UMBC seeking spot in tourney lineup

They don't have a reputation in Division I and they didn't even win the East Coast Conference regular-season title, but UMBC's baseball players have a solid resume and will closely monitor the announcement of the NCAA tournament field Monday.

For starters, the Retrievers' 37-11 record is the best among the 72 Division I teams under the ECAC umbrella. They beat Atlantic 10 champion George Washington, and went 7-2 against the top four teams in the Colonial Athletic Association. Six of their 11 losses came by one run, including two straight to Rider in the ECC tournament, ruining UMBC's chance for an automatic NCAA berth.


The Retrievers are relative newcomers to Division I, so they don't have a name that selection committee members will recognize. Members do look at pitching depth, however, and UMBC has six with at least three victories.

In 1986, their last year in Division II, the Retrievers went to the NCAAs with a 31-8-1 record; since then, coach John Jancuska is 163-98.


* Another NCAA race: Maryland right fielder Derek Hacopian finished with a .490 batting average. Louisville's Dan Kopriva, at .496, is the only Division I player with a higher mark.

Hocopian still figures to finish as the first player to win the Atlantic Coast Conference's Triple Crown since Clemson's Denny Walling in 1975. His batting average is an ACC record, as was his slugging percentage, .938, and on-base percentage, .618. Hocopian has 23 home runs and 83 RBI, both school records.

Jay Logwood, fourth in NCAA batting at .474, set Towson State records with 17 home runs, 81 hits and 54 runs.

* And in Division III: Regardless of UMBC's fate, the state will have least one team in an NCAA baseball tournament. When Johns Hopkins plays Montclair State today in a first-round Mid-Atlantic Region game, it will mark the fourth time in coach Bob Babb's 13 years with the Blue Jays that they've gone to the Division III tournament.

Hopkins' top hitter is Sean Holub, a junior third baseman from pTC Boys' Latin who has a .432 average and 11 home runs. The No. 2 starter is Ryan Rippin, a sophomore from Gilman who has a 6-1 record and a 2.63 ERA.

* Two wins away: When Essex Community College beat Anne Arundel for the Region XX baseball title, it was the 400th career coaching victory for George Henderson.

The Knights will play host to County College of Morris, N.J., tomorrow (first of two games at noon) and Saturday, if necessary, in a best-of-three sectional series, with the winner going to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.

* Record-setter: Anne Sherwood, a senior from Annapolis who went to Severn School, has a school-record 20 assists for Princeton, which plays Harvard in the NCAA women's lacrosse tournament semifinals. Maryland and Virginia meet in the other semifinal.


* Miscellaneous: Salisbury State's Andre Foreman, the all-time leading scorer in Division III, has signed with the Philadelphia Spirit of the U.S. Basketball League. . . . The Sea Gulls won the Eastern States Athletic Conference All-Sports Trophy for the fifth straight year. . . . Former Coppin State coach Larry Smith will run the Goucher tennis programs.