1995 All-Anne Arundel County Baseball Team

June 04, 1995|By Pat O'Malley

FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE

COACH OF THE YEAR

* Mark Stover, Broadneck -- In 1983 when Tim McMullen led Broadneck to its first state baseball championship, Mark Stover was an assistant coach. No one was happier than McMullen when Broadneck (18-6) won the Class 3A state title last week by 2-1 over South Carroll.

"Mark turned in a remarkable job," said McMullen, who is now Stover's assistant and JV coach. "He didn't have any pro or Division I prospects, but he worked on fundamentals, things like bunting, the hit and run, base running and it paid off."

Stover started the season with only two returning starters and a very inexperienced pitching staff. His hope was that his Bruins could be competitive.

Broadneck went on to win it all by posting more victories (17-6) than any baseball team in Bruin history.

Winning a state championship was a possibility the year before (14-7) with 6-foot-7 Sean Ryan as the Bruin ace. Ryan, who has since turned pro with the Texas Rangers, lost, 1-0, to Centennial in the region playoffs.

Without an ace, Stover (131-98, 12 seasons) seriously considered pitching by committee as the season started, but Rob Wakefield (7-3) and John Totherow (5-1) blossomed as seniors.

Wakefield, not overpowering and with an average curveball, pitched a two-hitter in the region and state final to pace the Bruins to the title. His success was the result of location, throwing strikes and confidence that he could get the job done, all factors instilled by Stover, an ex-pitcher.

"I knew coach Stover believed in me, because he had all season," said Wakefield, who walked the leadoff batter in the top of the seventh of the state championship game before retiring three in a row. "I didn't want to let him down."

Stover masterfully used his players, changing batting orders and positions to find winning combinations. His knack for playing the right players in the right games was uncanny.

Manufacturing runs had always been the Bruin trademark under Stover, but never did it produce results as it did in 1995.

"A lot of people didn't think we could do this, but these kids worked as hard as any team as we have had and got better as the season went on," said Stover.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Mike Wooden, North County, senior, pitcher -- In four varsity seasons Wooden and the Knights grew up together with Wooden fulfilling the potential he showed as a freshman. Wooden was 1-6 in the ninth grade on a 6-14 team, but by his senior year, he was Anne Arundel County's premier pitcher at 9-1 for the 15-5 county champion Knights.

A three-time All-County selection, Wooden, a 6-foot-1 and 185-pound right-hander, was 13-3 over his last two seasons in leading the Knights to their first playoff berths.

"Mike owns all our pitching records and it's tough to put into words what he has meant to our program as a player and person," said coach Don Usewick.

This season Wooden led the county in strikeouts (96) in 64 innings for the second time in his career (84 in 1993) giving up only 15 walks and 29 hits while posting an ERA of 0.88. Opponents batted .136 (29-for-212) against him.

Wooden finished his career (2.09 ERA in 198 innings) with state records for consecutive scoreless innings (30 1/3 ) and career shutouts (seven) and tied state records for shutouts in a season (four) and consecutive shutouts (three).

County records set by Wooden are most career strikeouts (280) and consecutive innings pitched without an earned run (34 1/3 ). He tied county records for career no-hitters (two) and is only the second in county history to throw a perfect game (vs. Old Mill, 1994).

When he wasn't pitching, Wooden contributed with the bat and at third base, hitting .367 with 18 runs, 10 RBIs and eight doubles.

In the last two fall seasons, Wooden was the ace of the Oriolelanders team run by Baltimore Orioles' scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert who handpicked the top Division I prospects in the mid-Atlantic area. Wooden was 17-1 for the Oriolelanders.

"Mike pitched and won the championship game of our season-ending tournament in Raleigh, N.C. both years," said Gilbert.

Wooden, who was his team's Scholar Athlete for the annual Friends of Joe Cannon baseball banquet, has received a baseball scholarship to the University of Maryland. He was drafted by the Orioles in the 44th round last week.

PLAYER PROFILES

* Joe Barnes, Old Mill, junior, outfield -- Old Mill rallies usually started when the speedy Barnes reached base. Barnes, who will play on the National Amateur Baseball Federation All-Star Team later this month, hit .427 with 13 RBIs at the leadoff spot and scored a team-leading 27 runs. Possessing great instincts in center field and a strong arm, Barnes threw out six runners at home plate.

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