Defense, versatile offense propel Oakland Mills to share of title

HOWARD SPORTS

May 11, 1994|By RICK BELZ

Centennial, Glenelg and Oakland Mills all won their final league games Friday to produce the first three-way tie for the county boys lacrosse championship. All are 5-1 in league play.

The title is especially noteworthy for Oakland Mills because it was that school's first.

The No. 12 Scorpions (11-2) start four seniors after graduating eight starters from last season's regional championship team that went 13-4.

Defense is the team's trademark. It has allowed only 5.3 goals per game and is led by defensemen Chris Sheldon, John Campbell, Lang Wethington and first-year sophomore goalkeeper Jason Berlin, who has 132 saves on 191 shots.

Offensively, a different attackman has stepped up every time opposing teams have focused upon the Scorpions' leading scorer.

When teams focused on Iggy Levelev (22 goals, 18 assists), Chris Costantino (37, 4) stepped up; when Costantino became the target, Dan Hart (22, 20) stepped up. And sophomore midfielder Matt Rollman (15, 8) also has contributed significantly.

The Scorpions also have several fine set-up men who include Sam Smith (2, 13), Jeff Long (4, 10), Matt Cartwright (1, 10) and Brandon Lee (10, 5).

Lee, Rollman and Smith, all underclassmen, have done a decent job on faceoffs.

Oakland Mills has the advantage of having four coaches so it is able to give players a lot of individual attention. Head coach Phil Stephenson handles goalkeeping and conditioning; Ken Hovet and Ken Plasse coach offense; Tom O'Grady coaches defense.

Oakland Mills is known for its comeback style, which it showed Friday when it fell behind Atholton 5-2 at halftime. The Scorpions rallied to win, 11-7.

The Scorpions pride themselves on conditioning -- a factor they believe contributes to their second-half rallies.

Oakland Mills is top-seeded in the regional playoffs and will play Liberty in the first round Friday. Oakland Mills beat Liberty in triple overtime earlier this season.

Atholton playoff-bound

Although the Atholton Raiders didn't share the county title, they are happy to be going to the boys lacrosse playoffs for the first time since 1983.

Atholton (6-5, 2-4) lost four games to teams which have at some time been ranked in The Baltimore Sun's Top 15 -- Glenelg, Oakland Mills, Centennial and Mount Hebron.

The Raiders put together one impressive four-game winning streak against Liberty, Howard, Hammond and South Carroll. They are third-seeded and will play second-seeded Glenelg Friday.

Hudson to Ohio

Ohio University baseball coach Joe Carbone received Centennial pitcher Dave Hudson's signed letter of intent Friday making Hudson's acceptance official.

Hudson (7-1) is an Ohio native, and Ohio University was always a top choice for him.

The school has a proud baseball tradition. Philadelphia Phillies baseball great Mike Schmidt played shortstop at Ohio at the same time Carbone was the team's second baseman.

Ohio is 27-13 this season and has won 13 of its last 14 games. It was a conference champ in 1991. It plays in the Mid-Atlantic Conference.

Carbone said Hudson was signed by his assistant coach based on Hudson's performance at the Florida State Baseball Camp.

.` "We also liked him as a person

and he's a good student," Carbone said. "Our team has a GPA of 3.0."

Infielders needed

The Dayton Raiders' 18-and-under baseball team has openings for middle infielders.

For more information, call Doug Hudson at (410) 465-2480 or Ed Hylock at (410) 461-8024. Tryouts will be Sunday at 4 p.m. at Buckshot Field in Dayton.

Good numbers

Centennial has an 0.88 team ERA and is batting .318. The Eagles' infield has made just eight errors.

Those numbers add up to a 10-0 league record for the No. 9 Eagles.

Individual batting statistics are: Curtis Mitchell (17-for-39) .436; Dave Hudson (17-for-40) .425; Dan Christine (17-for-44) .386; Brian Dowell (16-for-46) .348; Kurt Weitzel (18-for-53) .340; Joe Mellendick (14-for-45) .311; Jason Babcock (13-for-47) .277.

Babcock leads with 20 RBI and is batting .444 with men in scoring position.

The Eagles hit five home runs last week, including two by Kevin O'Connor and one apiece by Mellendick, Dowell and Babcock.

Save leader

Brian Dunn (Mount St. Joe) of Ellicott City leads the University of Maryland baseball team in saves with seven.

The sophomore right-hander has struck out 26 and walked six in 22 1/3 innings. His won-loss record is 1-1.

Cold bats

"Frozen," Hammond baseball coach Bob Maxey replied when asked if his team had cold bats last week.

Hammond did not score a run and managed just five hits in three games.

Centennial's Kurt Weitzel pitched four-hit and one-hit shutouts against the Bears, whose hitting has been weak for most of the season. Atholton's Shane Beaver no-hit Hammond.

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