Umps make call for 10-run rule in baseball


County high school baseball umpires are proposing that a 10-run "mercy rule" be used next baseball season.

Jack Kramp's Anne Arundel Umpires Association has suggested the idea, which is used in some counties. Softball has such a rule in the county.

"It would eliminate 36-0 games like Old Mill had against Meade this year," said 40-year umpire Frank "Jocko" Svoboda.

Meade came back the next game and upset Severna Park, 7-6, so you have to wonder if the 36-0 score had an adverse effect on the losers.

"Whether it did or not, the game didn't need to go on that long," said Svoboda. "It's not good for the kids, coaches and umpires."

Jim Simms of Chesapeake said he doesn't think the coaches would approve it.

"We don't have that many games that get out of hand, and by playing seven innings, we get to play some kids who maybe don't otherwise get playing time," said Simms. "It also keeps your pitchers working."

A 12-run rule after five innings might be a worthy compromise so that those out-of-hand games would be terminated before the ridiculous stage.

The 10-run rule has worked effectively in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association where Calvert Hall and Archbishop Spalding play.

And maybe the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association ought to consider a 15-rule for state playoff games to avoid such embarrassing games as 4A state champion Arundel beating Bowie, 22-1, in this year's state semifinals.

That game was over in the second inning and should have been called after five. It was ugly, but had to go seven innings.

With the open tournament format in effect next year, and the possibility of a 20-0 team playing an 0-20 team in the first round, a mercy rule would be nice to avoid a 50-0 game.

Best of the Pioneers

Congrats to Arundel High grad Kris Niemi and Alicia Conine of Severna Park for being named the outstanding male and female athletes of the Anne Arundel Community College Class of '95.

Niemi and Conine received the school's Dr. Andrew G. Truxal awards at the Pioneers' recent spring awards assembly.

The top Region XX medalist in golf, Niemi, who also played basketball, was named first-team All-Region and the golf team's most valuable player.

Conine, headed to either East Carolina or the University of Maryland, was the Pioneers' MVP in softball. Playing first base, she set school records for hits in a season (50), career hits (94), season RBIs (52) and career RBIs (102).

In her two seasons at Anne Arundel, Conine hit .493.

Other college honors

Several Anne Arundel County high school grads grabbed athletic honors at UMBC.

Most Valuable Athlete awards went to Severna Park's Ryan Krulis on the Retrievers' men's indoor track and field team and to Cindy Kelly of Arundel on the women's outdoor track team.

Kelly also took Most Improved for women's cross country, and Old Mill's Mollie Sieradzki was the same for the women's swimming team.

Cross country runner Dave Wall of Broadneck and Chesapeake lacrosse player Dan Scott were recipients of Unsung Hero awards.

* At the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, St. Mary's Meghan Hill was named Most Improved Player for the field hockey team. Hill, an Annapolis resident, started at right defensive back as a freshman for the 10-8 Gators.

Academic-athletic standout

Severna Park grad and a former Falcons baseball scholar-athlete, Byron Druzgal, a sophomore pitcher for Western Maryland, was named to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Druzgal, a biology/chemistry major, appeared in 11 games as a reliever for the Green Terror (19-8), posting a 4-1 record with one save and a 3.46 ERA.

CC Academic Honor Roll athletes must be at least sophomores who start or who are key reserves with grade-point averages of 3.40 or better.

Hail to the chief (inspector)

Track and field official Keith Smith of Millersville has been named chief inspector of implements for the fifth National Scholastic Outdoor Track and Field Championships at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., Friday and Saturday.

"This meet serves as the official end to the high school track season," said Smith, a science department chairman in the county. "Virtually all of the nation's elite prep athletes will be competing in Raleigh."

Smith recently returned from Knoxville, Tenn., where he officiated six record-setting events at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He is under consideration as an official for the '96 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.

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