Baseball playoffs show depth of talent

4 teams with losing records still win

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May 16, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

Anne Arundel County coaches, players, fans and parents have bragged for years that the best high school baseball is played right here in the county.

That boast was never more evident than in last weekend's first-round games in the regional playoffs.

Four Anne Arundel teams with losing records won playoff games, showing how deep the county league is.

Anne Arundel has won more state baseball titles - 25 - than any other county in Maryland. Arundel High owns the state record for the most school wins with 10.

But the league is perennially solid from top to bottom.

South River (8-12) won 2-1 in eight innings at Leonardtown (11-10) in St. Mary's County in the Class 4A East. The Seahawks dealt No. 5-ranked C. Milton Wright (19-1) its only loss, 6-5, early in the season.

The Mustangs won the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference with their 16th consecutive win, 6-4, over Rising Sun on Wednesday at Ripken Stadium.

In the 3A East, Severna Park (8-12) and, surprisingly, Annapolis (2-16) advanced. The Falcons, who are experiencing their first losing season in 20 years (4-14, 1987), ripped Mount Hebron (10-11), 12-2, and the Panthers edged Wilde Lake, 5-4.

Early in the year, Wilde Lake and Hebron were two of Howard County's better teams. Wilde Lake (8-11) upset No. 6 Centennial (17-4), 4-3. The Eagles repeated as Howard County champions with a 7-2 win over No. 10 Howard (15-4) last week.

Finally, Southern (8-10) traveled to North East of Cecil County for a 2A East first-round game and stunned the defending Class 2A champs, 7-1. North East (6-13) is a five-time state champion.

Friends of Joe Cannon

The 16th annual Friends of Joe Cannon Baseball Scholar Banquet is set for June 3 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.

Each of the county's 17 baseball-playing schools has the opportunity to nominate its top scholar athlete.

The top three are then announced as the scholarship winners - $3,000 to the first-place winner, $2,000 to the runner-up and $1,000 to third place.

Former umpire, Frank "Jocko" Svoboda, who turns 81 at the end of this month, remains the banquet chairman.

"Jocko does a terrific job putting it all together and has kept this worthwhile event alive," said Archbishop Spalding assistant coach Joe Zimmerman.

"Jocko is an inspiration to us all."

WBAL Radio sports broadcaster Keith Mills is this year's guest speaker. For tickets and information, contact Zimmerman by e-mail: zimfam@erols.com.

Quick hits

South River pole-vaulter Sam Wilson won the county championship and reached his goal of breaking the 15-year-old school record of 13 feet, 6 inches with a vault of 13-7.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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