Prep Baseball Report

2020 Howard 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.


Howard County

Atholton Raiders
Centennial Eagles
Glenelg Gladiators
Hammond Golden Bears
*Howard Lions
Long Reach Lightning
Marriotts Ridge Mustangs
Mount Hebron Vikings
Oakland Mills Scorpions
Reservoir Gators
River Hill Hawks
Wilde Lake Wildcats

*Denotes 2019 Conference Champion


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Atholton Raiders

Michael Burton Jr. 3B 2020 (West Virginia Wesleyan)
Zachary Geesaman C 2020 (Salisbury)
Benji Thalheimer RHP 2020 (Salisbury)
Branden Brown SS/RHP 2021
Devin Hollingsworth 2B 2021
Nick Varda SS 2021

Centennial Eagles

Zach Steen INF/RHP 2020 (Bloomsburg)
Chris Betler INF 2021
Jack Pistner 3B 2021 

Glenelg Gladiators

Alex Lawson RHP 2020
Connor Leard OF/RHP 2020
Andrew Johnson LHP 2021 (Maryland)
Kyle Carl SS 2022

Hammond Golden Bears

Brandon Eschman 2B 2020
Colin Kosakowski C 2020
Tim Stryker 1B/P 2020
Asa Roberson OF 2020
Anthony Cline P 2021

Howard Lions

Alex Campbell INF 2020 
Shayan Kassiri C 2020
Will Simmons OF 2020 
Nathan Dawes RHP 2021
Van Switzer RHP/OF 2021

Long Reach Lightning

Alex King OF 2020
Cooper Haberern 1B 2021

Marriotts Ridge Mustangs

Justin Woodbury OF 2020

Mount Hebron Vikings

Finn Devine LHP/UTL 2020
Magnus Dunn LHP/OF 2020 (Washington University MO)
Dylan Holzman INF 2020
Jimmy Jaecksch OF/1B 2020
Josh Barke INF 2021

Oakland Mills Scorpions

Andrew Kell OF 2021
Tyler Miles RHP 2021

Reservoir Gators

Bradley Davidson 2020 P
Daniel Elliott 2020 RHP/3B (Christopher Newport)
Ryan Green C 2020 (Wilson)
Nick Helmick 2020 OF
JM Musser 2020 (Elizabethtown)
EJ Sweet 2020 1B

River Hill Hawks

Shaun Davis RHP 2020
Alex Elliott RHP 2020
Casey Finkelston INF 2020
Davis “Woodie” Lynott 1B/UTL 2020
Chase Miller OF 2021
Ehi Okojie OF 2021

Wilde Lake Wildcats

Grant Gladden INF 2020


2020 Season Preview



Atholton Raiders: Scott Peddicord takes over at the helm this year replacing long time skipper Jon Dupski in A-Town. The Raiders strong playoff run in 2019 ended in the 3A East Regional Championship game with a 6-1 loss to eventual State Champion James M. Bennett. This year’s team is not only older and more experienced but they are also loaded with talent. On the bump, Benji Thalheimer (Salisbury) returns as the team’s ace with hard throwing junior SS/RHP Branden Brown also looking to play a major role on the staff. Thalheimer went 4-1 a season ago striking out 59 batters in 39.1 innings pitched to the tune of a 0.53 ERA. Offensively, the Raiders are deep and figure to be able to score runs in a variety of ways with a balanced combination of speed and power. Brown, Michael Burton Jr. (West Virginia Wesleyan), Nick Varda, and Devin Hollingsworth will look to get on in front of senior power hitting catcher Zachary Geesaman (Salisbury) thus making up for the loss of First Team and Second Team All-County outfielders Jack Johnson and Carson Collier.

Howard Lions: After claiming the MPSSAA 4A State Championship in 2018, the Lions took home the Howard County Championship in 2019 before falling to Dulaney 6-2 in the 4A North Sectional Final. This year’s squad without a doubt will miss 2019 Howard County Pitcher of the Year Gabe Delgado (UMBC), hard throwing RHP Brendan Foster (Salisbury), speedy First Team All-County outfielder Jerras Murray, and Second Team All-County selection Jerry O’Neill, but they do return several key pieces with experience making them again a favorite within the county. Senior shortstop Alex Campbell garnered First Team All-County honors last season hitting .418 and will look to lead a lineup that includes returning seniors Will Simmons (Second Team All-County), Van Switzer, and Shayan Kassiri. Switzer and fellow junior right-handed pitcher Nathan Dawes will be asked to step up and anchor the staff in Delgado’s absence.

