Frederick High School senior pitcher Brian Smith and Thomas Johnson senior pitcher/infielder Travis Phelps enjoyed their experience at last year’s Heartland Classic. The pair decided to do it again this summer after being named to Team Maryland for the second consecutive year.
The two Frederick County standouts were named to the statewide all-star team, which is selected by the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches and is open to juniors and seniors at public and private high schools.
“We did it last year and it was a lot of fun,” said Smith, who produced a 2.18 earned run average and 84 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings this past spring. “You meet a lot of people and you bond with the family you stay with. It’s a great time. The competition was great. I pitched against Texas. We lost, 3-2, but it’s a new experience and you see what you’re going to see in college — the best kids in each state.”
The entire 18-member Team Maryland squad was announced along with the Brooks Robinson High School All-Star game rosters during a press conference at the warehouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Wednesday afternoon that included a brief talk by former Baltimore Oriole Bill Ripken.
Team Maryland will play in the eight-team Heartland Classic from June 18-23. The event includes teams from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. The games are played at high schools in Norman, Okla.
“I had a blast,” said Phelps, who batted .378 with 16 runs batted in at the plate and a 1.47 ERA on the mound for the Patriots in 2012. “The competition was good. I pitched and played short. It’s a great honor. I’m really happy and pleased to be selected again. I can’t wait until this year.”
Last year’s Team Maryland compiled a 2-5 record, including three consecutive losses to end tournament play to finish in seventh place. Both wins were against Team Canada, which finished in eighth place with a single victory.