The first cut has been made, and the final tryout for the Anne Arundel County Sun All-Star baseball team is set for Sunday at Anne Arundel Community College.
The team will meet the Oriolelanders in the 12th annual All-Star Game at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.
Baltimore Orioles' scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert will select a team from mid-Atlantic area schools to form the Oriolelanders.
In the first 11 years of this sandlot showcase, just under 100 players who have appeared in the game have been drafted or signed by a big-league club.
Coaches Bill Nevin, Tut O'Hara, Clayton Jacobson and myself gave our input to pare down the local roster to 23 players. Thoseinvited back should report to Anne Arundel Community College Sunday and be ready to start the final tryout at 10 a.m. The session will beover by noon.
A handful of players not out last week but who called with acceptable excuses will join the 23 invited back. Sunday's roster will be cut down to about 20 players and will be announced in Tuesday's Anne Arundel County Sun.
Also, on Tuesday the opponent forthe Chesapeake 30 and Over League All-Stars will be announced. The 30 and Over Stars are scheduled to play following the Oriolelanders game at 5 p.m. against the Chesapeake Independent League All-Stars.
Chesapeake Independent President Larry Brogden of the Dorsey Stars will confirm his league's participation by this weekend. Brogden was concerned about sending the best representative team and has been checking with league teams to see if a scheduling conflict can be worked out.
"We've got our playoffs that weekend, but hopefully we can work it out because we really want to play those guys," said Brogden.
If Brogden's crew can't play, the scouts and coaches on hand will select a combined all-star team from the Suns and Oriolelanders.
Pitching is going to be the strength of this year's Arundel Suns' team, and a parade of 15 hurlers gave it their best in last week's tryout. That list has been reduced to nine for this Sunday's final workout.
The players invited back are:
* Pitchers: Scott Hatfield (Glen Burnie, AACC); Dwayne Hoyt (Broadneck, AACC); Charlie Buckheit (Northeast, AACC); Jim Simms (Old Mill, AACC); Zach Collins (Arundel); Ed Nalley (Glen Burnie); Chris Sutch (Broadneck); Brian Rolocut (Arundel) and Mike Wooden (North County).
* Catchers: J. P. Noon and Mike Mahoney (Arundel).
* Infielders: Ryan Dempsey (Old Mill); Jeff Paxson (Spalding); B. J. Jones (Old Mill); Rob Martin (Meade); George Canceran (Chesapeake, AACC); Jason Siemer (Chesapeake).
* Outfielders:Bobby Bush and Jeff Mengel (Mount St. Joseph); Ian Taylor (Meade); Paul McKenzie (Chesapeake, AACC); Todd Locklear (Glen Burnie) and Brandon Agamennone (Arundel).
The pitching staff invited back featuresthree All-County pitchers from this past season in Buckheit, Collinsand Simms; two top Anne Arundel Community College pitchers in Hatfield and Hoyt, who will be joined this year by Buckheit and Simms; one of the hardest-throwing returning senior right-handers in the metro area in Rolocut; and three potential high school stars of the future in juniors Nalley and Sutch and freshman Wooden, who at 13 is the youngest to ever try out.
Wooden also is working in the infield at third base and shortstop, and Nevin said, "the kid held his own against the older players in the first workout and deserves another look. No,you wouldn't know he was 13 watching him play."
Hatfield, a 6-foot-4 and 210-pound right-hander, was on last year's Suns' roster. He is the hardest thrower out for the team, and his Anne Arundel teammate, Hoyt, is also outstanding and seasoned.
"I don't see anybody hitting Hatfield," said Nevin.
Hatfield could be another Rick Forney,who is currently 7-0 for the Orioles' rookie team in Sarasota, Fla. Forney pitched in last year's game against the Oriolelanders, had a great spring for Jacobson's Pioneers of Anne Arundel and signed with the Birds.
Forney signed after his second year at Anne Arundel, andHatfield is about to start his second.
Buckheit and Collins both pitched their high school teams to a state title last spring. Collinsis one of three lefties still on the staff, the others being Simms and Nalley.
Simms was 7-2 at Old Mill and pitched for the county legion champion Mayo Post No. 226 team this summer along with Collins and Rolocut.
Sutch and Nalley might emerge as the top two right/left junior pitchers in the county next spring. The 11th-graders pitchedfor Nevin's Glen Burnie Patriots, who finished fourth in the Continental Amateur Baseball Association 16 and Under World Series in Laredo, Texas, this summer.
Behind the plate is quite a contrast in Noonand Mahoney. Mahoney caught for this year's Arundel High state champion and the Mayo Legion county champ and will be a senior this year. Noon is an imposing 6-foot-2, 210-pound sophomore who caught for O'Hara's county JV champion Arundel team and for the Mayo Juniors.