Charlie Buckheit has looked at this game from both sides now, and hehasn't particularly enjoyed the view.
Nothing against the annual Anne Arundel County Sun-Oriolelanders all-star baseball game. He was honored to be chosen as a participant for the second consecutive year.
It's just that the Northeast graduate had to endure another lost afternoon yesterday -- and on a different team.
Buckheit was the starting -- and losing -- pitcher for the local Arundel Suns, who succumbed to the Oriolelanders, 3-1, at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.
The Oriolelanders, a collection of players from the Mid-Atlantic area assembled by Baltimore Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert, lead the series, 8-4.
Last year, the 6-foot-2 right-hander -- who will pitch for Anne Arundel Community College this spring -- took the loss as a starter for the Oriolelanders.
Perhaps the stadium is to blame. He's 0-4 there lifetime, including high school and American Legion games.
"Every time I pitch in this stadium, nothing goes right," he said, smiling.
The Oriolelanders jumped on Buckheit for two first-inning runs on a Mike Martin single and a long home run to leftby New Jersey native Joe Higman.
Higman was selected the game's Most Valuable Player.
Buckheit recovered quickly and struck out left fielder Dan Olson on an off-speed pitch for the third out.
That would be Buckheit's only inning of work.
"My fastball wasn't moving at all, and my breaking pitch wasn't moving well, either," he said.
Oriolelanders starter Andy Weltlinger, a 16-year-old left-hander from Calvert Hall, went five innings and only allowed one run. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out eight in being named Outstanding Pitcher.
His replacement, southpaw Dan Reed, 16, of Gonzaga High in Washington, threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Joe Goodwin of South Carroll High got the last out, after the locals put runners on the corners.
The Suns outhit the Oriolelanders, 10-5, but "we couldn'tget a timely hit, that was the bottom line," said Suns coach Bill Nevin.
The Suns' Scott McClelland (Old Mill and Anne Arundel Community College) led off the bottom of the first with a single to center. Bob Bush grounded sharply to the right side, but Oriolelanders first baseman Jason Lucas made a diving stop and threw to Weltlinger covering first for the out.
Weltlinger retired the next two batters on afly ball and strikeout.
He didn't allow a run until the fifth, when Bush led off with a single and reserve first baseman Ryan Dempsey (Old Mill) rapped a two-out double to left.
"It was a straight fastball, which I was hoping for. But I was just looking for anything tohit," Dempsey, 15, said.
Higman had another chance to do some damage in the third with runners on the corners and one out. And he hit the ball hard again -- but on the ground right at third baseman Rob Martin (Meade), who turned the double play.
The Suns loaded the bases with two outs in the third after singles by McClelland and Bush and a walk to Jeff Mengel. But Ian Taylor (Meade), who lined a shot down the left-field line that barely hooked foul, struck out.
They mounted another threat in the fourth on a Mike Mahoney single and a dropped fly ball by Olson. But Weltlinger retired the next three batters, including McClelland on a pop-up to end the rally.
McClelland, 20, went 2-for-3 before being replaced by Jeff Vincent (Broadneck) in the fifth inning. Vincent, who also had two hits, made a couple nice plays at shortstop and received the Gold Glove award.
The Suns nearly tied the game in the sixth, but again failed to deliver the clutch hit.
Mike Wooden (North County), the youngest player ever to make the Suns' roster at age 13, reached first base with one out when hestruck out swinging, but the ball scooted past Oriolelanders catcher
After B. J. Jones struck out, Vincent doubled to right-center field, putting runners on second and third. But pitcher Jimmy Simms (Old Mill) bounced back to the mound.
Given another reprieve, the Oriolelanders pushed across an insurance run in theseventh on a single by Rob McCandless (Severna Park).
Suns right-hander Scott Hatfield (Glen Burnie and AACC) struck out three in two perfect innings of work. Simms, Zach Collins (Arundel), Andy Young (Meade), Ed Nalley (Glen Burnie), Brian Rolocut (Arundel) and Matt Weimer (Broadneck) also pitched scoreless innings.