Prep Baseball Report

2016 Team Preview: St. Mary's HS

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By Jerry Shank
Maryland Scouting Director

As we prepare for the upcoming 2016 high school season, we will be taking a glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: St. Mary???s HS
Nickname: Saints
Class:  Private
Conference: MIAA ???A???
Head Coach:  Johnny Poss
Years as HC:  5th
Twitter: @SMBaseballFam
2015 Record: 25-2
2015 Conference Record: 17-1 (MIAA ???B???)
2015 Post Season: Won MIAA ???B??? championship

Returning Starters/Position: 7
Returning Starters/Pitcher: 4

Players with Post-Season Honors
Brady O???Neil ??? All Conference, All State Small School
Ben Rankin ??? All Conference, All State Small School
Max Hammond - All Conference, All State Small School
Tre D???Amico - All Conference, All State Small School
Stephen Pelli ??? All State Small School

Players to Watch
RHP Elliot Zoellner 2016 (Maryland)
RHP Stephen Pelli 2018 (Virginia Tech)
LHP Kade Keys 2016 (Shepherd)
OF Tre D???Amico 2016 (U of Charleston)
C Brady O???Neil 2016 (USC-Aiken)
C CJ Brown 2016 (Stevenson)
1B Max Hammond 2016
SS Ben Rankin 2016
3B Will Rankin 2016

Season Outlook
St. Mary???s head into the 2016 season moving up into the MIAA ???A??? conference after repeating as the MIAA ???B??? champion the past two seasons. Leading the way for the Saints is one of the top 1-2 pitching combinations in the state with RHP???s Elliot Zoellner and Stephen Pelli. Zoellner is coming back this season after an injury slowed down his 2015 and gave the opportunity for the young Pelli to come into his own as a freshmen last season. Both arms have the ability to pitch at 90 mph with strong secondary and should help the teams??? transition into the tougher ???A??? division of the MIAA. Kade Keys was a top reliever out of the bullpen last year and should step into a bigger role in 2016 along with RHP Jake Norris. Keep an eye out for Sam Barnes, a UMBC commit who will help the pitching staff after mainly being a catcher during his career. Other arms that could play a role for the staff include young 2018???s LHP Cam Nolet and OF/RHP Brandon Cook. Someone will have to step in and replace the loss of LHP Ryan Davis who logged a lot of innings for the Saints as an anchor on the staff.

Offensively the Saints have a balanced attack at the top half of the order with returners Tre D???Amico, Max Hammond, Brady O???Neil, along with Ben and Will Rankin. D???Amico and O???Neil are candidates for a big year and Hammond should continue to build off a nice 2015 season in the middle of the order. Look for Cook, and 2018 Nick Hopkins to play a larger role this season on the roster. It will be an interesting year to follow the Saints and their first season in the MIAA ???A??? will be one of the bigger storylines in Maryland this 2016 season.