Top Ten reasons Old Mill, Arundel win

NEIGHBORS

May 13, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

Two teams seem to qualify for the playoffs nearly every high school baseball season.

With regards to David Letterman, here is the Top Ten list of reasons Arundel and Old Mill almost always make the playoffs, this year being no different.

The Top Ten reasons that distinguish the Wildcats and Patriots from the rest of the county and define their success:

1) Pride in their program. The players don't hope to be in the playoffs. They expect to be there, and the personnel from top to bottom seem to have that swagger characteristic of champions.

2) Coaches -- Arundel's Bernie Walter and Old Mill's Mel Montgomery -- who instill confidence, motivate and communicate winning attitude that tells the players they want to win as badly as they do. It's never, "oh, well," but rather "why not."

3) Work ethic -- they always play hard no matter what the situation or score. They practice the way they play -- hard and with a purpose.

4) They don't draw their infields up when holding the lead to cut off a run and have ground balls that should be outs go through and create big innings for the other team.

5) They don't pull up the corners (first and third) just because a runner is on third unless it's the tying or winning run late in the game. They are willing to give up a run to prevent a big inning. They are almost always in the proper defense.

6) They do the little things it takes to win, such as hitting the ball to the right side to move the runner from second to third with no outs; good turns at first base ready to take the extra base; getting down sacrifice bunts and actually wanting to do it; hitting the cutoff man and rarely throwing to the wrong base.

7) There is life on their benches and in the field with the guys who are not playing staying mentally in the game and not off sulking because they are sitting. It's called being a team.

8) They have polished players who know how to play the game because they play a lot of summer baseball, giving up Ocean City parties.

9) When they make a bad play they keep their heads up and come back with a good play. It's called being a winner, and Arundel and Old Mill players exude such poise and composure.

10) Neither accepts losing. In fact, they are bad losers (though not disrespectful) to the point that only winning is accepted.

Second-ranked Arundel and No. 4 Old Mill begin play with No. 12 Severna Park and either North County or Chesapeake in the 4A East Region playoffs a week from today.

It was obvious early on that Arundel and Old Mill were going to be there again in the playoffs, but the other two spots have been up for grabs among the other three teams and Glen Burnie until the Gophers' collapse this week.

Reasons for Severna Park, Chesapeake and North County being questionable are very simple. Severna Park did not play four crucial games with Arundel and Old Mill (two each) until the last two weeks.

Severna Park was 2-0 against North County; North County was 2-0 against Chesapeake, and Chesapeake was 2-0 against Severna Park.

Ryan leads Bruins in 3A

Sean Ryan has Broadneck (13-5) primed for a serious run at the Class 3A East Region baseball title. Ryan won his county-leading eighth game (8-2) on Monday by 5-1 over Northeast, striking out 12 and giving up five hits.

The 6-foot-7 right-hander gives coach Mark Stover's Bruins a legitimate shot at making the Final Four.

Scholarships for Terps

Anne Arundel countians who attended the University of Maryland might be interested to know that the Terps have a scholarship drive under way and can get involved by spending a fun night out.

"Tour de Terp is coming to Art Donovan's Baltimore Valley Country Club and it's a chance to spend the evening with Gary Williams [basketball coach] and Mark Duffner [football coach]," said Linthicum resident Barbara Walter, who graduated from Maryland along with her husband, Bernie, the Arundel baseball coach.

"Proceeds from the Tour de Terp go to the school's athletic fund."

The Tour de Terp at Valley Country Club is set for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 25. For more information, call Walter at (410) 859-0151.

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