National champ Texas adds locals Clevenger, Pehrson

Stars from Anne Arundel leaving other colleges

July 30, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Shortstop Steve Clevenger and catcher Preston Pehrson, former All-Metro baseball players, have received releases from their respective colleges to accept scholarships to national champion Texas.

The two left-handed hitters from Anne Arundel County - Clevenger from Linthicum and Pehrson from Broadneck - will be eligible to play this fall.

They are the first from the metro area to receive a Longhorns scholarship since Broadneck's Brian Toronto in 1991.

The Longhorns won the the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb., last month for a sixth time, second most behind Southern Cal (12).

"It's probably the best baseball program in the country," said Dean Albany, the Orioles scout who coaches Youse's Maryland Orioles 20-and-under powerhouse where Clevenger and Pehrson play summer ball.

"They go to Omaha, year in, and year out. Coach [Tommy] Harmon [an assistant] loved them both and thinks they will be front-line guys. The kids in Maryland are often overlooked, and we've got great players."

Clevenger, The Sun's 2004 All-Metro shortstop, got a release from Southeastern Louisiana after one season.

"Our coach resigned and I was looking to leave and several opportunities came along," said Clevenger, who batted .350 as a freshman in the Southland Conference this spring.

"They came up here and watched me play and as of right now, I expect to start. Defending national champions, you don't get much better than that."

Pehrson, an All-Metro catcher at Broadneck in 2002 and 2003, transferred from Jacksonville (Fla.) after two seasons.

"There were two seniors in front of me down there and they were real loyal to those two," said Pehrson, who hit .280 with four homers, mostly as a DH.

"Texas was up here watching Clevenger and saw me. So, I'm going from a good program to a great program, from playing in front of a couple thousand a night to about six or seven thousand every night. And I'm going from a backup to a starter down there."

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