Season Preview: Archbishop Spalding



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By Jerry Shank
Maryland Director of Scouting

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ARCHBISHOP SPALDING

logoHEAD COACH: Joe Palumbo

CONFERENCE:  MIAA “A”

2014 RECORD: 24-4

FINISH: 1st

RETURNING STARTERS: 5

TOP RETURNERS: 
Jordan Carr
Kevin Heiss
Aaron Barclay
Tyler Blohm
David Harding
Billy Godrick

TEAM STRENGTHS:
Pitching and defense. One thing that stuck out while getting to watch a voluntary team work out was the teams focus on fundamentals. That translates very well with a team as strong as Spalding defensively.  It starts at shortstop and Kevin Heiss sets the tone.  The URI commit is a bit undersized, but when it comes to quickness and glove ability, it’s hard not to like him.  Billy Godrick (Fordham) patrols centerfield and can cover a lot of ground with his speed. On the mound, Spalding has two LHP’s in Jordan Carr (UNC Asheville) and Tyler Blohm (Maryland) to anchor the pitching staff and is one of the top 1-2 combos in the state.    

QUESTION MARK:
Offense. Spalding is going to play in plenty of tight games in the tough MIAA and that pitching and defense is what’s going to keep any game they play close.  What they need are some players to step in and be run producers on offense. Aaron Barclay, Carter Sears, and LaVale Hodges are early candidates that could fill that role. Ezio Rebechi could be a breakout performer for the Spalding offense as well. Spalding is also going to need some depth on the mound when Carr and Blohm aren’t pitching. Matt Binder (Washington & Jefferson) will help but after that they need a few others to step in to strengthen the back half of the staff.    

WILDCARD:
Barrett Smith transferred in to Spaulding from McDonogh and could add a spark to the Spalding team.  A lot to like about the player from a physical and tools standpoint, Smith is coming off of Tommy John surgery and looks to rebound from that. He is going to compete for a corner spot in the infield and offensively could step in and be a welcome addition in the middle of the lineup. 
David Harding is another player to keep an eye out for.  The two sport athlete is moving from the outfield to second base this year, and the athletic Harding looks to have made the transition smoothly. With all the athletes on this team Harding might be the best and is getting interest from multiple Division I programs. Spalding has a wealth of young talent as well chomping at the bit to jump on the scene. Keep an eye on sophomores Brendan Foley, Evan Fochtman, and Nick Vermillion.

OVERALL:
It’s hard not to like Spalding with the players that they have. When Carr and Blohm are on the mound, opposing teams are going to have to scrap to get runs on the board. Look for them to compete for another championship in 2015.