who each had five home runs last year, providing some offensive pop. Keep an eye on Gavin Evans, a sophomore shortstop with tremendous potential.

After learning baseball from his late father, a coach and former high school standout himself, Chesapeake-AA senior pitcher Joe Seidler returns for one last shot at a state title.

12. Dulaney

Coach: Ryan Wolfsheimer

Last season: 18-4, No. 12

Postseason: Class 4A North Region finalist

Outlook: Nolan Matsko (Georgetown) and Jack Tarantino (Johns Hopkins) lead a Lions team poised to again finish at the top of Baltimore County. Danny Beard and Ben Stoner combined for a 2.52 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 19 innings out of the bullpen last year. They will combine with Tarantino (2-0, 1.9 ERA) and Matsko in the rotation. Matsko hit .444 with 22 RBIs, 21 stolen bases and 37 runs scored. Add Bryce Frederick (.490, nine doubles, 23 RBIs), and Dulaney is strong at the plate and up the middle. The Lions are looking for their first region title since 2001.

13. River Hill

Coach: Wes McCoy

Last season: 16-6, No. 13

Postseason: Class 3A East Region finalist

Outlook: Despite losing Kieran Garner (Maryland) to graduation, the Hawks return a deep and experienced pitching staff, led by Josh Mann, who was All-Howard County last year, along with returning infielder Tucker Finkelston. Those two, along with Anthony Richards, are a good starting point for a team that drops to Class 2A in an extremely tough region.

14. Reservoir

Coach: Adam Leader

Last season: 16-5

Postseason: Class 3A East Region semifinalist

Outlook: The Gators return five starters from last year’s team. Cameron Hyder (Salisbury) batted .409 with eight doubles to earn All-Howard County honors last year. Kyle Chu, Trevor Romaine and EJ Sweet should give Leader valuable innings on the mound and in the infield. With 11 seniors, the Gators are counting on a mix of experience and talent to get them back to the state tournament for the first time since 2014.

15. Fallston

Coach: Grant Morlock

Last season: 16-8, not ranked

Postseason: Class 2A state finalist

Outlook: Despite graduating nine seniors, the Cougars return five starters, including Everett Cox (.407, 17 RBIs) and Alex Baily (.345, 19 RBIs). Juniors Josh Bogdan, Kyle Moody and Andrew Kalista anchor the pitching staff. Connor Pickle is a newcomer to keep an eye on. The team must replace four first-team All-Howard County performers, but Morlock likes the returning veterans he has.

Others considered: Bel Air (13-7); Boys’ Latin (20-7); Lansdowne (16-3); Marriotts Ridge (19-4); St. Mary’s (17-12); South River (12-10); C.M. Wright (16-7)

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misspelled Jeremy Lapp’s name.

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