W. Md. baseball team has competitive edge

March 11, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

Western Maryland baseball coach Dave Seibert says it's just a matter of rising to the occasion.

The Green Terrors have a handful of veterans -- 16 returning lettermen in all -- led by senior center fielder Gary Carter and junior shortstop Jerry Resh.

Seibert has a deep pitching staff that won't overwhelm -- but it can throw strikes and get people out -- an offense that will score some runs and a reliable defense.

"I anticipate us being very competitive. We have no glaring weaknesses," said the 14-year coach.

A big key is how the Green Terrors come out of their season-opening, six-game stint in Cocoa, Fla., which begins Sunday with games against Rutgers-Newark and Clark.

The players have to pay their own way and five of Seibert's 12 pitchers won't be making the trip -- including junior right-hander Brett Kahler and sophomore lefty Matt Marchese, his top two starters.

"One concern is how we come back from Florida, including from a win-loss standpoint," Seibert said. "We have some good arms going, but just not a lot going. We have to come out of Florida with some positive things to look at."

Coming back from Florida with a .500 or better record would be a big boost to the Green Terrors with Kahler and Marchese waiting in the wings. Kahler was 2-2 last year as a sophomore with one save, and Marchese completed three of his four starts in 1993 in going 2-2.

"Both are big competitors who aren't overpowering but throw strikes and keep the ball down," Seibert said. "They're both still young, too, and give us a good righty-lefty combination for doubleheaders."

The hardest thrower on the squad is senior Chuck McLean (South Carroll). A problem in the past for the right-hander has been control. In just under 20 innings pitched last season, he walked 23 batters. Seibert will use him as a starter and in a closer's role.

"Nobody has hit him in three years. He only hurts himself by walking people. He'll throw two good innings and then give up four walks," Seibert said.

"He played over the summer and is throwing the ball real well. We'reworking on his location and charting his pitches and he's looking good. We could use a big year from him."

Also returning to the pitching staff are sophomores Clay McAllister and Peter Korzenewski. Freshman Tim D'Angelo also will see some work as a starter and in long relief.

Carter (.333 bating average, 15 RBIs) and Resh (.392, 16 RBIs) were Middle Atlantic Conference all-stars last year and could have the same kind of success with the Green Terrors competing in the newly formed Centennial Conference.

Joining Resh in the middle of the infield is junior Rob Lauver (.288) at second. Sophomore Brian Van Deusen is back at first, and Seibert has senior Tony Brust, a utility infielder and designated hitter last season, starting at third.

Sophomore Dave Kurtz returns at catcher, and senior Bob LePage will do most of the designated hitting.

Junior outfielders Eric Landseadel and John Freitas will flank Carter in left and right, respectively.

"We'll be fine scoring runs and the defense should be solid with our veteran lineup," Seibert said. "I'm big on upperclassmen and looking for the seniors and juniors to carry the load initially and then we may have some freshmen step up."

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