every new season, a new rule has drastically altered the landscape. With pitcher usage now limited by pitches thrown rather than innings pitched, there will be an added emphasis on throwing arms this year and beyond.
Freshmen and sophomores can throw up to 95 pitches, while juniors and seniors can throw 105. Varying rest requirements, from zero to four days depending on the number of pitches delivered, will add another facet to bullpen management for high school teams, some already struggling to find enough arms.
“I think this is going to be tough on smaller teams who don’t have a lot of pitching in particular,” Saints coach Brian Femi said. “This year, I’m blessed to have a lot of arms. That might not be the case in the future. It’s going to be a challenge to manage, but I do see that the state has extended the playoffs a little, adding an extra day between games now, to help a little bit.”
Here’s a look at this year’s local teams:
* * * Queen Anne’s (12-9) With five seniors and 10 juniors on the squad this year, the defending Class 2A East champion Lions open today at home against Stephen Decatur.
Chase Porter and classmate Pat Freeman will work at the front end of the rotation and provide senior leadership along with catcher/outfielder Chase Klepper, infielder/pitcher Jeremy Marvel, and outfielder Wyatt Pinder.
Other outfielders for the Lions include Darrin Rosebrock, Jacob Naylor, Trey Pinder, and William Usilton. Luke Weddell will start at short, with Aaron Rovenolt at third, Porter at second, Freeman at first, and pitcher/infielder Jordan Bennett, infielder Anthony Marconi, first baseman/pitcher Matt Robinson, and catcher/ infielder Kole Gunther oncall as needed.
Queen Anne’s opened its season Tuesday with a 3-0 home loss to Stephen Decatur.
Kent County (9-8) Last year’s JV coach, Phil Cygan, takes the helm of the varsity this season, and though Kent County graduated 13 players, he comes in with a strong front end to his pitching staff in junior Tyson Johnson and senior Josh Iseman. Seniors Jordan Reed and Danny Parent, junior Brian Usilton, and freshman Peyton Taylor may also get the ball a fair amount during the season.
Sophomore Donnie Forgan will do the catching with senior Brandon Iacona at first and Usilton at second when he’s not on the hill. Parent and Iseman may split time at short, with senior Zach Thomas also looking to share duties with Iseman, this time at third base. Johnson will play center field when not pitching, with Reed in right; Reed will likely move to center field when Johnson has the ball, with senior Cade Terrill, and left field duties in the hands of either Brian Blackburn or Taylor.
Also available to Cygan will be junior John Moore and senior utility man Nathan Stevens. The Trojans opened the season Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Pocomoke.
Kent Island (4-15) Brendan Schulte takes over the program after Tony Lewis’s four-year tenure. Joining him this year will be third-year starter Jared Pezzano, a junior infielder and pitcher, as well as a mix of all four grades.
Senior Buccaneer players include first baseman Logan Dumenil, outfielder Bert Schrecongost, pitcher/infielder Josh Albright, pitcher/infielder Tyler Loh, and John Sams, who’ll see time on the mound and the infield and outfield. Freshman Chaney Skeans and sophomores Ryan Ryder (P/OF) and Ian Schools (P/1B) are joined by juniors Dylan Tvelia (P/ IF), Jake Hipps (C), Mike St. Ledger (P/IF), J.C. Getz (OF), and Connor Smith (OF). Sts. Peter & Paul (11-8)
The Sabres made the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association’s C Conference semifinals, and they return a good core of talent this year, including senior captains Cole Koski and James Hastings.
While Koski and Hastings will join freshman Aubrey Perry and sophomore Connor Quade in the rotation, they’ll primarily play short and catcher, respectively. Joining them in the infield will be junior first baseman Sam Weisman, freshman second baseman Brooks Hoffman, and Quade at third. Drew Kramer will play left field, senior classmate Jackson Cranford center field, and sophomore Sam Warpinski handles right field.
Sophomore Ryan Freeman looks to spend time in the infield, but is currently nursing an injury; reserves include freshman Joey Greaney, senior Jack Singelstad, and sophomore Andy Riesberg. The Sabres began their season Friday and are currently 0-2. Follow me on Twitter:
Queen Anne’s Dylan Thomas is mobbed by teammates after his two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning Friday afternoon, May 21, 2016, in the 2A East Region title game against Fallston.