Old Mill vs. Arundel: Is history repeating itself?

SIDELINES

April 13, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Will county baseball history repeat itself?

We will get an idea in Millersville tomorrow afternoon, when No. 7 Arundel (7-2) comes calling on No. 3 (soon to be No. 1) Old Mill (10-0) at 3: 45 p.m.

Old Mill routed Southern (3-5) by 17-3 Friday, and Arundel pinned a 9-2 loss on winless Meade (0-8).

Old Mill took the first meeting between the two perennial Class 4A contenders this season by 4-2 at Arundel. It was a non-league game, because they are from separate divisions.

This "big" game won't count, either, in terms of who represents who in the county championship game on May 6 at Joe Cannon Stadium. Because Old Mill is from the North and Arundel the South, the only bearing it could have on the standings is as a tie-breaker in case of a tie in one of the divisions.

Last year, Old Mill took the non-league game between the two by 3-2 at Old Mill, but Arundel came back to take the county league contest, 8-0, and then eliminated the Patriots, 5-2, on the way to ++ their sixth consecutive Class 4A East region title.

Arundel and Old Mill each won their respective divisions, but no championship game was ever played. The county did not allow for rain, and the game was scrapped because the playoffs had to commence. The two teams were declared county co-champions.

The dates are close again, with the championship set for a Tuesday and the playoffs to start Friday, May 9. Let's hope they get to play this season.

Arundel coach Bernie Walter did not run his ace Kurt Light out there in the first game last season, but Old Mill ace Mike Ziegler pitched and won. Game two found Light winning and Ziegler not pitching. Light took the rubber match over Ziegler in the playoff game.

Ziegler was the winner in this season's first encounter, and Light did not pitch. The pitching matchup for Monday's second game in this series will be different.

XTC Light (2-1) is expected to go for the Wildcats against Ziegler (4-0), who skipped a turn to pitch tomorrow. Ziegler stopped No. 2 Chesapeake, 8-4, on Monday, striking out 13 to give him 32 Ks in his last two games.

Normally, Ziegler might have come back Friday but was held for tomorrow and will do the Monday-Friday thing this week with sixth-ranked Severna Park (6-2) visiting the Patriots Friday.

There is never an Arundel-Old Mill game that doesn't mean something to the two schools. The Wildcats and Patriots rank as the county's top rivalry, and other than standings, a lot is at stake for both teams.

First of all, the rankings are important to both. With Spalding upsetting No. 1 (9-1) Mount St. Joseph 4-2 on Thursday and Old Mill defeating No. 2 Chesapeake Monday, the Patriots figure to be the new No. 1 when Tuesday's poll comes out.

Arundel, which started the season No. 1 this year and last before tumbling and then finishing the year as the metro area's top team, hopes to embark on such a journey again. Knocking off Old Mill tomorrow would get everyone saying once again, "Oh, my. Here comes Arundel again."

If the Wildcats, who already hold the state record for most state championships (seven), get it going again, and a seventh consecutive region title is ultimately realized, it would add to their record of six straight appearances in the final four, which they set last year.

Arundel started last season tied with Class 3A Thomas Stone for consecutive region titles with five each. Stone didn't make it, but Arundel finished as a runner-up for the third time.

Sideliners

Archbishop Spalding senior right-hander Mike McCarthy admitted that after he pitched the Cavs (5-4) to their huge upset of Mount St. Joseph on Thursday at home that he was "a little nervous in the last inning," when he walked the bases loaded.

"But I knew I would get the last out," said McCarthy, who throws very hard for a little guy (5-foot-7, 145 pounds).

Coach Roger Yarnell's Cavs, 2-15 a year ago, hope the major upset of St. Joe will propel them into the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs.

Severna Park coach Jim Pitt took a 347-204 career record into Friday's big game with Chesapeake. Pitt is closing in on the late Harry Lentz (349-200) of Northeast for the second-most wins in county baseball history -- behind Arundel's Walter.

Walter took a 395-110 career mark into Friday.

The Anne Arundel umpiring group obviously misses scheduler Jack Kramp, who resigned recently.

Only one umpire showed up for the Southern-Severna Park game last week. Veteran Frank Svoboda had to come off the disabled list to fill in at another game, and a Northeast coach was ejected before a game started.

Irritated that umpires showed up late for his game, the coach put his players on the field before ground rules, was reprimanded by the arbiters, and then tossed.

Have an idea for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-Hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.

Pub Date: 4/13/97

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