Some 30 players showed up yesterday at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold hoping to be chosen for the Anne Arundel County Sun all-star baseball team in the 12th Annual Oriolelanders' All-Star Game, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.
The team of Anne Arundel County high school and junior college players ultimately chosen will play the Oriolelanders, a club of players fromthe mid-Atlantic region selected by Baltimore Orioles' scouting supervisor, Jim Gilbert.
The coaching staff of Bill Nevin of the Glen Burnie Patriots, TutO'Hara of Arundel High and the Mayo Juniors, Clayton Jacobson of thecommunity college and yours truly of the Little Orioles will announce Friday in the Anne Arundel County Sun those who have been invited back for a second workout.
Those chosen will compete with several others who were unable to make yesterday's initial workout but had legitimate excuses. The second workout will start at 10 a.m. Sept. 1 at Anne Arundel Community College.
Pitching dominated the first workout, with AACC flame-thrower, Scott Hatfield, especially impressive. Other pitchers vying for a spot on the Suns' staff this year include: All-County hurlers, Charlie Buckheit of Northeast and Zach Collins ofArundel; second team All-County lefty Jim Simms of Old Mill; and theyoungest ever to tryout in 13-year-old North County freshman Mike Wooden.
Buckheit pitched Northeast to the State Class B Championshipand No. 1 national ranking in Collegiate Baseball. The righthander was 11-0 for the 24-0 Eagles and holds the county record for career wins (30). He will attend Anne Arundel Community College this fall, along with the lefty Simms who was 7-2 at Old Mill this past spring.
Collins, another lefty, was 8-1 for State 4A Champion Arundel.
Wooden was 10-4 with an ERA of 1.91, and 169 strikeouts in 88 innings this summer for the Little Orioles 13-and-under team. In the one inninghe pitched yesterday, he gave up a pop fly single to left that fell between three guys and retired the other three batters he faced.
The youngest player ever out for the team also played third base and shortstop flawlessly.
Some 15 pitchers in all paraded to the mound in the tryout with two high school juniors sparkling -- Glen Burnie southpaw Ed Nalley and Broadneck righthander Chris Sutch. Chris is theyounger brother of Oakland Athletics' minor-leaguer, Rick Sutch.
The County Sun Stars vs. Oriolelanders will be the first of two All-Star games Sept. 8. A second game pitting the county 30-and-over baseball league stars and the 18-year-old Chesapeake Independent League stars is tentatively set for 5 p.m.
It's tentatively set because theChesapeake League is trying to work out a playoff scheduling conflict in order to play. League spokesman, Larry Brogden, the head baseball coach at Annapolis High, says the Chesapeake group wants to guarantee that they can "send a representative team" to the game.
Unfortunately, the Chesapeake Stars didn't get to play the second game last year against a combined Anne Arundel-Oriolelanders squad because rainwashed out the first game after four innings in what was the grand opening of Cannon Stadium.
"We hope to work something out so we canplay," said Brogden. "Several teams in our league are very interested, but some others are concerned about sending a representative team.
"Hopefully, with it being the second game, we can play our leagueplayoffs earlier that day and make it."
The Chesapeake League will make a decision this week, Brogden said. If they're unable to play,the 30-and-over stars then will play a combined Oriolelanders/Anne Arundel Team, to be selected by both coaching staffs and the scouts onhand.
Dave Conrad of the 30-and-over League said his league is "anxious to play and show off our best players, and we hope we get to play the Chesapeake Independent League."
Both leagues, the Chesapeake and 30-and-over, have a lot of familiar names -- both former All-County stars and a host of ex-pros.
The feature game has put approximately 80 players on the field who have been drafted or signed by pro baseball clubs. The first 11 years have seen the likes of BaltimoreOrioles' pitcher, Dave Johnson, who was named Outstanding Pitcher inthe very first game in 1980.
Of the 10 Anne Arundel County products now playing in the minor leagues, nine of them have played in the Oriolelanders' game at one time or another, including former Annapolis/Anne Arundel Community College star Rick Forney, who pitched for the local Suns last September.
Forney was drafted and signed by Gilbert this past spring as a righthand pitcher and is currently 7-0 for the Orioles' rookie team in Sarasota, Fla. Forney has struck out 49, while walking only nine in nearly 60 innings for Sarasota.
Pitching one inning, Forney contributed to the Suns 4-1 victory that ended the Oriolelanders' hex at six straight wins. The Oriolelanders lead the series, 7-4.