Beth Tfiloh not tripped up by extended departures

Notebook

April 23, 2008|By STEFEN LOVELACE

Beth Tfiloh baseball coach Jeff Lowe believed his team was playoff-caliber last season. A few mistakes late in the schedule, though, cost the Warriors a spot in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference playoffs.

"I think that we underachieved toward the end," Lowe said. "I thought we gave games away with mental mistakes, but I think that this year we would have competed very well."

Beth Tfiloh, now in the C Conference, has managed to limit such mistakes this time. So far, it is 7-0 in conference play (7-1 overall) and looks to be the title favorite this season.

The start is even more impressive considering Beth Tfiloh, a small Jewish school in Pikesville, has to field competitive teams while missing its seniors for half the season.

At Beth Tfiloh, all seniors travel to Poland and Israel every year. The trip coincides with the beginning of the baseball season, and this year's senior class missed the first six games.

Lowe had five starters from last year on the trip. He has to work them back into the lineup without disrupting chemistry.

"The guys have seniority, but they're walking in after six games without picking up a bat or picking up a ball," Lowe said. "You want them to be humble about coming in with the other players. So far the transition has been OK."

That transition hasn't been difficult in large part to the talented juniors such as Aaron Gillette and Arki Stainman. They have switched off at pitcher and shortstop, and both have impressed from the mound. Gillette, who is batting .567 with two home runs and 13 RBIs, is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.77. Stainman is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.00.

Junior second baseman Jeremy Zuckerberg is batting .467 with two home runs from the cleanup spot.

Lowe, who has coached the Warriors for three years, said this year's team is by far his most talented. He stressed there's still a lot of work to do, but he's optimistic a C title is within reach.

"When we talk after the games, I leave the part of adulation and all that stuff to my assistant coaches," Lowe said. "When I talk about it, I talk about what we did wrong. I try to keep them on their toes, so to speak."

St. Paul's lacrosse -- In Friday's 15-4 win over Mount St. Joseph, the Crusaders celebrated the life of Alex Schweizer, a goalie on the 1998 team who died that season at age 19. Players on the '98 team attended a pre-game ceremony for Schweizer, and St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato presented Schweizer's brother Nick, and Nick's son, Whitney, with Alex's home white No. 27 jersey. They also tied a banner to the back of the team's home goal that read AWS, for Schweizer's initials (Alexander Wilson Schweizer). "We did it to represent all the good things that we remember about Alex," Brocato said. "He was a great person, a great player, and he loved St. Paul lacrosse and his team."

DIGITS

3

One-run losses by the Institute of Notre Dame softball team last week - 5-4 to John Carroll, 3-2 to Archbishop Spalding and 15-14 to John Carroll again.

5.46

Goals per game allowed by the McDonogh boys lacrosse team this season. The No. 4 Eagles have yet to allow an opponent to score in double digits.

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