Called the "best power hitter" in Arundel High's storied 20-year baseball history under coach Bernie Walter, Tim Giles capped a remarkable high school career by leading the Wildcats (21-1) to a record sixth state championship.
Giles, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, was a top hitter (cleanup batter and first baseman) and top pitcher in leading the Wildcats to perhaps their finest season.
For the first time in Walter's 20 years, Arundel is ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Easton National Poll in Collegiate Baseball, and No. 1 locally by The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, Capital-Gazette and the State Baseball Coaches polls.
Giles, The Baltimore Sun's 1993 All-Metro Baseball Player of the Year, had a lot to do with the lofty standing. Anne Arundel County's most feared hitter and the unanimous choice as the county's Player of the Year, Giles tied the county and state record for single-season batting average and set the county and state record for career average.
His .586 batting average matched the record set by Rob McCandless of Severna Park in 1991 and his two-year career average of .484 (75-for-155) eclipses the .482 set by Chuck Reid of Glen Burnie in 1988-89.
Giles also set a state record for slugging percentage at 1.029 with 41 hits, including seven doubles, three triples and six homers. His on-base percentage was .643, and he knocked in a county-leading 33 runs and scored 24.
"Without a doubt, Tim is clearly the best power hitter we've ever had here, and he made himself a great player through a tough mental approach and determination," said Walter. "Tim is one of those players who knows how to win games."
A booming home run over the left-center-field fence in the bottom of the ninth off Chesapeake's All-County left-hander Jason White enabled the Wildcats to advance to the Class 4A, Region IV final.
Giles' homer lifted Arundel over Chesapeake, 1-0, and he went the distance on the mound for the win.
He came back in the state semis to two-hit Dulaney. In that game, he launched a 400-foot homer over the right-center-field fence at Joe Cannon Stadium and later hit the top of the fence near the same spot for a triple in a 4-1 victory.
As a pitcher, Giles was 9-1 with one save, a 1.73 ERA and 70 strikeouts, giving up only 40 hits and 12 walks. He was also perfect fielding his position in 125 chances, whether first base or on the mound.
His ability to rise to the occasion coupled with his physical talent earned him a full scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and first-team honors on the Mizuno All-America Team. He was drafted in the 43rd round by the Orioles.
"After we talked about his need to improve his running speed, he took the winter and worked really hard and did, in fact, improve immensely as a runner," said Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert, who coached Giles on the Oriolelanders fall team.
Gilbert, who is to meet with Giles and his family this weekend and discuss the possibility of his turning pro rather than going to school, was pleasantly surprised when he first saw Giles this spring.
"He looks great, lost about 10 pounds and his speed is much improved, as is his bat speed," said Gilbert.
Giles went from nearly 220 pounds to 205, and his speed in the 60-yard -- improved dramatically, from 7.6 to 7.0, making him a good prospect.
"I can thank Mr. Walter for my mental approach to the game," said Giles. "The mental aspects of the game that Mr. Walter gives us made us believe we could do whatever it took to win a state championship."
According to his parents and Walter, it's not likely that Giles will sign this weekend and instead turn his sights on college.
"Tim has got what it takes to succeed at the next level," said Walter.