Eight members of the Terrapins baseball team, including third baseman K.J. Hockaday and outfielder Greg Olenski, will not return to the program next season, an individual with knowledge of the situation said yesterday.
Outfielders Matt Bosse and Kyle Moore, left-handers Sam Carmack, Cam Hatch and Chase Tokunaga, and catcher Alex Ramsay have also left the team to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
The individual said the players made their decisions because they “didn’t fit the mold” of the small-ball, up-tempo and defensive-oriented style coach John Szefc brought to the program last season. Szefc replaced former coach Erik Bakich, who took the head-coaching job at Michigan in June 2012 and had recruited most of the eight players to the Terps.
Hockaday will attend Harford Community College in Bel Air and hopes to be drafted next summer. Olenski will transfer to Delaware and said he has applied for a waiver to be eligible to play next season.
“Things just didn’t work out,” Olenski said last night at the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game in Bethesda. “But you know, one door closes another door opens, so we’ll see what happens.”
Each player on the roster, including the eight who ultimately decided to leave the team, met with the coaching staff at the end of May to discuss where they stood with the squad, the individual said. After those meetings, six players opted to leave the squad to pursue other options.
Olenski and Moore both decided to leave the team about a week ago, the individual said. Olenski was initially considering staying with the Terps but ultimately realized other options would provide more opportunities for playing time and development. Moore’s decision to leave was based largely on undisclosed personal reasons.
Hockaday and Olenski both played in the Ripken League All-Star Game last night, and Olenski won a pregame home run derby. Hockaday, a 14th-round Baltimore Orioles draft pick in 2011, is batting a league-high .386 for Youse’s Orioles, while Olenski ranks second in both home runs (5) and RBIs (23) for the D.C. Grays.
Hockaday started all 56 games as a freshman in 2012 and batted .305 for Bakich. This spring, he batted .286 in 36 games. He was a highly touted recruit out of Bel Air’s John Carroll School, where he broke New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association home run record.
In late April, Hockaday was suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules. The Joppa native was reinstated two weeks later but never returned to his freshman form. The individual said the suspension played a major role in Hockaday’s decision to not stay on the squad.
“I’ll train a bunch and try and work my way back to just level ground and try to get drafted,” Hockaday said last night.
Bosse was a local product out of Baltimore’s Calvert Hall College High School, where he was known for his power, hitting a school-record 16 home runs his senior season. He flashed that power his freshman season with three long balls in 34 games (12 starts), but his playing time decreased under Szefc — he played in only 17 games in 2013.
Ramsay was a key part of Bakich’s 2010 recruiting class that Baseball America ranked No. 25 nationally. He and second baseman Kyle Convissar both came out of Severna Park as the top two recruits in the state.
The Terps received some good news Friday, though, when center fielder Charlie White and right-hander Jake Stinnett — projected to be the team’s top starter next spring — passed on professional careers to return to the team.
Senior staff writer Aaron Kasinitz contributed to this report.