Preseason Countdown No. 7: Freshman Class Preview

Maryland Baseball enters this season with the 55th-ranked recruiting class in the country, good for third in the Big Ten according to Perfect Game. This year will see 13 new players joining the Terps squad on the diamond.

Here’s a breakdown of the 2022 Freshman class:

IF Jacob Orr – Frederick, Md. (Governor Thomas Johnson High School)

Orr has been committed to Maryland since 2018 before playing a single game of high school baseball. Coming out of high school he was 10th ranked recruit in Maryland, being named to the Brooks Robinson senior all-star game. 

In his senior season at Thomas Johnson, Orr finished with a .455 batting average, going for eight extra-base hits and driving in 15 runs. The highlight of his season came on defense when he turned an unassisted triple play in a game versus Linganore High School.

LHP Andrew Johnson – Mount Airy, Md. (Glenelg High School)

To say that Johnson impressed in his senior season at Glenelg would be an understatement. In 27 1/3 innings, the seventh-ranked player in Maryland struck out 67 batters, posting a 1.08 ERA and allowing only nine hits. His most dominating performances came in May 2021 when he had two 18-strikeout performances in a two week period. Johnson’s performance last season earned the honor of Howard County player of the year for 2021.

RHP Matt Cunningham – Mount Airy, Md. (Linganore High School)

Originally committed to Mt. Saint Mary’s as a shortstop, Cunningham converted to pitcher prior to his senior season at Linganore. The results were nothing short of extraordinary as he threw three complete games for the Lances and culminated his stellar season with a perfect game in the West regional semifinal, fanning 14 and throwing just 71 pitches.

Cunningham was named starting pitcher for the North in the senior all star game where he gave up two runs in two innings pitched, striking out three.

OF Zach Martin – Middletown, Md. (Middletown High School)

The second-ranked outfielder in Maryland and 47th-ranked in the country, Martin’s final high school season was capped off by being selected to the Brooks Robinson Senior All Star Game where he hit leadoff. In the game he drew a walk and scored a run. Martin has experience both in the outfield and on the mound.

Martin has already begun producing for the Terps, hitting a home run in a Maryland Fall game versus Virginia back in October.

RHP Noah Mrotek – Bowie, Md. (Archbishop Spalding High School)

Mrotek ended his senior season of high school baseball with numerous honors including an all-county selection by the Capital Gazette, an all-MIAA team nod and a spot on the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches preseason all-state team. 

Mrotek was the fourth-ranked right hander in Maryland and 12th-ranked overall in the state. He has experience both as a pitcher and an outfielder.

C Steve Thomas – Unionville, Pa. (Unionville High School)

Thomas ended last season as the top-ranked catcher in Pennsylvania, but he was a true dual threat player in high school. At the plate he posted a .323 batting average while driving in 17 runs. From the mound he had a 2.38 ERA and struck out 29 batters. Thomas’s efforts in the 2021 season earned him second team all league honors.

OF Ian Petrutz – Mantua, N.J. (Bishop Eustace Prep)

The number two-ranked outfielder in New Jersey and 22nd-ranked overall in the state, Petrutz was a force to be reckoned with in the Bishop Eustace lineup, batting .449 with three home runs, 12 RBI and 15 stolen bases in his senior season. He was a big part of the team’s journey to winning the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, hitting a go-ahead home run in the quarterfinals and picking up an RBI base hit in the championship game.

LHP Michael Walsh – Leesburg, Va. (Riverside High School)

Walsh was the ninth-ranked left hander in Virginia and the 65th-ranked overall in the state coming out of high school. His performance this past season earned first team all region honors as Walsh led Riverside to a regional finals appearance. Walsh has previous experience both on the mound and in the outfield.

IF Sean Lane – Long Island, N.Y. (St. Dominic High School)

Coming out of high school Lane was the top-ranked first baseman from New York and the 26th-ranked player overall in the state. Lane has experience at both corner infield positions.

Lane has already found ways to make a positive impact on this Terps squad, hitting two home runs and driving in five runs in a Maryland Fall game versus Navy.

LHP Travis Garnett – Pasadena, Md. (Indian Creek School)

Coming out of high school Garnett was the number five player in the state of Maryland and the 17th-ranked left hander in the entire country. He is also ranked as the fourth best recruit in all of the Big Ten according to Perfect Game. He has experience at both pitcher and first base.

There were talks that he may be drafted into the MLB right out of high school with his name included in different mock drafts, but ultimately he now finds himself in College Park ready to contribute for this Terps pitching staff.

RHP Ryan Van Buren – Abington, Pa. (Abington Senior High School)

Van Buren was the 12th-ranked right hander in Pennsylvania and 22nd-overall in the state coming out of high school.

In his senior season Van Buren posted a 3.55 ERA with 29 strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .224 in 21 2/3 innings pitched. His efforts were rewarded by being named most valuable male athlete at Abington Senior High School in 2021.

RHP Lloyd Richards III – Houston, Texas (Shadow Creek High School)

The 179th-ranked RHP in Texas, Richards found success on both the mound and at the plate. He gave up two earned runs in five innings in his only start of the COVID-shortened 2020 season. In his last full season in 2019, Richards hit .316, hit one home run and drove in six runs.

Richards is no stranger to playing baseball on the national stage. He represented the Southwest region in the 2015 Little League World Series. In the Southwest regional tournament he went five for seven, giving Richards the best batting average in the country for all regional tournaments.

RHP Ethan Ledig – Leonardtown, Md. (Leonardtown High School)

Ledig had his senior season at Leonardtown cut short in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, but he still managed to get the school record for complete games thrown, tossing nine in three seasons. Though he does not currently possess a state or national ranking, Ledig has proven himself to be a dual-threat player, effectively getting batters out on the mound and coming up with key hits on days he was playing shortstop.