[Baltimore Sun] The Aegis 2024 baseball All-Area team: Player of the Year Michael Hemelt made his ‘statement’ in four years at Patterson Mill

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Matt Roseland didn’t know much about this new incoming freshman. He recognized the name because he teaches seventh grade physical education but there was no eighth grade baseball season sample to draw from, that being the pandemic-wiped spring. Then he got an email from Michael Hemelt.

“Hey, Coach,” wrote Hemelt, a rising freshman, “what does the varsity center field position look like?” Roseland’s response was something to the effect of telling Hemelt his focus should squarely be on trying to make the team, “thinking he was a little ahead of himself,” Roseland said, having now coached for 16 years.

Little did Roseland know, that eager incoming freshman would become a staple of his program.

Hemelt graduates having thrown the third-most career strikeouts in school history (190), thrown the third-most shutouts in a single season (2) and pitched the third-most innings (130). Three times he struck out 13 – twice as a junior, once as a senior – all tied for third most. And his four-hit outing in April 2021 against North Harford is tied for Patterson Mill’s second most in a single game.

He finished his senior season leading the 2024 Huskies in batting average, doubles, home runs and RBIs, while compiling 48 strikeouts in 32 innings on the mound. Their season ended with the program’s first trip to the Class 1A state final since 2016.

But perhaps the greatest impact of The Aegis 2024 baseball Player of the Year was how he raised the level of play around him.

Before emailing the varsity coach, Hemelt asked his older neighbor the same question: what did their center field look like? Patterson Mill did have that position locked up, but at the time that was the spot Hemelt wanted to play. He later found out he wasn’t the only incoming freshman to email the coach with varsity aspirations.

He was, however, the only one whose play matched the desire.

“I’ve loved baseball my whole life,” Hemelt said. “I knew this was gonna be home. I wanted to make my statement my freshman year. I try to have little goals every now and then. My first goal in baseball was to make varsity my freshman year.”

Hemelt made a statement and signed it in ink from the first practice. He left an immediate impression that turned heads from the coaching staff, even if it annoyed a few of his upperclassmen teammates.

“We were able to work out like a week or two before the 2021 season, just on the turf in the first workout coming back from COVID,” Roseland said. “Mike is moving from station to station at a different pace from everybody else. He got everyone’s attention. Almost like, ‘Who is this guy?’… From the minute he did his first station, he has elevated the people around him in a way that I jumped on the Mike Hemelt train right away. That’s what it should look like.”

He wasn’t the lights out pitcher he’d eventually grow to be that first year. Hemelt quickly worked his way into an everyday outfielder role by outplaying older teammates. By his sophomore year, that hard work manifested into on-field production.

His arrival moment came midway through Hemelt’s sophomore season. Everyone in attendance was there to see Matt Lynch, Rising Sun’s ace committed to Towson. It was a lefty-lefty pitching battle. “People were there to see that lefty,” Roseland said, “and our lefty” got the better of Lynch that day, in a shutout win.

Patterson Mill’s Michael Hemelt is The Aegis 2024 baseball Player of the Year. (Brian Krista/staff photo)

Roseland calls that win Hemelt’s “arrival.” But his “it’s-for-real” performance came later in the regional final against Bo Manor. Hemelt admitted he doesn’t remember many specifics from that game. He was so locked in that it whirled by, his instincts took over and next thing he knew he was being dogpiled.

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Hemelt told himself heading into that sophomore season that was the year he needed to put on some weight and tinker with his mechanics. Out hustling others would only get him so far. So he dedicated himself to weight training, arm care (now that he was pitching more), and pitching mechanics. Rather than mimicking major leaguers he saw on TV, his pitching coach adjusted the minute details of his rotation to better fit his body.

“My freshman year, I was just a dumb little kid. I didn’t know anything,” Hemelt said. “I think [sophomore year] is when I really started to a pretty solid baseball player.”

