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2020 Montgomery County Season Preview


Kyle Campbell
Maryland Scouting Director

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With the 2020 Maryland High School baseball season just underway and games right around the corner, we begin to close out our complete preseason coverage with a look at every conference throughout that state. We will break down each conference with a preview of teams expected to contend as well as key players from across the league that you won't want to miss play. 

Note: A preseason questionnaire was sent out to all Maryland high school baseball coaches in Mid-January to gain pertinent information for this piece but not all forms were completed and returned. Below is a compilation of information received as well as thoughts from our staff at PBR Maryland.

 

Montgomery "2A/3A" Division

Damascus Swarmin' Hornets
*Magruder Colonels
Poolesville Falcons
Rockville Rams
Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles
Watkins Mill Wolverines

*Denotes 2019 Conference Champion

 

PLayers to Watch List

 

Damascus Swarmin' Hornets

Isiah Bell OF 2020
Bryce Curry SS 2022
Lee Domer OF 2020
Maverick Durant 3B 2021
Mason Eberle C 2021
Jake Garrett LHP 2022
Cole Leslie OF 2020
Cam Love LHP/1B 2022
Nick Marley RHP/INF 2020
Danny Nasoff LHP 2020
Aidan Rannals LHP 2020
Jackson Thomas 1B/3B 2021
Logan Wentzlaff OF 2021

Magruder Colonels

Jack Kossin P 2020

Poolesville Falcons

Max Fisher RHP/SS 2020
Stevie Orsini LHP/OF 2021
Tommy Stoughton OF 2020
Luke Trythall 1B 2020 (UMBC)
Josh Widenhofer P/OF 2020

Rockville Rams

Lucas Ribaudo P 2021

Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles

Joey Lotier UTL 2020

 

2020 "MOCO 2A/3A" DIVISION Season Preview

 

FAVORITES

Damascus Swarmin' Hornets: The Swarmin’ Hornets will look to build off their successful 13-4 campaign a season ago with nine returning starters back and four top arms on the mound. Leading Damascus on the mound for co-head coaches Greg Blake and Scott Frye in 2020 will be seniors Nick Marley (First Team All MoCo 3A/2A), Danny Nasoff, Aidan Rannals, and sophomore Bryce Curry (Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A). Sophomores Jake Garrett and Cam Love also provide depth and figure to make an impact throughout the year. Marley and Curry will also play key roles in a lineup that looks to be pretty balanced throughout. Speedy Lee Domer returns alongside fellow seniors Cole Leslie, Isiah Bell, and juniors Jackson Thomas (First Team All MoCo 3A/2A), Maverick Durant, Logan Wentzlaff, and Mason Eberle (First Team All MoCo 3A/2A).

Poolesville Falcons: Head Coach Steve Orsini returns his entire lineup from a season ago and looks to build upon their 11-7 finish. Seniors Luke Trythall (First Team All MoCo 3A/2A) and Stevie Orsini (First Team All MoCo 3A/2A) look to lead the way offensively with seniors Max Fisher (Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A), Eamon Murphy, Josh Widenhofer (Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A), Tommy Stoughton, and juniors Tommy Miles (Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A), Alex Pope, and Colin Gross rounding out the long list of returning starters. Trythall, a UMBC commit, led the team in 2019 with a .480 batting average during the regular season with seven home runs, five doubles, and 2 triples. On the mound, the Falcons also look to have some depth with Trythall, Orsini, Pope, Miles, Gross, Fisher, Widenhofer, and Owen Brill all returning with experience from 2019.

 

CONTENDERS

Rockville Rams: Rockville returns talented 2019 First Team All MoCo 3A/2A pitcher Lucas Ribaudo as the team’s ace but they will need some guys to step up in the lineup as they look to replace the big bats of Matt McTighe (First Team All MoCo 3A/2A) and Manoli Athanasakis (Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A).

