Factory made quality tourney


High Schools

April 10, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

SidelinesLast weekend's Baseball Factory Showcase high school baseball tournament at Arundel High School and Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans was such a success that the group likely will be back for an encore in 2003.

"It went really well, and there is a very good chance we will do it again next year," said Jeff Brazier, the Baseball Factory's recruiting director. "The teams have asked us if we are going to do it again, and it's a pretty good shot we will. The caliber of teams was outstanding."

Formed in 1994, Baseball Factory specializes in college placement of players.

"We consider ourselves the leader in college placement for baseball players," Brazier said. "We work hard at getting the kids exposure."

Thursday before the tournament, voluntary workouts were held at Arundel in front of pro and college scouts, and the Baseball Factory even videotaped the players individually.

That evening the Factory held a free banquet for the players and coaches of all eight teams. Factory CEO Steve Sclafani and Kelly Kulina, program director, conducted a college recruiting seminar afterward.

"The seminar was terrific because it reinforced a lot of the things a lot of us [coaches] tell our players, but they got to hear it from somebody else," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter.

"It was a terrific tournament, the best ever put together on the East Coast. It was the type of thing that happens every year in California, Arizona and Florida, and we did it right here in Anne Arundel County."

Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton, whose No. 1 Gaels (7-3) were one of three area teams in the tournament, has taken teams to California for similar tournaments. "I thought it was great competition and it was, in fact, as good as what we saw when we went out to California two years ago," he said.

Shenendehowa of New York was the champion among eight teams from five states, defeating No. 2 Old Mill (6-2) in the final, 8-1.

Top-ranked but now No. 4 Arundel (6-2) was the third local team in the tournament. Each of the eight teams played three games on a brutally cold weekend.

"Except for the weather, it went great," said Brazier, who joined the Howard County-based Baseball Factory last year after interning in the Baltimore Orioles' scouting department.

It wasn't baseball weather, but the quality of the teams saved the weekend by not succumbing to the cold.

"We come down here to play each spring to get away from this kind of weather," said Jim Carrese, Shenendehowa's coach.

While the attendance was very good, the fans didn't get to truly appreciate the talent because the cold often broke their concentration. Better weather likely would have drawn more fans.

A day for K's

Monday was a day for strikeouts (K's) in Anne Arundel County. Arundel's Jason Lively set down 15 Annapolis Panthers (1-5) on strikes in a 4-1 victory by the Wildcats (6-2). Lively fired a one-hitter, the hit a pop fly to right field that scored the Panthers' only run.

Colin Bednar fashioned a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts as Glen Burnie (5-3) stunned usually potent Old Mill, 4-0, in Millersville. Bednar walked three and hit one batter.

"Colin was outstanding," said Glen Burnie coach Bruce Sider, who welcomed back the senior this year with open arms.

"His velocity has increased, throws in the low 80s and he has a wicked curveball that he throws all the time."

Bednar was a freshman on the Gophers' 1999 Class 4A state champion team, but moved with his mother to Timonium after the season. That summer, he was in a near-fatal auto accident in which he broke his neck.

After sitting out the '99 soccer season, Bednar returned to athletics after 10 months. He's played baseball the past two years for Dulaney and was the starting second baseman for the Lions in last year's 4A state final loss to Arundel, 5-4, in eight innings.

Bednar moved with his mom back to the Glen Burnie district this year.

"We're really glad to have him back," Sider said. "He's a great kid who has taken a leadership role on our team. He's very hungry and works very hard because he wants to play college baseball. He's determined to do it just as he was determined to fight back from his accident."


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