Lakers stick baseball foes, too

Lacrosse power Boys' Latin proves to be a diamond gem, too

Ries takes Park scoring lead with 72 goals this year

Pugh lifts Kenwood



The spring sports season at Boys' Latin High usually means focusing primarily on the nationally acclaimed lacrosse program, and with the unbeaten and top-ranked Lakers looking to add to their storied tradition, this year is no different.

There is, however, at least one other sport presently thriving on the Boys' Latin campus, as the Lakers' baseball team is enjoying one of its best campaigns ever.

The Lakers are dominating the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, having clinched a playoff berth for the second straight year. The Lakers won 12 of 13 league games, improving upon last year's 8-7 regular season that earned the program's first playoff berth since 1999.

"In a preseason meeting, the team set a goal to make the playoffs and be in contention for the championship," second-year coach Roger Czerwinski said. "But the team started with eight preseason scrimmages and did not win one."

The Lakers routed rival St. John's Prospect Hall, 15-1, in the conference opener, however, and were 4-0 before losing to rival St. Vincent Pallotti. Boys' Latin rebounded with a six-game winning streak during which it outscored its opposition 66-7.

Boys' Latin's pitching staff includes junior John Decker (5-0) and sophomore Austin Knight (4-1), senior Brian Spinazzola (1-0) and sophomore Devon Jerrard (1-0).

The top batters are juniors Matthew Trimmer (.621 average), Matthew Wareheim (.472) and Decker (.360) and sophomores Knight (.455), Joshua Winter (.441) and Jerrard (.400).

Record for Ries

Jen Ries has been the leading scorer on the Park girls lacrosse team since her freshman season. Now, she's the top scorer in Bruins' history.

With 294 points as of last weekend, Ries easily broke the record of 275 set by Eloise Grose in 2002. Grose also held the school record for career goals with 204 until Ries shattered that with 247.

This season has been Ries' most prolific, scoring 72 goals, but she has scored 55 or more each year.

"She's just a true finisher," Park coach Robin Cardin Lowe said. "She finishes with such speed, but this year she's turned on some good moves to get in scoring position. In the past, she's just gone hard to goal. This year, her cutting and her fakes have really allowed her to score."

Ries has also increased her assists from seven last year to 18, but the Bruins' true feeder is Sarah Gold, who leads the team with 32 assists in 11 games after missing the early part of the season with mononucleosis.

The two seniors make an excellent connection with Gold, who also has 19 goals, finding Ries for many of her assists.

"Those two have been hurting teams," Lowe said. "Sarah really sees the field. She's a point guard in basketball and she brings that same sense to lacrosse."

The Bruins (13-3) have also gotten a strong defensive effort led by senior goalie Bonnie Kenney and junior midfielder Maggie Sachs.

Yesterday, the Bruins were scheduled to open play in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference tournament. The top seed, at 13-1 in the conference, Park is going after its first tournament title since 2000.

Pugh boosts Kenwood

Kenwood senior right-hander Bruce Pugh has been the Bluebirds' leader on the mound and at the plate.

In 16 games for the Bluebirds (10-6), the 6-foot-4, 175-pounder hit .400 with four doubles and two each in triples and home runs. He also had 11 RBIs, scored 10 runs and stole 10 bases.

On the mound, Pugh was 4-1 over 43 innings, striking out 58, walking 19 and posting an 0.81 ERA.

"Bruce is my No. 1 starting pitcher and shortstop and has been a starter all four years. He's also played third base because of injuries to other players," coach Jay Diggs said of Pugh, who has earned a full baseball-academic scholarship to Louisburg Junior College near Raleigh, N.C.

"I have spoken to the college coach and he plans on utilizing Bruce as one of his top starting pitchers and infielders. Bruce is well-known and highly regarded by every baseball coach in Baltimore County."

Pugh's wins were over Parkville, Dundalk, Patapsco and Owings Mills. He lost, 3-0, to Catonsville, although he yielded just two hits.

"This year, I have pitched Bruce against perennial powerhouses Catonsville, Perry Hall and Parkville," Diggs said. "In 20 innings against them, including a no-decision against Perry Hall, he has allowed only eight hits and one earned run while striking out 24 batters."

A versatile athlete, Pugh has also played a year each of junior varsity soccer and football and was a two-year member of the varsity soccer team as a defender. Pugh also ran two years of track, participating in the high jump, 400-meter relay and 400-meter run.

A member of Kenwood's All- Academic team, Pugh is an honor roll student with a 3.67 grade point average. His college major will be in business management and finance.

"Bruce has great all around potential," Diggs said, "as well as a good head on his shoulders."

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