Hemelt later took on a greater leadership role. He always wanted to be a leader. Always asked Roseland for advice on that front. But didn’t quite hit stride until this spring.

He led the team in a shared pregame moment before each outing. He could better verbally articulate to his peers how they would approach certain situations. And his teammates followed in the example Hemelt set from the moment he stepped on Patterson Mill’s field.

“I would say bar none,” Roseland said, “his work ethic has been top one, two or three I’ve ever coached.”

The Aegis 2024 All-Area baseball team. (Courtesy photos)

All-Aegis first team

Bryce Bauer, Havre de Grace, junior, infielder

Bauer’s 25 hits were the second most in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference. His two homers and 21 RBIs were both among league leaders. He finished the year with a .385 batting average.

Casey Carpenter, John Carroll, junior, infielder

The University of North Carolina-Wilmington commit batted .398 with a 1.312 OPS. He hit two doubles, three triples and 21 RBIs as a staple in the Patriots middle infield.

Travis Loewe, Patterson Mill, senior, infielder

Loewe led the Huskies with four wins and an ERA of 1.35. He also had the team’s second-highest batting average (.350) and a team-most 21 hits helping charge Patterson Mill to a state final appearance.

Zach Loewe, Fallston, sophomore, infielder

The Cougars sophomore batted .321 with an OBP of .415. He recorded 14 RBIs, a league-leading 22 runs and nine steals for Fallston’s divisional championship team.

Ben Bowen, Bel Air, senior, outfielder

Bowen batted .412 with 28 hits, eight doubles, five triples, three homers, 16 RBIs and 29 runs as the Bobcats’ leadoff hitter. Bel Air coach Jon Andrews called him a “dependable and outstanding defensive player wherever he plays.”

Aidan Deck, Fallston, senior, outfielder

The Cougars senior batted .362 with a .475 OBP. He had five doubles, 12 RBIs, one home run and seven steals.

CJ Scism, Harford Tech, junior, outfielder

Offensively, Scism batted .435, which led UCBAC. He was fourth in RBIs with 14, tied for fourth in hits with 20 and sixth in runs scored with 15. He also led the conference on the mound throwing 50 strikeouts with a 1.60 ERA.

Dallas Brooks, John Carroll, junior, catcher

Brooks caught 124 innings and threw out six runners stealing, only because opposing teams simply didn’t try him. Brooks is committed to play at the University of Maryland.

Noah Bark, Fallston, senior, pitcher

The righty finished 4-0 with a 2.88 ERA and 38 Ks over 25 innings. He became the Cougars’ ace and pitched in numerous big games to lead Fallston to a divisional title.

Pierce Quinn, John Carroll, sophomore, pitcher

Quinn pitched 33 innings and tossed 35 Ks. His fast ball topped out at 90 miles per hour.

Tommy Cannavale, C. Milton Wright, senior, utility

The Mustangs’ ace had a 3-2 record with a 1.191 WHIP and 2.16 ERA.

Taylor Blevins, Havre de Grace, senior, utility

Blevins had two wins and led the conference in saves with three. The senior finished with a 2.30 ERA. Blevins played six different positions for the Warriors, behind the plate, on the mound, in the infield or the outfield. He hit six doubles this season and a walk-off homer against Rising Sun.

Second team

Drew Jourdan, John Carroll, junior, infielder

Zach Lane, Harford Tech, sophomore, infielder

KJ Miller, Aberdeen, senior, infielder

Max Swart, Harford Tech, senior, infielder 

Keith Cochran, C. Milton Wright, senior, outfielder

Tucker Deil, North Harford, junior, outfielder

Dyllon Zachry-Nance, Havre de Grace, senior, outfielder

Tre McInnes, Patterson Mill, sophomore, catcher

Tyler Kenney, Aberdeen, senior, pitcher

Collin Kight, North Harford, senior, pitcher

Noah Thomas, Patterson Mill, junior, pitcher

Jackson Armiger, North Harford, junior, utility

Brennan Deremeik, Bel Air, senior, utility

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