Spalding, Annapolis surprise

SIDELINES

April 28, 2002|By PAT O'MALLEY

Archbishop Spalding and Annapolis, two Anne Arundel County baseball teams with losing records, posted upset victories this past week.

Spalding did not play like it was 5-12, nor did Annapolis play like it was 4-11. The private and public school teams played very good ball against ranked or previously ranked teams.

Coach Dave Lanham had high hopes for his Spalding team going into this season, and even said he believed his Cavaliers could make the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs.

But Lanham's Cavaliers struggled early and could not get rolling until this week with impressive wins over Calvert Hall, 3-1, and Gilman, 14-0.

The romp over Gilman (8-9) on Friday gave the Cavaliers their fourth victory (4-8) in A Conference play this spring after going 0-18 last season.

The victory over Calvert Hall (9-10) was the Cavaliers' first over the Cardinals in 17 years, and it came on the road.

Since moving to the A Conference in 1986, the Cavs have had only two winning seasons and two playoff appearances, 1987 (11-9) under Domenic Pachence and 1992 (12-11) under the late Tom Lind. Both times they lost to Calvert Hall.

Annapolis started the week with a 1-0 upset of No. 6 Old Mill (12-4, 9-3), and then the Panthers (3-8) nearly upset No. 3 Arundel (11-4, 9-3) before bowing, 3-1, on Friday.

First baseman Bobby Goldbeck delivered a two-run double in the top of the ninth to win it for the Wildcats.

In driver's seat

With four games left, top-ranked Severna Park (11-1) is virtually certain to land one of the two berths in the county championship game on May 8 at Joe Cannon Stadium.

Other teams still in the hunt: Old Mill (9-3 league), Arundel and Glen Burnie (8-3 each), Broadneck (8-4) and Chesapeake (7-4).

Northeast (9-7) won four games last week to go to 6-6 in league play. Included in the Eagles' streak were a 10-2 rout of Chesapeake and a 5-1 victory over Broadneck.

Chorye Spoone fired a two-hitter at Broadneck, and coach Larry Williams says that his junior right-hander is "the best pitcher in the county."

It's toss-up time

Come playoff time, the Class 4A East Region will be up for grabs. Consider the teams involved: defending 4A state champion Arundel, No. 4 Broadneck, No. 6 Old Mill, No. 9 Glen Burnie and No. 11 Chesapeake.

Add No. 12 Westminster (9-3) of Carroll County and previously ranked C. Milton Wright (10-5) of Harford County and two very good Frederick County teams in Frederick and Thomas Johnson, and you have arguably the most loaded region in the state. That's all classifications included.

The battle for the top four seeds is wide-open for the moment.

Severna Park is in the 3A East with Annapolis, Northeast, No. 10 Mount Hebron and River Hill.

Severna Park holds the top seed in the open tournament, where after the top four teams are seeded by overall records, the rest are randomly drawn.

Sideliners

With the matchup of No. 1 Severna Park and No. 6 Old Mill, Friday night's "Friends of Joe Cannon Game of the Week" at Cannon Stadium drew the biggest crowd of the three such games this season. ... In boys lacrosse, No. 7 Severn (10-5) plays host to No. 9 St. Paul's at 4 p.m. Friday in a game that could decide the third and final seed in Division II of the MIAA A Conference playoffs. ... No. 10 Severna Park (9-3, 9-0) has sewn up a berth in the county boys lacrosse final.

Have note for Sidelines? E-mail patomalleysports@aol.com or call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

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