Baseball teams fall short in playoffs

No county programs make state semifinals

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May 23, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

For the first time since the state baseball playoffs began in 1975, Anne Arundel County does not have a team in any of the four classes in the state semifinals.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the elimination of Arundel, which seemed headed to the program's 11th state title behind outstanding pitchers Tyler Hibbs, Eric Potter and Shawn Pleffner.

It was the deepest staff coach Bernie Walter has had in years, and he said at midseason that he felt his infield was "maybe the best we have ever had."

But the Wildcats were upset, 1-0, at home by Thomas Stone.

Potter, the much-improved senior left-hander, pitched well enough to post a win over Thomas Stone, but got no offensive support in the 4A East regional quarterfinal.

The Cougars of Charles County stumbled into the playoffs with a 9-8 record after losing eight players for various reasons and replacing several of them with call-ups from the junior varsity.

Thomas Stone was the surprising winner of the 4A East region, outlasting Broadneck, 9-6, in 11 innings in the final Friday.

In the 32 previous state tournaments, Anne Arundel County won a record 25 state titles and has had at least one team in a final three-fourths of the time.

Quick hits

Broadneck girls singles player Michelle Jordan and Severna Park's boys doubles team of Ben Rosenthal and Patrick Rice lead a county contingent into the state tennis tournament Friday at the University of Maryland after winning Region IV titles Saturday. The other county players advancing to the states had to be at least regional finalists. ... Andy Hilgartner has resigned as Severn's boys lacrosse coach to return to McDonogh as senior class dean. Hilgartner led the No. 9 Admirals to a 10-8 record in his only season with them. ... Glen Burnie announced its annual scholar athlete winners. The Pop Whayland boys winner was Paul Weaver (football, baseball, 3.92 grade point average) and the Katherine Frantum girls award went to Jenna Rykiel (volleyball, basketball and lacrosse, 4.42 GPA, ranked No. 2 in senior class). ... Max Farrington, a freshman golfer and honors student at Archbishop Spalding who plays at Crofton Country Club, used a 5-wood for a hole-in-one last week on the 155-yard fourth hole at Chartwell. ... Meade's boys and girls outdoor track and field teams duplicated their county feat of winning both titles at Saturday's Class 4A East regional at Chesapeake.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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