The pitcher they call "Z-man," Old Mill's Mike Ziegler, is off to a great start at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College.
Ziegler, a 6-foot-3, 227-pound right-hander who was All-Metro in his senior year (1997), is 2-0 with 28 strikeouts and has given up 12 hits in 20 innings for the 5-3 Eagles.
Alabama's Junior College Player of the Year and an All-American at Muscle Shoals (Ala.) Community College last spring, Ziegler transferred to Tallahassee after Shoals coach Mark Lee resigned. He was 12-2 with three saves last spring.
"I love it here at Tallahassee," said Ziegler by phone "Academically, its a good school, and I'm getting great coaching."
Coach Mike McLeod got to Double-A with the Boston Red Sox, and pitching coach Alan Morlock made it to Triple-A with the Anaheim Angels.
"Coach Morlock has really improved my curveball," said Ziegler who has pinpoint control, an extraordinary change-up and throws in the high 80s, occasionally at 90 mph.
"[Morlock] changed my front side, getting me to lead with my elbow and drive through when I throw my curve. It's made a big difference in rotation, and my shoulder feels great."
Ziegler's right shoulder bothered him at times last season because of how he threw his breaking pitch, but now he's spinning it off with no pain.
The Glen Burnie Park resident also said that All-Metro outfielder Scott Neuberger (Severna Park, 1994) has been taking batting practice with the Eagles awaiting his assignment to a Tampa Bay Devil Rays minor-league team.
Neuberger put up some big numbers at Tallahassee over two seasons before being drafted and signed by Tampa Bay in 1996.
Ziegler said Neuberger "is swinging the bat really well and looks very strong."
* While vying for the Catholic League title, third-ranked Archbishop Spalding's boys visit Baltimore County's Dulaney at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Cavs have another nonleague contest at home a week from Tuesday against No. 15 Catonsville.
Spalding, which fell a game behind No. 2 Towson Catholic in league play after Friday's loss to No. 9 Calvert Hall, hopes to earn the top seed for the Catholic League tournament at the Towson Center Feb. 26, 28 and March 1.
* Is Spalding coach Tony Martin the first county coach to hold up flash cards as a means of communicating with his players when the gym gets real noisy?
No gym has ever been noisy enough to drown out the likes of John Brady (Annapolis), Ken Kazmarek (Broadneck) and Linda Kilpatrick (Southern).
* Spalding needs a varsity tennis coach, and time's short. The coach that athletic director Lee Dove had lined up backed out. Dove's number. 410-969-9105.
* Did you know that no one has ever made a triple-double consisting of points, rebounds and assists in county basketball?
* Germalne "Boo" Diggs, a two-time All-County forward and 1995-96 Player of the Year as a junior at Annapolis, is the leading rebounder for Catonsville Community College, a Divsion II junior-college power.
Diggs, the third all-time leading scorer (1,003 points) at Annapolis, spent a year at Allegany Community College and was headed for Anne Arundel CC this season, but changed his mind at the last minute.
"I thought we hid him, and he would have really helped us, but Catonsville got him in August," said AACC coach Larry Alvis.
* Add former Chesapeake standout Susan Roark to the single-game 40-point scorers in girls basketball. Roark scored 40 against Oakland Mills in 1978, said her coach, Frank Chillipko.
Brooklyn Park's Patty Dages holds the county record with 45 against Chesapeake in 1982.
* Maybe you've seen the Baltimore Police Department spokeswoman Vickie Warehime on TV and thought she looked familiar.
She's the former All-County Andover basketball player who averaged 15 points and 15 rebounds a game for the 1982-83 Archers of coach Sally Entsminger.
* Calendar stuff The lottery drawing for the state public school boys and girls basketball tournaments will be held a week from today. First-round games in region tournaments will be on Feb. 26-27.
* Warning for the boys: Chances seem remote, says the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, but the University of Maryland's Cole Field House may not be available for the state semifinals March 11-13.
That would occur if College Park is selected as a first-round site for the men's National Invitation Tournament, or the NCAA women's tournament.
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