State baseball

May 29, 1999

Today's finals at Joe Cannon Stadium, Harmans Park

Class 4A

No. 12 Glen Burnie (17-7) vs. No. 15 Perry Hall (12-11)

Time: 9 a.m.

Outlook: Schools from Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties, which have dominated Class 4A state competition in the 1990s, are in the final again. Bruce Sider, the Gophers' coach for 19 years, are carrying the Anne Arundel County banner for the first time but will be seeking the county's sixth state title in this decade and third in a row (Arundel won last season, Chesapeake in 1997). Perry Hall is looking for its -- and Baltimore County's -- fourth state crown in the 1990s, which would tie Arundel High for most won by a school in the last 10 years. The Gators won in 1990, 1992 and 1994 and were runners-up to Arundel in 1991 and 1995.

Second-year coach Elmer McCann's Gators, who beat Frederick, 11-7, in their semifinal, are batting .314. DH Brian Vecchioni (.463, 27 RBIs) and RHP/2B Chris Pike (.397), both juniors; 3B Brian Hodgson (.373), a senior; and OF Shawn Warner (.312) and C George Kastanaras (.321), sophomores, are the leading hitters. Pike (4-1) and John Wanger (4-0) are the Gators' top pitchers.

Perry Hall's hitters will run into Glen Burnie pitching ace Tim Hecker (10-1), who three-hit Eleanor Roosevelt (18-4) in the other semifinal and is also one of Gophers' top hitters at .416, along with C Matt Smith (.424), CF Brian Kellner (.360, 28 runs), DH David Gardner (.400, 19 RBIs), and INF Chris Grogan (.358).

-- Pat O'Malley

Class 1A

No. 7 Glenelg (20-4) vs.

Williamsport (17-8)

Time: Noon

Outlook: Defending state champ Glenelg makes its eighth appearance in the state playoffs and fifth in the finals. The Gladiators have won four state titles -- three in the last five years. Williamsport also makes its eighth state playoff appearance but fourth trip to the finals. The Wildcats' only title was in 1975.

Glenelg has won 10 straight games, Williamsport seven straight. Glenelg's offense averages 10 runs a game, Williamsport's eight. Jeff Starcher leads Glenelg pitchers with an 8-2 record; Brad Anders leads Williamsport at 7-3. Glenelg's leading hitters are Starcher (.534), Jason Weszka (.534), Brandon Robertson (.485) and Matt Thrasher (.424). Williamsport has only one hitter above .400, Matt Bowman (.468). Williamsport lost twice to Brunswick, the team Glenelg defeated in the South region championship game.

-- Rick Belz

Class 2A

No. 8 Centennial (20-5) vs.

Walkersville (20-3)

Time: 3: 30 p.m.

Outlook: This is the Eagles' third trip to the state championship game, but having lost in 1997 and 1993, they hope for a better result. Walkersville makes its sixth state playoff appearance, fifth in the finals. The Frederick County school's only title was in 1978. Centennial has five players batting above .400: Mike Martin (.455), Chris Tiedemann (.449), Matt Deuchler (.439), Steve Fredrick (.423) and Ryan Barwick (.424). Walkersville's top hitters are Matt Doyle (.448) and Pat Callaway (.446). Centennial has a strong, two-man starting staff of Fredrick (10-3, 2.55) and Chris Tiedemann (9-2, 2.97). Brett Fruche is the Lions' top pitcher at 8-1; Dustin Drisonstok is 4-0.

-- Rick Belz

Class 3A

No. 2 South Carroll (20-4) vs.

Leonardtown (14-11)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Best in the West, the second-ranked Cavaliers are a win from the school's first state title and Carroll County's third. South Carroll, runner-up in 1995 and 1981 and a 1991 semifinalist, may have its deepest team ever. Coach George Richardson's Cavaliers boast three top pitchers -- lefty Kevin Damiano (6-0, 2.03 ERA), Jason Tourangeau (5-1, 89 strikeouts in 43 innings) and Brandon Woodward (7-1, 1.84 ERA). They're hitting .388, with Penn-state bound Damiano leading at .529 with six homers and 40 RBIs. Tourangeau, a likely major-league draft pick next month as a 90-mph pitcher, is hitting .500 with eight HRs and 30 RBIs. South Carroll advanced by stopping No. 9 C. Milton Wright (15-9), 5-2, with Damiano the winner and Tourangeau getting a save.

Leonardtown, from St. Mary's County, lost twice each to Calvert and Northern-Calvert in the regular season but nosed out both to get into the title game. RHP/CF Jason Burch and catcher Tom Franc are Raiders to watch.

-- Pat O'Malley

Pub Date: 5/29/99

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