 

 

Montgomery "4A North" DIVISION

Blake Bengals
Blair Blazers
Kennedy Cavaliers
Northwood Gladiators
Paint Branch Panthers
*Sherwood Warriors
Springbrook Blue Devils

*Denotes 2019 Conference Champion

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST

 

Blake Bengals

Mathieu Lopez 1B/OF 2021
Zach Saunders 1B 2020

Blair Blazers

Julian Ibanez 3B 2021
Emmanuel Kraft P 2021
Jason Lott UTL 2021
Alex Valdez OF 2022

Kennedy Cavaliers

Brian Eiskant OF/SS 2022
Andy Santana OF/RHP 2021

Paint Branch Panthers

Sean Clarke 1B/RHP 2020
Joey Mamana UTL/RHP 2022

Sherwood Warriors

Brady Andre UTL 2020 (Wilson)
Jake Becker INF 2021
Joey Bowers OF 2020 (Salisbury)
Ian Brady RHP 2020 (West Virginia Wesleyan)
Jack Braun OF 2020
Luke Cheng SS/RHP 2020 (Illionois State)
Ethan Giacalone C 2020
Brett Siels INF/RHP 2021

Springbrook Screaming Eagles

Steve Niepa OF 

 

2020 "MOCO 4A North" DIVISION SEASON PREVIEW

 

FAVORITE

Sherwood Warriors: Sherwood returns six starters and two arms from last year's 4A State Finalist team. This year's squad while experienced will certainly miss the bats of Michael Bouma (Maryland) and JP Yore (Susquehanna) in the lineup and the power arm of Ben Vok (Frostburg State) on the hill. Ian Brady (West Virginia Wesleyan) figures to be in line as the Warriors ace this season with Vok gone and talented two-way star Luke Cheng (Illinois State) also figures to play a key role on the bump in 2020. At the plate, Cheng will be equally as important with his ability for getting on base and making things happen. He will be joined by seniors Brady Andre (Wilson), Joey Bowers (Salisbury), Jack Braun, Ethan Giacalone, and junior Jake Becker as returners from the lineup a season ago. Eighth year head coach Sean Davis looks to have a balanced lineup that should be able manufacture and score runs a variety of ways. Look for top newcomer Brett Seils to also make a major impact this season for Sherwood at the plate, in the field, and on the mound as he is another junior alongside Becker with a lot of upside.

 

CONTENDERS

Blair Blazers: Blair was extremely young in 2019 and ninth year head coach Eric Zolkiewicz hopes that last year’s experience at the varsity level has helped them to mature as they look to improve upon a 4-14 record. While the Blazers lose two key leaders off of last year’s squad in Will Gorman and Will Donaldson, they do return a talented core group of players led by four Second Team All MoCo 4A-North selections. Junior 3B Julian Ibanez (.419 AVG), sophomore OF Alex Valdez (.320 AVG), and junior UTL Jason Lott (.276 AVG) return as key bats in the lineup with sophomore P Emmanuel Kraft (33 IP, 3.18 ERA) returning as the team’s ace. Look for Charlie Wiebe, Nate Helsing, Oliver Goldman, and top newcomer Tony Calderon to contribute more in the lineup this year with Nicholas Maynard (20 IP, 3.15 ERA) and Rafael Perez adding depth to the staff on the mound.

Kennedy Cavaliers: Kennedy will certainly miss both Alvis Natividad and Astrumsg Pena in the lineup this year as both Natividad (Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A) and Pena hit over .400 for the Cavaliers at the plate in 2019. Coach Josh Creighton still likes his younger group of guys this year led by returning starters Moises De Leon, Sebastien Choute, Mikey Eiskant, Andy Santana, Ian Virga, and Brian Eiskant. On the bump, expect to see De Leon, Santana, Virga, and B. Eiskant to also make an impact alongside brothers TJ Carey and Jerome Carey. Look for top newcomers Alex Castillo, Asa Virga, and Juary Sanchez to contribute also at times this year.

