Patterson's Wrenn reaches 400

16-1 victory over Dunbar gives coach the milestone


High Schools

April 27, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Patterson's Roger Wrenn earned career baseball win No. 400 with yesterday's 16-1 victory over city rival Dunbar at Clifton Park, becoming only the second public school coach to reach that milestone.

Wrenn, 54, ranks second in public school wins among active coaches behind Arundel High's Bernie Walter (473). He has won 12 Baltimore City or Maryland Scholastic Association titles, and considers his consecutive 19-1 teams of 1982 and '83 two of his best.

"When Dundalk won the states, one of those teams beat them 21-0 a week earlier. I've coached 19 guys who have played professional baseball, and well over 100 that have played in college," Wrenn said. "I'm getting older, don't know how long I'll keep doing this, but it's terrific - a testament to kids that have loved to play."

Bobby Oxendine went 3-for-5 with a triple and one RBI; Raymond Showacre was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three steals; Brandon Williams was 2-for-3 with two steals and three runs scored; and Jacob Clark doubled in two runs as part of a 12-hit attack by the Clippers (8-3). Dunbar fell to 5-5.

Winning pitcher Hector Cruz (4-1) struck out 10 and walked three in four innings. Cruz, who tripled in his lone at-bat, was replaced in the fifth by David Hott.

Also playing well were Eric Mason, with a double, and Matt Steele, with a run-scoring single.

Wrenn wore a specially designed helmet strapped to his head for protection. The coach had to be hospitalized near the end of last fall's football season (he has 192 career football wins in 27 years) after a head injury from a collision with a player caused a stroke.

"A pop-up earlier in the game would have hit him right on top of the head if he didn't move, but he told me, `Hey, I've got my helmet on,' " said assistant coach Troy Stevenson. "He's consistent, dedicated, does everything by the book, expects a lot from his players and gets the most from them."

Dunbar coach Don Gilbert, a 1987 graduate of Northeast in baseball-rich Anne Arundel County, called Wrenn a class act. Gilbert assisted the late Harry Lentz, whose 1991 squad went 24-0 and was ranked No. 1 nationally.

"He's a throwback like Bernie Walters and Harry Lentz," Gilbert said.

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