Tyler Hibbs

Arundel pitcher Tyler Hibbs is an All-Metro baseball selection. (Sun photo by Gene Sweeney, Jr.)

Player of the Year: Tyler Hibbs, Arundel, pitcher

Extraordinarily poised and mature, the sophomore led the Wildcats to the Class 4A state title and a No. 1 ranking.

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound right-hander set pitching and batting records and also was a fine fielder on the mound and at third, establishing him as one of the area's premier "three-way players" - as coach Bernie Walter refers to him.


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Hibbs tied the county record for single-season wins. He was 13-1, including a no-hitter, and posted a 1.20 ERA, striking out 77 in 71 innings. Nine of those strikeouts came in a four-inning relief effort against C. Milton Wright in the 4A final. The 5-3 state championship victory gave Hibbs four of the team's five playoff wins.

He is 18-5 in two seasons, tied for sixth place on the school's all-time wins list. Hibbs' 9-4 win over Quince Orchard in the state semifinals ended the Montgomery County school's 31-game winning streak and avenged a 10-9 loss that Hibbs suffered in the 2005 final. Hibbs also got the 3-1 victory over Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County in the regional final with five innings of no-hit ball.

Hibbs batted .424 with 17 doubles, 25 runs and 28 RBIs. His 17th double drove in a run in the state final and was his 22nd in two years, establishing a school record.
Coach of the Year: Bernie Walter, Arundel

This season's Class 4A state championship raised Arundel's record for state titles to 10 and regional crowns to 15, all under Walter. Walter, who has coached Arundel for 33 seasons, improved his record for wins by a public school coach to 566 (against 164 losses, a .775 winning percentage).

Arundel, which last won a state title in 2001, went 23-3 overall and finished the season as the area's top-ranked team, as Walter was named Coach of the Year for the seventh time since 1975 - the most of any metro area coach. He also has been Anne Arundel County Coach of the Year seven times.

Walter, a 2001 Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame inductee, will become only the third Maryland coach to be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 5, 2007, in Orlando, Fla.
First team

Nick Bisesi, C.Milton Wright, pitcher

Bisesi, the Harford County Player of the Year, led the Mustangs to the Class 4A final, going 3-1 in the playoffs with an 0.75 ERA, 34 strikeouts and five walks in 28 innings. The senior left-hander's only postseason loss came in the 4A final to No. 1 Arundel, 5-3.

Bisesi's 9-6 record was deceiving. He pitched against the top teams in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference and suffered a couple tough losses in the first half of the season because of poor offensive and defensive support. Overall, Bisesi had a 2.64 ERA in 69 innings, striking out 87, walking 22 and yielding only 21 hits.

Bisesi batted .447 with six doubles, four triples, one homer, 18 RBIs and 21 runs. He will play at Chesapeake College on the Eastern Shore.

Andrew Black, Friends, infield

Black, the first Friends baseball player named to the All-Metro first team, batted .557 with 31 RBIs, 30 runs and a metro area-leading 10 home runs.

In addition, the senior middle infielder, who also pitched for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference team, had seven doubles, 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts and only struck out four times.

As a pitcher, Black was 4-2 with a 1.23 ERA, 72 strikeouts and 19 walks in 46 innings. A four-year starter, he finished his career at Friends with a .512 batting average, 29 doubles, 16 triples, 17 homers, 114 runs, 104 RBIs and 61 stolen bases in 63 attempts.

Black was 9-4 in his career with a 1.33 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 90 innings. He will play baseball at Division I Bradley in Peoria, Ill.

Steve Bumbry, Dulaney, outfield

A three-time All-Metro outfielder and this season's Baltimore County Player of the Year, Bumbry capped an outstanding high school career by putting up big offensive numbers. The son of former Orioles center fielder Al Bumbry, who was co-coach of the Lions this spring, Bumbry batted .500 with 36 runs, 37 RBIs, six doubles, two triples, a county-leading eight homers and 22 steals.

He rarely had a ball hit over his head and had a strong, accurate arm. Bumbry will play at Virginia Tech.

Neal Davis, Catonsville, pitcher

Named the Gatorade Maryland Baseball Player of the Year, Davis, a 6-foot-5 senior left-hander, went 7-2 with one save and an area-best 0.44 ERA.

