1996 All-Baltimore City/County baseball team

June 06, 1996|By Lem Satterfield

Player of the Year

Jason Mersey, Gilman, senior, catcher: Mersey, who will play for Wake Forest, led the Greyhounds in batting average (.457), RBI (36), home runs (five) and doubles (seven). Picked to play for the Crown All-Stars' North Team, Mersey also scored 19 runs, walked 17 times, had a triple, threw out seven runners and stole six bases. But it was Mersey's penchant for clutch hitting that most helped the No. 2 Greyhounds (18-4). There was the game-winning home run in a regular-season, extra-inning win over Calvert Hall. In Gilman's come-from-behind 9-6 MIAA semifinal win over Mount St. Joseph, Mersey's three-run home run brought the Greyhounds to within 5-4. "He had about six or seven games where he came through with critical winning hits like that," said coach Marty Meloy, who attributes Mersey's development to assistant Pete Kwiterovich, a second-team All-Metro catcher at Gilman in 1987. Gilman's junkballing pitching staff had just one powerful hurler in Yani Rosenberg (4-1), who went the distance just once. But with Mersey "calling all of the games and doing a great job of pitch selection," Meloy said, senior Rollie Corden, junior Frank McHenry, and sophomore Nick Funk all went 4-0. "He was very important to our team," Meloy said.

Coach of the Year

Marty Meloy, Gilman: His players have nicknamed him "Doc," and he's certainly worked wonders in nursing the Greyhounds' baseball program to prominence. Gilman, which had not won a playoff game since joining the A Conference in 1992, won the MIAA title with a school-record 18-4 mark. The No. 2 Greyhounds won their last two games in come-from-behind fashion over Mount St. Joseph and Calvert Hall, respectively -- the latter by 8-7 for the title. St. Joe's had twice beaten the Greyhounds, but in the third meeting Gilman hammered ace Ryan Baker and No. 2 pitcher Colin McGonigal for a combined 13 hits. Meloy's emphasis on pitching and defense carried the Greyhounds, losers of three one-run games. Gilman's first five returning batters were perhaps the league's best, but the No. 1 pitchers for Calvert Hall, Mount St. Joseph, Curley and McDonogh were perhaps better than any in Gilman's five-man rotation. The Greyhounds were BB Conference finalists in 1987 -- Meloy's second year at Gilman -- and present assistant Peter Kwiterovich earned second-team All-Metro honors as a catcher that year. Gilman was B Conference champ in both '90 and '91. The Greyhounds reached the A Conference playoffs in '94 and '95, being eliminated in two games each time, with Peter Bogue, now at Yale, earning All-Metro as catcher in '94.

The first team

Ryan Baker, Mount St. Joseph, senior, pitcher: Baker (8-3, three saves) had wins over Gilman, Calvert Hall and Prince George's County power Riverdale Baptist, ranked No. 4 by The Washington Post. Picked to the Crown All-Stars' North Team, Baker struck out 68 batters in 66 2/3 innings, walked just 25 and had a 2.97 ERA. Among the pitches in his arsenal is a fastball "clocked in the mid-80s," said coach Dave Norton. The 6-2, 190-pound Baker is headed for either UNC-Charlotte or UNC-Greensboro.

Dale Berkey, Calvert Hall, junior, outfielder: er: Berkey hit .376 with 22 RBI, scored 30 runs, had nine doubles and two each in home runs and triples. He also stole 12 bases and was flawless in center field. Berkey soared in the playoffs, hitting .714 with seven RBI, a double and a triple to help the Cardinals reach the title game against Gilman. In a 13-6 loss to the Greyhounds he went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. In a 9-8 win over Mount St. Joseph, he was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and in a victory over Curley, Berkey was 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.

Mike Couser, Mount St. Joseph, senior, outfielder: Couser hit .402 with 21 RBI and had team highs in runs scored (33) and doubles (nine). Couser, who erred just twice in left field, had three home runs, 22 steals and walked 25 times as Mount St. Joseph's leadoff batter. "He didn't always hit well against us, but he really hurt us on the basepaths," said Gilman coach Marty Meloy, a loser in two of three games against the Gaels. Couser will play at West Virginia next season.

John Dansicker, St. Paul's, senior, designated hitter: nated hitter: Dansicker, a first baseman for No. 16 St. Paul's (22-3), led the MIAA B Conference champs with a .468 batting average and team highs in runs scored (42), home runs (eight) and doubles (16). He knocked in 35 runs, walked 20 times, stole 12 bases and erred just three times in 104 chances. The 6-1, 180-pounder batted No. 3 in the Crusaders' lineup and may have been the league's best player.

Adam Heaps, Gilman, junior, outfielder: Though hamstring trouble slowed Heaps on the basepaths (10 steals), he came through in center field and at the plate. Heaps erred only twice -- both times in a playoff victory -- and hit .324. He ranked second on the team with 28 RBI, scored 22 runs and had five doubles, two triples and a home run.

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