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AACC's Simms accepts George Mason scholarship


Anne Arundel Community College left-hander Jimmy Simms has accepted a baseball scholarship to George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Simms, an All-County pitcher from Old Mill, is 1-3 this spring but his ERA is around 2.00. He was 6-2 his freshman year with the Pioneers.

"I had some bad luck, but we're starting to hit the ball now," said Simms of the 16-12 Pioneers, who are 7-4 in Region XX with a shot at one of the top seeds in the playoffs that start Tuesday.

Simms chose George Mason over West Virginia after visiting both schools.

"Mason has an outstanding program with outstanding facilities and everything seemed to fit," said Simms, whose father, Jim Sr., is Chesapeake High's coach.

"It's also closer to home, which will give my parents a chance to see me pitch."

George Mason recently clinched the regular-season title in the Colonial Athletic Association with a three-game sweep of East Carolina, returning coach Bill Brown's Patriots to the NCAA Division I regional playoffs.

"They've told me they expect me to be one of the four or five starters," said Simms, who will major in physical therapy and nursing.

* Another ex-Old Mill All-County pitcher, right-hander Dennis Wiseman, a 1985 graduate, is holding his own with the St. Louis Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Louisville.

Wiseman is 1-2 with a 5.70 ERA. He said his ERA is high because "after three good games, I had one awful game and that pushed it up."

His first win came Tuesday in a 17-5 romp over Buffalo. Wiseman, 25, pitched six innings, scattered eight hits and gave up four runs. He struck out three and walked two.

"I'm in the starting rotation and if I pitch well, who knows what could happen come July and August?" said the Wiseman, in his fourth season with the Cardinals.

It's like night and day playing in the minors compared to the majors, and last week was indicative.

"Denver moved to New Orleans this year and we were scheduled to play there last week, but there was a scheduling mix-up and the university had a series there, so we drove a couple hours to Mobile, Ala.," said Wiseman.

"We also played in Oklahoma and had to fly to Buffalo. We ended up staying in five different hotels in five nights and flew back to Buffalo and had to play within a few hours. It was unbelievable."

* Former Arundel High All-Metro outfielder/pitcher Josh Bullock, who pitched at the University of Nebraska and was drafted and signed bythe Montreal Expos last June, is off to a great start.

Bullock was kept by the Expos for extended spring training in West Palm Beach, Fla. The left-hander, who graduated from Arundel in 1989 and received a scholarship to Nebraska, has struck out three and walked three in 16 innings.

After completing his junior year with the Cornhuskers last spring, Bullock opted for professional baseball and gave up his final year of eligibility. He is to be assigned to the Expos' Single-A affiliate in Jamestown, N.Y.

* Despite losing its first baseball game last week, by 6-5 to Old Mill, wasn't it good to see that the national pollsters weren't too harsh on The Baltimore Sun's top-ranked Arundel Wildcats?

Arundel, No. 16 in the USA Today Super 25 for high schools on April 27, dropped one notch this week.

Arundel appears to be the only lock for the Class 4A Region IV playoffs. Chesapeake (one game back), Old Mill, Patterson of Baltimore, North County, Severna Park, Glen Burnie and Broadneck are mathematically alive for the final three spots.

The 4A Region playoffs are May 21-22 at the highest seed.

* Glen Burnie's Greg Shepherd, who pitched at Mount St. Joseph in Baltimore and for Anne Arundel CC, set a record for saves at the Division II University of Missouri at St. Louis this week.

"I broke the school record and got my ninth save," said Shepherd.

* North County senior attackman Greg Sabo signed with UMBC this week. Knights coach Paul Shea predicts success in college for Sabo, who has started the past three years.

* All over the state, people talk about the quality of softball in Anne Arundel County. This week, The Baltimore Sun softball Top 15 supports those claims.

Four Anne Arundel County teams are in the top five -- Chesapeake (1), Archbishop Spalding (2), Old Mill (4) and Severna Park (5) -- and Arundel, Northeast and Glen Burnie are Nos. 10 though 12, respectively.

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