Wildcats look for a winning lineup

Four key players back from last year

Notebook

March 28, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

Arundel baseball coach Bernie Walter knows that it's easier to find a set lineup in some years than it is in others.

After his defending Class 4A state champion and then-top-ranked Wildcats suffered a 4-0 loss to then-No. 5 Eastern Tech in their season opener last Wednesday in Gambrills, Walter is still searching for the right combination.

"We've got to find our lineup," said Walter, the 34-year coach who has led Arundel to a record 566 wins and 10 state titles. "Last year we had a pretty set lineup and a lot of that was because a lot of those guys were back from the year before. This is a new ballclub, and we've got some outstanding players - and there's no question about that."

Arundel has four key players back from last year's state champion, including the No. 3 and cleanup hitters in pitcher-infielder Tyler Hibbs, The Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year, and first baseman-pitcher Shawn Pleffner.

Center fielder Jason Daniels and catcher Matt Skrenchuk are also back, but are in different slots in the order from last year.

Daniels, last season's No. 2 batter, is now batting first, replacing the area's best leadoff batter last season, All-Metro outfielder Corey Overholtzer (.480 batting average, county-record six triples, five homers and 36 runs), who graduated.

Skrenchuk has jumped from the sixth slot to No. 2, so the first four spots in the order are occupied by returning starters. After them, the lineup is a work in progress.

"We have some guys struggling to really learn what I want them to learn how to do, but we've got time to fix that," said Walter. "It'll happen."

Cavaliers rolling

The top-ranked Archbishop Spalding baseball team was 10-0 through Saturday after winning four games in six days for coach Steve Miller.

Spalding defeated Washington-area power DeMatha, 3-0, on Paul DeVito's no-hitter, and then beat three ranked teams - then-No. 12 Chesapeake, 12-2; then-No. 6 Mount St. Joseph, 6-5; and then-No. 5 Eastern Tech, 12-2.

Quick hits

The first-year Indian Creek High boys lacrosse team got its first win -10-5 over Rockbridge on Thursday - after two losses, as Wes Anderson and Zach Hantske combined for five goals. ... Alana Glanell had five goals in the South River girls lacrosse team's 16-3 rout of North County on Friday.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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