Is there any doubt who plays the best high school baseball in the metro area?
Big league scouts like Jim Gilbert of the Orioles and Walter Youse of the Milwaukee Brewers, who have coached high school-ageteams, flat out give the nod to Anne Arundel County. They say the caliber of baseball here is better than anywhere else.
After what happened this weekend, who can disagree?
Inconsistent Glen Burnie (5-6) went against highly touted Mount St. Joseph thisweekend, embarrassed the host Gaels and won the St. Joe Easter Tournament. The Gophers, who lost three in a row in county play, unleasheda 20-hit attack to humble The Baltimore Sun polls' second-ranked Gaels, 15-2.
Glen Burnie was one of three county baseball teams to win holiday tournaments over the weekend. Top-ranked Severna Park (10-0) won the Walkersville Tournament in Frederick, while fourth-ranked Arundel (8-4) copped the Salisbury Tournament on the Eastern Shore.
The Mount St. Joe game was no contest, as Glen Burnie erupted for four runs in the first inning and six more in the second. Robert Rogers, 4-for-5, homered, as did Jason Soistman, who finished with three hits.
Left-hander Tony Saunders, meanwhile, shackled the host team on one hit to even his record at 2-2.
Glen Burnie went on to take the tournament final over Harford County's Fallston (4-3), 13-5. Saunders, 8-for-8 in the doubleheader with seven RBI, doubled twice and knocked in three runs to support the six-hit pitching of Justin Slade.
With unranked Glen Burnie doing a number on the proud Mount, and unbeaten Severna Park blanking third-ranked Calvert Hall (7-3) a couple weeks ago, is there any doubt where the best baseball can be found?
Severna Park lived up to its top billing and continued to do whatever takes to win by taking a pair of one-run games in Walkersville. Coach Jim Pitt's Falcons nipped Hedgeville (W.Va.) on Friday, 1-0, and host Walkersville Saturday, 2-1, to take the title.
Junior John Ritter was brilliant Friday, spinning a three-hit shutout while striking out four and not allowing a runner beyond second base. It was theright-hander's fourth win of the season.
Falcons catcher John Milisitz doubled in the fifth inning, then scored on a base hit by junior Roy Dietrich to give Ritter all support he needed.
Senior right-hander Rob McCandless notched win No. 6 Saturday on a two-hitter against the host team. The Falcons' ace singled in Steve Neuberger in thefirst inning; Mike Fleming's sacrifice fly in the second inning scored Brad Tippin with the second run.
Severna Park travels to South River (6-6) on Wednesday and is home against Chesapeake (5-6) on Friday. South River split Friday in the Cambridge Tournament, losing to Easton, 4-3, in the first game, then out-slugging St. Michael's, 8-6, in the consolation.
Chesapeake dropped a pair in the Walkersville Tournament, 8-2 to the host team and 5-3 to Hedgeville.
Just a couple days after coach Bernie Walter called them "the worst team we've ever had at Arundel High School," the Wildcats (8-4) swept the Salisbury Tournament, 8-6 over James M. Bennett and 8-1 over Nandua of Delaware.
After his 'Cats blew a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventhand lost, 3-2, to arch-rival Old Mill on Wednesday, Walter suggestedto his staff that they call up the jayvee to finish the season. Walter's club took the remarks to heart. Sophomore Brandon Agamennone twirled a two-hitter in the title win over Nandua, and the Wildcats, guilty of shoddy defense in recent games, did not commit an error in thefinal.
Spalding (6-3) was nipped by sixth-ranked Northeast (7-4),8-7, in the latter's Easter Tournament in Pasadena. The Northeast championship game was rained out.
In boys lacrosse, North County won its own holiday invitational by exploding for 22 goals in two games. The Knights (6-3) outscored DeMatha (7-3) of Hyattsville, 10-6,in the final Saturday after routing Cardinal Gibbons, 12-4, on Thursday.
DeMatha had been as high as No. 9 in the Washington Post rankings.
Junior attackman and tri-captain Greg Sabo notched seven goals and eight assists in three games (including Tuesday's 14-6 romp over Glen Burnie) this week for the Knights.
As expected, Severn (8-3) and St. Mary's (5-4) won their games over Class 4A public schools Broadneck (7-2) and Annapolis (2-7) in the third annual Al Laramore Tournament, played at Weems Whelan and Bates Junior High fields in Annapolis. The Laramore is a round-robin tournament with no real champion.
Severn opened the Laramore by dealing Broadneck its first loss of the season, 8-2, as Jason Wade scored three times. The Admirals ofcoach Rob White ripped Annapolis, 12-5, in the second game, with Jason Moran notching three goals and goalie Court Durling sparkling.
St. Mary's got four goals from Matt Clune to rout Annapolis, 13-5, and make it 23 in a row for the Saints over the Panthers, dating back to 1966.