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christopher anderson⁄the gazetteThe Star⁄Gazette All-County Baseball Team includes (front row, from left) Sean Swetnam, Eric McCamant, Matt Clark, Derek Baker, Dave Robertson,Ray Hyre; (back row, from left) Coach of the Year Pat Courtemanche, Shane Ittenbach, Travis Stewart, Carl Travers, Ruben Castro and Drew Lydon.Not pictured: Devin Rivers, Matt Campbell, Casey Conrad, Nick Pearce.
After being in the shadow of older teammates last year, including 2005 Star⁄Gazette Player of the Year Joe Murray, the 6-foot-5 Stewart emerged this spring as one of the area’s dominant pitchers. The senior right-hander won a county-best 10 games against just three losses and amassed a 2.32 earned-run average and 121 strikeouts in 75 1⁄3 innings, leading Pallotti to a second consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship. Stewart capped his four-year varsity career with a second straight title-game victory, striking out 11 in a 15-3 five-inning victory against Park School at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. In the postseason, Stewart went 3-0 (all complete games) with 35 strikeouts and allowed three runs. A MIAA B league all-star pick, Stewart batted .424 with a team-best seven home runs and 38 runs batted in. Stewart will play for Northwest Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
coach of the year
A football lineman in high school and college, Courtemanche has carved a winning baseball niche (89-38 in five seasons) at Pallotti, leading the Laurel private school to a second consecutive MIAA B Conference championship. After a 24-0 showing in 2005, Courtemanche wanted to overcome the graduation of several seniors including Joe Murray and Steve Henry, who had transferred from Laurel for their senior seasons. Pallotti had only two regulars returning this spring and only 12 players on the roster by late April, but finished the season with 13 straight victories. The Panthers are the first team to win back-to-back MIAA B championships since Cardinal Gibbons in 1999 and 2000. Courtemanche, who guided Pallotti to its first baseball title since 1992 last spring, is set to take over the school’s varsity football program this coming fall.
Casey Conrad, Roosevelt: The sophomore emerged as a clutch performer, batting .441 with 32 runs scored and 23 RBI. The third baseman batted .611 and had an .833 slugging percentage in the Greenbelt school’s six toughest challenges this season including two games against Bowie, three against High Point and the state semifinals.
Eric McCamant, Roosevelt: The senior catcher was again the glue for the two-time defending county champions, batting .394 with a team-best 32 runs scored. He threw out all three would-be base-stealers in the Raiders’ state semifinals loss to C. Milton Wright, and guided a pitching staff that allowed only 33 runs in 23 games.
Sean Swetnam, Roosevelt: There wasn’t a pitcher in the County 4A ranks better than Swetnam. The junior right-hander posted a 8-1 mark with a 0.78 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 54 innings. His lone loss came in the state semifinals against C. Milton Wright, as he allowed just three hits and one earned run in a 3-1 decision. A two-time Star⁄Gazette first-team pick, Swetnam batted .362 with three home runs and a team-high 33 RBI.
David Robertson, Bowie: One of the county’s best defensive infielders, the second baseman also helped the Bulldogs with his bat, hitting .545 with 28 runs batted in and 22 runs scored. In the field, he and shortstop Adam Scherer were among the better double-play combinations in the 4A league.
Ray Hyre, Bowie: Although he is headed to Mount St. Mary’s this fall on a golf scholarship, Hyre excelled on the diamond. The senior led the pitching staff with an 8-1 record and stingy 1.44 earned run average while striking out 67 in 72 innings. He also was among the team’s leading hitters (.478) with 22 runs batted in and 21 runs scored.
Drew Lydon, Riverdale Baptist: The senior shortstop hit .459 with 16 doubles, four home runs and one triple. He scored 62 runs and drove in 30 more and stole 31 bases. Defensively, Lydon had 58 assists and added 35 put outs from 99 chances while playing in all but two of the Crusaders’ 46 games.
Carl Travers, Riverdale Baptist: The sophomore emerged as one of the best catchers in the county. Travers was second on the team in batting at .438 with 12 doubles, three home runs and two triples. He easily led the team with 48 RBI and scored 45 runs. In 44 games and 246 innings behind the plate, Travers committed only two passed balls and two throwing errors while throwing out 12 of 15 runners attempting to steal.
Ruben Castro, High Point: The outfielder was among the Eagles’ leaders in nearly every offensive category, hitting .561 with six doubles, six triples and five home runs. He scored 31 runs and drove in 28 and had a slugging percentage of 1.061. Castro also went 3-0 on the mound.
Shane Ittenbach, High Point: The senior pitcher’s season was perhaps better than his statistics indicated. Ittenbach went 3-3 with a 1.05 earned run average and suffered two losses to Roosevelt and another to Bowie. He avenged the Bowie setback in the 4A South Region semifinals. Ittenbach also batted .466 with nine doubles, two triples and two home runs.
Matt Campbell, DeMatha: After graduating from DeMatha, Campbell heads to the United States Military Academy at West Point to continue his academic and athletic career. The consummate leader, Campbell hit .463 with scored 35 runs scored and 32 RBI. He had a team-high 20 stolen bases.
Nick Pearce, DeMatha: The University of Maryland baseball program is on the rise and Pearce should continue to help the Terrapins. He went 6-2 on the season with 59 strikeouts in 55 2⁄3 innings. Perhaps more impressive is Pearce’s 1.89 earned run average while walking just 16.
Devin Rivers, DeMatha: The senior tied for second on the team with four home runs. He primarily played in the Stags’ infield, but also in the outfield on occasion. Rivers hit .419 to go along with six doubles, six triples and 36 RBI.
Derrick Baker, Gwynn Park: Baker excelled with his leadership and defense. The senior made some spectacular plays while manning center field. At the plate, Baker hit. 464 with five doubles, a triple and six runs batted in from the leadoff position.
Matt Clark, Crossland: Clark was the face of Crossland baseball in his four years at the Temple Hills school. He capped a stellar prep baseball career by stealing 30 bases in 30 attempts in 2006. Clark had 34 hits, including five doubles, five triples and three home runs to go with 24 runs and 10 RBI.
Randy Bond, Steve Horlacher and TommyWinegardner, Riverdale Baptist
Geraldo Chavez and Ted Schlotterbeck, Northwestern
Jonathan Deal and Kirk Keyes, Oxon Hill
Kiernan Flannery and Troy Langway, Pallotti
Thomas Haines, Parkdale
Brandon Jackson and Aaron Street, DuVal
Danny Polonco and Anderson Rodriguez, High Point
Cameron Proctor, Nathan Turner and Joey Reid, Gwynn Park
Nick Rivers and HDeMatha
James Teehan, Mike Kerdock and Jason Koebler,Roosevelt
Philip Vaughn, McNamara
Anthony Marvray and Adam Scherer, Bowie