2016 Team Preview: The Avalon School

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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: The Avalon School
Nickname: Black Knights
Class: Private
Conference: Old Line Baseball Conference
Head Coach:  Patrick Duffy
Years as HC: 13th  
Twitter: @AvalonBaseball1
Team Website: www.avalonbaseball.com
2015 Record: 16-4
2015 Conference Record: 6-2
2015 Post Season: Old Line Champions

Returning Starters/Position: 7
Returning Starters/Pitcher: 2

Players with Post-Season Honors
KJ Curry ?? All-conference 1st Team
Paul Jackson ?? All-conference 1st Team
Erik Janss ?? Conference MVP, All-conference 1st Team, All-academic Team
Dan Searles ?? All-conference 2nd Team
Brian Shaw ?? All-conference 2nd Team
Will Stachura ?? All-conference 2nd Team

Players to Watch
SS Kristan (KJ) Curry Jr. 2017
LHP/OF Paul Jackson 2016
RHP Erik Janss 2016
OF Sean Sullivan 2017
C Dan Searles 2016 (Flagler)
INF Brian Shaw 2016 (Claflin)
INF Will Stachura 2016
RHP/OF Dan Davis 2016

Season Outlook
Avalon is looking for a repeat of their 2015 season with an Old Line Championship. That repeat looks promising as the Black Knights return seven position players with starting experience. A strong core of returners on the offensive end include KJ Curry (.353 BA, 12SB), Paul Jackson (.364 BA), Dan Searles (.291, 14 RBI), Brian Shaw (.300, 10 RBI) and Will Stachura (.306, 11 RBI, 9 SB). Curry, a 2017 grad, is a quick-twitch athlete who plays the game with a high motor. His speed on the bases and short swing should create many opportunities this season for RBI opportunities. Searles is an athletic framed catcher that has been an under-the-radar talent who should blossom during the 2016 season. Keep an eye on 2017 transfer Sean Sullivan who will add speed an athleticism to the Avalon outfield. 2019 grads Seif Ingram and Eddie Ponce also could provide some depth for the team. Avalon hopes to improve on the offensive end a bit more from top to bottom.

On the mound Avalon will lean on returning conference MVP in Erik Janss. The lanky righty possesses a mid-80??s fastball with more in the tank. Last year Janss posted a 1.96 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 46.1 innings and only 10 walks. No. 2 Jackson had equally impressive numbers with a 1.21 ERA, 47 strikeouts, and seven walks in 34.2 innings pitched. Jackson will play a big role as a two-way talent for the Black Knights. Dan Davis will also provide some depth to the pitching staff. Keep an eye out for 2017 Paul Owens coming up from JV who should also add innings on the mound. Pitching aND defensive played an important role in the success for Avalon in 2015 and look for that to be much of the same this season.