Prep Baseball Report

Spring Forward: Public Schools to Watch in 2020

Kyle Campbell
Maryland Scouting Director


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Last month we began a series of stories entitled "Spring Forward" where we highlight some of the top players, programs, and conferences across a variety of categories for the upcoming 2020 season. 

Today our Spring Forward series takes a look at some of the top public schools from around Maryland looking to contend for MPSSAA State Titles in 2020.





Even as a 1A school, Catoctin will be one of the favorites to contend for the Central Maryland Conference Title in 2020 in what looks to be another banner year for the conference with several talented teams. Hard throwing LHP Mason Albright (Virginia Tech) returns as the ace of the staff that includes Briar Castellow (Wilson), Bryson Caballero, and Ayden Shadle. Castellow, Hayden Dextradeur and talented freshman Joseph McMannis (Maryland) figure to be some of the key pieces offensively for the Cougars in 2020. Catoctin lost in extra innings to an older Boonsboro squad last season in the 1A West Sectional Final but look to be one of the favorites this season with so much experience returning.



Huntingtown’s bid at returning to the 3A State Final Four fell short last season with a 2-1 10 inning loss at the hands of bitter rival Northern (Cal.) and star two-way player Marcus Lee-Sang who was drafted in the 11th round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Ryan Terrents (Towson) is gone but the Hurricanes return Jack Rosnage, Brian Ferreira, and Brandon Harris (Cabrini) on the mound. All of whom figure to keep them in games and give a powerful returning lineup the chance to outscore opponents. Offensively, the Hurricanes will be led by Clay Wargo (Coastal Carolina), Cy Harwood (Salisbury), and Stafford Allison (Frostburg State).



J.M. Bennett’s playoff run to win the MPSSAA 3A State Title last season was one of the most impressive we have seen in some time. The Clippers defeated five of the top teams in the state representing five different counties including the defending 2018 state champion Thomas Johnson Patriots. Aaron Combs (Salisbury) and Sang Baek (Geroge Mason) combined to hold C.M. Wright to just three runs on five hits at Ripken Stadium as they held on to win 5-3 for their fourth state championship in school history and first since 2012. Combs and Baek both return this season to anchor a staff that also includes Anders Brown, Alex Smoot, and Garrett Southern. Senior Max Taylor returns as a big bat in the lineup that also returns six key starters. With several returners this season, the Clippers enter 2020 with a realistic shot to defend their 3A title.



La Plata defeated Middletown 4-2 last season for the MPSSAA 2A State Title behind an outstanding performance on the mound and at the plate by Ryan Calvert (UNC Wilmington). Calvert threw a complete game striking out 13 and also came up with a huge two out, two-RBI hit to tie the game in the fifth inning. Calvert returns for an encore this year and with just three starters gone from last year’s team, this year’s roster is stacked with enough talent to make another legitimate run. Shane Kirby and Tyler Moody return as talented two-way players alongside Calvert and Brandon DeAtley figures to see a larger role on the mound for the Warriors. Chet Bowling and Alex Borges also return in the lineup. With two state titles in the last four seasons, La Plata looks poised to contend for another in 2020.



Mount Hebron will be one of the top teams in Howard County in 2020 and hope to take the next step in the playoffs after suffering a hard fought loss on the road at Atholton in the MPSSAA 3A East Sectional Semifinals a season ago. The Vikings return 2019 Howard County Player of the Year Magnus Dunn (Washington University, MO), seniors Finn Devine, Dylan Holzman, Jimmy Jaecksch, and talented junior Josh Barke. They also look to be one of the more well rounded squads in 2020 with big arms on the mound and a combination of speed and power at the plate.



The Warriors fell just short of winning the MPSSAA 4A State Title in 2019 losing to Old Mill 4-3 in a thrilling extra-inning ballgame that had a little of everything. While losing Michael Bouma (Maryland), JP Yore (Susquehanna), and Ben Vok (Frostburg State) will hurt, Sherwood returns seven key starters with valuable experience and a bitter taste in their mouth. Senior Ian Brady (Virginia Wesleyan) and two-way standout Luke Cheng (Illinois State) will anchor the staff with Joey Bowers (Salisbury), Brady Andre (Wilson), Ethan Giacalone, Jack Braun, and Jake Becker back as key pieces in the lineup. Expect junior INF/RHP Brett Seils to also really help bolster the squad this season as they look to be contenders once again in 4A.



Perennially a public school powerhouse, Head Coach Billy Gross returns an older squad with the likes of Jacob Orr (Maryland), Shane Bowie (Wilson), Trevor Yusko, AJ Enriquez, and Matt Fowkes leading the way. The Patriots won the State Championship in 2018 and lost last year in the State Semifinals to C.M. Wright. Thomas Johnson will be one of the most balanced squads amongst all other public schools in 2020 and figure to have a strong shot at making a deep run again in the playoffs.


Check out our upcoming Preseason Conference Previews for more teams to keep an eye on in 2020!



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