State champions Arundel and Northeast dominate this year's Anne Arundel County Sun All-County baseball team, taking nine of the 13 berthson the first team.
Two of those nine were selected in last week'smajor-league baseball free-agent draft by the Houston Astros.
Northeast pitcher-outfielder Craig Everett, the Player of the Year, and his slugging teammate, third baseman Don Shump, both picked bythe Astros, head this year's elite team.
Everett and Shump, who played major roles in the Northeast state 2A championship and the first 24-0 season in state public school history, are joined on the firstteam by three teammates: right-handed pitcher Charlie Buckheit, first baseman Russ Curry and outfielder Derek Dolch.
Arundel placed two pitchers, junior lefty Zach Collins and right-hander Jeff Beard, aswell as shortstop Scott Young and designated hitter Larry Dobson.
The other first-teamers on the senior-dominated club are outfielder Mark Budzinski and pitcher-shortstop Rob McCandless (who made it as autility man), both from Severna Park, Old Mill catcher John Bussey and North County second baseman Willie Scott.
Everett was 8-0 with an ERA of 1.66 for the Eagles while batting .442 with four home runs and 30 RBI. His hitting, pitching and fielding in center field helpedlead the Eagles to their perfect season.
There is no question that Everett did more for his team than any other player in the metropolitan area and that earned him Player of the Year honors.
The fleet-footed outfielder will attend Anne Arundel Community College and be evaluated by the Astros before the club decides whether or not he is ready to play pro ball. Everett and Shump, who also will play at AnneArundel, were drafted under the new
"follow development" program.
Major-league clubs draft such prospects late, watch them mature and then make a decision about signing them before the next draft in June.
Former Orioles associate scout Billy Buck of Alexandria, who is now a full-time scout with the Astros, recommended that the National League club draft the Northeast pair.
Shump set county and state records for RBI in a season (45) and career (81) this spring while whacking six homers and batting .475. The All-County third baseman might have to learn a new position, first base, to get a good shot professionally.
Shump is as good a high school hitter as there was in Maryland this year. It's interesting that an American League club didn't take Shump in the draft as a designated hitter. Because if anybody can play hit as a position, this guy can.
Buckheit closed out a brilliant 3 1/2-year career at the Pasadena school as the county's all-time winningest pitcher at 30-3, including 11-0 this year. The classy right-hander is the only repeater from last year's All-County team.
With an ERA of 2.10, Buckheit was the Eagles' ace, and he was for three years. Buckheit will join Everett and Shump at Anne Arundel Community College, and the right-hander will be out to increase his velocity (80s) to try to fulfill a childhood dream to play professionalbaseball.
The other two Northeast players named to first team hadbig years with the bat: first-sacker Curry and junior outfielder Dolch. Curry hit a robust .462 with 39 RBI, second only to Shump.
Curry, a 6-foot 175-pounder, had seven two-baggers and five triples and will attend North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount.
Dolch batted .420 with 30 RBI and stepped right in as a junior rookie.
Arundel's one-two pitching duo of Beard (10-1) and Collins (8-1) was acombined 18-2 for the 20-4 state 4A champion Wildcats of Coach Bernie Walter. Beard tied a school and state record for shutouts in a season, with four, and had two one-hitters with an ERA of 0.80.
Beard will pitch at the University of Maryland Baltimore County this fall, while Collins returns to Arundel. The 11th-grade southpaw posted an ERA of 1.26 and pitched the Cats to victory in both the Region IV and state championship games.
The first-team catcher was a third-team All-County second baseman a year ago, but Bussey made a smooth transition to the position behind the plate this spring. Batting a solid .408 with 22 RBI, Bussey became an outstanding receiver with a good armfor the regional runner-up Patriots.
Scott was a ray of sunshine for the first-year Knights of North County, batting .359 with 21 stolen bases while sparkling at the keystone position of second base.
Arundel's Young is the other part of that keystone duo, at shortstop,and hit .405 with 34 stolen bases and an amazing 30 RBI as the lead-off Wildcat. Young was the main man in Arundel's state-record 22 double plays this year, helping on 15.
Young was a second-teamer last year, along with Old Mill's Eric Scott, but nosed out Scott for firstteam this year. Last season Young and Scott played in the shadow of Andy Srebroski, the 1990 Player of the Year from Northeast who was drafted this week by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Young over Scott was a very difficult choice because Scott also had great numbers, with a .468 batting clip, 24 RBI and 28 runs scored.
But we pick by positionbecause only one guy plays shortstop at a time, so a decision had tobe made. It was Young who, while playing the most important positionon the field other than pitcher or catcher, led his team to the state title.
Severna Park's McCandless, the team's third junior, was an outstanding shortstop and contributed on the mound with a 4-2 record. The .586-hitting McCandless, who set a school record with 15 two-baggers, is the first-team utility player.
Severna Park outfielder Budzinski was named first team after batting .444 with 27 RBI and four homers. Budzinski, also a member of The Anne Arundel County Sun's All-County Academic-Athletic Team, was a third-team first baseman lastyear.
Budzinski will attend the University of Richmond.
Arundel's Dobson completes the first team as its DH after batting .367 and knocking in 24 runs for the Cats.
Harry Lentz of Northeast took Coach of the Year honors for the second straight year. The 24-year veteran has put together back-to-back seasons of 22-1 and 24-0 and is only the second coach to win the award more than once.
Old Mill's MelMontgomery has been named Coach of the Year three times -- 1980, '85and '89.
Lentz is the first to cop the award in successive seasons.