Walter's legend grows Bareford builds resume Co-Coaches of the Year 1993 ALL-METRO BASEBALL TEAM

June 12, 1993|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff Writer

Both graduates of the University of Maryland, one continued a rich tradition while the other established a tradition.

Arundel's Bernie Walter and Lansdowne's Ron Bareford share honors as 1993 Baltimore Sun All-Metro Baseball Co-Coaches of the Year after leading their teams to state championships this spring.

Walter led his top-ranked Wildcats (21-1) to the Class 4A championship, a state record sixth title and national attention. Bareford led his Vikings to the state 3A title, giving the Baltimore County school its first state championship in any sport.

Arundel earned the No. 1 ranking in The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, Capital-Gazette and State Baseball Coaches Poll locally and No. 1 in the country in the Easton National Poll published by Collegiate Baseball.

The Wildcats also were ranked No. 3 by Baseball America and No. 11 in the USA Today Super 25.

"This was the best defensive team [.966 team fielding percentage and 20 double plays] we've had and the best slugging team throughout the lineup," said Walter.

In 20 years at Arundel, Walter's teams have gone 323-89 with state titles in 1976 (22-1), 1977 (20-3), 1981 (19-6), 1987 (21-3), 1991 (20-4) and this spring. Arundel was a state runner-up in 1979 (21-1), missing a perfect season in the final game.

His teams have produced a host of professional players, most notably left-handed pitcher Denny Neagle of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Walter, a Brooklyn Park High graduate, is also the only Maryland coach to win a world title. In 1988 he led the USA Junior National Team in Sydney, Australia to a first-time conquest of Cuba and the World Championship.

Bareford hasn't won as many titles in his 16 years as Lansdowne coach, but he has a moment he cherishes as much as any.

In last year's state 3A final, Lansdowne fell to Thomas Johnson of Frederick, 3-1, but this spring the Vikings (18-3) blanked Centennial, 3-0, in the final.

Right-hander Randy Musgrove, an All-Metro outfielder, pitched a three-hitter and was 3-for-3 with a double and run scored in the state championship, capping a determined effort by a strong senior nucleus.

"This team was pretty well focused on getting back [to state final] and believed they could win it," said Bareford, a graduate of Catonsville High.

"It was a team with great skills, good pitching and defense, so it became a matter of getting the key hits."

The seniors were 17-0 at the JV level three years ago under Chris Cheswick while the varsity went 6-10. In 1992 (17-5), the Vikings just missed fulfilling a goal.

Among the top returning seniors from last year were pitchers Josh Benson and Brian Sullivan, catcher Rob Parsons and shortstop Danny Muller.

Bareford made two crucial moves that solidified the middle infield. He moved Muller from second to shortstop, and JV shortstop Andy Stocksdale took over at second.

"When I first saw the two of them working there in the spring, I knew we were going to be just fine," said Bareford, who considers himself a low-key coach.

"It's a team I won't ever forget."

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