Owings Mills fills up baseball's win column

May 05, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Owings Mills' baseball team may be the area's most improved.

After going 1-15 last year, coach Randy Pentz and the Eagles (8-3) can win their school-record ninth game today against Sparrows Point.

"We haven't won that many since I've been here," said ninth-year athletic director Ray Groszkowski.

The team batting average is .312, and the pitching is led by right-handers Paul Beccio (4-2) and Pat Eagan (2-1). Eagan won six games on junior varsity and has 23 strikeouts in 23 innings.

The Eagles went 6-14 and won the school's first playoff game, 1-0, over Poolesville two years ago -- Pentz's first season -- before losing to eventual state champion Brunswick.

"A lot has to do with kids playing summer ball," said Pentz, who has 10 of 12 players with summer-league experience. "We have six seniors, five juniors and a sophomore. Senior leadership is outstanding."

Johnson goes north

Grant Johnson, Owings Mills' two-time All-American and three-time state champion wrestler (171 pounds), signed Monday to attend Boston University on a full scholarship.

Citing the school's academic reputation and its 14 championships in the New England Conference, Johnson, a B student who scored 990 on his Scholastic Assessment Test, turned down offers from such top programs as West Virginia, Iowa State, Lock Haven, Clarion, North Carolina, Clemson and Penn State.

The Baltimore Sun's 1992-93 Wrestler of the Year, he is touted as a future Olympian.

"A lot of people are going to wonder why I didn't pick a top-five program, but if I keep working hard, whatever was going to happen will happen there," said Johnson, a three-time All-Metro pick who had a 131-6 career record in high school (44-1 with 30 pins this year).

The focal LaPointe

Mount St. Joseph attackman Maury LaPointe entered the week with an area-leading 19 goals and 31 assists for the No. 8 Gaels.

"Defenses have double-, triple- and quadruple-teamed him," said Gaels coach Drew Bowden. "But he still does it."

LaPointe, who scored 18 goals and 18 assists as a midfielder last year, is considering Loyola, Maryland, Towson and Hofstra.

Last fall, LaPointe's mother, Beatrice, 49, died of cancer.

"It took awhile to get refocused on life again, but she wanted me to go on," said LaPointe, a second-team all-county soccer player who led the Gaels to a 14-4-1 record as an example to his younger brother, Michael, 16. "She always supported me at games, and I'm always thinking about her."

Twin towers

The third and fourth batters for Mount St. Joseph's fourth-ranked baseball team pack a powerful one-two punch.

Right fielder Dominic Steward, 5 feet 9, 205 pounds, and first baseman Buddy Edmond, 6-2, 240 pounds, are the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, respectively, and entered the week with identical offensive statistics: .467 batting average, 21 hits and four home runs.

Edmond added his fifth home run -- a bases-empty shot for his 21st RBI -- in Monday's loss to No. 3 McDonogh.

Rules of the court

Concern about improprieties in high school basketball prompted recent rule changes, said Buck Ward, rules interpreter for the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, which governs the Maryland Scholastic Association.

One rule change limits a coach to the bench for the remainder of the game after being called for a technical foul -- except during allowable situations.

"Too many coaches have too much to say," Ward said. "Too often, the coaches and their assistants were violating the coaching box."

A coach can stand only when reacting to a good play, calling timeout or approaching the scorer's table for a correctable error, Ward said.

Players and assistants are not supposed to stand.

In another move, a player occupying a marked space on a foul shot may move upon release but shall not break the plane of the foul line until the ball hits the ring or backboard.

Also, a coach or team captain may designate the free-throw shooter in a technical foul situation, and a bleeding player must leave the game until the clock starts and then stops again.

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