McDonogh enjoying the view from the top Eagles are aiming to repeat in MSA A Baseball notebook

May 03, 1993|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff Writer

If you haven't noticed, the defending Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference champion McDonogh Eagles (10-2) are serving notice that they aren't about to give up their title.

McDonogh, young but experienced, can take a giant step toward that title with a victory over Mount St. Joseph this afternoon at McDonogh. The host Eagles are 9-1 in the MSA A Conference while Mount St. Joseph and Calvert Hall have two losses each.

The Eagles dealt the Hall a 6-1 loss a couple of weeks ago and routed the Gaels, 11-2, in a previous meeting. In addition to today's game, McDonogh gets Calvert Hall again in the last game of the season.

By finishing first the Eagles would gain home-field advantage for the four-team MSA playoffs.

Batting .386 as a team, McDonogh reeled off three wins last week, including a 3-0 victory over Loyola on Thursday behind senior ace Kenny Cloude's three-hitter. It was Cloude's second win of the week as he and the Eagles avenged an earlier 12-10 loss to the Dons.

A week ago yesterday, Cloude fired a one-hitter in a 5-2 win over Cardinal Gibbons.

According to coach Al Poklemba, Cloude, who has committed to the University of Richmond, was clocked at 88 mph by a Seattle Mariners scout last week.

"Kenny will be drafted, but will probably go to [college]," Poklemba said.

McDonogh upset Calvert Hall in the MSA A Conference playoffs last year, but won't have the luxury of catching anyone by surprise this spring.

With a host of returning, but young players led by Cloude, the 1992 Baltimore Sun Baseball Player of the Year, McDonogh started the year as the team to beat.

"Everybody has been out for us, but we've been playing tough," said Poklemba. "We're right where I had hoped we would be at this time of the season."

Cloude is the catalyst. He is hitting .323 with 11 RBI and pitches the big games -- he has wins over Calvert Hall, Mount St. Joseph and Loyola. Senior first baseman Andrew Osborne is batting .457 with a club-leading 16 RBI.

But the underclassmen are contributing more than their share.

Junior Ian Hendricks, son of Baltimore Orioles bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks, is playing excellent defense and is hitting .371 with two home runs and seven RBI.

Third baseman Guy Robertson (team-leading .467), catcher Jeremy Seipel (.444), pitcher/outfielder Richie Levin (.393, eight RBI) and shortstop Mike Ginsburg, who plays when Cloude pitches, have been key contributors.

"Most of them contributed last year as freshmen, so they know what it takes," said Poklemba. "With so many sophomores, next year should be really interesting, but right now we are concerned with this year."

Gaels take invitational

Mount St. Joseph took the Riverdale Baptist Invitational last weekend by defeating a couple of the top D.C.-area teams in St. Alban's, 7-4, and Gonzaga, 14-3. Dominic Steward and Buddy Edmond wielded the big bats for the Gaels with two homers apiece.

Emerging stars

* Patterson coach Roger Wrenn is impressed by Mervo's senior third baseman/pitcher Tony Green.

"We haven't gotten him out in four years," he said.

* Chesapeake-AA junior left-hander Jason White has emerged as one of the top pitchers in Anne Arundel County with a 3-1 record, one save and an impressive 0.74 ERA. White's pitching has kept the Cougars (9-2) in the thick of things in the Class 4A, Region IV race.

* Batting over .400 and handling pitchers with confidence, Arundel senior Mike Cozzone is catching for the first time in his high school career.

Talent search

Baltimore Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert visited Gambrills last week to watch Arundel first baseman/pitcher Tim Giles and said of the senior, who has committed to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro: "Tim looks good, has slimmed down and worked very hard to make himself a better runner."

Ex-Thomas Johnson of Frederick shortstop Ron Shankle, playing at defending national champion Essex Community College, is another player drawing the interest of scouts.

Alumni department

Former Glenelg pitcher Bill Davis won both ends of a doubleheader last week for St. Mary's College in Southern Maryland. Davis won the first game in relief over Shenandoah, 11-8, and tossed a six-hitter for a 3-2 victory in the nightcap.

Rhinehart Dallas, an All-Metro outfielder at Poly in the early '70s, is the JV baseball coach at Thomas Stone and also is running the Chaney Enterprises Babe Ruth 15-and-under team in Charles County.

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