By: Jackson Tacka
Varsity and JV baseball had two very different seasons last year, with the varsity team going 18-13, as well as competing in the A conference championship against top-seeded Archbishop Spalding, while the JV squad struggled from start to finish. With five departing seniors from last year’s team, the varsity squad is going to need a lot of good baseball from its rising juniors and seniors. After a four-game losing streak last year, the team came together to push through the rest of the season, making an amazing championship run that no one in the league expected. On the other hand, JV went 0-17, bringing up the rear of the A conference last year. It goes without saying the JV team has a lot to prove this year.
Although there is a void left by the five departed seniors, the rest of the varsity team is very similar to last year’s and includes a large incoming freshman class already making their mark at the varsity level. Varsity Pitching Coach Zach McElroy (‘08) explains that “The talent is very similar to last year’s team. The returning varsity guys are a year older and are ready to take on the leadership responsibilities from last year’s group...We expect to compete in every game at the varsity and junior varsity level. We are going to compete to win a championship on both levels.”
This year’s varsity team is led by seniors Charlie Darby, Drew Ehrlich , and Brian Nelson, as well as junior Maxwell Costes. The team's new additions, such as Ryan Williamson (’20), Tyler Martinez (’19), Jack Bowmaster (’18), and Danny Rosenfield (’20) are already making their mark on the team.
On the coaching staff, Gilman baseball added Varsity Assistant Coach Mark Lemon this year, who has worked with organizations such as the Baltimore Redbirds and the Baseball Factory. He also played for Saint Mark’s high school in Wilmington, Delaware and UMBC. Another new addition to the coaching staff is Varsity Assistant Coach Russell Wrenn (’96), AA League coach of the year with the Westminster Wildcats and former Gilman Varsity Baseball player.
At the JV level, Coach Matt Zealand will be taking over as the head coach after serving as an assistant coach last year. JV assistant coaches Chris Ciarleglio, and Ryan Stevens (’12), a former varsity player for Gilman as well as for Washington College, bringing many years of experience to the Gilman JV squad. Coach Steve Paquette from Gilman’s Information Technology team will also be helping out with the JV squad.
The varsity season has started strong following a 3-2 showing at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach with wins already against Calvert Hall (3-2) and defending champions Archbishop Spalding (8-5). Additionally, the JV team won their first conference game since April 24, 2015. The outlook for Gilman’s baseball program for the rest of the year is bright with both teams having a chance to compete for a place at the top of their respective divisions.