Seibert hopes chemistry yields favorable results

March 08, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Good team chemistry.

Baseball coaches don't usually throw those words around as often as basketball and soccer coaches do.

But Western Maryland baseball coach Dave Seibert does not have much else to bank on these days as he prepares the Green Terror for the 1995 season.

"We're not overpowering in any phase of the game," said Seibert. "Our pitchers rely mostly on control and intelligence, and our hitters are mostly line-drive type hitters who are out to make good contact."

However, Seibert said there is one thing special about his team that opens its season Saturday at home with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Lebanon Valley.

"We have excellent team chemistry," said Seibert. "It is one of the better groups in that area I've had here in my 15 years. We're scrappy, solid, do the fundamentals and are real competitive."

So just how much good can the right chemistry do for a team that can't hit many home runs or strike out a lot of opposing batters?

"I'm cautiously optimistic like I am every year," said Seibert, who is coming off an 11-16 record last season. "Our goal is to win the [Centennial] conference championship."

Asked if he had hopes of making the NCAA Division III baseball playoffs, Seibert said: "I don't worry about it. We've never done it since I've been here, and I'm not aware of Western Maryland making the NCAA tournament at any time in the school's history."

If there were ever a year in which the Green Terror had a good opportunity to qualify for the NCAA playoffs, it was 1984 when it went 16-5 and won the Middle Atlantic Conference championship.

4 Western Maryland was snubbed then, said Seibert.

"We're not a school with a big baseball tradition, so it would probably take something really super for us to get a bid," he said.

Expected to lead the way for the Green Terror are senior right-handed pitcher Brett Kehler, senior shortstop Jerry Resh (an honorable-mention All-Centennial Conference selection last year) and junior first baseman Brian Van Deusen, the team's MVP last season and honorable-mention All-Centennial.

Van Deusen, out of Columbia's Atholton High, hit .349 last season and had two doubles, three triples and one home run.

Resh, a product of Williamsport (Md.) High, hit .301 with team highs of 15 walks and 15 stolen bases.

In 1993, Resh was chosen to the Middle Atlantic Conference all-star team and was the most valuable player for the Green Terror. He hit .392 as a sophomore and had an on-base percentage of .455.

Resh is 19 hits short of establishing a school record and has a career batting average of .336.

Kehler was the Green Terror Pitcher of the Year last season, compiling a 3-3 record with one save and a team-leading ERA of 3.03 in five starts and four relief appearances.

The other top pitchers, all right-handers, should be sophomore Tim D'Angelo, sophomore Byron Druzgal and junior Clay McAllister.

Freshman right-hander George Cossabone could be one of the best pitchers before the season is over.

The infield will be experienced with Resh, Van Deusen, Rob Lauver at second base and Eric Landseadel at third. Landseadel moves back to the infield after starting 22 games in the outfield last year.

The starting outfield is expected to be seniors William Godfrey and John Freitas and junior Scott Rey out of Northeast High of Anne Arundel County.

To win the Centennial Conference title, Seibert knows Western Maryland will have to figure out a way to finish ahead of perennial league power Johns Hopkins.

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