Goldberg posts strong summer numbers

August 21, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

Mike Goldberg is on a baseball fast track.

A summer ago, he led one of the area's best 18-and-under teams, Gunther's Little Orioles, in nearly every offensive statistic.

This summer, the shortstop put together similar numbers and was a dominant relief pitcher.

Goldberg, 16, has two more years of eligibility with the Little Orioles and hopes to play for them next summer unless something better comes along.

"I'd like to get drafted, but if I did, I'm not certain that I'd sign," he said.

Goldberg's summer stats include a .364 batting average (56-for-154), 44 RBIs, 48 runs, 31 walks, 16 doubles, three triples and 10 homers. He led the team in RBIs and doubles.

The Little Orioles won the Baltimore Metro League with a 26-5 record and were 50-13 overall, including a National Amateur Baseball Federation East Region title.

A highlight for Goldberg was a Fourth of July tournament in Greensboro, N.C. He went 11-for-18 with five doubles and two home runs. The team finished second.

A summer ago the Little Orioles' clean-up batter hit .384 (58-for-151) with 50 RBIs, 41 runs, 29 walks, 14 doubles, one triple and nine homers. His team was 55-17.

As a pitcher this summer, he was 3-1 with four saves and a 0.70 ERA. He struck out 38 in 30 innings and walked seven. He allowed 16 hits.

Goldberg started and won two important games. The right-hander pitched a four-hitter and beat Kansas, 2-1, in the Continental Amateur Baseball Association World Series in Euclid, Ohio.

It was the last game of the round-robin part of the tournament and enabled the team to reach the championship round. The Little Orioles finished fifth.

"I injured my back during that game and had to come out after seven innings," Goldberg said.

But when the team came up short of starting pitching in the NABF East regionals in Altoona, Pa., he volunteered to start the championship game Aug. 1 despite the sore back. He pitched a four-hitter, and the Little Orioles defeated Tyrone, Pa., 8-1.

"I was only throwing 70 mph but was outsmarting them with sliders," said Goldberg, who normally throws above 80 mph and as high as 86. "I don't know how I did it because of the pain, but I really wanted to go to Georgia for the World Series."

Goldberg also throws an overhand curve and a forkball that helped him during that game.

The team lost its only two games in Marietta, Ga.

Goldberg, a Marriottsville resident, is a two-time All-County and All-Metro player. He is 6 feet and 200 pounds.

College scouts like his hitting and his strong arm and defensive ability.

Goldberg had a poor batting season last spring for Glenelg High School because of a back problem that hampered his swing.

That problem returned July 25, and Goldberg had seven hits in 25 at-bats and two RBIs for the Little Orioles after that.

"It's 10 times worse than the pain I had last spring," Goldberg said. He had an MRI last week and expects to find out the results tomorrow.

Goldberg hopes he can play football. He is a fullback and linebacker for Glenelg.

Although pleased with his summer baseball performance, Goldberg is determined to bounce back with a strong high school performance his senior year.

He'd like to equal his sophomore season, when he batted .375, hit seven homers and drove in a county-record 36 runs. Glenelg won the state title that season.

"He bludgeoned the ball as a sophomore in what was probably a career year," said Glenelg coach Terry Coleman.

If recruited by colleges or drafted by the pros, Goldberg said he feels more comfortable as a position player than as a pitcher.

"I'm confident about my hitting," he said.

He's going to work hard this winter to improve his foot speed and expects to work out with an indoor track team along with his jTC older brother, Joe.

Joe played for Catonsville Community College last spring and for Corrigan's this summer.

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