Baseball Season Preview


The crack of the bat. The smack of the catcher’s mitt as he receives the pitch. The sweet serenades at the seventh inning stretch, as thousands of fans sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Baseball season is almost back, folks, and with it come the sweet sounds of the game.

Fans in the Severna Park area have extra reasons to become more invested in baseball this spring, as local schools look set to have strong seasons. The emergence of former Falcon and current major league prospect Jackson Merrill has put the region on the national radar, and the teams in the area have several players that are committed to play collegiately as well. The next star can come from anywhere, and Broadneck, Severna Park, Spalding and Severn all believe their teams are ready to compete with the best this season. So, let’s get into it, and as the umpire says: play ball.

Severna Park

Although they ultimately ended up walking away with no hardware for their efforts, Severna Park put together another fantastic season in 2023, finishing with a 21-4 record. Unlike their rival Broadneck, the Falcons managed to string together a deep playoff run, heading to the 4A state semifinals before falling to Sherwood, the eventual state champions. This time around, coach Eric Milton is determined to make sure that Severna Park can take it all the way in 2024.

“Every year, our goal as a team is to win a state championship,” Milton stated. “We have the talent to do so, it’s all about coming together as a team.”

The team graduated a lot of seniors in 2023, including Seamus Patenaude and Nathan Clarke, but they should be in good shape going forward. Their deep lineup is headlined by senior shortstop Angel Santiago-Cruz, who has committed to Richmond. As for the rotation, it’s led by All-County Penn State commit Sean Williams, who features an electric arsenal that stymied batters en route to a 1.51 ERA in 2023.

The team features strong depth outside of those two as well. Catcher Kody Phillips, outfielder Charles Hartman and outfielder Jacob Grice are all expected to have big seasons at the plate, and Nathan Murphy and Dylan Grice round out a formidable rotation behind Williams.

On the back of their strong performances, the Falcons are hoping to take home their first county championship since 2022 and first state championship since 2009. If they manage to accomplish this feat, it would be the first state championship of Eric Milton’s tenure, and the seventh county championship since he took over the team in 2013.


Matt Skrenchuk is several years into a lengthy tenure as the head coach of the Bruins baseball team. Yet the 2023 season was one of his best. In 2023, the Bruins went 17-4 overall, going 14-2 in regional play and winning the school’s first-ever county championship in a 1-0 thriller against North County.

While the excitement around their triumph was soured by their early playoff exit against South River, it was undoubtedly one of the most successful seasons in Bruins history, and people around the team think that they have what it takes to repeat it.

“We lost a few good leaders from last year's 2023 class, but we had several underclassmen gain varsity experience,” Skrenchuk said. “We return all of our position players outside of Sean Murphy, so we are very excited about the experience our offense and defense has coming into 2024.”

The rotation will certainly feel the absence of Murphy, who is playing collegiately at Catholic University, but junior pitcher Kobe Owen should be able to step in admirably, mitigating the loss of the team’s ace. The lineup projects to be even more potent than 2023’s, with senior Devin McGowan, junior Noah Forman and Middle Tennessee commit Calvin Cook expected to lead the way for Broadneck on offense.

“My goals are to get back to the county championship, win it again, make a deeper run in the playoffs and bring home a state championship,” said senior Nate Schilling, the team’s starting center fielder. “We have pretty much the same lineup, and I think this team has really good chemistry.”

Severn School

Of the four teams on this list, Severn had the worst 2023 season by a decent margin. They were the only team to finish with a losing record last year, going 6-14 over the course of the season, and 6-10 in conference play. Though their 2023 campaign wasn’t the best, head coach Zak Starr sees plenty of reasons to be optimistic going into 2024.

“With an influx of talent, our first goal is to build on our culture and have a competitive, cohesive team,” Starr stated. “Second, we are aiming for the MIAA B Conference championship. This team has been putting in the work during the offseason, and our two goals will go hand in hand.”

Severn saw one senior graduate from the Class of 2023, Paul Summers. Outside of him, however, the team is set to return all of their starters from 2023, and that experience will give them an advantage over the rest of the conference. Ben Campion, a pitcher who led the team in ERA while moonlighting as an outfielder, is one of the seniors expected to lead the Admirals this season, along with slugging infielder Sean Ward.

As for the underclassmen, junior Caden Blanck is expected to be near the top of the team’s rotation, coming off a season where he led the MIAA B Conference with 77 strikeouts. Fellow junior Matt Fisher is poised for another strong season, following a 2023 campaign where he was the team’s leading hitter, and sophomore center fielder Fletcher Warner is a crucial table-setter as the leadoff hitter.

Archbishop Spalding

When it comes to high schools in Maryland, Archbishop Spalding has quickly developed a strong reputation among college recruiters. Just look at head coach Joe Palumbo’s track record. The proof is in the pudding.

Going into next season, Spalding is set to lose Parker Thomas, their ace and East Carolina recruit, and Severna Park’s own Cody Sharman, another top starter who has since moved on to pitch at Seton Hall. When losing talent like that from a 2023 team that won the MIAA A Conference championship, most programs might have a grim outlook for the following season. Palumbo doesn’t view it that way.

“The goal for our team is the same each season, which is to win the MIAA A Conference championship,” he stated. “While experience might be lacking, it will provide some great opportunities for some talented returning players to step (up) and contribute to our 2024 success.”

Spalding graduated several key position players last year, including catcher Ethan McNally, but Palumbo’s 2024 lineup still features several future collegiate players. The offense is expected to be led by senior infielder Carver Salazar, senior utility player Carson Merritt and junior first baseman Theo Loughlin, all of whom have committed to continue their careers collegiately. Salazar and Merritt are going to play at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Randolph Macon, respectively, while Loughlin is committed to play at Davidson.

The Cavaliers’ pitching staff might be stronger than ever, even with the losses of Sharman and Thomas. The team is set to replace those aces with Jake Yeager, a 2023 Perfect Game All-American who’s committed to play for Maryland next year. Following him, the team has Nathan Wines, Brayden Robinson and Peyton Mamula, who are committed to East Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland respectively.


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