Before We Celebrate, Let's Set Walter's Record Straight

SIDELINES

March 16, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

It's been reported in a couple of places that the career coaching record of Arundel's Bernie Walter is 298-98. That would put the Wildcatbaseball coach within two of the coveted 300-win milestone -- a milestone only Northeast coach Harry Lentz has reached.

Lentz, beginning his 25th season in Pasadena, is the all-time leader at 325-168. Walter is right behind, although not as close as one may think.

The 298-98 career record came up at Thursday's Anne Arundel County Coaches Association Bob Pascal Award presentations. Walter was one of five coaches honored for his contributions to interscholastic athletics.

At the presentation, Walter's career record at Arundel was mentioned as 298-98. Walter told me Friday he wasn't sure if the record was correct.

It's not.

A check of the Arundel book shows Walter with a record of either 291-89 or 285-82. The choice stems from the 1988 season, when a heart attack put Walter on the sidelines aftera 3-4 start.

Those were the only games Walter coached that spring, so if you count just those games, his career mark is 285-82. If youcount the team's overall record, including the last 13 games (6-7) coached by Nick Jauschnegg, Walter's career log stands at 291-89.

Which should it be?

"I don't know," Walter said when informed of myfindings Friday night. "It's not all that important, although it does show consistency and the fact that I have been fortunate enough to have great coaches with me the last 18 years. Three hundred wins alsomeans I've been around a long time."

Walter, who agrees with the new compilation, wasn't sure whether he should get credit for the additional wins in '88 or not. Neither was Lentz.

"Maybe he should get credit for the entire season, but I don't really know," the Eagles'boss said.

There really is no clear-cut rule to be found, but it seems to me the games actually coached should count -- which would put Walter at 285-82.

Walter said either way would be fine with him,since he doesn't think it's a big deal. But it is.

Any time a coach achieves 300 wins in any sport, it should get attention. It shows a great winning tradition, and there is no question Walter and the staff at Arundel have established that.

Third-base coach Jauschnegg can take a bow with Walter when the latter hits 300, because Jauschnegg has been with the program for 16 of Walter's 18 years.

During that time the Wildcats have won an unprecedented five state championships: 1976, '77, '81, '87 and '91. Last year's title came via an 8-1 win over Perry Hall of Baltimore County and completed a 20-4 campaign.

When he finally does reach 300, Walter will have reached that lofty peak much faster than Lentz, who got his 300th win in his 23rd season. Walter is entering his 19th.

Lentz has three state championships (1973, '75 and '91) and a video to his credit.

While we decidewhat Walter's record should be, Old Mill's Mel Montgomery, embarkingon his 14th season as head coach of the Patriots, is closing in on his own milestone. Montgomery is only four wins shy of 200 (196-72), including two state titles (1980 and '89).

Montgomery's Patriots have gone 68-16 over the last five seasons.

Walter was 233-61 over his first 13 seasons, Lentz 148-93.

Severna Park baseball coach JimPitt, beginning his 24th season (including the first four in Annapolis), has a career mark of 267-174. That makes Pitt third in career wins, behind Lentz and Walter.

One of the secrets to Walter's success at Arundel is the way he prepares his teams each year. You only need to look at the first three scrimmages he has scheduled for his Wildcats before they open up at Southern of Harwood on March 23.

Arundel has a scrimmage at state champion Paint Branch of Montgomery County tomorrow, then one at home at 3:45 Wednesday against Mount St. Joseph, a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference power

Paint Branch won the Class 3A state championship last spring behind sophomore sensation Ryan Lambert, a talented left-hander who finished 11-1 withan earned runned average of 0.71. He was selected first-team All-Metro by the Washington Post.

Lambert is someone Anne Arundel's best teams can expect to face in the postseason. Paint Branch has moved upto Class 4A and is expected to be the team to beat in Montgomery County.

St. Joe (20-5) was ranked No. 6 in The Sun's Final Top 10 for1991. The Gaels have one of the top programs in Maryland.

The final Wildcat scrimmage is set for 3:45 Friday at Thomas Stone in Charles County. Stone finished 23-1 last year, the only loss coming to Lambert and Paint Branch in the Class 3A championship game, 1-0.

No question that Walter finds out early who can play and who can't.

*

The Anne Arundel Community College baseball team of coach Clayton Jacobson is putting up some impressive numbers. The Pioneers swept Garrett Community College (0-4) Saturday by scores of 4-2 and 4-3, running their overall record to 6-0.

Pitching continues to be the Pioneers' forte, which has pitching coach Larry Shillenberg grinning from ear to ear.

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