Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

County baseballers named to preseason coaches’ all-state team

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They have yet to swing a bat or throw a pitch but county baseball stalwarts Kevin Brady, (Gaithersburg High) Shane Boyd (Damascus), Kevin Johnson (Quince Orchard) and Tom Gilchrist (Sherwood) have already garnered recognition, being recently named to the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches’ preseason all-state team.

Brady’s inclusion on the list comes as no surprise as the 2007 Gazette Player of the Year has been brilliant on the mound and at the plate since the start of last spring. As a junior for the Trojans, the Clemson University-bound Brady compiled a 9-0 record with a miniscule 0.84 earned-run average and 112 strikeouts for the Trojans. At the plate, he batted .439 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 28 runs batted in.

Brady continued his sterling pitching performance during the summer, compiling a 6-2 record with a 1.56 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 58 1⁄3 innings of work for Post 104. Brady won Post 104’s lone state tournament game, shutting out Garrett County Post 71⁄214 for seven innings, allowing two hits with 10 strikeouts in the 5-0 victory.

Brady also dazzled scouts and coaches alike in June while playing for Team Maryland at the 31st Annual Sunbelt Classic in Oklahoma. He had a complete-game victory with seven strikeouts against Team California and earned a save in the team’s 5-3 win over Ohio as well.

Brady also competed in last summer’s East Coast Professional Showcase, an invitation-only tournament that was run by six Major League teams. While at the Florida-based event, the flame-throwing right-hander struck out five and allowed a hit in three innings of work.

Kevin Johnson, a senior outfielder, helped lead the Cougars back to the 4A state playoffs, batting .509 with six doubles, six triples, 15 walks, 33 runs, 18 stolen bases and 12 RBI. Boyd, a senior outfielder who has committed to Frostburg State, sparked Damascus’s potent offense, batting .490 with 21 RBI, 25 runs and 12 doubles.

Gilchrist, a senior outfielder⁄shortstop, was a key member of Sherwood’s 4A state finalist team, switching from center field to shortstop for the stretch run because of injury. He also batted .363 with two RBI for Team Maryland and appeared in the fifth annual Mid-Atlantic High School Baseball Classic at the University of Maryland-College Park.

In that scout-attended event, Gilchrist scored a pair of runs, including one as a pinch runner during the North team’s decisive five-run eighth inning, to help propel the squad to a 9-8 victory over a South contingent that was largely made up of players from Virginia. He also logged time in both center field and shortstop and scored the other run on an error in the seventh inning to help forge a short-lived 4-4 tie.