A 3-3 start does not have Anne Arundel Community College coach Clayton Jacobson concerned as the Pioneers play host to Delaware Tech at noon today. Pitching is the name of the game and AACC has it.
A freshman class Jacobson calls "the best we have ever had" is a major part of what is the largest squad (28) he has fielded.
The Pioneers have 14 pitchers, led by second-year players Lee Haney, Brian Sands, Dave Glover and Chris Sutch.
"Having 22 to 23 players is ideal, and we have 28, but 14 of them are pitchers, and that much pitching helps when you get to tournaments," said Jacobson, who has his sights set on a run for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region title.
Anne Arundel (26-16 overall) finished third behind runner-up Montgomery College-Rockville and champion Allegany in last year's Region XX. Jacobson hopes his wealth of pitching will bring AACC its first title in his seven years.
Former Old Mill All-County left-hander Haney was 5-0 last spring; Arundel's Sands was 8-1 with Severna Park's Glover and Broadneck's Sutch 2-0 each. The latter three are right-handers.
That foursome is expected to bolster a pitching staff that also includes 10 freshmen: John Ritter (Severna Park, red-shirted last year); Mike Bussey (Old Mill); Mike Bronakoski and Ken Baker (Glen Burnie); Troy O'Connor (Southern); Dave Asbury (Meade); Jeremy Pelligrini (Chesapeake); Tim Stoddard (Arundel); Robert Thompson (Ohio); and Corey Van Wagner (Michigan).
Bronakoski (All-County third baseman last year), Stoddard and Van Wagner also play other positions in first base, third base and the outfield, respectively.
The Pioneers have two former All-County catchers in Chris Johnson of Annapolis (1994) and Mike Cozzone of Arundel (1993). Cozzone spent a year at UMBC before transferring to AACC.
Old Mill's Ryan Scott returns at third base to anchor a veteran infield that includes Catonsville Community College middle infield transfer, Joe Goldberg, a Glenelg grad, and ex-Meade first baseman Darrell Shifflett.
Delmar (Md.) first-year middle infielder, Chris Lloyd, completes the infield.
Three more returnees in Mike Aguilar (All-County Meade, 1993), Jimmy Taylor (second team All-County, Arundel, 1993) and Todd Locklear (Glen Burnie) head up the outfield. First-year Pioneers outfielders include: Mike Fleming (All-County Severna Park, '94; Wayne Small (second team All-County Southern, '94), Brian Doyle (Chesapeake); and Jimmy Greer (Old Mill).
"We're playing everybody right now and having 28 players is not the worst scenario because this group has a good work ethic and attitude," Jacobson said. "And come tournament time, we will be ready."
Delaware Tech today begins a weeklong homestand for the Pioneers in Arnold with Genesee C.C. coming in Thursday, Baltimore C.C. Friday and Montgomery-Rockville Saturday.
Bruins pin Hampe
Mike Hampe, who led the Old Mill wrestling team to their sixth state championship since 1989 (missed in 1994), is the junior varsity softball coach at Broadneck.
Hampe resides in the Cape St. Claire area and when his VTC sophomore
daughter, Beth, came home with the news that the Bruins' JV didn't have a coach, he volunteered.
Domenic Pachence is stepping down as the Archbishop Spalding athletic director July 1. Pachence also has coached baseball.
Archer on the air
Matt Tiahart, a 1978 Andover Archer grad who used to do sports on WJRO radio in Glen Burnie, is news and sports director at WTAR and WKOC Radio in Richmond (Va.).
Hull commits to UVA
Broadneck midfielder, Jessica Hull, second team All-County as a junior, has verbally accepted a lacrosse scholarship to the University of Virginia. Her brother, Jason, is a freshman on Navy's lacrosse team.
Gopher in the pool
Jamie Puromaki, a 1992 Glen Burnie grad, completed a successful season for the Ohio State swim team with the Buckeyes' fastest times in the 200 (1 minute, 54.06 seconds) and 400 (4:04.25) individual medleys.