1996 All-Metro baseball teams

June 08, 1996|By Pat O'Malley

The first team

Ryan Baker, Mount St. Joseph, senior, pitcher: The ace of the Gaels' pitching staff the past two seasons, Baker drew all the tough assignments and finished 8-3 with three saves. In 66 2/3 innings, the 6-foot-2 and 190-pound right-hander struck out 68 and walked 25, posting an ERA of 2.97 for third-ranked St. Joe. Baker's losses came to top-ranked Arundel in the Gaels' Easter tournament, No. 2 Gilman, the MIAA A Conference champion and to No. 5 Calvert Hall. A member of the Crown All-Stars, Baker also beat Gilman and Calvert Hall during the regular season and had a couple wins over independent power Riverdale Baptist. Baker, who throws in the 80s and has good breaking stuff, will attend UNC-Charlotte or UNC-Greensboro.

Joe Barnes, Old Mill, senior, outfielder: Anne Arundel County's premier outfielder, Barnes was selected on the 34th round by the Seattle Mariner's in this week's major-league baseball free-agent draft. Barnes, who will attend Indian River (Fla.) Community College on a baseball scholarship if he doesn't sign professionally, batted .384 (28-for-73) with a team-leading 29 runs scored and had 18 RBIs for the No. 4 ranked Patriots. Barnes, a member of the Crown All-Star South team, also led the Patriots in doubles (six) and stole 17 bases while not getting as much chance to run batting out of the No. 3 hole rather than his accustomed lead-off spot this season. Defensively, Barnes did not commit an error for the second straight season and cut down three (had six assists as a junior) runners.

Steve Brunner, Arundel, senior, designated hitter: ed hitter: Brunner filled the bill as the top-ranked Wildcats' clean-up batter with a school-record seven homers, eclipsing the record of six set by Tim Giles, the 1993 Metro Player of the Year and 21st-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays this week after his third year at UNC-Greensboro. Playing third base for the 4A state finalists, Brunner batted .394 (30-for-76) with eight doubles, a triple and 36 RBIs. Brunner, also named to the South team for tomorrow's Crown All-Star game at Camden Yards, is undecided on a school.

Mike Couser, Mount St. Joseph, senior, outfielder: The Gaels' lead-off man and left fielder was consistent offensively and defensively for coach Dave Norton. Couser hit .402 with nine doubles, three homers and scored 33 times. He drew 25 walks and stole 22 bases and was one of those guys who makes things happen on the base paths. In the outfield, Couser committed only two errors. Couser, a four-year varsity player at the Mount, hopes to make the University of West Virginia team next year as a walk-on.

Robin Davis, Glenelg, senior, outfielder: Davis put up some really big numbers in his final year with the No. 11 Gladiators. Davis led his team in batting with an average of .457 (32-for-70) and in triples (seven). He tied teammate Ben Gugliotta for the most doubles (six) and homers (five), and was second to the latter in RBIs (40) and scored 23 runs. Davis will attend the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Ben Gugliotta, Glenelg, senior, pitcher: Howard County's Player of the Year, Gugliotta did it all for the Gladiators. On the mound, Gugliotta was 7-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 52 innings, striking out 50 and walking only 13. He also had a no-hitter this season. His offensive numbers were equally impressive. Gugliotta hit .443 (35-for-79) with a school-record 43 RBIs and had six doubles, three triples and five homers. Whenever coach Ed Ashwell needed somebody to fill a hole, he would turn to Gugliotta, who will attend Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

Tim Hilyard, C.M. Wright, senior, infield/pitcher: field/pitcher: Hilyard contributed with his arm, bat and at shortstop for the 12th ranked Mustangs. In 45 1/3 innings, Hilyard was 6-1 with 39 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.47. His .507 (36-for-71) batting average led Harford County for teams playing 15 games or more. Hilyard led his team to the Harford County championship with 23 RBIs, 27 runs scored and 12 steals. All his offensive numbers were among the county leaders and his play at shortstop solidified the infield.

Kurt Light, Arundel, junior, pitcher: Light has the dual distinction of being the only first-team repeater and the only underclassman on this year's team. Anne Arundel County's top pitcher was 9-2 with one save and a 1.21 ERA for the No. 1 Wildcats. He lost his first start of the season in the brutal cold at Calvert Hall and his last start by 2-1 to Wootton in the 4A state final. Light, a power pitcher who throws in the mid 80s and possesses a wicked slider, struck out 87 in 75 innings. The right-hander had two shutouts among his team-leading eight complete games. A pro prospect, Light was the only pitcher from the East on the USA Goodwill team that played in Australia last December and has been invited to the Area Code Games and the Team One National Showcase at Clemson this summer. Light is 17-3 in two varsity seasons.

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