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Glenelg's David Boteler turned in one of the most impressive batting performances of the season last Monday.

He smashed three base hits off Centennial's Denny Chapman, one of the toughest pitchers in the Baltimore area this season. Chapman throws in the 85- to 90-mph range and has a scholarship to Virginia.

"Even though I played with him all through the Howard County Youth Program, with the radar guns and all his press lately I guess I'd have to say I was a little intimidated by him," Boteler said. "Before the game a scout for the Cleveland Indians came up to me and asked me if he [Chapman] was pitching."

Boteler ripped a line drive to left in the second innning, a line drive to center in the fourth inning and another line drive for an RBI single to left in the sixth inning. Boteler ended the game in the seventh with a line drive that Centennial third baseman Ryan Barwick jumped up and caught.

Chapman gave up six hits in that game, a 9-4 Centennial victory, and smiled when asked about Boteler. "Yeah, he stung me pretty good, but I figured I'd give him my best pitch with the fastball and dare him to hit it. I finally gave him curves the last time he came up."

Boteler did not face Chapman last season. The only other time he batted against him recently was two years ago during summer ball when Boteler played for the Dayton Raiders and Chapman for the Columbia Reds.

"I couldn't touch him that day," Boteler said. "And I know he can throw better than he did Monday. Before the game, I told myself that I just wanted to get one hit off him. I just got the right pitches."

This is Boteler's second season behind the plate for Glenelg, and the senior is batting .516 (16-for-31) with one double, two triples, three home runs and 21 RBIs. He has walked 10 times and his on-base percentage is .634.

As a catcher, Boteler has several strengths.

"He calls a good game, blocks the plate well and knows the position," Glenelg coach Tom Thrasher said. "He's a good field general and leads the team in home runs and batting average."

Boteler's second-best day at the plate was a two-home run, six-RBI performance against River Hill. He also homered and tripled against Long Reach. And he had a big single April 11 against Wilde Lake to start a five-run, last-inning rally that gave Glenelg a 9-8 victory.

"I'm delighted, but not really surprised at how well I'm hitting," said Boteler, who batted .380 his junior year. "I've always been able to hit, and I am seeing the ball well. And I'm stronger this season because of all the weight-lifting we did for football."

Boteler (6 feet 1, 230 pounds) was an All-County two-way tackle for the Gladiators and recalls with pleasure the extra-point kick he blocked to help his team win the last game of the season against Howard. Glenelg rallied to go ahead 13-12 with a minute to play, and then held on amid a sea of rain and mud.

He has had to fill some big shoes in his baseball career, because his older brother, Brian, is a former Baltimore Sun Howard County Player of the Year.

His family bleeds Glenelg's red and black. His father, George, is the assistant baseball coach and his mother, Marcy, is the secretary for Glenelg principal Jim McGregor.

Boteler hopes to attend Salisbury State, where the football coach has expressed an interest in him. He has a 3.5 grade point average, but a 960 SAT has left him on the waiting list at Salisbury.

"I'm a little disappointed not to get in after working hard to get good grades," he said. "If I don't get into Salisbury, than I'll go to Howard Community College for a semester and transfer."

Pub Date: 4/23/97

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