North County's Mike Wooden, who won 27 games and lost six through the spring, summer and fall seasons this year, is expected to accept a baseball scholarship and sign a national letter of intent with the University of Maryland in the next couple of days.
Wooden, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound right-hander, visited College Park over the weekend and was a guest at the 47-45 football game with N.C. State. The early signing period for baseball is from today through Nov. 16.
"I loved the school, and the atmosphere is real college with the football and basketball teams and all," said Wooden, All-County the past two springs with the Knights.
"I also visited N.C. State and UNC-Charlotte but am leaning toward signing early with Maryland."
Terps pitching coach Jimmy Terrill and assistant coach Kelly Kulina saw Wooden pitch several times during the summer for Gunther's Little Orioles, where he went 13-3 after a 4-2 high school season, including a perfect game over Old Mill.
Wooden pulled something in his lower back during the perfect game, the county's first in 20 years, and didn't pitch again for 2 1/2 weeks until the Knights made their first playoff appearance. Despite the layoff, he battled defending state champion Arundel, 1-1, through seven innings before coming out. Arundel won in the eighth, 2-1.
This fall Wooden was 10-1 for the Oriolelanders of Jim Gilbert. Gilbert, the Baltimore Orioles territorial scouting supervisor, assembles a high school-eligible all-star team from the Mid-Atlantic area that plays 45 games against other all-star and junior college teams.
For the second year in a row, Wooden won the championship game of the Charlotte (N.C.) Invitational for the Oriolelanders. Wooden won the first game, pitching four innings, and came back two days later in relief going the final six against Raleigh, N.C.
When Wooden entered the title game, Raleigh led 5-1, but his back-breaking curve and change-up kept Raleigh at bay while the Oriolelanders rallied to win, 10-5.
Terrill said over the summer that "Wooden is at the top of our recruiting list. He is one of those special pitchers who smell the finish line."
If Wooden signs with the Terps, he will be reunited with his Little Orioles catcher, Brandt Childs of Damascus. Childs made the Team USA Junior East Region team this summer and might start as a freshman at Maryland this spring after having a great fall with the Terps.
Also, former Anne Arundel County All-Metro outfielder Steve Neuberger of Severna Park and All-Metro pitcher Brandon Agamennone are at Maryland. Neuberger is a junior and Agamennone a freshman.
On the ice
Navy's club ice hockey team remains unbeaten, winning its third in a row over the weekend, 3-0, over Rutgers with Mike Murnane scoring two goals as the Mids outshot their foe, 45-19. Sam DeCastro had 12 saves.
Coach Jim Barry's Mids play host to Lehigh at 2 p.m. Saturday at Dahlgren Hall (free admission) and travel to the University of Pennsylvania Sunday.
Three playoff teams?
With Calvert (6-3) history after losing for the second time in three weeks by 13-12 to Chopticon, Anne Arundel County could land three football teams from the 4A East Region in the playoffs for the first time.
If Arundel, North County and Severna Park win at home Friday over Meade (1-8), Broadneck (6-2) and Annapolis (5-4), respectively, all three should make postseason play at 8-2.
Questions without answers
Do you agree with me that $4 admission for students to playoff games is too steep?
* Isn't it a great idea to give passes to all athletes for all athletic events (except playoffs) as South River athletic director Jim Haluck does?
"When I started as AD a few years ago, they told me that the various teams didn't get along, weren't united, but with the passes, that's not so anymore," said Haluck.
* Maybe you noticed that Perry Hall's Jason Bloom boomed a state-record 57-yard field goal over the weekend, and asked what is the Anne Arundel record?
It's 48 yards by Arundel's Bryan Beauchemin in 1985 against Severna Park.
* Did you know that Severna Park's Mark Frye needs three touchdowns Friday against rival Annapolis to tie the Falcons school record of 20 set by Gary Thall in 1964? Thall had a school-record 130 points, and Frye has 106 points on 17 touchdowns and four points in conversions.