Mount Hebron Vikings: The Vikings return a host of talent and certainly look to be one of the favorites to claim the Howard County Championship in 2020. 2019 Howard County Player of the Year Magnus Dunn (Washington University MO) returns for his senior season as one of the best two-way players in the state. Last year, Dunn struck out 62 batters in 27 innings pitched to the tune of a 1.29 ERA while hitting .433 and scoring 19 runs. Dunn will be joined by Finn Devine (4-1, 1.56 ERA and 42 K’s in 36 IP) as a strong one-two combo on the mound. At the plate, senior First Team All-County selection Jimmy Jaecksch returns after hitting .403 in 2019, along with Dylan Holzman and talented junior middle infielder Josh Barke.

Reservoir Gators: 18th year head coach Adam Leader returns a strong squad in 2020 headlined by Christopher Newport commit and two-way standout Daniel Elliott. Elliott was recognized as an All County first teamer on the mound last year for striking out 52 batters in 37.2 innings pitched to the tune of a .75 ERA but also really swung it at the dish hitting .469 with 18 RBIs and 17 runs scored. Senior Bradley Davidson will join Elliott as anchors of the staff with Second Team All County pitcher Trevor Romaine gone. At the plate, look for senior All County Second Team first basemen EJ Sweet and fellow seniors Nick Helmick, Ryan Green (Wilson College) and JM Musser (Elizabethtown) to lead the way alongside Elliott and Davidson. 



Centennial Eagles: Don’t be surprised if Centennial makes some noise this year with three All County players back from a season ago. First team infielders Chris Betler and Jack Pistner join two-way star SS/RHP Zach Steen (Bloomsburg) as a solid returning core to build around. Betler hit .463 while Pistner batted .397, and Steen joined in the fun hitting .424 in 2019. Steen is also a bulldog on the mound and led Centennial in their 4-0 upset over the #1 seeded Reservoir Gators on the road in the 3A East Sectional Semifinals last season.

Glenelg Gladiators: Glenelg is a wildcard with as good a starting pitching as anyone in the county. Junior lefty Andrew Johnson (Maryland) headlines a trio that also includes seniors Connor Leard and hard throwing RHP Alex Lawson. The trio has the ability to keep the Gladiators in every ballgame but the question will be if they can manufacture enough runs to win close ballgames. Sophomore infielder Kyle Carl figures to play a key role in the lineup alongside Leard but they will still need several others to have big years to be in contention in the end.

River Hill Hawks: Expect River Hill to really make some noise this year with several key pieces back and the addition of the uber talented junior outfielder Ehi Okojie joining the program. Okojie is a true five-tool player and one of the top prospects in the 2021 class. Joining Okojie as impact bats in the lineup are returning Second Team All County infielders Davis “Woodie” Lynott and Casey Finkelston. Junior Chase Miller is also an athletic outfielder with versatility at the plate. The Hawks will rely on senior righties Shaun Davis and Alex Elliott to anchor a staff that could really get a boost if Okojie decides to pitch some also.



Hammond Golden Bears: Hammond returns five solid returners in 2020 headlined by Second Team All County senior catcher Colin Kosakowski. The Bears will look for seniors Asa Roberson, Brandon Eschman, and Tim Stryker to make a jump production wise offensively while junior Anthony Cline and Stryker figure to anchor the staff. 

Long Reach Lightning: Long Reach returns senior outfielder Alex King and junior first basemen Cooper Haberern in 2020. Both of whom hit over .320 and combined to drive in 20 runs a season ago.

Marriotts Ridge Mustangs: The 2018 Howard County champions will need several younger players to step up as they look to replace Second Team All County pitcher Josh Olsufka (Salisbury) and First Team All County infielder Gavin Ross in the lineup this season. Senior outfielder Justin Woodbury returns as the leader on offense after hitting .357 last year.

Oakland Mills Scorpions: The Scorpions lose 2019 First Team All County first basemen Ben Looper who hit .410 and drove in 19 a season ago but return two key pieces in junior outfielder Andrew Kell (Second Team All County) and junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Miles.

Wilde Lake Wildcats: The loss of Second Team All County pitcher Matt Johnson will hurt this year but the Wildcats do return talented junior infielder Grant Gladden. It looks to be a rebuilding year for Wilde Lake centered around Gladden as the key piece in the lineup coming off a sophomore campaign in which he hit .386 and scored 20 runs.