Paint Branch Panthers: Fourth year head coach Casey Jensen and the Panthers look to be re-building this season after losing nine seniors off last year’s team. Senior 1B/RHP Sean Clark (First Team All MoCo 4A-West) returns alongside sophomore UTL/RHP Joey Mamana (Second Team All MoCo 4A-West) as leaders in the lineup and on the mound. Corey Little, Xavier Crane, and Kenneth Gaskings III also return and figure to play key roles in the lineup with Crane and Gaskings III also adding depth on the staff. Top newcomers Jai Kapoor and Gabriel Ruiz will look to contribute on both sides as well.

 

 

MONTGOMERY "4A South" DIVISION

*Bethesda-CC Barons (Three-way tie)
*Churchill Bulldogs (Three-way tie)
Einstein Titans
Walter Johnson Wildcats
*Walt Whitman Vikings (Three way tie)
Wheaton Knights
*Wootton Patriots (4A West Division Champion)

*Denotes 2019 Conference Champion

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST

 

Bethesda-CC Barons

Beck Urofsky P 2022
Jack Branthover 3B 2020
Stewart Tewksbury RHP 2021
Joseph Eisenberg

Churchill Bulldogs

Jackson Bouquet RHP 2020 (Ursinus)
Chris Hacopian SS 2023 (Wake Forest)
Eddie Hacopian UTL 2020 (New Mexico JC)|
Jesse Lacefield C/P 2020 (Catholic U.)

Einstein Titans

David Curtin 3B 2021
Evan Hall SS 2020
Ben Ruth P 2020

Walter Johnson Wildcats

Dean Wandell UTL 2021

Walt Whitman Vikings

Mark Dimitrov RHP 2020
Sean Fleming 3B 2020
Ryan McIntyre RHP 2020
Matt Ryan SS 2021
Bennett Soloman RHP 2020

Wheaton Knights

Luc Bartusek SS 2021
Kelvin Pedroza 1B 2020

Wootton Patriots

Nathan Bowman UTL 2021
Brady Weiss SS 2022
Dev Zoks RHP 2020

 

2020 "MOCO 4A South" DIVISION SEASON PREVIEW

 

FAVORITES

Bethesda-CC Barons: The Barons figure to be strong once again in 2020 but will need to rely on a new group of arms on the mound with aces James Springer (First Team All MoCo 4A-South) and Brendan Hughes gone. With them gone, Head coach John Schmidt figures to lean on Henry Smith, Beck Urofsky, Jack Branthover, Charlie Braverman, and top newcomer Stewart Tewksbury. At the plate, look for Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A selections Branthover (.328 AVG), Joseph Eisenberg (.346 AVG), and Urofsky (.309 AVG) to lead the way with Braverman, Smith, and Parker Silver figuring to also play key roles. Infielder Eric Brilliant also could make a big impact this season.

Churchill Bulldogs: Look out for the Bulldogs this season as they return a talented group of starters and ace junior right-handed pitcher Jesse Lacefield (First Team All MoCo 4A-South). Losing three First Team All MoCo 4A-South players Ben Nardi, Simon Fettig, and Michael Janis won’t be easy to replace, but head coach Patrick Skellchock likes the challenge and younger group he has. Second Team All MoCo 4A-South outfielder Ethan Rindner (.397 AVG) is the anchor of a lineup that also sees back three other seniors in Lacefield, Eddie Hacopian, Ari Isaacson and Ethan’s brother and sophomore UTL, Erik Rindner (.367 AVG). Talented freshman shortstop and Wake Forest commit Chris Hacopian also figures to make a big impact this season for Chruchill.

Walt Whitman Vikings: 13th year head coach Joe Cassidy loses five key starters from 2019’s 4A West Regional Championship team with four of them now off playing in college. Gone from last year includes: ace Zach Werkman who went 9-0 on the mound en route to being named All MoCo 4A-South Pitcher of the Year, star outfielders Tyler DeMartino (West Virginia), Justin Carboni (Pennsylvania), catcher Jack Ryan (UMBC), and infielder Harry Caplan (Oberlin). It was a very talented group for this year’s squad to learn from and look up to last season. Leading the way on the mound for the Vikings in 2020 figures to be a trio of seniors in Bennett Soloman, Ryan McIntyre, and Mark Dimitrov. At the plate, look for talented junior shortstop Matt Ryan (First Team All MoCo 4A-South), seniors Howie Fishman, Sean Fleming (First Team All MoCo 4A-South), and sophomore Weston Weilminster to be key pieces. Junior newcomers Eli Putnam and Theo Meline also have the ability to make significant immediate contributions in the lineup this year.

