Veteran baseball team eager to win

Jack Lvovsky, Staff Writer

As the season begins, the Patriots are looking to win their first Maryland 4A state championship since 1996.

The Patriots are returning nine players, eight of them being starters. Senior second baseman Chris Vondas said, “I’m expecting us to have a historic year. This group of guys have worked so hard and are extremely special.”

Last season, the Patriots finished with an 11-9 record but got upset by Clarksburg 3-0 in the sectional semifinals. They have a chip on their shoulders heading into this season. Everyone was surprised and shocked at the Patriots early exit in the playoffs last year. Senior captain and pitcher Ryan Mariani said, “ I was extremely disappointed in our early loss in the playoffs last year. This year will be different.”

With their core getting older and more mature, this upcoming season is looking bright. Junior ace pitcher Dev Zoks, first baseman junior Conor Walsh and senior third baseman Harrison Cance, Mariani, outfielder Niko Jones, and Vondas all made the All-Division Team last year. “In my opinion, we have by far the most talented team in the county. The only team that can beat us is ourselves,” Jones said.

Six of the team’s players were on the basketball team this past season. For all these guys, baseball is their main sport, but basketball was a fun experience that taught them a lot of valuable lessons. “Basketball has taught me how to be a much better leader on and off the court. I’ve learned a lot from basketball and I am sure it will benefit me on the baseball field as well,” Cance said.

This group of seniors knows that it’s their last chance to bring home a state championship. Having grown up playing on the same travel teams, these players know each other well and have created bonds off the field.

The Patriots opened up their preseason by defeating Good Counsel 4-0 on Mar. 13. The Patriots had strong performances from sophomores Nathan Bowman, Miller Romm, Zoks, Walsh, junior Jacob Glazier and Mariani all got the job done on the mound giving up no runs. It was their first time playing together this season so it was a positive step forward. On Mar. 18, the Patriots will be playing at home against the Bullis Bulldogs.Their season opener is on Mar. 21 against Damascus. Bowman said, “ I love how we get to play elite private schools and see how we stack up against them. It’s great preparation for this upcoming season.”