He appeared in 13 games for the Class 3A North regional finalist Comets, pitching 64 1/3 innings, striking out an area-best 112, walking 10 and giving up just 20 hits.

He could be selected in today's amateur draft, but will likely honor his baseball scholarship to Virginia.

Chris Huisman, Archbishop Spalding, first base

Huisman was the senior leader on a young Cavaliers team that finished as the runner-up in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference in the regular season.

A left-handed hitting first baseman and designated hitter, he led the Cavaliers in batting (.463), hits (44) runs (32), RBIs (35), doubles (14) and homers (six).

Huisman will play baseball at Johns Hopkins University.

Adam Kolarek, Catonsville, outfield

Kolarek played center field, was the No. 2 pitcher behind Neal Davis and also was the Comets' leading hitter. The left-hander batted .480, with 23 RBIs, 22 runs, 10 doubles, three triples and three homers and had a .530 on-base percentage.

On the mound, Kolarek was 5-2 with a 0.87 ERA in 40 1/3 innings, striking out 53, walking 26 and giving up 28 hits. In center, he had the arm to prevent runners from taking the extra base.

Nick Natoli, Mount St. Joseph, shortstop

Natoli anchored the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference regular-season champion's infield and was a solid leadoff batter.

One of the most improved players in the metro area, the senior batted .388 and led the Gaels in runs (31), stolen bases (22-for-23) and doubles (12). He also had 15 RBIs and drew 11 walks. Natoli, who had a lot of range at shortstop and a strong arm, will play next year for Towson University.

Corey Overholtzer, Arundel, outfield

Playing with a bad left knee the last month of the season, the left-handed hitting senior batted .480 with a county-record six triples, five homers and 36 runs to help the Wildcats win the Class 4A state title.

Transferring to Arundel from Riverdale Baptist last year, Overholtzer finished with the highest career average (.542) and the most career triples (10) in school history. This season, Overholtzer also had four doubles, 23 RBIs and 16 walks as the Wildcats' leadoff hitter. He will play at UNC-Greensboro.

Rich Porohnavi, Northeast, catcher

A four-year starter, Porohnavi was strong defensively and possessed speed and a quick bat. The catcher also was adept at handling pitchers. His .590 batting average led the metro area for batters with at least 65 at-bats, and he had 28 runs, 23 RBIs, nine doubles, five triples and three homers. He also stole 28 bases in 30 tries.

His strong arm and quick release to second base enabled him to throw out 21 of 26 would-be base stealers. He is considering several community colleges.

Scott Swinson, Centennial, pitcher

Swinson, the best pitcher and one of the top hitting shortstops in Howard County, was named the county's Player of the Year after leading the Eagles to a 22-1 mark and the first undefeated regular season (20-0) in Howard County baseball history.

The senior right-hander went 7-1 in 55 innings with a 0.70 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 17 walks. Swinson, who batted .390 with four doubles, three triples, 14 RBIs and 21 runs, will pitch for George Washington next year.

Joe Velleggia, Calvert Hall, catcher

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound catcher and right- handed hitter batted .418 with area-leading totals in runs (41) and RBIs (45). The senior also led the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champions in doubles (16) and homers (four) and he stole nine bases in 11 attempts.

Coach Lou Eckerl credited Velleggia for his fine handling of the team's inexperienced pitching staff and his knack for throwing out would-be base stealers. Velleggia is headed to Old Dominion.


Second team

Brett Harman Westminster, junior, pitcher

Kevin Jacob Parkville, junior, pitcher

Robbie Mathias Liberty, senior, pitcher

Ryan Rivers Eastern Tech, junior, pitcher

Brad Shepherd Oakland Mills, junior, catcher

Shawn Pleffner Arundel, junior, first base

Pat Carmen Calvert Hall, senior, second base

Austin Harclerode Centennial, junior, third base

Steve Lombardozzi Atholton, junior, shortstop

Alex Bechta Centennial, junior, outfield

Jason Daniels Arundel, junior, outfield

Greg Walter C. Milton Wright, junior, outfield

Note // Teams selected by Pat O'Malley after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.