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Senior year memorable for Jamison, Constable

June 25, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

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After a stellar junior season in which he hit .541 and earned Herald-Mail All-Area First Team honors, Williamsport catcher A.J. Jamison knew his approach would have to change for his senior year.

"After last year, I knew I wouldn't see a lot of great pitches, I'd see a lot of off-speed," Jamison said. "I knew to let the game come to me and be patient. I really worked on having more of an eye at the plate, seeing a lot more pitches and getting into a lot more hitter's counts."

Jamison was the only Washington County player to be selected to the Maryland All-State preseason team, selected by the state association of baseball coaches. He also was named to Louisville Slugger's Preseason All-America second team.

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He more than lived up to the billing, setting a school record with his .592 average in the regular season. He finished at .556 (35-for-63) with nine doubles, five homers and 22 RBIs.

Jamison is the 2008 Herald-Mail All-Area and Washington County Baseball Hitter of the Year.

"It's definitely a great accomplishment," Jamison said. "I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates, (Andrew) Duff and (Travis) Sluger, who hit ahead of me and behind me. They both had great seasons and it allowed me to see a lot more pitches."

Jamison caught fire about two weeks into the season as his average rose from the high .300s to threaten the .600 mark.

"At North (Hagerstown), I went 3-for-4 with a homer and a double, and the time I got out, I hit the ball solid and just got under it a bit," Jamison said. "That's when I knew my swing was coming back, I was hitting everything hard and my confidence shot up."

Jamison will continue his career at NCAA Division I Eastern Kentucky University next season.

Clear Spring ace Josh Constable spent the first six months of his senior year getting ready for the last three, and it paid off in a big way.

Constable came out of nowhere to be the area's most dominant pitcher this season, going 5-0 with a 0.89 ERA as the Blazers won their first Maryland Class 1A West title since 1992.

Constable is the 2008 Herald-Mail All-Area and Washington County Baseball Pitcher of the Year.

"It really didn't surprise me that much," Constable said of his outstanding season. "(Blazers coach Mark) Shives had been working with me all fall and winter, and it seemed like it was coming together well. Shives was excited. I was working out four or five times a week, long tossing two or three, maybe even four. I think I had a little more pop on my fastball and my curveball was breaking more."

Constable, who stands 6-foot-5, allowed just 16 hits and 14 walks in 39 innings while striking out 59. He will attend Division I Radford University in Virginia.

"He's taking three legit pitches into college," Shives said. "He can throw a circle change for a strike, he has a legit curveball that's 12 to 6, and he's 6-foot-5. ... As a pitching guy, he's the kind of kid you dream of getting your hands on, 6-4 to 6-6, skinny with a loose arm. I'd have felt I failed him terribly if I didn't get some success out of him."

The 2008 Herald-Mail All-Area Baseball First Team

Brandon Campbell, Jefferson, Sr., P

Campbell went 9-1 with a 1.93 ERA for the Cougars, allowing 40 hits and 34 walks while striking out 81 in 58 innings.

Spike Geffert, Martinsburg, Sr., P

Geffert went 4-1 with a 1.21 ERA, helping the Bulldogs reach the West Virginia Class AAA state tournament for the first time since 1995. He allowed 26 hits and 11 walks while striking out 53 in 40 1/3 innings. Also hit .358 (39-for-109) with 31 steals.

Brandon Knight, South Hagerstown, Sr., P

Knight went 6-0 with a 1.88 ERA for the Rebels. In 41 2/3 innings, he allowed 22 hits and 20 walks while striking out 67 for the Maryland Class 2A West champs.

Nathan Minnick, Waynesboro, Sr., 1B

Minnick hit .491 (27-for-55) with nine doubles, six homers, 26 RBIs and 22 walks. He finished his prep career with 30 homers and 109 RBIs, both school records.

Andrew Rotruck, Jefferson, Sr., 2B

Rotruck hit .436 (41-for-94) with 13 doubles, drove in 33 runs, scored 29 and walked 15 times for the Cougars.

Kyle Walker, Jefferson, Sr., 3B

Walker hit .354 (28-for-79) with 10 doubles, six homers and 28 RBIs while scoring 18 runs.

J.J. O'Neill, St. Maria Goretti, Jr., SS

O'Neill hit .458 (33-for-72) with seven doubles, six homers and 34 RBIs for the Gaels. He scored 29 runs and walked 16 times.

David Bowen, St. Maria Goretti, Sr., OF

Bowen hit .500 (45-for-90) with eight doubles and 14 RBIs and scored 40 runs with the help of 17 steals.

Aaron Mills, Clear Spring, Sr., OF

Mills hit .448 (22-for-49) with seven doubles, three homers and 18 RBIs, while scoring 24 runs, stealing 12 bases and walking 11 times.

Tylor McCain, Hedgesville, Jr., OF

McCain hit .374 (40-for-107) with 2 doubles, 2 homers and 23 RBIs. He walked 19 times, stole 42 bases and scored 40 runs.

Josh Conway, Smithsburg, Jr., Util.

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