Randallstown Baseball Off to Flying Start in 2017

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What a difference a year makes.

Last season was a frustrating campaign for the Randallstown baseball team. The Rams finished 5-8 with an abundance of bad weather preventing the team from getting to play their full schedule. It was also a tough campaign for the group's seniors, who failed to make the positive impact the team had anticipated. Randallstown's season ended in the first round of the MPSSAA 2A playoffs in a 6-1 defeat to Hereford.

The Rams have changed their fates this season. Despite being a young team, Randallstown is flying high this year with a 4-1 record, just one win less than the team got in all of 2016.

"I have a very athletic bunch. We are still young, and young at key positions, but the potential is certainly there," head coach Marc Stevens said. "We only have one senior starter, so the present as well as the future looks bright."

A big reason for the change has been the team's approach at the plate. Randallstown didn't score many runs last year, simply struggling to make contact with the ball and put pressure on the opposition.

It's been a completely different situation this season for the Rams as the group has unleashed an attack that's averaging 15.2 runs a game. To Stevens, it's been the group's ability to follow the simple mantra of "seeing a strike, attacking a strike."

"Whether we are hitting base hits or hitting into outs, we're putting the ball in play and making other teams play responsible defense," Stevens said. "The run totals will go up and down, but we definitely preach plate discipline and taking what the opposing pitcher, and defense, gives us."

The team's offense has been paced by its pair of junior captains, shortstop Amani Stevens and first baseman Jaylen Lawson.

Stevens, who is Marc Stevens's son, has been mashing at the plate, holding a .538 batting average and an OBP of .647. Lawson has been equally dangerous, hitting .412 and successfully stealing bases on all 10 of his attempts.

Randallstown's attack has also been bolstered by some varsity newcomers who haven't been phased by their new environment. Freshman second baseman Mekhi Stevens, also Marc Stevens' son, is batting .533 with an OBP of .696 while sophomore catcher Adam Harrison is hitting .357.

With the group firing on all cylinders, this season appears to have the makings of an exciting one for the Rams. The team's schedule is filled with games against Baltimore County rivals including Owings Mills and Woodlawn, who Randallstown has already beaten, as well as Milford Mill and New Town.

Those contests aren't the only exciting ones on the Rams' schedule as well.

"We have a very competitive history with Chesapeake and we're playing Catonsville, a preseason top 10 team, this season whom we haven't played in a few years so we plan, prepare and practice hard and smart for those contests," Marc Stevens said.

Though those are the games Randallstown is particularly excited for, the team's goals go a lot further than just executing in those contests.

"Our goals are to compete on a high level every single game, win our division, secure a top seed in the state tournament and like every season, respect the game we love and play to win," Marc Stevens said.
April 1st, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

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