Broadneck has pitching, bats to make run at title


April 23, 1995|By PAT O'MALLEY

When the baseball season started, Broadneck coach Mark Stover was not extremely optimistic about his Bruins. After all, ace right-hander Sean Ryan had graduated and signed with the Texas Rangers, and the Bruins traditionally have had to manufacture runs.

Stover said before the season, "Our season will be determined by how well our pitching does . . . we've hit the ball well in scrimmages."

Guess what? The pitching has come through behind senior left-hander John Totherow (4-0) and senior right-hander Rob Wakefield (3-1). Jimmy Pavao (.481), Mike Chaney (.476), Brian Forthofer (.458) and Dan Gerbasi (over .300, four triples) have swung big bats to pace the Bruins to a 10-1 start.

The No. 14 Bruins notched their 10th win Friday, 10-2, over Southern (5-6), with Totherow tossing a five-hitter and being supported by two hits each by Forthofer and Wakefield.

After the wins over No. 9 Old Mill (7-3) by 4-1 and 10-4 over No. 16 Severna Park (6-3), Broadneck opens a big week tomorrow.

The Bruins visit No. 2 North County (8-1) tomorrow, plays host to No. 10 Arundel (8-3) Friday with Meade (2-9) sandwiched in between Wednesday at home.

Broadneck started with a bunch of no-name seniors -- with the exception of pitcher/infielder Dan Gerbasi (1-0). Gerbasi's four triples put him two away from the county season record of six held by Northeast grads Tom Gable (1980) and Rich Spiegel (1991) and Arundel's Mike Thomas (1985).

A return to the Class 3A playoffs seemed unlikely, but, man, that has changed.

In Stover's 11 years as head coach, the Bruins have gone 123-93 (.569), including this year's 10-1 start. Under Stover, who succeeded Tim McMullen in 1985, the Bruins have made the playoffs five times.

McMullen led the Bruins to a state Class C (now 1A) championship in 1983 (13-9), the school's first in any sport and in its first varsity season. McMullen, who was then athletic director, coached one more year (12-10, '84) before elevating his JV coach, Stover.

Broadneck made the postseason in Stover's first three seasons, not again until 1992 (4A) and last year.

Stover appears to have his best hitting club since the '85 team (13-8, county champion) that featured first baseman Duane Elsey (.417), second baseman Barry Brown (.373), shortstop Brad Doughty (.337) and outfielder Tom Samsel (.345).

McMullen told a reporter recently that Stover was "Anne Arundel County's best-kept secret."

I don't think so. People know Stover always has run a good team, but for the first time he has some punch up and down the lineup, good team speed and solid pitching.

The Bruins could be on the brink of the school's best season since 1983 and have become the team to beat in the 3A East


With nine regular-season games left, Broadneck needs only five more wins to break last year's school-record 14 victories.

Around the horn

Another big baseball game tomorrow finds No. 10 Arundel at No. 9 Old Mill. The Patriots, who play host to No. 2 North County Wednesday, have four games this week. A bomb threat closed Old Mill Friday and postponed a visit to South River (2-6) until Tuesday.

In games that count toward the 4A East Region playoffs, only one game separates North County (8-1), Arundel (7-2) and Old Mill (6-2) with Severna Park and Glen Burnie (6-3 each) and Chesapeake (5-4) close behind, not to mention Northern (8-1) of Calvert County.

* North County fan Eric Slaughter tossed a broken 33-rpm record onto the field at Northeast High Friday night after Mike Wooden broke the state mark of 28 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings set ** by Arundel's Kyle Coffman in 1987.

With Wooden setting the record at 30 1/3 consecutive goose eggs after Sean Richardson's suicide squeeze bunt ended the string with one out in the fifth, Bobby Reinhardt pitched well in defeat for Northeast (3-8).

Reinhardt, who gave up only two runs and four hits through the first five innings, later was victimized by four errors and V.J. Impallaria's three-run homer in the 9-1 loss.

* Former Old Mill All-County left-hander (7-2, 1991) Jimmy Simms, who also pitched at Anne Arundel Community College and George Mason, graduates from AACC this spring and is hoping to land an assistant coaching position in 1996. His father is Chesapeake coach Jim Simms, who could have his son as an opponent because Jimmy wants to make his own niche.

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