1996 All-Carroll County baseball team

June 06, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham

Player of the Year

Jason Brezler, North Carroll, senior, pitcher: The Panthers, behind the five-hit pitching of Brezler, had just defeated county rival South Carroll, 11-1, in the second game of the season to get their first win. While the rest of the players were shuffling toward the parking lot to head home, Brezler was in his second lap around the field. "He was the first one to the ballpark and the last one to leave; it was always like that," said North Carroll coach Denny Snyder. The extra time paid off for Brezler, who finished the season 5-1 on the mound with a 2.05 ERA and hit .429 with 16 RBIs and 15 runs scored to lead the Panthers to a share of the county title with Westminster. Naturally, it was Brezler who assured the Panthers of the county share, tossing a no-hitter and going 3-for-4 with a two-run triple to defeat South Carroll for a second time. "He was Mr. Everything," Snyder said. "He was a co-captain, a leader on and off the field. He had a 4.0 grade-point average and that's a big part of it. He's headed for the Naval Academy, where you'll hear more from him -- he's a natural leader."

Coach of the Year

Denny Snyder, North Carroll: It was the little things that made the season so rewarding for Snyder and his Panthers, who earned a share of the county title with Westminster at 4-2. In his third year coaching varsity after one season at the junior varsity level, Snyder got the most out of the group he had for all four years. Seniors Jason Brezler and Barrett Gugliotta were the leaders on and off the field that Snyder expected them to be. Senior first baseman Justin Eckard, a part-time player as a junior, took his game to the next level with a county-leading .475 batting average. Senior outfielder Todd Schaeffer, a .280 hitter as a regular last season, hit .438 this year. "Overall, this was the first group I had all four years and it was fun watching them develop on and off the field," he said. "I can't say enough about these guys. It was a special year with a special group of young men and one that I will remember for a long time." Rain and postponements affected the Panthers (8-6) more than any other team in the county. Along with their 4-2 county slate, the Panthers had an 8-4 mark in Central Maryland Conference play.

The first team

Larry Airing, Francis Scott Key, senior, outfielder: Airing provided first-year coach Bob Reese with an unexpected power surge this season. The numbers were impressive -- a .407 batting average, team-leading 20 RBIs, six doubles and three homers. He even stole three bases and added a couple of sacrifices. After playing in the infield last season, Airing also made a smooth adjustment to the outfield.

Denny Bowers, Westminster, senior, infielder: fielder: No one in the county could hit the ball harder or farther than Bowers, who finished out a solid career hitting .343 with a team-leading 21 RBIs and 16 runs scored. The first baseman, who also had a 2.65 ERA on the mound, never got cheated on his swings, finishing with five doubles and three homers. His most memorable homer came at Liberty, a lined shot that easily cleared the left-field fence and landed at the opposite end of the basketball courts.

Mike Crawmer, Francis Scott Key, senior, outfielder: Crawmer closed out a fine three-sport career at Key with a consistent season at the plate, in center and on the mound. He hit .385 with 13 RBIs and eight runs scored, and won two games and saved two when called upon to pitch. He was a four-year varsity player in soccer, chosen the Carroll Player of the Year in basketball this past winter and was a team captain in all three sports this school year.

Justin Eckard, North Carroll, senior, infielder: fielder: Eckard, a part-time player last season, did more than his share at the plate for the co-county champion Panthers and also had a good year defensively at first base, committing just two errors. He hit .475 to lead the county, and had a team-high 17 RBIs and 11 runs scored while earning first-team All-Central Maryland Conference honors.

Robbie Green, Francis Scott Key, senior, infielder: Whether it be on the soccer field, the basketball court or the baseball diamond, Green only knew one way -- all out. Green, a shortstop and pitcher, got the Eagles' offense going as their leadoff hitter, finishing with a .390 batting average and 17 runs scored. He was the glue to the Eagles' infield with a good glove and reliable arm. On the mound, he won three games with a 2.80 ERA.

Daryl Knight, Liberty, senior, infielder: After an uncharacteristic average season as a junior, Knight made the most of his senior year by hitting .383 and playing a fine first base as a Lions captain. The three-year varsity player earned first-team All-Central Maryland Conference honors with a smooth left-handed swing and excellent hands in the field. He finished with four doubles, three triples and 12 RBIs.

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