Wootton Patriots: Wootton figures to be in contention again this season with senior right-hander Dev Zoks (First Team All MoCo 4A-West) anchoring the staff with 2019 All MoCo 4A-West Pitcher of the Year, Ryan Mariani gone. Junior Nathan Bowman (First Team All MoCo 4A-West) returns as a key piece in the lineup and look for sophomore shortstop Brady Weiss to really be a nice addition for the Patriots in the lineup as well with All MoCo 4A-West Player of the Year Harrison Cance gone. 

 

BEST OF THE REST

Einstein Titans: Einstein could be interesting this year as the return three All MoCo 3A/2A players from 2019 in senior pitcher Ben Ruth (Second Team), senior SS Evan Hall (Second Team), and junior third basemen David Curtain (Second Team).

Wheaton Knights: Senior Second Team All MoCo 3A/2A first baseman Kelvin Pedroza returns alongside junior shortstop Luc Bartusek in the lineup for the Knights. Pedroza hit .333 with 17 RBI’s and also recorded 18 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched to the tune of a 2.66 ERA in 2019.


 

MONTGOMERY "4A west" DIVISION

Clarksburg Coyotes
Gaithersburg Tojans
Northwest Jaguars
Quince Orchard 
Richard Montgomery

*Denotes 2019 Conference Champion

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST

 

Clarksburg Coyotes

Andrew Abrams LHP 2020 (Salisbury)
Sam Batis RHP 2021
Oliver Martin C/RHP 2023
Nathan Proctor RHP 2020
Chase Robinson 1B 2021
Taye Robinson SS 2022
Daerek Sawyer INF/RHP 2022

Gaithersburg Trojans

Bryce Green 3B/RHP 2021
Doug Marose RHP 2021
Justin McDermott RHP 2020 (Salisbury)
Noah Tabaie SS/RHP 2021
Will Wikner OF 2020 (Berry)

Northwest Jaguars

Bradley Kahalas RHP 2020

Quince Orchard 

Brennan Ellis OF 2020

 

2020 "MOCO 4A West" DIVISION SEASON PREVIEW

 

FAVORITES

Clarksburg Coyotes: Clarksburg returns a plethora of players from last season including seven starters on offense and their three top arms. Senior southpaw Andrew Abrams (Salisbury, First Team All MoCo 4A-West) will anchor a staff that also includes senior Nathan Proctor (First Team All MoCo 4A-West) and hard throwing junior right-hander Sam Batis (First Team All MoCo 4A-West). Abrams, Proctor, and Batis also figure to play key roles in the lineup alongside power hitting first basemen Chase Robinson, catcher Morgan Bragg, and outfielder Bailey Arensmeyer. Sophomore Taye Robinson has garnered a lot of attention for his play on varsity last year as a freshman and figures to make even more of a jump this year coming off a big summer. Look for talented sophomore Daerek Sawyer and freshman Oliver Martin to see time as two-way players helping to add depth on the team in 2020.

Gaithersburg Trojans: Gaithersburg returns several key players from last year's squad and looks to be one of the top contenders in not only the Montgomery County 4A West Division but also the 4A MPSSAA State Playoffs this season. The Trojans are loaded with experienced arms on the bump in 2020 with seniors Justin McDermott (Salisbury, Second Team All MoCo 4A-West), Will Wikner (Berry College, Second Team All MoCo 4A-West), and juniors Doug Marose (First Team All MoCo 4A-West) and Noah Tabaie returning. Junior two-way player Bryce Greene also figures to mix in the rotation some adding yet another quality arm. At the plate, first year head coach Michael McMillen will look for some younger players to step up with the aforementioned McDermott, Wikner, Marose, Tabaie, and Greene figuring to lead the way.

 

 

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