All-howard County

Baseball

May 31, 2002

CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Matt Revelle

Atholton

He led the Raiders to their first state championship and a 20-5 record by winning a county-record 12 games. He lost just once, to Howard on two unearned runs, 2-1. He struck out 95 and walked 19 in 76 innings and compiled an 0.92 ERA. Revelle pitched eight complete games and two shutouts. He also struck out a season-high 13 against Glenelg. Among Atholton's five playoff games, he won three games and saved one. For the season, he batted .328 with four doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs. He'll attend Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

John Zabel

Mount Hebron

He had a sensational season pitching, hitting and fielding while leading the Vikings to the county championship. He went 8-2 with a save and a 1.63 ERA. Among his gems were a one-hitter and a combined no-hitter. He had a streak of four games without allowing an earned run, and threw a 2-0 win over Howard using just 72 pitches. At the plate, he provided countless clutch hits, finishing at .366 with 23 RBIs, four doubles, a triple and one home run. He had 41 assists, 14 putouts and only three errors while making all the tough plays at shortstop. He'll attend La Salle in Pennsylvania and play football.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Tim O'Brien

Long Reach

The first winning baseball season in Long Reach's six-year history far exceeded O'Brien's optimistic expectations. O'Brien, 44, had previously coached three years at Oakland Mills and two years at Wilde Lake and played semipro for 11 years. He still plays in an over-40 league. The Lightning went 15-9 overall, 11-7 in the county and scored almost 10 runs a game. Long Reach knocked Atholton out of a tie for the county title the next-to-last day of the regular season, and county champ Mount Hebron out of the playoffs. The Lightning lost the regional championship to Severna Park by a run.

FIRST TEAM

Andrew Bechta

Centennial

The junior third baseman batted .365 with 17 RBIs, seven doubles and one home run. His squeeze bunt beat Howard in the regional quarterfinals. A hard-working player, he has excellent defensive skills.

Joe Benedetti

Hammond

The senior switched from outfield to shortstop to help fill a team need, and batted .411 with nine doubles, one triple, six home runs and a team-high 35 RBIs. He was 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA in 17 innings on the mound. He'll attend Delaware.

Adam Heffron

Hammond

The county's top base stealer, the senior was not caught in 21 attempts this season. A premier defensive outfielder, he had four assists. Heffron batted .451 with 11 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 31 RBIs. The repeat first-team All-County choice will attend Towson.

Nick Hoffner

Mount Hebron

The smooth-swinging center fielder led the county and tied for best in the Baltimore area with eight home runs, including a pair of homers during a nine-run inning against Wilde Lake in the final league game that clinched the county championship. A repeat first-team selection, he batted .429 with 26 RBIs, seven doubles and two triples. He'll attend Presbyterian College in South Carolina.

Matt Holley

Howard

He led the Baltimore area in strikeouts with 113 in 77 innings, had a 6-4 record with two saves and a 2.26 ERA. The senior also beat Atholton and Mount Hebron once as well as Glenelg twice. The right-hander will attend Towson or UMBC.

Brian Hollrah

Glenelg

The hard-hitting outfielder batted .438 with five doubles, one triple and four home runs. He had 20 RBIs and scored 21 runs. He'll attend Pace University in New York.

Rob LaHayne

Glenelg

A power-hitting catcher with good defensive skills, the senior batted .391 with four home runs and three doubles, and drove in 15 runs. He'll attend Georgetown and play football.

Brad Loveless

Centennial

The hardest throwing pitcher in the county with an 88 mph fastball, the right-hander compiled a 7-3 record with an 0.67 ERA. He struck out 62 in 63 innings, allowed 42 hits and walked just 29. He lost a 1-0 game to Mount Hebron as the Eagles were no-hit. He'll attend Richmond on a baseball scholarship.

Scott Peddicord

Long Reach

The sophomore designated hitter led the county in doubles with 14, while batting .478, also tops in the county. He hit two triples, had 14 RBIs and scored 27 runs. A poised player, he hit well despite the count or situation.

Andrew McSkimming

Mount Hebron

One of the league's top base stealers, McSkimming was 17-for-19 in stolen-base opportunities. A good glove man at second base, not to mention a solid hitter, he batted .419 with four doubles, one triple and 10 RBIs, and scored 20 runs. He'll attend Towson.

Vyt Rivers

Atholton

One of the county's top power-hitters, the junior first baseman connected for five home runs and 11 doubles while batting .434 with a league-high 36 RBIs and a .776 slugging percentage. During one five-game stretch, he went 13-for-18 with six doubles, two home runs and 20 RBIs. He also pitched, and the left-hander compiled a 4-2 record with one save and a 1.86 ERA. He struck out 56 in 41 1/3 innings.

A.J. Tinnirella

Centennial

Some coaches called him the best player in the county. The junior shortstop could make all the plays in the field and was a productive hitter as well, batting .446 with eight doubles, one home run and 14 RBIs. He led the county with four triples and stole 10 bases.

Team selection

The Sun's 2002 All-Howard County baseball and softball teams were selected by Rick Belz and Kevin Van Valkenburg, respectively, after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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