Salisbury ranked 5th in Div. III baseball

State notebook

Seven UMBC fall teams make at least 3.0 grades

Bowie's Alston honored


February 01, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Salisbury University's baseball team is ranked fifth in the Collegiate Baseball preseason Division III poll, and a case could be made that the Sea Gulls should be higher.

Coach Doug Fleetwood's team finished fourth in the NCAA Division III World Series last season with a 33-14 record and returns 16 lettermen. Five position starters are back, and eight pitchers return from a staff that had a 2.59 ERA last year - the most successful baseball team in school history.

Chapman (Calif.) University is ranked third, despite its 2-0 loss to Salisbury in the World Series. Still, Fleetwood, in his second season, is being diplomatic about the issue.

"Those teams ahead of us are very good," he said. "We have a tremendous task ahead of us this season, because we play 13 games against teams that advanced to the D-III tournament last year."

One of those games will be March 25 against the University of St. Thomas, from St. Paul, Minn., the defending World Series champion.

The game will be played during a six-game spring road trip to Miami. St. Thomas is ranked second this season behind Marietta College (Ohio), with Montclair State (N.J.) fourth.

Fleetwood has changed the recruiting philosophy at Salisbury, no longer going after junior college transfers.

"I like to bring in freshmen from the state of Maryland," he said. "I especially like to go after Bernie Walter's (Arundel High) players. I don't get his top players, but the ones I do get are good enough. I have four Arundel players (left-handed pitcher Star Kriger, right fielder Chris Keane, catcher Brian Puglise and first baseman Joey Stevens) right now."

Hitting the books

A school-record seven UMBC teams earned better than 3.00 grade-point averages in the fall semester.

Those teams were women's tennis (3.56), women's cross country (3.176), men's golf (3.086), field hockey (3.085), women's basketball (3.057), women's track and field (3.049) and women's soccer (3.028).

Twenty-two percent of all UMBC student-athletes made the Dean's List (3.50 or higher), and 30 student-athletes accomplished a perfect 4.00.

And 46.5 percent of the school's student-athletes had 3.00 averages or better, helping all student-athletes post a 2.8494 GPA.

Alston honored again

Bowie State defensive end Charles Alston has been named to the 2001 Sports Black College All-America team, becoming the first Bowie player since Rodney Belfield in 1989 to be honored as a first-team All-American.

The 6-foot-6, 270-pound player is one of only four Bowie players since 1980 to receive this award. He had seven sacks for losses of 45 yards, was second on the team in tackles with 73, forced three fumbles, broke up three passes and recovered a fumble.

Bulldogs streak

Bowie's men's basketball team won its fourth straight game Tuesday, improving to 12-6 overall, with a 7-4 mark in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

The 7-4 record leaves Bowie just one game behind Shaw in the Eastern Division of the CIAA.

The latest Bowie victim was Elizabeth City, 96-90, with standouts including the usual Stephen Moss-Kelly, Jamal Shivers, Tim Washington, Chuck Alston and Cornelis McMurray.

Et cetera

Senior back Kelly Knutson (Liberty High) has been selected to the Verizon/COSIDA Academic All District II soccer team. The Salisbury University standout is one of 11 on the District II team, which consists of athletes from all non-Division I schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Knutson is now eligible for the national Verizon/COSIDA Academic team.

Senior Joy Mulholland (Mount de Sales) has finished an outstanding soccer career at Salisbury, breaking the school career and single-season records for assists. The midfielder had 23 career assists, 11 of them in 2000.

Freshman Adam Schlenoff (Loyola High) hit .400 during the fall baseball season at Mount St. Mary's.

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