Northeast's Class 2A state champion baseball team will be ranked No.1 in Collegiate Baseball magazine when the publication's Easton National High School poll is released next week.
Ranked No. 2 in last Friday's rankings, the Eagles -- who completed an unbeaten year with a state public-school record 24 victories -- captured the top spot when Edwardsville, Ill., lost its state championship game, 10-3, to then No. 21-ranked Thornwood of South Holland, Ill.
It was the first loss for Edwardsville (39-1) in 64 consecutive games and dropped it from No. 1 to No. 5. Thornwood (35-3) took over the No. 2 spot, followed by state champions Lancaster, S.C., and Millikan High of Long Beach, Calif.
"I've had teams that were considered highly in the past, but certainly nothing compared to this," said Northeast coach Harry Lentz, whose 24-year career record is 312-166.
In winning Lentz' third state championship, the Eagles outscored their opponents, 326-59, with a team batting average of .411 and 259 RBI.
The Eagles stole 55 bases and -- having pounded Class 4A state champion Arundel, 14-4, during the regular season -- swiped the gloryas the county's and area's best team.
Bernie Walters' Arundel squad finished with a 20-4
record and is ranked No. 17 in the poll, which represents the voting of a nationwide panel of high school and college baseball coaches. Voters take into account the teams' level ofcompetition, win streaks, victories at home vs. away and depth of pitching.
"We really worked hard for this season," said Lentz, whosesquad was 22-0 in 1990 before losing, 6-5, to Edgewood in the state semifinals. "We came back strong and had four seniors whose numbers have got to be among the best in the nation."
The Eagles' statistics were among the nation's best, starting with pitcher/outfielder Craig Everett, 8-0 on the mound.
Everett, the Anne Arundel County Sun's Baseball Player of the Year, also batted .442 with
30 RBI and led the team in doubles. He was 12-0 for his pitching career with 70 strikeouts, 22 walks and a 2.07 ERA in 77 innings.
Third baseman DonShump, who, with Everett, was drafted by the Houston Astros last week, had a single-season county-record 45 RBI and a state record 81 forhis career. Ace hurler Charlie Buckheit was 11-0 this season with a 2.10 ERA and had a county-record 30-3 career record. First baseman Russ Curry tied the county's previous RBI record with 39.
"I think the guys really proved that they belong among the nation's best," saidLentz. "We achieved most of the goals we wanted to, but with the type of year we had, this was the final piece of the puzzle."
EASTON NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL POLL
1. Northeast, 24-0
2. Thornwood, South Holland, Ill., 35-3
3. Lancaster, S.C., 29-5
4. Millikan, Long Beach, Calif., 24-6
5. Edwardsville, Ill., 39-1
6. Fairfield, Ohio, 32-3
7. Dr. Phillips, Orlando, Fla., 28-4
8. Esperanza, Anaheim, Calif, 26-3
9. West, Cherry Hill, N.J., 25-2
10.East Islip, N.Y., 25-7
11. Clear Creek, League City, Texas, 28-6
12. Ontario, Calif., 26-0
13. Grossmont, La Mesa, Calif., 29-1
14. Lafayette, Brooklyn, N.Y., 32-7
15. Terry Parker, Jacksonville, Fla., 26-6
16. Serra, San Mateo, Calif., 26-5
18. Vallejo, Calif., 30-2
19. Bolles, Jacksonville, Fla.,26-3
20. McClintook, Tempe, Ariz., 20-3
21. Jefferson, Shenandoah Jct., W.Va., 35-3
22. Farmington, N.M., 20-3
23. Newnan, Ga., 29-10
24. Vestavia Hills, Ala., 25-4
25. Carlsbad, N.M., 22-2
26. Petal, Miss., 29-5
27. Fort Osage, Independence, Mo., 20-2
28. Columbus, Ga., 24-9
29. Munford, Tenn., 29-1
30. NorthAllegheny, Wexford, Pa., 22-3