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County is 3-for-8 getting to semis Only Montgomery advanced as many Baseball


In the state baseball tournament since 1975, only nine county teams have made it to the semifinals.

Today, three of the county's eight high schools -- Glenelg, Centennial and Hammond -- will send teams to the semifinals.

Only Montgomery County, which has 21 high schools, will have as many. The only counties with two teams are Baltimore and Charles.

Glenelg (15-4), county and Class 2A, Region I champion, makes its fourth Final Four appearance. It won in 1983 and made it to the final in 1979. Its latest appearance was in 1989.

The third-seeded Gladiators have excellent hitting and pitching. They carry a .365 team batting average and a 2.05 ERA into today's 2:30 p.m. game at Dundalk Community College against second-seeded Wicomico of the Eastern Shore.

Glenelg, which has won seven straight, is averaging nine runs and has outscored its opponents 171-62. It has scored in double figures seven times and been held below five runs four times. It has not been shut out.

The Gladiators have 10 players batting above .300 and four above .500.

Catcher Kevin Curtin leads the starters at .537 (22-for-41). Reserves Steve Schulski at .524 (11-for-21) and Dave Buckholtz at .563 (9-for-16) are next.

Third baseman Brian Boteler is at .500 (30-for-60), including three homers, eight doubles and 23 RBI.

Shortstop Mike Goldberg, the clean-up batter, is at .373 (25-for-67) with five doubles, one triple, six homers and 33 RBI.

Glenelg's pitching is led by senior right-hander Jeff Lewis and sophomore left-hander Sean Lookingbill.

Lewis is 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA. He has struck out 49, walked 33 and allowed 41 hits in 52 2/3 innings. He pitched a no-hitter against Atholton.

Lookingbill is 5-1 with a 0.66 ERA. He struck out 65, walked 16 and allowed 22 hits in 42 1/3 innings.

Opposing teams are batting .188 against Glenelg pitching, which has recorded three shutouts.

Glenelg's only weakness has been defense. The Gladiators have made 54 errors in 19 games.

Centennial (13-7) makes its third Final Four appearance but never has made it beyond the semifinals.

The Eagles, Class 3A, Region III champions, are fourth-seeded, as they were in the regional, and face top-seeded Watkins Mill of Montgomery County at 7 p.m. at Arundel High.

Pitching and defense have carried Centennial. The team ERA is 2.15, and the Eagles average just under two errors. They have four shutouts and have held opposing teams to three or fewer runs 11 times.

Junior Kurt Weitzel is the team's winningest pitcher at 7-3. But David Hudson and Brent Mertes give the Eagles three quality pitchers. Hudson threw a no-hitter against Carver in the regional final.

The Eagles struggled to score most of the season. They are batting .265 as a team and have two players above .300, Jason Babcock (.320) and Weitzel (.310).

But Centennial is showing signs of improvement at the plate. It has scored six or more runs eight times but has done it in each of its past four games.

The Eagles will be missing starting second baseman Joe Mellendick, who broke his hand when hit by a pitch in the regional final.

Hammond (15-6) makes its second Final Four appearance. In 1991, the Bears lost the Class 2A final to Northeast, a team ranked No. 1 in the country that year by USA Today.

The Bears, Class 2A, Region II champs, are fourth-seeded and face top-seeded Rockville of Montgomery County at 7 p.m. at McCurdy Field in Frederick.

Hammond is balanced, with solid pitching, hitting, base running and defense. It has won eight straight games.

The Bears are batting .311, averaging 5.4 runs and 8.5 hits.

They have five starters batting over .300, Matt Cyran (.448), David Brewer (.381), Mike Kaplan (.343), Joe Brewer (.328) and Andrew Jenkins (.328).

The pitching staff has a combined 2.03 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 58 walks in 148 innings.

Jeff Price leads the staff with a 7-3 record and a 1.56 ERA. Cyran is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA. Kaplan is 4-1 with a 2.49 ERA. Jon Yezek has five saves with a 1.15 ERA, both school records.

Hammond has stolen 99 bases and been caught three times. Jenkins leads the team with 29 steals.

The Bears have made 32 errors in 21 games.

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