Hammond places 4 on Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches preseason team
The Hammond baseball team has placed four players on the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches preseason team, a rare number thought to be a possible state record.
“I can remember Calvert Hall having three,” said Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton, who has been coaching the game for 35 years. “But I can’t recall four. It’s very, very unusual for schools to have multiple players.”
Hammond’s team members are all seniors: pitcher-third baseman Travis Clark, first baseman Tyler Clark, pitcher Danny Wissmann and shortstop Jared Christensen.
“This is crazy,” Tyler Clark said. “Me and my brother made it last year, and it’s rare to make it as juniors. Now, to make it a second year is pretty rare, and then to have four of us on the same team — crazy.”
The team consists of the 30 players Maryland high school coaches think will the best performers in the coming season. The team members will be honored Feb. 20 at a banquet at Camden Yards.
“There are probably 2,200 starters in the state, and about 1 percent of them make the team,” Eastern Tech coach Ty Whittaker said. “Just having one kid from a team make it is a major, major honor. To have two is saying something. To have four is unbelievable. It’s a testament that that coach is grooming his players the right way.”
Doing the grooming at Hammond is Mike Lerner, who has been coaching the Golden Bears for nine years. He has had the Clark twins and Christensen on his team four years, while Wissmann transferred in last season.
“It’s nice to have so many,” Lerner said. “But it’s a testament to their hard work and dedication to get to this level. It’s all about them and their accomplishments.”
The Clarks and Christensen will be four-year starters. A year ago, the Bears finished 15-3, getting upset in regionals. But Tyler Clark says Hammond is expecting much more this time around.
“We only lost two starters from last season,” he said. “And the seven of us who are back all have three years of starting experience, we’re expecting do a whole lot more, absolutely.”
-- Sandra McKee