In yesterday's listing of the Baltimore County All-League baseball team, the name of Eastern Tech player Erik Skarda was misspelled. The Sun regrets the error.
Player of the Year
Dale Berkey, Calvert Hall: Hard off-season work transformed the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Berkey into a stocky, muscular player with excellent speed. His dedication turned him into a better outfielder overall, and his attention to detail helped to make him stronger fundamentally, as he improved in every statistical category. Berkey's batting average (.443) was up from last year's .376, and his 46 RBIs -- more than double last year's 22 -- tied four others for the state record. Berkey blasted five more home runs (seven) than last year, hit two more triples (four) and four more doubles (13). Berkey also scored 17 more runs (47) and stole five more bases (17-for-17). "This kid's just become an all-around great player with no shortcomings," said coach Joe Binder. "He came through in big games time and again." Berkey is a B-student who is considering George Washington, the University of Maryland and West Virginia.
Coaches of the Year
Andy Corbett, Mervo: The Mustangs, ranked as high as No. 14 in the metro area, became the first Baltimore City school to win a region title. Corbett's squad took an eight-game winning streak into the Class 4A state semifinals, where the Mustangs lost to runner-up Gaithersburg of Montgomery County to finish at 15-2. During the regular season, Mervo entered its game against Patterson at 7-0 with six victories coming via the 10-run mercy rule. The Mustangs lost to Patterson, 2-1, but got revenge in the playoffs, 6-5. Mervo later beat Baltimore County power Perry Hall, 6-5, for the region title. In that game, senior Kevin Davis went the distance on the mound, and also accounted for four of the runs. Davis was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. He scored the game-winning run against the Gators' ace left-hander, Jim Shepherd. After losing to Patterson during the regular season, Corbett had fire in his eyes. "I'm a little disappointed. So are the kids," he said after the game. "But we proved ourselves today. And we know the key is to concentrate on winning the rest of our games and getting pumped for the playoffs." That's exactly what his Mustangs did.
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
Tim Nordbrook, Loch Raven: In only his second season as head coach, Nordbrook, an ex-Baltimore Oriole and a Loyola High graduate, took the Raiders (10-8 last year) through a record-breaking 20-3 season. Not even a disappointing, 3-2 state semifinal loss to eventual Class 2A state runner-up Walkersville, a game the Raiders led 2-0 entering the sixth inning, could put a damper on what Loch Raven accomplished. Competing in the Central Division -- Baltimore County's toughest -- the Raiders won a share of the title with Towson and later hammered the Generals en route to winning the school's first regional crown. "They were the best team in the county," said Lansdowne coach Dave Wright. Loch Raven, which ended the season ranked No. 9 in the area, also set records for single-season victories (20), winning streak (nine games), staff ERA (2.40), steals (57) and runs scored (168). Although Nordbrook loses six seniors, he returns key players such as P-3B Mark Little and P-C Matt Anderson. Little was 7-1 pitching and hit .373 with 21 RBIs. Anderson was 7-0 pitching and batted .431 with 24 RBIs. "Bernie Walter [Arundel coach], my summer ball coach as a teen-ager, congratulated me on our team's discipline," Nordbrook said. "I told him, 'Yes, I'm proud of them.' "
The first team
Kevin Davis, Mervo, senior, infield: This 6-3, 185-pounder, who plays summer ball for Jerry's Angels and will attend Essex
Community College next season, led the Mustangs both at the plate and on the mound. Davis hit .585 with 38 RBIs, 28 runs scored, five doubles, a triple and six home runs. Davis, a right-handed pitcher-shortstop, was a perfect 20-for-20 on steals and erred just four times. As a pitcher, Davis beat Patterson and Perry Hall in the playoffs, going 7-1 with 48 strikeouts in as many innings and yielding just 18 walks.
Josh Deckelbaum, St. Paul's, senior, catcher: After leading the Crusaders to their second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference crown last year, Deckelbaum -- headed for Elon College -- proved this season that he could handle the move up to the A Conference by amassing comparable numbers. In leading the Crusaders through a runner-up finish in this year's MIAA A Conference, Deckelbaum had just two errors and hit .529 (up from .500) with 33 RBIs, 31 runs scored, three home runs, 13 doubles and two triples. He also threw out runners "at an average of about one per game," said coach Paul Bernstorf.