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Delayed school opening in Florida brings Rolocut back to the Suns

THE BALTIMORE SUN

High winds and heavy rain were not only the remnants Hurricane Andrew left Friday in Anne Arundel County.

As a result of the storm's ravaging South Florida last week, an outstanding pitcher is back home to help the Arundel Suns in the 13th Annual Anne Arundel County Sun-Oriolelanders All Star Baseball Game.

Brian Rolocut, our Player of the Year and a SUN All-Metro and All-County pitcher this spring from Arundel High, returned from Miami Dade Community College in South Florida and has been named to the Suns' 11-man pitching staff for Sunday's 1 p.m. doubleheader vs. the Oriolelanders at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harman's. Hurricane Andrew's destruction has forced Miami Dade C.C. to push back its school opening to Sept. 14, making Rolocut available.

Rolocut is one of three returning pitchers from last year's staff and one of a total of seven returnees named to the 26-man roster. Eleven of the county's 13 schools that play high school baseball are represented. No Southern or South River players tried out.

The local roster features many former All-County players who will go against an all-star team of the top high school seniors in the Mid-Atlantic area that Baltimore Orioles' Scouting Supervisor Jim Gilbert and his son Tom could round up.

This past spring, Rolocut was unquestionably the best pitcher in Anne Arundel County. The hard-throwing right hander was 11-1 with an ERA of 0.77 and a county-leading 132 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings for coach Bernie Walter's Wildcats, who won 4A Region IV.

Rolocut can also swing the bat, as evidenced by his .390 batting clip with four dingers , four triples and 29 RBI for the SUN's fifth ranked Wildcats (17-5). He may see duty in the outfield for the local team.

Fellow right hander Andy Young and stylish lefty Jimmy Simms are the other two returning pitchers from last year's staff that limited the hard-hitting Oriolelanders to five hits but lost a 3-1 decision.

Young is a 6-foot-6 and 195-pounder from Meade High and Anne Arundel Community College. The lanky 19-year-old is hoping that some big-league club will give him a shot at pro baseball.

Simms also pitched for AACC after an All-County 7-win season at Old Mill in 1991. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound lefty became coach Clayton Jacobson's top reliever at Anne Arundel last spring.

Young's junior college eligibility is up, while Simms has another year.

"Andy and Jimmy both did a great job for us and are two fine young men," said Jacobson, whose Pioneers were second only to National Junior College champion Essex Community College.

Our All-County second team catcher, Mike Mahoney of Old Mill is back on the Suns and is headed for Essex this fall. Mahoney batted .400 with 16 RBI for the Patriots this spring and is one of three catchers on this year's team.

Rich Spiegel, the catcher who beat Mahoney out for All-County honors this spring and the promising Luis Falcon of Chesapeake High are the other two backstops.

Spiegel had a career year this spring at Class 2A state champion Northeast and was named to the SUN's All-Metro First Team. The burly catcher batted a robust .423 with seven homers and 38 RBI which enabled him to tie former teammate Don Shump (1990-91) for the state career record for RBI (81).

This summer Spiegel, who was extremely disappointed over not being drafted by a pro club in June, has worked hard to rid himself of excess baggage.

Spiegel, who will attend AACC where he will be seen by pro scouts, is 6-foot and 210 pounds after trimming down from a too-bulky 230 pounds.

"I never realized that the scouts were turned off by my weight," said Spiegel at the Cannon Stadium tryouts this week.

"I'm not through, going to lose another ten pounds and keep it there. I feel better and hope now that somebody notices."

Scouts noticed Spiegel when he jacked a pair of home runs out of McCurdy Field in Frederick in the Eagles' repeat State title victory by 7-6 over Walkersville back in May and then again in June at the Crown All Star Game. In the prestigious Crown game, Spiegel hit one over the left field wall at Camden Yards.

At the same time, Spiegel's then robust frame was noticed in a negative light by the the scouts. But no more.

The third catcher is an up-and-coming Chesapeake High sophomore who turns 15 in October in Falcon. A solid 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, Falcon batted .357 (61- for-171) with 50 RBI, 44 runs scored, 12 doubles, two triples and three homers for the 73-9 Kazmarek Little Orioles this summer.

Falcon possesses a strong arm which enabled him to throw out 80 percent of attempted base stealers. He stole 28 bases showing the rare speed he has for a catcher. Falcon was a junior varsity catcher at Chesapeake this spring but coach Jim Simms, Jimmy's father, expects him to be a varsity player in '93.

Three returnees are listed among the infielders and they may see other duty as well. Old Mill first baseman Ryan Dempsey, who drilled a double to left at Cannon last September to knock in the only Suns' run, second baseman/DH Jeff Paxson of Archbishop Spalding and shortstop/pitcher Mike Wooden of North County High are the other three who played in last year's game.

