Atlantic 10 honor goes to former Falcon

Sidelines

May 13, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Another Anne Arundel County baseball player has received a major honor at the collegiate baseball level. Severna Park grad Matt Griswold. Griswold, a 1995 All-Metro outfielder and now a junior at Virginia Tech, has been named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

Just last week Old Mill's Mike Ziegler, an All-Metro pitcher last spring, was named the Alabama Junior and Community College Player of the Year after going 12-2 for Shoals (Ala.) Community College.

In taking the Division I honor at Virginia Tech, Griswold led his team in RBIs with 63 in 50 games and slugging percentage (.629). Griswold also tied for the lead in doubles (18) and was second in batting average (.371, 65-for-175), runs scored (47) and homers (nine).

Griswold, a third-team NCAA Division I All-American outfielder as a sophomore, had a fielding percentage of .980 and displayed a strong arm.

"Matt is definitely a pro prospect, and we expect him to be drafted in June," said Hokies coach Chuck Hartman. "I believe there is a 50-50 chance he will sign and not return for his senior year."

Griswold, who bats from the left and throws from the right, has made it known that his goal is "to play professional baseball."

During his senior year at Severna Park, Griswold batted .458 with six homers, 11 doubles and 25 RBIs for the Falcons.

"Matt is one of the top five hitters we've ever had at Severna Park," said veteran coach Jim Pitt. "What he's done in college doesn't surprise me."

With Griswold and Ziegler taking such lofty honors, it says a lot for the quality of baseball in the county and area. For too long, many pro scouts have overlooked players from this area in favor of prospects in Florida and California who play year around.

But with the likes of Cal Ripken (Aberdeen, Orioles), Billy Ripken (Aberdeen, Texas), Brian Jordan (Milford Mill, St. Louis), Denny Neagle (Arundel, Atlanta Braves) and Tony Saunders (Glen Burnie, Tampa Bay) playing in the big show, it's evident that you don't have to play in warm climates to make it.

Griswold and Tech were scheduled to play in the Atlantic 10 Tournament at Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia yesterday against Massachusetts. George Washington and Fordham were matched in the other game.

Annapolis grad and 1996 All-County shortstop Ryan Dacey is one of GW's top players as a sophomore.

Sideliners

The bad weather has stopped the season for the Anne Arundel Community College baseball team of coach Clayton Jacobson. Inability to play the Region XX Junior College baseball tournament in Hagerstown this past weekend because of the persistent rain cost the Pioneers a chance to advance to a national qualifier in North Carolina.

Instead, the JUCO brass declared regular-season champion Allegany CC (only one league loss) the winner and sent it to North Carolina to play two other teams for the right to compete in the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., later this month.

AACC was a surprise runner-up to Allegany in the Region XX Division I League this season after a down year in '97.

Evan Shay, a Severna Park resident who has been an honor roll student at Gilman for four years, will play guard at Division I-AA football at Davidson (N.C.) College.

Another Severna Park resident, Pat Grizzle of St. Mary's, will join his brother Kevin Grizzle as a lacrosse defenseman at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind.

Butler made the NCAA Division I playoffs this year. The older Grizzle played at Severna Park High and two years at Anne Arundel CC.

Top-ranked Severna Park sluggers Keith Brunst and Pat Boucher tied state records in Boucher last Monday's 15-5 romp over Southern. Brunst hit two homers to set a county record for homers in a season with 12, breaking the record of 11 set by Boucher last year. The 12 homers tied the state record.

Boucher's bases-empty homer gave him a state public school career record of 19.

Broadneck's veteran physical education teacher and football/lacrosse coach, Bruce Villwock, one of the most caring educators you will ever meet, was named Teacher of the Year for Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

The Friends of Joe Cannon baseball scholar athlete banquet is set for May 24 at Michael's Eighth Avenue.

Mark Gibbs, a shortstop from Davidsonville, has had an outstanding sophomore season at George Mason, batting over .300 with seven homers and 30 RBIs. His older brother, Kevin Gibbs, is an outfielder for the Dodgers' Triple-A Albuquerque team in the Pacific Coast League.

Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

Pub Date: 5/13/98

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