Cougars' Simms hits milestone in fine fashion

Sidelines

April 16, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Chesapeake's Jim Simms became the county's 14th baseball coach to win 100 games when his Cougars (5-4) out-slugged No. 12-ranked Broadneck, 11-8, on Wednesday.

In his eighth season in Lake Shore, Simms has a career record of 100-56 (.641), including a 5-4 mark going into today's visit to Harwood to face Southern (4-5).

Simms got to 100 in style as his Cougars reeled off three straight this week, including a 2-1 victory over top-ranked Arundel on Tuesday.

The Cougars, 2-4 when the week started, routed South River 11-1 before knocking off the two ranked teams, Arundel (6-4) and Broadneck (6-4).

Once again it appears that Simms, who led the Cougars to the 1997 Class 4A state championship, is doing an excellent job in getting his team on track during a season in which parity rules, maybe as never before.

Upsets of Arundel by unranked Chesapeake and Meade the day before by 5-4, are indications how balanced the county league is this season. From top to bottom, there are no guaranteed wins.

Six teams have winning records -- Arundel, Chesapeake, Broadneck, No. 4 Severna Park (8-2), No. 10 Old Mill (7-2) and Glen Burnie (7-3). No. 18 Annapolis is 4-4 with the remainder of the teams a game or two from .500.

Meade, 5-16 last year, is 2-4 after Wednesday's 9-2 loss to South River (3-5). If not been for a "questionable forfeit" (see below), Meade could be 3-3.

Meade, which has not had a winning season since 1991 (11-7) under Elliott Harvey, is no longer a pushover.

"No one has that dominating pitcher this year," said North County coach Don Usewick, who became the county's 13th to reach 100 career wins last Friday.

"There is a lot of good pitching, which evens everybody off. We don't seem to have somebody who can go out there once a week and mow you down. I haven't seen it yet."

Runs are up this spring, which supports claims by Usewick and several of his peers. This week, the average score has been 7-3 with finals such as 13-9, 11-1 and 10-0.

The battle for the top two finishers who will play for the county championship on May 10 at Joe Cannon Stadium and the Class 4A East region playoffs (among eight county teams) could be wild.

Looking at today's schedule, you can't point to a single game and say, "That should the best game." All six public school games look pretty good.

Was it really a forfeit?

Meade baseball coach Royal Webster turned his team in Monday to the county when he learned that one of his players, Ted Bryan, had skipped school April 7, the day the Mustangs beat Glen Burnie.

Webster said his team forfeited for use of an ineligible player and that Bryan was indefinitely suspended.

But should the game be forfeited?

Section 3 on "attendance" in the county athletic handbook reads: "As a result of class cutting or truancy [it was an unexcused absence], an athlete shall be ruled ineligible at least for the contest immediately following the verification of the truancy."

Webster was unaware that Bryan was not in school that day, and it wasn't until Monday that Webster could verify it. By the rules, Webster suspended Bryan for "the contest immediately following the verification."

Clearly, no forfeit by the team is required, but there is a penalty for the individual, which Webster applied.

Should the Mustangs should get the win back?

Sideliners

Tough breaks:

Severna Park's baseball team has lost No. 3 pitcher Pat Kenny to a broken left arm suffered in a pickup basketball game, and local fast pitch softball guru Jack Crandell fractured his left throwing arm falling off his truck.

Crandell, an Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame member who has developed scores of county girls' windmill pitchers at his clinics, was undecided on whether he would pitch in a mens' league again this summer.

Chesapeake pitching ace Adam Moore, who two-hit top-ranked Arundel for a 2-1 upset on Tuesday, may have torn ligaments and has his right throwing arm in a brace awaiting an MRI on Monday. Second-team All-County last spring, Moore (2-1) has a scholarship to Division II Shepherd (W. Va.) College.

In track, the Meade Stampede, one of the spring's top relays (50 races) is to start at 3: 30 p.m. today with 25 schools from around the state. If bad weather occurs, the Stampede will be moved to noon tomorrow.

Archbishop Spalding has lost two experienced coaches for fall sports to resignation: Rick Carlson (42-77-5 in boys soccer, seven seasons) and Mary Pat Bozel (nine seasons, field hockey).

"Scout," the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association newsletter, reports the lottery draw for spring sports playoffs will be May 9 at Loch Raven High. It invites coaches, players and fans to attend and adds: "Bring your Mom!"

If you know of a mom who would like to spend Mother's Day watching MPSSAA executive director Ned Sparks draw numbers out of a tub, please call the 24-hour Sportsline.

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

Pub Date: 4/16/99

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