County duo said to have pro potential

Sidelines

April 22, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Two Anne Arundel countians have emerged as the key players on No. 2-ranked Mount St. Joseph baseball team as the Gaels make their annual run for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title.

Severna Park's Gavin Floyd and Glen Burnie's Allen Strick were the impact players in the Mount's 6-1 victory over No. 5 Loyola on Monday in Towson

The loss was the first in the conference for the Dons (10-3, 8-1 league) with the Gaels (13-4, 7-2) a game back. Loyola edged St. Joe, 3-2, in their first meeting, but Floyd was not on the hill that day.

Floyd (6-0) fired a six-hitter and struck out eight Monday. His fast ball was clocked consistently at 88-to-90 mph on a radar gun through seven innings.

Pro scouts are drooling already over the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Floyd, a 16-year old sophomore who pitched JV as a freshman. Many who saw him then wondered why he wasn't called up last spring when the varsity's pitching staff was struggling.

Gaels' coach Dave Norton, who resides in Pasadena, said about Floyd: "It looks like with four to five days rest, he can throw 110 to 120 pitches [115 on Monday] and still be strong. If using him once a week is what we've got to do, then that's what we've got to do."

Strick, a 6-0, 165-pound junior who was called up as a freshman, belted a pair of towering homers and had three RBIs.

Norton said Strick "is a big-game player who does a great job defensively."

Loyola coach Tim Nordbrook, who played shortstop for five major-league clubs, including the Orioles, says Floyd and Strick are both prospects.

"Floyd is definitely, definitely a prospect," said Nordbrook. "He's definitely thrown the hardest with the best combination of fast ball, curve ball we've seen, although the guy from Arundel [Andy Kostic] threw pretty good also."

Loyola lost, 7-6, at Arundel on Easter weekend, but Kostic (3-1) came out after six innings with a 5-2 lead and didn't get a decision.

As for Strick, Nordbrook said of the junior shortstop: "He's an aggressive hitter -- impressive ball player. Strick always comes to play, plays his position well, and never gets cheated out of his at bats. To me, he's a top prospect, too."

Nordbrook's assessment of the two Gaels has not evolved from just two games this spring but also from seeing Floyd and Strick play for the Maryland Orioles during the summer.

Milwaukee Brewers scout Dean Albany, a Linthicum resident, coaches the Maryland Orioles, and the Floyd-Strick combo led his team to a national championship for 16-year-olds in the Super-Seven Series in Georgia.

Florida Marlins area scout Ty Brown, who signed Glen Burnie's Tony Saunders, now of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, came to see Floyd pitch. Before the seventh inning, Brown had moved on top of the hill behind home plate at Loyola to talk to a few friends.

When Floyd started throwing again in the bottom of the seventh, Brown came running down the hill to see what Albany was getting on his radar gun. The game ended on a ground ball to Strick and, yes, Floyd was still hitting 90.

Sideliners

Mark Shires, a 1994 Archbishop Spalding alumnus who played baseball and basketball, is a trainer for the Orioles at their minor league training facility in Sarasota, Fla.

Shires, a Crofton resident and Spalding's baseball MVP in 1994, gained experience working summers with the Bowie Baysox and earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training and sports medicine at West Chester (Pa.) University. His brother, Mike Shires, is a junior infielder at Spalding.

Southern's boys lacrosse team, a 5-1, Class 2A squad coached by Ray Bowen, stunned Class 4A (and 15th-ranked) Severna Park, 7-3, on Tuesday in Severna Park. Senior attackman Steve Pumphrey led the Bulldogs with three goals and an assist. The loss left Severna Park at 5-3 overall.

Bowen promised before the season that the Bulldogs, 6-8 last spring, would return to their form of 1997, when they advanced to the Class 1A-2A state semifinals.

Rather quietly, Arundel has reached 8-1 in boys lacrosse, having reeled off seven straight wins, including Tuesday's 8-7 victory over South River (5-2).

The Wildcats started the season ranked No. 13 but fell out of the Top 15 after being upset by unranked Chesapeake, 6-5, in the second game. Chesapeake, now 3-4, has struggled since then.

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

Pub Date: 4/22/99

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