With two Wildcats, it's deja vu

Hibbs, Overholtzer power third-ranked Arundel baseball team, draw comparisons to standouts on school's 2001 state champions

March 29, 2006|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,SUN REPORTER

When Arundel High last won a state baseball championship in 2001, the Wildcats had an intense pitcher-infielder and a sweet-swinging outfielder who led the way to what was a state-record ninth title.

It's early, but there are similarities with that team and this year's Wildcats. Third-ranked Arundel also has a fiercely competitive ace in Tyler Hibbs and a sweet swinger from the left side in outfielder Corey Overholtzer.

Both revel in performing under pressure.

The 2001 state champion was led by junior right-hander Jason Lively and outfielder Nick Pleyo, both All-Metro selections. Lively, who also played shortstop, went 10-0 and hit .389 with 30 runs scored.

Pleyo, also a left-handed hitter, batted .527 with a state-record 18 doubles and led the team in RBIs with 39.

Hibbs, a sophomore right-hander and infielder, reminds people of Lively with his fiery confidence and what he can do on the diamond.

Overholtzer, a senior, sprays the ball all over the field, as did Pleyo.

Hibbs, 5 feet 9 and 150 pounds, was an All-County selection last season after winning five games and saving three. Two of his wins and a save came in the Wildcats' playoff run to the Class 4A state final.

Overholtzer batted .651 (28-for-43)with nine doubles and four triples in about half a season before a groin injury ended his junior year.

"I'm excited about this team and Tyler, who is a fierce competitor," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter, who begins his 33rd season as the state's all-time winningest public school baseball coach, with 544 victories. "I think we can be pretty good. Tyler gives us an ace, we will score runs and our defense will be pretty good before we are done."

In the Wildcats' home and season opener last Wednesday, Hibbs pitched a four-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks and had an RBI double to top then-No. 10 Eastern Tech, 3-2.

Overholtzer, who is headed to UNC-Greensboro, had a single in four at-bats and struck out three times. He only struck out once all last season, but Walter is not worried.

"Corey is being overly selective right now, looking for too good a pitch, but we will get that straightened out," said Walter, whose team opens county play today at Southern.

Charm City Challenge

Six Anne Arundel County boys basketball players, all of whom were All-County first or second team, will take part in Sunday's Charm City Challenge at the Towson Center.

First-team picks Andrew Engel and Rodney Stokes of Old Mill and Danny Quinn, a second-team selection from Archbishop Spalding, will play on the Suburban team vs. the City team in the 3 p.m. game.

Johann Jones (Meade) and Derek Young (Archbishop Spalding), both first-team picks, along with second-team player Kevin Coates (Annapolis), will play in the main game at 5 p.m. against the U.S. All-Stars.

Tickets are $55 courtside and $10 for students. For more information, call 410-605-9381.

Quick hits

Del Hughes, who was an Old Mill assistant football coach the past six years, has landed his second head coaching job, at Largo in Prince George's County. Hughes was head coach at Archbishop Spalding from 1991 to 1993, going 6-24. ... Three area lacrosse players are headed to service academies in Loyola's Joe Lennon (Navy), Dulaney's Porter Smith (Army) and Mount St. Joseph's Kevin Benzing (Air Force). ... No. 8 Archbishop Spalding, a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference baseball power, routed B Conference contender Pallotti, 10-0, in game called after five innings due to the mercy rule. ... Meade's baseball and softball teams outscored DuVal of Prince George's County by a combined 50-2 last Thursday, The baseball team won, 11-2, and the softball team cruised, 39-0. ... Defending Class 3A state baseball champion Severna Park opened its season at home last Wednesday with a 5-3 win over Patuxent behind pitchers Kyle Shifflette (six innings) and Sammy Sheckells (one inning). ... North County ace Josh Wiegman struck out 12 of 18 batters in the Knights' 10-0 season-opening win over Edmondson.

patomalleysports@aol.com

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