The three county teams competing in the Continental Amateur BaseballAssociation 18-and-under World Series don't have it as easy as some might think.
Sure, the Anne Arundel All-Stars, Linthicum-Ferndale Post 289 and the Linthicum-Ferndale Raiders didn't have to travel as far as the representatives of Korea, Puerto Rico, Michigan and California. But the American Legion regular season doesn't stop for the locals, and many players are engaging in three or four games a day.
The effects of the brutal scheduling aren't always apparent, however.
"The kids on our team just love playing baseball," said All-Stars co-manager Will Dominguez. "They won't say anything if they're tired, and when they win a ball game, their emotion overcomes the fatigue."
Yesterday, at Glen Burnie's Saw Mill Creek Park, a six-run sixth inning propelled Anne Arundel over New Jersey, 8-1, in the round-robin tournament.
The All-Stars -- a pool of 37 county American Legion players from Severna Park 276, Severn 175, Annapolis 7 and Mayo289 -- improved their record to 2-3 in the week-long event. The visitors fell to 2-3.
Albert Lee -- a senior at South River High -- proved the catalyst for the All-Stars, going 2-for-2 with two stolen bases and two runs scored after replacing Broadneck senior Larry Krzyzaniak at the designated hitter's spot in the fifth inning.
Lee's first single, in the fifth,ruined the no-hit bid of New Jersey pitcher Kevin White.
The Anne Arundel coaches "let me run whenever I wanted to," said Lee. "I didn't mind coming off the bench at all. I'm justhaving fun out here playing against some great competition."
"He definitely has some speed," Dominguez said. "He got out there and made things happen for us, which is what we really needed at that point.He seems to be a first-pitch hitter, and he really nailed the ball today."
Derrick Dolch (Northeast) began the pivotal sixth inning with a single. Rich Spiegel, Dolch's teammate at Northeast, was hit by a pitch, and Lee ripped his second single to score Dolch.
Lee stole third after pinch-runner Glenn Shiring was tagged out on Nick Hynson's grounder, and then Wes Zimmerman (Severna Park) walked to load the bases.
An error by New Jersey second baseman Doug Drevey allowedLee and Hynson to score, and Craig Everett (Northeast) doubled inZimmerman.
Mark Budzinski (Severna Park), bound for the University ofRichmond, drove in Everett and Barnett to end the All-Stars' scoring.
In the fifth inning, Zimmerman had singled in Lee, and Everett drove in pinch-runner Tim Collins (Broadneck) with a ground out.
New Jersey picked up its run in the sixth on a Greg Davidson single that scored Joe Fudala.
New Jersey put runners on first and third with no outs in the second, but Hynson started a double play that killedthe rally.
Severna Park senior Rob McCandless picked up the win, scattering four hits and striking out two in six innings.
Broadneck graduate Johnny Williams pitched the seventh, striking out one and picking off New Jersey base runner Bruce Nolte.
"This was a good win for us," said Dominguez, "but we'll have to go at least 5-3 to make it to (Saturday's double-elimination) championship round."