Baseball America named Maryland as its favorite to win the Big Ten Conference. Junior shortstop Kevin Smith was named the preseason conference Player of the Year, and junior right-handed pitcher Brian Shaffer (North Harford) was preseason Pitcher of the Year. Terps were included in Baseball America's Big Ten "top tools" rankings were Smith (best defensive shortstop), Shaffer (best fastball), sophomore second baseman Nick Dunn (best pure hitter), junior first baseman Kevin Biondic (Best defensive first baseman) and Crofton-raised junior right-handed pitcher Taylor Bloom (best control). Smith and Dunn are rated as the top prospects in the Big Ten in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Severn promotes DC Tyler to head coach
Severn has promoted Duane Tyler to football coach, replacing Chris Kirchenheiter. Tyler has been on the Severn staff the past two years, most recently as the defensive coordinator. Previously, he was defensive backs coach from 2008 to 2011 at his alma mater, Trinity College. Kirchenheiter, citing an increase in his work responsibilities, stepped down after going 32-29. He took over a Severn team in 2011 that had gone 7-33 its previous four years. The Admirals had just moved down to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference after struggling in the B. Kirchenheiter led them to a 16-7 record in two years in the C Conference, including an appearance in the final his first year. The school returned to the B Conference in 2013, where it remains. Severn finished 6-5 last year.
Men's college lacrosse: Mount St. Mary's has not made three of the past four Northeast Conference tournaments, and league coaches are not optimistic the Mountaineers will return to the postseason this spring. In the NEC preseason coaches poll released Tuesday, the Mount was picked to finish fifth. Last year, the team was 6-8 overall and 2-4 in the league, finishing fifth. The Mountaineers were ahead of Sacred Heart and Wagner in the preseason poll. Saint Joseph's, which captured the regular-season conference title, earned four of seven first-place votes and was first. Hobart, which defeated the Hawks for the league tournament title and advanced to the NCAA playoffs, was second.
WNBA: The Washington Mystics officially announced their signing of former Maryland point guard Kristi Toliver, a Harrisonburg, Va., native. Washington traded Kia Vaughn and Bria Hartley to the New York Liberty to clear salary cap space to sign Toliver, 30, who won the WNBA title last season with the Los Angeles Sparks and averaged 13.2 points. She led the Terps to the national championship in 2006 as a freshman, hitting a 3-pointer to send the title game into overtime.
NFL: Recently retired Ravens linebacker Zachary Orr is teaming up with Maryland's public health agency in the fight against opioid addiction. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Orr appears in a series of public service announcements that will be shown on television and in movie theaters. The agency says the PSAs aim to destigmatize addiction by treating it as a disease instead of something shameful.
Baseball: The Washington Nationals acquired left-handed reliever Enny Romero from the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league right-hander Jeffrey Rosa. Romero, 26, had a 5.91 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 28 walks in 452/3 innings over 52 appearances last season, his first in the majors. His fastball averaged 96.1 mph, which ranked ninth among American League relievers. In 76 major league appearances, Romero is 2-2 with a 5.27 ERA. Rosa, 21, went 1-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts for the Dominican Summer League Nationals and Gulf Coast Nationals over the past two seasons.
Women's college lacrosse: Penn State senior attacker Steph Lazo (St. Mary's) was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. ... Towson senior defender Kelly McQuilkin (Atholton) was named Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Week.