2016 Team Preview: Howard HS

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By Jerry Shank
Maryland Scouting Director

As we prepare for the upcoming 2016 high school season, we will be taking a glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: Howard HS
Nickname: Lions
Class:  4A
Conference: Howard County
Head Coach:  Nick Hoffner
Years as HC:  6th
Twitter: @Howard_Baseball
Facebook: Howard Baseball
2015 Record: 15-6
2015 Conference Record: 14-3
2015 Post Season: Lost in Regional Quarterfinals

Returning Starters/Position: 6
Returning Starters/Pitcher: 3

Players with Post-Season Honors
Casey Crawford ?? 1st Team All-County
Eric Greenbaum ?? 2nd Team All-County
KJ Murray ?? Honorable Mention All-County
Reid Walsh ?? Honorable Mention All-County

Players to Watch
RHP/INF Casey Crawford (Bridgewater College) 2016
C Eric Greenbaum 2016
P/OF Reid Walsh 2016
OF KJ Murray 2016 (Stevenson)

Season Outlook

Howard had a very successful regular season only to see it come up short during the playoffs in an upset loss to Sherwood in the Region Quarterfinals. The team is a year older with most of the starters coming back including the addition of 2017 SS Cameron Robinson who missed last season due to injury. The Lions also return 93 innings on the mound with Casey Crawford and Reid Walsh leading the way. Crawford went 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 44 innings last year for Howard and Walsh had a 0.64 ERA, going 4-0 in 22 innings pitched.

Howard will have to replace reigning Howard County Player of the Year in RHP/INF Jimmy Cain and his .414 batting average and 1.93 ERA in 36.1 innings pitched. Look for a combined team effort to aide in replacing players like Cain and graduated OF Devin Rowell (.394 BA). With six starters returning expect increased performance from a team a year older. Leading the way will be Crawford (.372 BA, 10 2B), Eric Greenbaum (.392 BA 20 RBI), and KJ Murray (.375 BA).

Also returning to the mound is 2016 P/INF JR Faulkner (CCBC Catonsville) who went 4-1 in his sophomore campaign but missed time on the mound last year due to injury. Keep an eye on 2018 Craig Wiley who will play his first full season on varsity after hitting .364 his freshmen year after a mid-season promotion. Expect the Lions in 2016 to play with a chip on their shoulder after the earlier-than-expected finish of the 2015 season.