Paxson batted .422 with 36 RBI for Spalding and coach Tom Lind, who is a member of this year's coaching staff. The smooth-fielding infielder has had a shoulder problem and may be used as a DH in the Oriolelanders game.

Wooden, who pitched on the North County varsity this spring as a freshman, became the youngest player ever named to the game last fall at age 13. The 6-foot, 160-pounder turns 15 on Sept.14.

This summer Wooden had an MVP campaign for the Little Orioles going 15-1 with five saves, a 1.11 ERA and 222 strikeouts in only 113 innings while batting .488 (83-for-170) with 74 RBI, 82 runs, 42 stolen bases, 23 doubles, seven triples and 11 homers.

Wooden did not get to pitch in last year's game, but will this year. The North County sophomore will share the spotlight with not only Rolocut, Simms and Young, the trio of college pitchers but several other outstanding high schoolers.

Two All-County second teamers in John Ritter (7-2, 2.17 ERA) of Severna Park and Wayne Hudson (6-1, 3.68 ERA) of Northeast) have made the staff. Both are seniors this year along with Lee Haney (6-1, 2.79 ERA) of Old Mill and Chris Sutch of Broadneck.

Juniors named to our staff include lefties Jason White of Chesapeake, who sparkled for the Glen Burnie Patriots this summer and Bob Christopher of North County who was 8-0 with a 2.19 ERA for the Little Orioles. Christopher may also play in the outfield. He hit .395 with four homers and 30 RBI for the Little

O's.

Glen Burnie's Jason Sponaugle, who is 15, joins Wooden as the only sophomores who made the staff. Sponaugle was 9-0 with an ERA of 2.44 for the Little Orioles this summer and also pitched for the Anne Arundel 15 year old Babe Ruth All Stars in the state tournament.

Joining Dempsey at first base is former Northeast All-County performer Russ Curry, who was a key member of the Eagles' unprecedented 24-0 National Championship season of 1991. Third baseman Shump also played on that team and set a state single season public school record for RBI (45).

Curry and Shump will both attend AACC.

Old Mill's Ryan Wood. who had a great summer for the Glen Burnie Partriots, is the other third baseman and is only 15.

Second base is in the capable hands of Annapolis senior Chad Hartman and K.C. Murphy of Northeast who graduated after batting .397 for the state champion Eagles. Hartman hit .366 for the Panthers.

Arundel's Tre Overstreet, a member of our All-County second team, made it as a shortstop. Overstreet, who will attend Catonsville C.C., batted .350 with 20 stolen bases for the Wildcats this spring.

Jason Sigler, a 21-year old outfielder from Broadneck and AACC, heads up the outfield. Sigler runs better than anyone on the team and had a stellar season for the Pioneers, yet was not drafted. He is another not giving up hope.

Two Arundel grads, Chris Durocher (1992) and Larry Dobson (1991), and Spalding's John Hall (1992) all of whom played on the Mayo Post American Legion this summer complete the outfield.

Durocher, an All-County performer who was second team All-Metro, batted .449 for the Wildcats this spring while Hall was second team All-County DH. Hall will join Dobson at Catonsville C.C. this fall. Durocher will attend AACC.

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY SUNS 1992 ROSTER

PITCHERS: Brian Rolocut (Arundel, Miami Dade C.C.), Jim Simms (Old Mill, AACC); Andy Young (Meade, AACC), John Ritter (Severna Park); Lee Haney (Old Mill); Wayne Hudson (Northeast); Chris Sutch (Broadneck); Mike Wooden and Bob Christopher (North County); Jay Sponaugle (Glen Burnie) and Jason White (Chesapeake).

CATCHERS: Rich Spiegel (Northeast, AACC); Mike Mahoney (Old Mill, Essex C.C.); and Luis Falcon (Chesapeake).

INFIELDERS: Russ Curry (Northeast, AACC); Ryan Dempsey (Old Mill); Chad Hartman (Annapolis); K.C. Murphy (Northeast, AACC); Don Shump (Northeast, AACC); Ryan Wood (Old Mill); Jeff Paxson (Spalding) and Tre Overstreet (Arundel, Catonsville C.C.).

OUTFIELDERS: Jason Sigler (Broadneck, AACC); John Hall (Spalding); Chris Durocher (Arundel, AACC); and Larry Dobson (Arundel, Catonsville C.C.).

13th Annual Oriolelanders' Classic, 1 p.m. doubleheader, Sunday, Sept. 6, Joe Cannon Stadium.

Admission is free.

Any questions, call 647-2499.

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